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Principal Finance Officer in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Dwight Moore, has been appointed Inspector General for the newly established Public Accountability Inspectorate (PAI), effective January 26.
This was announced today (January 29), by Financial Secretary in the Ministry, Sharon Crooks.
The Financial Secretary further advised that recruitment of technical and other support staff, subject to due process, would be undertaken in coming weeks.
The announcement follows earlier disclosure by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Audley Shaw that the “finishing touches” were being applied to the promised establishment of a PAI in the Ministry, in order for its full roll-out in the coming Financial Year.
At the signing of the World Bank US$100 million loan accord at the Ministry on January 23, Mr. Shaw said that the Inspectorate would be charged with the responsibility to review critical reports that are tabled in Parliament. The reports include the Auditor General’s Report, the Public Accounts Committee Report, the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee Report, the Audit Commission’s Report, the Internal Audit Report and the Contractor General’s Report.
“The truth is, many of these reports are made, complaints are made, and strong examinations are made in Parliament, but where is the follow up? Who is following up to ensure that the recommendations that have been made are being diligently carried out? It is therefore, in my own view, as the Minister who has the constitutional duty to protect the revenue, I am putting in the PAI that will become my eyes and my ears to ensure that that appropriate actions are taken with respect to the infractions identified by all of these various reports and institutions that we have,” he said.
The Minister emphasised that the PAI would ensure that recommendations are being followed. He further explained that should other issues arise from time to time, then the Minister’s directive or the directive of the Financial Secretary would ensure that accountability and transparency are maintained.
“We are going to insist that we get greater efficiency and we cut out corruption and we begin to deliver quality service to the people of Jamaica. I am sending a warning, I am sending a signal. I spoke to the Inland Revenue and I sent the warning and I sent the signal. I am now sending it now to every department of Government,” Mr. Shaw said.
The Minister noted that the PAI would not be confined to the conduct of affairs in the Ministry of Finance, but would also serve to scrutinise every Ministry and every agency as the eyes and ears of the Minister of Finance, and where corruption is found, law enforcement such as the Police, the Revenue Protection Division and Financial Investigation Bureau, should be called.
“We are very, very serious that we have to begin now to bring a kind of governance to this country that will ensure that we don’t just see corruption and say, ‘cho, a nu nuttin, mek it gwaan, it’s a likkle hustling, it’s nothing’,” he declared.
The Minister said that if indiscipline and the breakdown in standards and rules continue unchecked, then the society would reap a continuing decline in how the country operates, continued increase in levels of crime, both against the State and against individuals.
“Ultimately, all of these things come together in one big package called the need for good governance, and that is what we are about,” Mr. Shaw said.