Integrity Commission to heighten approach to corruption

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Integrity Commission to heighten approach to corruption

Thursday, February 04, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Integrity Commission has indicated that it will be heightening its approach to corruption following Jamaica's latest ranking on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

The country ranked 69 out of 180 countries, an improvement of five places over its 2019 country ranking of 74.

Integrity Commission, in a statement today, said Transparency International's assessment of Jamaica's corruption problem suggests “that corruption in the country is endemic, is systemic, is pervasive and is, essentially, a deep-rooted problem.”

It further noted that Jamaica's positive performance in 2020 follows two consecutive years of a negative trend.

Jamaica's 2020 CPI score has also moved up one spot, from 43 to 44, on a scale of 0-100, where 0 is seen as 'Highly Corrupt' and 100 as 'Clean'. Jamaica's 2020 CPI score of 44 equals its best ever score of 44, previously attained only in 2017 and 2018.

“The commission believes that the matter requires a holistic approach, driven by transformational leadership — right across all levels of leadership and all sectors of our country — if we are to realise the transformational change that is desired in Jamaica's CPI standings,” the statement read.

The commission said that recognising its own mandate to fight corruption in the country, it will be taking an approach to address 'the fundamentals'.

It further outlined that this essentially involves ensuring, among other things, the following:

• That the commission is adequately structured and resourced to effectively and efficiently discharge its statutory functions. In other words, it must be 'fit for purpose'. The mere creation or existence of a national anti-corruption agency does not necessarily mean that it is structured, designed and/or empowered to be effective.

• That Jamaica's anti-corruption and anti-bribery legislative framework incorporates and reflects international best practices in anti-corruption and anti-bribery. There are a number of deficits in Jamaica's anti-corruption legislative architecture, which must be addressed by our country's Lawmakers.

• That the country's leadership, within and without the public sector, is comprehensively sensitised and educated on the issues of anti-corruption, good governance and integrity in the conduct of public affairs, and is willing to play its own part, including leading by example, to ensure that the required step-changes that all well-thinking Jamaicans would like to see in the CPI rankings are in fact realised.

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