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NIA calls on gov't to deal with corruption

Jamaica ranked 83rd of 175 countries on global corruption index

Tuesday, December 03, 2013 | 10:36 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The National Integrity Action (NIA) is calling on the government to treat the issue of corruption with the urgency and seriousness which it deserves, as they had promised when they took office in December 2011.

The NIA said that it is also very concerned by Jamaica's lack of progress in the results of the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

The NIA released a statement Tuesday following the release of the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International, arguing that the results,which shows no improvement since 2012, re-confirm the urgent need for the Jamaican Government to enact long-promised anti-corruption legislation.

The 2013 index shows that Jamaica has again recorded a score of 38, which ranks Jamaica at 83rd of 175 countries surveyed globally. The CPI ranks countries on a scale of 0 – 100, where 0 represents highly corrupt and 100 very clean.

"The fact is that it’s unlikely Jamaica will make any progress until we convert words into deeds in relation to the combat of corruption," the NIA contended. "In particular, until the Government implements its repeated commitment to legislate Campaign Finance Reform; establishes a Single Anti-Corruption Agency with prosecutorial powers; and significantly strengthens penalties attached to breaches of the procurement system.

"These actions would represent a definitive step towards challenging the impunity of those involved in high-level corruption that is today so rampant," said the NIA.

The NIA added that in this context, the repeated postponement of the necessary legislation, the reinstatement of Junior Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing Richard Azan and proposals to weaken the powers of the Office of the Contractor General shall ensure that Jamaicans feel that the government is not doing enough to combat corruption. This situation the group said is a view echoed in survey after survey.

The NIA is a not-for-profit organisation whose objective is combatting corruption in Jamaica, on a non-partisan basis.

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