There are government agencies within the Jamaican landscape which shares the mandate of combating corruption. These are but a few:
Office of Public Defender
What the Public Defender Does
The primary role of the Public Defender is that of investigating the allegations/complaints that are lodged by persons aggrieved by State or Statutory body. This entails not only interviewing the person making the allegation, or collecting documents from that person, but the Office of the Public Defender, is obliged to put the points to the State of Statutory body, giving them a reasonable time within which to respond.
Ways In Which the Public Defender Can Help To Put Matters Right
At the end of an investigation, he may make recommendations to any authority that is involved in the complaint. For example, he may recommend:
- Use its powers and resources to make legal counsel available to an aggrieved citizen if it is a matter that can only be resolved via the Court system;
- That the complaint be re-examined;
- Examine existing laws or areas of policy and make recommendations for legislative changes that will assist in the sphere of constitutional, and public law;
- Seek financial compensation or other forms of appropriate redress on behalf of the affected person(s) behalf;
- That a person who has caused a breach of the law, or has contributed to the identified injustice should be disciplined or where appropriate dismissed.
If the authority does not take effective steps to carry out any of these recommendations, the Public Defender may make a special report to the Parliament. If an investigation shows that a crime may have been committed, the Public Defender may make the matter known to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Director of Public Prosecutions will then decide if someone should be charged and taken to court.
To help protect the political parties and all their adherence against violations of their rights, abuse of power, error, negligence, unfair decisions and mal administration in the political arena, that would impact on the overall administration of the country as it advances.
The office will be: steadfast in ensuring that the political representatives, those aspiring to political office and constituents enjoy a fair and just electoral process as well as wholesome representation that will positively influence the growth and development of a transparent and efficient system of governance in accordance with the agreement and declaration of the political code of conduct and the Political Ombudsman Interim Act (2002) (see Act here)
Electoral Commission of Jamaica
Our mission is to so conduct national elections so that no advantage is given to any party or individual contesting the polls, ensuring that the objective of one man one vote is met under the six stated principles of universal adult suffrage.
What We Do
- Conduct local government and parliamentary elections and referenda
- Monitor electoral funding and financial disclosure requirements.
- Determine polling division and constituency boundaries.
- Use Geographic Information System (GIS) to record and define boundaries.
- Continuous registration of electors and residence verification of applicants
- Prepare the voters list, updated every six months on May 31 and November 30 of each year.
- Print and issue voter ID cards. We also produce ID cards for external agencies.
- Conduct external elections for schools, universities, associations and organisations
- Recruit and train Election Day workers
- Produce and print electoral maps for planning and general information.
- Voter education
Office of the Contractor General (OCG)
Key Objectives of the Commission of the Contractor General
The paramount objective of the Office of the Contractor General is to ensure that the public sector contracting process delivers value to the tax-payer, is free from corruption, impropriety and irregularity and is transparent, impartial, competitive, fair, efficient and effective.
Functions of the Commission of the Contractor General
The Contractor General’s primary functions are three-fold. They are as follows:
- To monitor the award and implementation of government contracts to ensure that:
- They are awarded impartially and on merit;
- The circumstances of their award or termination do not involve impropriety or irregularity;
- The implementation of contracts conforms to the terms thereof.
- To monitor the grant, issue, suspension or revocation of prescribed government licenses to ensure that:
- The circumstances of their grant, inter alia, do not involve impropriety or irregularity;
- They are used in accordance with their terms.
- To conduct Investigations into any of the following:
- The registration of contractors, tender procedures, the award and implementation of government contracts, the circumstances of, inter alia, the grant or revocation of prescribed licences and the practices and procedures related thereto.
- It should be noted that in respect of his monitoring functions, a Contractor General is mandated to monitor contracts and licences, whereas in respect of his investigative functions, he has a discretionary power.
- An Investigation under the Act may be undertaken by a Contractor General upon his own initiative or as a result of representations which are made to him, but only if in his opinion such an Investigation is warranted.
- The Contractor General’s secondary functions are related to the National Contracts Commission. The OCG, through its technical services department, acts as the NCC’s Secretariat in ensuring that all technical, administrative and human resource requirements of the NCC are fully satisfied to enable it to effectively and efficiently accomplish its objectives and mandates under the law.
Read more about the Office of the Contractual General: http://www.ocg.gov.jm/ocg/
Major Organized Crime and Anti - Corruption Agency (MOCA)
The Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency was formed in August 2014 and brought together the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) and the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA TF). It is now an elite Agency focusing on tackling corruption in the public sector and bringing high-value criminal targets to justice. This will continue to develop over time and is becoming increasingly independent. It is structured around a joint-staff concept working with International Partners and bringing to bear the country’s best intelligence assets, investigators, and prosecutors.
Learn More about MOCA: http://www.moca.gov.jm/
The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption
The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption was created following the enactment of the Corruption Prevention Act (2001). The Corruption Prevention Act (2001) came into effect on the 1st of May 2001 and the associated Regulations became effective on the 1st of January 2003. Section 5 of the Act establishes the Commission’s functions as:
- “To receive and keep on record statutory declarations furnished by public servants pursuant to this Act;
- To examine such statutory declarations and to request from a public servant any information relevant to a statutory declaration made by him, which in its opinion would assist it in its examination;
- To make such independent enquires and investigations relating to a statutory declaration as it thinks necessary;
- To receive and investigate any complaint regarding an act of corruption;
- To conduct an investigation in an act of corruption on its own initiative, if it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for such investigation”
Mandated with the responsibility of reducing and preventing corruption in the Public Sector, the Commission’s functions are directed by a five (5) member Commission. This comprises the Auditor General and four other members appointed by the Governor General in consultation with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary Manager assisted by an Executive Secretary. Under the Secretary Manager’s leadership, the day to day operations are manned by a Director of Corporate Services, a Junior Secretary, Investigators, Financial Analysts, a Records Officer, Data Entry Clerks, an Office Attendant and a Driver.
Learn more about The Commission for the Prevention Corruption: http://www.cpcpd.gov.jm/
Anti -Corruption Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (now under MOCA)
The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) was established in September 2007 and assumed the task of combating corruption within the JCF and its auxiliaries; it replaced the Internal Affairs Division.
One of the major challenges was the implementation of a proactive opposed to a reactive style of investigating police corruption.
An intelligence led proactive approach towards investigation has led to the arrest and charge of numerous police staff and other public personnel since 2007.
Currently the ACB has a staff sixty six (66) members which is managed by an acting Senior Superintendent of Police who is assisted by an acting Superintendent of Police and two (2) acting Deputy Superintendent of Police responsible for Operations and Administrations.
Since September 2007, the ACB has produced three (3) Anti-Corruption Strategies, with three key objectives namely:
- Fear of Detection and Prosecution,
- Corruption Prevention Strategies,
- Communication and Education.
Learn more about the ACB: http://www.acb.gov.jm/html/
Financial Investigation Division (FID)
The Financial Investigations Division is a Division within the Ministry of Finance and Planning which was established 16th December, 2002. The Division has evolved with time and the objectives now focus on the need to deter the use of Jamaica’s economy for money laundering and other financial crimes thereby contributing to a stable financial sector and an investor friendly environment. Part of the mandate of the FID is to also increase public awareness of financial crimes and the impact and importance of their elimination from the society.
With the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), 2007, has come the increased responsibilities of the Division to grant “consent to perform a prohibited act”, to financial institutions – a new concept. Under this legislation, the increase in investigative powers inter alia and the operation of the Asset Recovery Agency which is charged with the responsibility of seizing assets and removing the profit out of crime.
Learn more about FID: http://fid.gov.jm/html/
Auditor General Department of Jamaica (AG)
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Auditor General are as stated in the Financial Administration and Audit Act. Section 25(1) provides that the Auditor General shall, in performing his/her functions under section 122 (1) of the Constitution ascertain whether in his/her opinion:
- The accounts referred to in that section are being faithfully and properly kept;
- The rules and procedures framed and applied are sufficient to secure an effective check on the assessment, collection and proper allocation of the revenue and other receipts of the Government;
- All money expended and charged to an appropriation account has been applied to the purpose for which the provision made by
- Parliament was intended and that any payment of public money conforms to the authority which governs it, and has been incurred with due regard to the avoidance of waste and extravagance.
- Essential records are maintained and the rules and procedures framed and applied are sufficient to safeguard control of Government property;
- The provision of this or any other enactment relating to the administration of public money and Government property have been complied with;
- Satisfactory procedures have been established to measure and report on the effectiveness of programmes and services.
Learn more about the Auditor General’s Department: http://www.auditorgeneral.gov.jm/
Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ)
Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) was established on April 1, 2011 under the Revenue Administration (Amendment) Act 2011 and began operating in its current form on May 1, 2011. TAJ is a consolidation of the former Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Taxpayer Audit and Assessment Department (TAAD) and Tax Administration Services Department (TASD).
Operating as a government funded department, the primary goal of TAJ is to collect domestic taxes, duties, rates and fees payable in accordance with the law and to do this in such a manner that will sustain confidence in the tax system and its administration.
The organisation has the responsibility to:
- Audit, assess and collect domestic taxes
- Promote voluntary compliance through various service channels and educational programmes
- Enforce tax Laws
- Provide property management services for Tax Offices and Revenue Service Centres
- Maintain a taxpayer registry
- Process Driver’s Licences
- Manage the motor vehicle registry
Read more about the Tax Administration Jamaica: http://www.jamaicatax.gov.jm/index.php/2012-05-11-17-26-05/2012-05-11-17-26-38
Revenue Protection Division (RPD)
In the early 1990’s, the Revenue Protection Division (RPD) was established, primarily to address what was perceived to be rampant fraud and corruption at the Customs Department. The need for the RPD was also recognized by the Barents Report, commissioned by the Government of Jamaica.
The RPD has been specifically mandated to:
- Minimize corruption within the Revenue Services (Tax Administration Jamaica and Jamaica Customs);
- Minimize other frauds other frauds other frauds other frauds against the revenue;
- Improve the efficiency of Revenue Collection and generally
- To protect the Government’s Revenue.
This mandate is accomplished primarily through –
- Enforcement of tax laws;
- Pre-employment screening of potential employees of the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) Jamaica Customs and the wider Ministry of Finance;
- The provision of support and assistance to the relevant agencies, in investigating and providing recommendations on strengthening and monitoring of Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) and Jamaica Customs systems and processes;
- Strengthening and monitoring of systems and processes of other agencies which affect or impact the Revenue and
- Amendments to relevant Laws which govern or affect Tax Administration Jamaica and Jamaica Customs.
Read more about the RPD: http://www.mof.gov.jm/revenue-protection.html
Corruption Prevention, Coroner Matters and Organized Crime Unit
- This Unit handles all files that come to the office for rulings concerning breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act and the Contractor General Act.
- Unit members prosecute in difficult cases which may be submitted to the Resident Magistrate’s Court in the concerned areas.
- They also vet and sign off on coroner rulings by Crown Counsel and provide advice to Crown Counsel and members of the JCF in coroner’s matters.
Read more about the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution: http://www.dpp.gov.jm/
An integral part of NIA’s work is to partner with these agencies in the combat of corruption and facilitate where possible the strengthening of their capacity.