Se­nior par­ish coun­cil of­fi­cial un­der ma­jor cor­rup­tion probe

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Jo­van John­son Staff Re­porter jo­van.john­son@glean­erjm.com

A SE­NIOR pub­lic of­fi­cial is un­der the mi­cro­scope for a se­ries of cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions, in­clud­ing il­licit en­rich­ment and fail­ure to de­clare as­sets, in a case that a high-rank­ing govern­ment of­fi­cial says will high­light “se­ri­ous sys­temic weak­nesses” in Ja­maica’s anti-cor­rup­tion sys­tems.

Meet­ings were held in Au­gust be­tween the Cor­rup­tion Pre­ven­tion Com­mis­sion (CPC) and the Of­fice of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions (DPP), which is ex­pected to rule on the case soon.

In its re­port for the pe­riod April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015 the CPC pointed to 24 cases of il­licit en­rich­ment in­volv­ing pub­lic ser­vants that were for­warded to DPP Paula Llewellyn for a rul­ing.

The anti-cor­rup­tion body is await­ing rul­ings on 12 of the cases, one of which a se­nior in­ves­ti­ga­tor, who wished not to be named, told The Gleaner in­volves a par­ish coun­cil of­fi­cial who is fac­ing charges for “al­most ev­ery known of­fence on the book”.

Llewellyn said she will is­sue rul­ings on seven of the out­stand­ing cases in two next weeks, al­though she could not say whether any of those rul­ings re­late to the par­ish coun­cil of­fi­cial.

“We dealt with 12 and the rea­son why we didn’t deal with the other 12 is be­cause there were cer­tain ev­i­den­tial un­cer­tain­ties aris­ing on the ma­te­rial that had been pro­vided by the com­mis­sion. Af­ter we went through the files – and re­mem­ber this is not the only work that we’re do­ing – we dis­cov­ered th­ese ev­i­den­tial un­cer­tain­ties,” she said, con­firm­ing the meet­ing with CPC of­fi­cials.

The CPC’s re­port, which was tabled in the Par­lia­ment last week, is the lat­est from the com­mis­sion and again high­lights the high lev­els of delin­quency among pub­lic of­fi­cials in mak­ing their statu­tory dec­la­ra­tions of as­sets, li­a­bil­i­ties, and in­come.

LOW COM­PLI­ANCE

For the re­port­ing pe­riod that ended De­cem­ber 2014, the com­mis­sion should have re­ceived ap­prox­i­mately 36,042 dec­la­ra­tions.

How­ever, up to March 31 last year, the CPC said it re­ceived 18,134 dec­la­ra­tions, a 50 per cent com­pli­ance rate that is two per cent less than the rate in 2012.

David Grey, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the CPC, said a new list of delin­quents is be­ing pre­pared to be sent to the DPP’s of­fice for ac­tion to be taken against them.

“An en­tire list has not been sub­mit­ted be­cause the com­mis­sion, with the agree­ment of the DPP, has drawn up delin­quent declarants and brought them to court pe­ri­od­i­cally from the (gen­eral) list of delin­quents,” he ex­plained.

He said the pe­ri­odic sub­mis­sion to the DPP is a more work­able sys­tem be­cause “there’s no court that can han­dle those amounts of delin­quents [at once]”.

See full story on­line.

LLEWELLYN

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