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  • The Government is reaffirming its commitment to the fight against corruption, with Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, emphasising that if it is not eliminated, it can threaten the country’s development.
  • Senator Golding was speaking at the Office of the Contractor General’s inaugural three-day Fraud and Anti-Corruption Conference, on March 10 at the Knutsford Court Hotel.
  • He said the Government’s commitment is evident in a number of legislative initiatives in the past three years to strengthen Jamaica’s ability to tackle corruption.

The Government is reaffirming its commitment to the fight against corruption, with Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, emphasising that if it is not eliminated, it can threaten the country’s development.

“The administration recognizes that corruption is corrosive, and undermines the processes and institutions that underpin our economy and society, therefore threatening the country’s economic and social development,” the Minister said.

Senator Golding was speaking at the Office of the Contractor General’s inaugural three-day Fraud and Anti-Corruption Conference, on March 10 at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

He said the Government’s commitment is evident in a number of legislative initiatives in the past three years to strengthen Jamaica’s ability to tackle corruption.

These initiatives, Senator Golding said, include the passage of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act, 2013, commonly referred to as the ‘Lotto Scam Act’; and the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organizations) Act, 2014, also known as the anti-gang legislation. He also cited amendment of the Financial Investigations Division Act, 2013, and the Proceeds of Crime Act, 2013.

The Senator pointed out that a priority of the Government is the strengthening of the institutional framework to prevent and combat corruption.

“The intention is to afford a more co-ordinated approach, ensure the more efficient and effective use of resources and build the necessary capacity and expertise to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption,” he said.

Citing the new Integrity Commission Bill 2014, the Minister said it seeks “to make the current arrangements for ensuring high standards of ethical conduct for parliamentarians, public officials and other persons more effective, by creating synergies and operational efficiencies through consolidating laws relating to the prevention of corruption.”

Additionally, it will create a single body known as the Integrity Commission out of the three existing entities that operate separately.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister used the opportunity to commend the Office of the Contractor General for hosting the conference, which provides a forum for deliberation on issues relating to fraud and corruption.

He highlighted the work of local and international partners in the fight against corruption, such as the Canadian and British High Commissions, the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the National Integrity Action (NIA).

The three-day conference ends on March 11, with Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, addressing the participants.