In a media release today, the PNP says "Jamaica is now placed in the unenviable position where it could be seen and treated as a corrupt and lawless nation. This development represents a dereliction of duty on the part of Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his continued failure to carry out his own promise to stand against corruption as stated when he took the Oath of Office."
According to the PNP, Jamaica has witnessed the most egregious decline in corruption perception in recent times, and as evidence of this, points to the cases at:
- The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU),
- National Energy Solution Limited,
- The Firearm Licencing Authority,
- The multi million dollars de-bushing programme,
- The yet-to-be delivered used cars for the police,
- The sale at Rooms on the Beach,
- The Montego Bay Welcome sign saga
- The other litany of scandals that have ensured the nation’s downturn in the global corruption perception index.
"The unbridled looting of the public coffers by agents of the state has also served to stymie the nation’s true potential for growth," the PNP said, noting that while corruption ran amok, the Prime Minister for months remained silent, unresponsive to the Office of the Contractor General’s report on the corruption enabling debushing programme and his forced response to the Petrojam debacle came only after much public outcry.
With the Auditor General’s report on the CMU currently under consideration, the Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Education, absented himself from fielding questions on the matter in the Lower House on Tuesday.
The PNP is reiterating the call made by the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips, for the anti-corruption agency - the National Integrity Commission to be immediately resourced and that its oversight body as required by law, be established and placed into full operation.
The Party is also calling for the outstanding reports into public procurement breaches and acts of blatant corruption to be brought forward and that criminal investigations are properly initiated and concluded where they are required.
"Jamaica cannot move forward under this stranglehold of corruption, reluctant and tepid response and the absence of leadership with integrity and resolve." All must be done, the PNP says, to ensure that this cancer of corruption is cauterized for the sake of good governance and a worthwhile future for all.
According to Executive Director of National Integrity Action, Professor Trevor Munroe, the long-awaited regulations to make the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) fully independent of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were not forthcoming in 2019 and no doubt contributed to the decline in Jamaica's position on the index.
Jamaica is now perceived to be the fourth most corrupt country among 11 states of CARICOM in light of its decline in the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The country is now ranked 74 out of 180 countries.
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