JIS News

The Commission of Enquiry into the Collapse of the Financial Institutions in Jamaica in the 1990s, chaired by Hon. Justice Boyd Carey (retired) has stated that, having regard to the vast amount of documents and submissions that have been received and yet to be received, it is not feasible for the Commission, at this juncture, to fix a date with any degree of accuracy as to the commencement of public hearings.
The Commission has advised that before that commencement, it will, of necessity, need to review all the documents submitted in order to determine: what persons and institutions ought to be called to give evidence, in order to avoid unnecessary overlapping, thereby prolonging the hearings; the sequence of the presentation of evidence; to ascertain (in the interest of fairness) allegations made against persons or institutions; to refer allegations to respondents in order that they may respond appropriately; and finally, allow for the Commission to have a complete review of all the issues, legal and factual.
It is the Commission’s view that this is the best way to proceed to ensure a continuous hearing without the necessity of any inordinate interruptions. At this time, the Commission is working assiduously to review the large volume of documentary evidence submitted thus far. “It is our intention to seek to complete this process as expeditiously as possible to facilitate a timely commencement of hearings,” the Commission said.
Since the appointment of the Commission, there have been publications in the media requesting submissions from interested persons. In addition, letters have been sent to institutions and persons requesting their submissions and comments, some of which have been received. The submissions and the documents received thus far (and expected) have been voluminous.
The Commission of Enquiry, which was appointed by the Governor-General, has been having regular meetings concerned with administrative and ancillary matters necessary for the efficient functioning of the Commission.
The Commission of Enquiry is not a court. Consequently, the functions and duties of the Commission are inquisitorial and investigative, to ascertain information and facts necessary to comply with the terms of reference. The Commission further explained that the terms of reference of the Commission are extremely wide and can be divided into five main segments, namely:
– To examine the circumstances that led to the collapse of several financial institutions in the 1990s, and to consider what actions, if any, could have been taken to avoid the occurrence and to evaluate the appropriateness of the actions which were taken;
– To review the operations of Finsac in relation to the delinquent borrowers to determine if they were treated fairly and equally, the probity and propriety of Finsac’s management, the sale and, or disposal of the assets relating to delinquent borrowers;
– To review the terms and conditions of the sale of non-performing loans to the Jamaica Redevelopment Foundation and to review the practice of the Jamaica Redevelopment Foundation in relation to the delinquent borrowers and the disposal of their assets;
– To assess the long term impact of the collapse of these institutions on the economy and business of individuals and the social and economic actions taken by Government with regard to savers, depositors and investors of the failed institutions, and steps that have been taken; and
– To make recommendations on what further steps should be taken to prevent the recurrence of the collapse of financial institutions
The Commission comprises: Justice Boyd Carey (retired.); Charles Ross, Commissioner; Worrick Bogle, Commissioner; Fernando DePeralto, Secretary.
Once the preliminary work is completed, the Commission will sit at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, three days per week (Tuesday – Thursday), except on public holidays, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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