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    The long awaited Commission of Enquiry into the collapse of financial institutions in Jamaica in the 1990s, is now set to get underway, with the roll-out of the Secretariat to the Commission on Tuesday May 26, in preparation for formal sittings in July.
    The Governor General, under the Commissions of Enquiry Act, recently authorised the establishment of the Commission of Enquiry and the appointment of the Commissioners, paving the way for what financial analysts at home and abroad agree is a long overdue exercise into the most devastating financial crisis that faced the country, notwithstanding the current situation.
    To be chaired by the Honourable Justice Boyd Carey (Retired), with Investment Advisor, Charles Ross and Chartered Accountant, Worrick Bogle as Commissioners, the Enquiry will be held at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston. Central Banker, Fernando DePeralto, has been appointed Secretary to the Commission.
    The terms of reference of the Commission are to: o Examine the circumstances that led to the collapse of several financial institutions in the 1990s, with particular regard to: the extent to which these circumstances were directly influenced by domestic or external factors; Government’s fiscal and monetary policies; the management practices and role of the Board of Directors of the failed institutions; and the performance of Government’s regulatory function;o Consider what actions, if any, could have been taken to avoid this occurrence and to evaluate the appropriateness of the actions which were taken by the authorities in the context of Jamaica’s economic circumstances, and in comparison to intervention by the State in other countries which have had similar experiences;o Review the operations of FINSAC in relation to the delinquent borrowers and to determine whether debtors were treated fairly and equally; o Review the probity and propriety in FINSAC’s management, sale and/or disposal of assets relating to delinquent borrowers; o Review the terms and conditions of the sale of non-performing loans to the Jamaica Redevelopment Foundation; o Review the practices of the Jamaica Redevelopment Foundation in the treatment of delinquent borrowers and, in particular, the management, sale and/or disposal of their assets; o Assess the long term impact of the collapse of these institutions on the economy and on the businesses and individuals whose loans were involved as well as the economic and social impact of the actions taken by the Government with regard to the savers, depositors and investors of the failed institutions; and o Review the steps that have subsequently been taken and make recommendations as to what further steps should be taken to prevent a recurrence of such widespread collapse of financial institutions and resulting hardships
    The Commissioners enjoy the powers of High Court Judges and the Commission is empowered to summon witnesses and examine them under oath on matters relevant to the enquiry. The Enquiry will be conducted in public unless otherwise determined by the Chairman of the Commission.
    The Commission will report in writing to the Governor-General as soon as practicable, the result of the Enquiry, including a full statement of the proceedings and the reasons leading to the conclusions arrived at or reported.
    The preparatory work for the formal sittings includes requests and receipt of relevant documents and information from: – Bank of Jamaica – Financial Services Commission- FINSAC- Ministry of Finance and the Public Service- Jamaica Redevelopment Foundation- Affected institutions – commercial banks, merchant banks, insurance companies and building societies.
    In addition, affected individuals, interest groups, and other relevant entities will be requested to make submissions prior to the sittings. Requests will also be made of institutions in foreign jurisdictions to facilitate a comparison of the approach taken by Governments in those countries and that taken by the Jamaican Government in similar circumstances.

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