The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) has welcomed the Government’s commitment to pass legislation this Legislative Year to establish a single anti-corruption agency with strong powers.
It is part of a move the Government said will rationalise Jamaica’s institutional arrangements for fighting corruption.
The Contractor General, Greg Christie said although the details of the impending anti-corruption agency are yet to be disclosed, the Portia Simpson-Miller administration must be commended for what he calls the bold and decisive step it has taken to come to grips with Jamaica’s pervasive corruption problem.
Jamaica has been consistently ranked by Transparency International as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
For the past 10 years, it has never scored higher than 4 on the Corruption Perception Index, where a score of 10 is perceived to be least corrupt and 1 as the most corrupt.
Since March 2010, the Contractor General has repeatedly advocated for the establishment of a Single Independent Anti-Corruption State Agency for Jamaica.
He wants to consolidate the functions of the Integrity Commission, the Corruption Prevention Commission and the OCG.
The Contractor General also wants the new agency to criminally investigate and to independently prosecute all corruption and related criminal offences.
According to the OCG, the Special Prosecutor Bill, which was introduced before Parliament by the Jamaica Labour Party administration, does not go far enough to seriously address Jamaica’s corruption woes.