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JAMAICA | Munroe urges fresh start for Integrity Commission

Professor Trevor Munroe Professor Trevor Munroe
KINGSTON, September 2, 2019 - Consequent upon the resignation of Justice Karl Harrison as Chairman of the island's Integrity Commission, Executive Director of  the National Intergrity Action, NIA, professor Trevor Munroe wants swift action to give the Integrity Commission a new start in the wake of recent developments.

In a statement, Professor Trevor Munroe said the Commission “needs a fresh start in order to more effectively fulfill its principal objective" which is to “enhance public confidence that acts of corruption and impropriety…will be appropriately investigated and dealt with in a manner which achieves transparency, accountability and fairness.”

He acknowledged that Justice Karl Harrison had a distinguished record as a Judge of Jamaica’s Court of Appeal, but asserted that “despite this outstanding service, the Integrity Commission has had a troubled fifteen months culminating in his resignation.”

That resignation, he noted, followed the retirement of Dirk Harrison on August 28 “and considerable public disquiet over The Commission’s handling of the Rooms on the Beach Investigation Report and, more recently, the content of the summaries of the Statutory Declarations gazetted by the Commission, of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.”

He said it was against that background that both the Government and the Opposition should now promptly set up the appropriate committee of both Houses of Parliament, provided for in Section 60 of the Law, to conduct the first full review of the Act. 

“This review should receive submissions from the public as well as immediately accept recommendations made by Justice Harrison and The Commission to amend the Law to make The Commission’s work more transparent and to modify the Third Schedule dealing with Statutory Declaration “to accommodate declarations in relation to registerable interest which may present conflict of interest with duties of a public official,” Professor Munroe urged.

He said, the urgency of this matter cannot be overstated, given the matters that require follow-up action, such as the Petrojam Report, which, according to him, “is now languishing since there is no Director of Corruption Prosecution to which it can be referred (as planned).”

Furthermore, he said, the Commission now has no Chairman to provide the “necessary leadership.”

Last modified onWednesday, 11 September 2019 15:42
  • Countries: Jamaica

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