- Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has reiterated his call for Jamaicans to unite “in unrelenting action” against corruption.
- The Governor-General was addressing the opening ceremony of the inaugural Fraud and Anti-Corruption Conference 2015, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on March 9.
- The three-day conference is being hosted by the Office of the Contractor General, under the theme - ‘Confronting Corruption: Empowering a Generation, Transforming a Nation’.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has reiterated his call for Jamaicans to unite “in unrelenting action” against corruption, as they seek to create a more equitable and just society.
“We cannot extricate our people from poverty unless we eradicate systemic corruption, which constantly makes some rich and others poor, some as high rollers and others as no-rollers, some who can afford, and others who cannot,” he said.
The Governor-General was addressing the opening ceremony of the inaugural Fraud and Anti-Corruption Conference 2015, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on March 9.
The three-day conference is being hosted by the Office of the Contractor General, under the theme – ‘Confronting Corruption: Empowering a Generation, Transforming a Nation’.
Endorsing the event, the Governor-General commended organisers for dedicating the first session to children and youth, noting that they are among society’s most impressionable minds and are often affected by corruption.
“It is at that level that we must pursue focused attention and action to ensure that they are sensitised against the destructive culture of corruption. I believe that youth who are positively motivated will be committed agents for change within their own families and their communities,” he said.
The Governor-General emphasised that the practice of corruption must be tackled within the family, “as too many parents have abdicated their nurturing and character building roles.”
“Very often a child’s first introduction to corruption and corrupt practices is in the home. They witness parents or guardians stealing electricity and water and eluding the authorities, because of those and other illicit acts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, in a statement read by Attorney General, Hon. Patrick Atkinson, said the Government is serious about the prevention and punishment of acts of fraud and corruption.
Citing passage of several anti-corruption laws, including the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act 2013, otherwise called the Lotto Scam Act; the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill 2013; and the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Bill, popularly called the ‘anti-gang’ legislation, Mrs. Simpson Miller said her administration is relentless in its fight against corruption.
She said all Jamaicans will have to work together to bring about the behaviour change that is needed in many quarters of society to eradicate the scourge.
“There are many traditions, cultures and practices that have become part of our social fabric that many people fail to see as corruption, but has to be named as such. We will all have to work together to address these cultures; to teach the moral and ethical codes that cause us to differentiate what is right from what is wrong as a people,” the Prime Minister said.
For his part, Contractor General, Dirk Harrison, said the hope is that the conference will provide a unique opportunity for stakeholders to utilise this platform to facilitate greater levels of inter-agency coordination.
“Over the next three-days, we aspire to build upon the existing anti-corruption frameworks, with a view to encouraging empowerment, transformation and ultimately renewal,” he said.