Friday 23 March, 2018

Commissioners named to new Integrity Commission; no place for Dirk

Contractor General Dirk Harrison

Contractor General Dirk Harrison

When the new Integrity Commission begins its work in about six months, there will be no place for Contractor General Dirk Harrison on the five-member team.

The five commissioners were named on the weekend by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. 

Retired judge of the Court of Appeal, Justice Karl Harrison will chair the commission. He is joined by retired Court of Appeal President, Justice Seymour Panton, Auditor General Pamela Munroe-Ellis, tax expert Eric Crawford, and former Contractor General Derrick McKoy.

The commissioners were appointed by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen on the advice of the Prime Minister. Harrison was expected to be named among the five-member team.

The new commission will replace the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, parliament’s Integrity Commission and the Office of the Contractor General.

The Act, which gave rise to the new Integrity Commission, was passed from as far back as July 2017 and there were concerns about the delay in getting it up and running. The absence of the legislation saw Jamaica falling several places on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index in 2017 before rebounding this year.

The Act aims to consolidate the laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the award and monitoring of government contracts and prescribed licences by establishing a single commission to promote and strengthen measures for the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of acts of corruption; monitor and investigate the prosecution of acts of corruption; and monitor and investigate, where necessary, the award of government contracts and prescribed licences, as well as provide for other related matters.