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PSOJ: Jamaica deserves best possible governance practices

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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THE Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) says it is deeply concerned at what appears to be the continuing neglect of the principles of good governance and the attempted redefinition of the standards required to maintain the moral legitimacy and authority of the state.

In a statement, the PSOJ said its concern is driven by:

1) The escalation of the arrogant and abusive blame game practised by both major political parties as to which of them have been most corrupt, thus firmly establishing corrupt behaviour as a characteristic of political life, rather than attempting to establish preventative policies against future occurrences.

2) The neglect of the promised reformation of governance protocols for statutory boards, and the apparent delay in implementing the agreed standards for the appointment of directors for these boards.

3) Statements made in the public space which seem to be aimed at restricting ministerial responsibility only to activities which are deemed to be crimes, and to minimise any responsibility for moral turpitude and abuse of public office — thus ignoring the established concept of a higher fiduciary duty of care for public officials in respect of public funds.

4) The repeated attempts by spokespersons for the prime minister to justify his continuing silence regarding the dismissal of a Cabinet minister by asserting an unreasonable extension of the sub judice principal and ignoring the absolute right of our citizens to knowledge as to the conduct, or misconduct, of those who are elected to serve, whether or not that conduct approaches felony.

5) The confusion regarding the filing by the prime minister of the annual financial statements of his affairs, as required by law, and the apparent neglect in prosecuting certain other (so far unnamed) Members of Parliament for their failure to file.

6) The inadequate and incomplete execution of our integrity and anti-corruption legislation which has led to our public officials working without enabling regulations to the applicable laws, without clear interpretations of the applicable statutes, and most shockingly without pay.

“The combined effect of these acts or omissions is to aggravate the trust deficit in our society, [and] to reduce the confidence of the private sector in the quality and integrity of our political leadership and collaterally, in Jamaica's investment profile.

“We urge the leaders of our political directorate to immediately address these deficiencies and to jointly and individually make their position regarding corruption indelibly clear. Finally, and in particular, we urge the Honourable Prime Minister to publicly clarify the circumstances surrounding the delay in the acceptance of his returns.

”Jamaica deserves the best-possible governance practices and to have full confidence in its leaders. Let us wait no longer in providing those benefits to our people,“ said the PSOJ.


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