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Harrison warns of social, economic impact of corruption

BY BALFORD HENRY Observer senior reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, March 17, 2014    

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CONTRACTOR General Dirk Harrison has said that Jamaicans should bear in mind the impact of corruption on the country's social and economic structures.

According to him, the result of this impact is the escalation in the cost of governance, given that State funds are diverted to "line the pockets of a wealthy minority".

Harrison, who was speaking at a University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, Department of Government's Governance Society forum last week, said that corruption results in the funding and support of unnecessary and inappropriate projects, while legitimate projects are shoved to the back of the line.

He also pointed out that, holistically, corruption reduces the nation's economic effectiveness, impacts negatively on social inequality and manifests itself through crime and violence.

The Forum was held under the theme, "Combating Corruption in the 21st Century" to highlight proper law enforcement, public awareness, formation of legislation and public activism, as key measures that can be employed in the fight against corruption within the Jamaican society.

Other speakers included the executive director of the National Integrity Action (NIA), Professor Trevor Munroe; Guild Vice President of Special Services and Projects, Gareth Robotham; and president of the Governance Society, O'Bryan Leighton.

The UWI's Good Governance Society was organised by the Head of the Department, Dr Lloyd Waller, with a vision to encourage students to promote the pillars of good governance among their peers.

Facilitators, Shinique Walters and Ornella Kelly, have taken a direct approach to promoting governance, through a campaign targeting high school students and incorporating seminars and forums. The Society has established a core membership of 30 students, but is actively sought out by students for membership.

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