OCG Engaging Young People

Story Highlights

  • The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) is targeting young people as part of measures to address corruption.
  • Contractor General, Dirk Harrison, said there is a direct link between corruption and crime, and the objective is to steer the youth from making bad choices.
  • “Last year, we went into all four juvenile (institutions) over a four-week period to engage the youth. We have to think differently. We can’t expect to do the same things over and over and expect to get different results,” Mr. Harrison added.

The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) is targeting young people as part of measures to address corruption.

Contractor General, Dirk Harrison, said there is a direct link between corruption and crime, and the objective is to steer the youth from making bad choices.

“While not saying we have given up on the adults, we are now really making a concerted effort to engage our youngsters,” he noted.

“Last year, we went into all four juvenile (institutions) over a four-week period to engage the youth. We have to think differently. We can’t expect to do the same things over and over and expect to get different results,” Mr. Harrison added.

He was speaking during Wednesday’s (May 2) session of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) conference, which is being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James.

Mr. Harrison, who heads the entity formed 31 years ago to ensure transparency in the public procurement process, stressed that there has to be a new way of thinking as it relates to stemming the flow of corruption.

“We have to start looking at the landscape and take an analytical look at what is before us. That is what my office has been doing and will continue to do,” he said.

“The landscape is very important. We have to understand the context in which we are operating. Oftentimes, we speak of the cost of corruption…what is the loss. I am looking at it from a different angle. I am looking at it from what is happening out there. How many contracts have been awarded –we have that information. To whom the contracts have been awarded – we have that information. Are there variations…are there cost overruns?” he pointed out.

“We have to ask ourselves … is there a correlation between a particular person, who keeps getting a contract over and over again? Is the process transparent? Is it something that can stand scrutiny?” he noted further.

The ACCP conference is being held over five days from April 30 to May 4 and has attracted Commissioners of Police and other stakeholders from 25 countries across the region.

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