PNP calls on Gov't to resolve issues affecting the Integrity Commission

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PNP calls on Gov't to resolve issues affecting the Integrity Commission

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP) says the government needs to take immediate steps to resolve the issues affecting “the smooth operations and legislative mandate of the National Integrity Commission (NIC), so that outstanding corruption matters can be prosecuted, and persons brought before the court.”

The PNP said it noted with concern the recent resignation of Commissioner Dr Derrick McKoy, an attorney-at-Law and former Contractor General, who was appointed to the body in March 2018. The opposition said that McKoy's departure is the third major resignation from the commission within six months.

Justice Karl Harrison stepped down as chairman last July and Dirk Harrison as acting director of prosecutions weeks later, the PNP noted.

The party said that with dozens of corruption investigations having been completed and languishing before the commission, the country is disillusioned about the high levels of corruption in the government and its agencies.

In addition, the government itself continues to be dogged by accusations of impropriety and allegations of malfeasance in the management and control of public administration, the PNP said.

The Integrity Commission Report for 2019 noted that “the investigative process and report dealing with matters concerning Petrojam Limited has been completed and is being forwarded to the Director of Corruption prosecution pursuant to Section 54 of the Integrity Commission Act”.

The opposition said this matter has been in abeyance since July of last year.

PNP said the investigations of corruption at Caribbean Maritime University, the National Energy Solutions Ltd (NESol) and other agencies should not be held in indefinite suspension while the public coffers continue to be pilfered.

The party said the commission needs to execute its mandate to carry out its lawful functions without fear or favour and restore public confidence in Jamaica's anti-corruption institutions and mechanisms.

“It is critical that the investigation into each allegation of corruption is carried out judiciously as Jamaica's future remains at risk. If the NIC fails in this objective the public will continue to believe corruption investigation are a waste time and money,” the PNP said.

The party also reiterated its call for the establishment of a Parliamentary Oversight body for the agency as prescribed by the Integrity Commission Act.

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