Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is confident in the established anti-corruption framework aimed at deterring corruption.
The Prime Minister says the country’s independence mission, is to ensure the building of institutions that are open to scrutiny and accountability.
Prime Minister Holness made the statement during his National Independence Message.
“I am confident that with the anti-corruption framework we have created and the institutions we have built to implement it, Jamaica will see appreciable improvement not only in the perception of corruption but in the deterrence of corruption and the detection, investigation, and prosecution of corrupt acts,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, the Prime Minister stated that his administration has taken decisive steps at the governance level to, create a robust anti-corruption framework in which corruption cannot flourish.
“At the governance level, we have developed and are about to implement a new system for the nomination, selection, and appointment of board members of public bodies. This will ensure that only fit and proper persons with the best skills are allowed to guide our public bodies. At the investigative level, we have just completed the legislative process to give MOCA its administrative and operational independence,” the Prime Minister stated.
Prime Minister Holness underscored that the Government continues to provide the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) with the resources to build out their capacity to thoroughly investigate and build strong cases for prosecution.
MOCA now has more than 300 cases either before the court or in advance stages.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness noted the administration’s passing of the Integrity Commission Act and the new campaign financing regulations.
“This administration passed the Integrity Commission Act and established the Integrity Commission which is now in the process of developing its new institutional structures. We have passed the new campaign financing regulations, that gives effect to the law to ensure that our democracy is not captured by special interests and that corrupt interest does not influence government decisions,” stated Prime Minster.
In addition, the Prime Minister noted that the Government has acted to separate accused individuals from institutions to create the space necessary for investigations and discovery. He noted that the Government has identified and is making changes to systemic weaknesses in the anti-corruption apparatus. They have also facilitated the work of the independent investigative and oversight bodies to deter cover-ups.
According to Prime Minister Holness, the anti-corruption framework is working, even though it is in its early stages and will require more time and resources to become more effective.