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Cabinet has approved legislation for the establishment of the Police Authority of Jamaica, which will see the merger of the Police Services Commission and the Police Civilian Oversight Authority.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said the amalgamation of the two bodies will serve to ensure that the police are efficient, effective and accountable.
He was speaking at the weekly post Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday (December 15).
“Cabinet approved the implementation of Recommendation 38 of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Strategic Review Report of 2008 and the issue of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Council to give effect to the proposal for the merger,” he stated.
The Minister noted that in 2008, the JCF Strategic Review panel raised the concern that, while there are several organisations dealing with external accountability of the JCF, “none holds the force effectively to account.”
He therefore said that the establishment of a single oversight body will result in the Police Authority of Jamaica assuming the functions of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority, which includes monitoring the performance of the JCF.
Other functions will include the establishment of a three-year strategic plan, annual policing plan, and a performance framework for the monitoring of the JCF’s performance.
Meanwhile, Minister Vaz also announced Cabinet’s approval of a Bill for the creation of the International Services Authority as a body charged with the development, viability and sustainability of the international financial services sector in Jamaica.
The Bill, entitled, Jamaica International Financial Services Authority Act 2010 is to be introduced into the Houses of Parliament.
Mr. Vaz said the International Services Authority will be guided by a board to be appointed by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service.