Integrity Commission rejects claims of a rift with former contractor general

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Integrity Commission rejects claims of a rift with former contractor general

Monday, May 13, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The five commissioners of the Integrity Commission have uniformly dismissed speculation of a rift with former Contractor General Dirk Harrison who was picked to act as head of its Corruption Prosecution Division.

Reports of a rift involving Harrison and the commissioners have been making the rounds for months and gathered steam recently when they distanced themselves from his report into the sale by the Urban Development Corporation of the prime beachfront properties in Ocho Rios, St Ann, which housed the Rooms on the Beach Hotel, to Puerto Caribe Properties Limited, the operators of Moon Palace Jamaica.

But in a media briefing this morning, the commissioners told journalists that Harrison indicated that he would not considered a position in the Commission until the matter of his pension linked to his role of contractor general was settled and that was the only issue.

“The Commission has no quarrel with Mr Harrison. There has been difference of opinions specific to the Rooms Report from the commission's view point but this does not amount to a rift, or has been said, bad blood between the commission and himself,” the Commission's Chairman, retired Justice Karl Harrison, told journalists.

He said there was no intention to discredit Harrison's report when the commissioners issued a press statement declaring that the report tabled in Parliament was from the former Office of the Contractor General and not the Integrity Commission, which was created with the merger of three anti-corruption agencies last year.

“It was not our intention to bring into disrepute the credibility of the findings which were contained in the final report which was submitted to the Houses of Parliament. Neither was it the Board of Commissioners intention to discredit the tremendous contribution which the former Contractor General, Mr Dirk Harrison, has made to good governance and public accountability,” said Justice Harrison.

“The concerns expressed by the commissioners were in relation to the draft report and not the final report that was submitted. We must point out … that the language used in the draft report was inflammatory in some areas and was not supported by the evidence,” added Justice Harrison.

Arthur Hall

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