JIS News

National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips and Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Derrick Smith are to name a small team to meet with private sector representative, Peter Moses to review and revise the code of conduct, which emanated from the May 25 Emancipation Declaration, led by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).
The declaration, which among other things, calls on politicians to disassociate themselves from criminal elements, came as a response from private sector leaders, who closed their businesses and met in Emancipation Park, New Kingston on Wednesday, May 25, to call for the restoration of law and order and a halt to the country’s crime rate.
Education, Youth and Culture Minister, Maxine Henry-Wilson said yesterday (June 6), that the meeting would be held to revise aspects of the code, in consultation with Mr. Moses, a PSOJ member and convenor.
Addressing journalists at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Mrs. Henry Wilson said it was expected that Ministers of government would sign the declaration by June 30, and Mayors, councillors and caretakers by July 31.
The Declaration calls for all 60 members of the House of Representatives and officers of all the political parties to sever and publicly declare in writing by June 15, 2005 a commitment to (a) disassociate themselves and their constituency organisations from gunmen, (b) dismantle garrisons, and (c) disassociate themselves from any association with criminals or the acceptance of any financial or other support from criminal elements. It said this commitment must be made with the understanding that the political parties will undertake to publicly rebuke and automatically expel any member found to be in breach.
Meanwhile, the Minister said the legislative agenda, which formed part of the efforts to fight crime, was presented to Cabinet, and that this would be discussed at a special meeting of the Legislation Committee next week, with a view to having the Bills tabled in Parliament.
Where aspects of the declaration spoke to resources for the security forces, Minister Henry-Wilson informed that some 150 new Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) had been acquired, in addition to some 100 motorcycles. Other new equipment to come on stream for this fiscal year include an Automated Palm and Fingerprint Identification System and an Integrated Ballistic Identification System. The Wireless Radio Telecommunication System is slated to receive attention and a new morgue is being constructed.
In the meantime, the Government’s effort geared towards the elimination of corruption in the public sector continues. Minister Henry-Wilson said that Prime Minister P. J. Patterson gave details to Cabinet, following a meeting with Permanent Secretaries and other accounting officers, especially those in the statutory and public companies.
She pointed out that steps would be taken to have Permanent Secretaries submit to the Cabinet Secretary, the names of persons within Ministries “who could act as a reference point for any matters of conduct, or relationships about which there may be doubts”, and which could be considered as unethical behaviour as distinct from “corrupt behaviour”.

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