Greater scru­tiny for FLA and all na­tional se­cu­rity agen­cies

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ja­son Cross Gleaner Writer

GREATER SCRU­TINY now ap­plies to all gov­ern­ment agen­cies that fall un­der the ban­ner of na­tional se­cu­rity, such as the Firearm Li­cens­ing Author­ity (FLA), the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force, and the Pass­port Im­mi­gra­tion and Cit­i­zen­ship Agency (PICA).

This fol­lows yes­ter­day’s launch of the se­cu­rity min­istry’s, Se­cu­rity Pro­gramme Over­sight Com­mit­tee, at its head of­fices in St An­drew.

Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Ge­orge Quallo and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer at the FLA Shane Dalling were among the heads of agen­cies in at­ten­dance.

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Dianne McIn­tosh said the alarm­ing homi­cide rate was one of the de­ter­min­ing factors lead­ing to the com­mit­tee’s ex­is­tence.

“Im­por­tantly, the cur­rent crime sit­u­a­tion has em­pha­sised a need for us to re­view our cur­rent ap­proach and strate­gies in con­fronting crime, to en­sure im­ple­men­ta­tion of ef­fec­tive and prac­ti­cal sys­tems, [lead­ing]

to the se­cu­rity and safety of cit­i­zens.”

Ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter of Na­tional

Se­cu­rity Robert Mon­tague, the com­mit­tee will en­sure that se­cu­rity tar­gets are con­tin­u­ally met.

“This com­mit­tee is set up to make sure poli­cies and tar­gets agreed on are im­ple­mented. All agen­cies have their tar­gets and work plans. They were sub­mit­ted and col­lated, and the com­mit­tee’s job is to en­sure that all these tar­gets within the na­tional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture are met; it is es­ti­mated that crime costs the coun­try five per cent of its GDP. When you work that out into real num­bers, you are look­ing at $70 bil­lion-plus,” Mon­tague said.

“I dis­pel any thought that this is an over­sight com­mit­tee of the po­lice. This is an over­sight of na­tional se­cu­rity,” he said.

He stressed that the new 15-mem­ber team will be re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing what­ever rec­om­men­da­tions are made by the Ge­orge Over­ton over­sight com­mit­tee are put into ac­tion.

Re­tired banker Peter Moses was ap­pointed chair­man of the com­mit­tee, which will en­sure, among other things, that the cor­rec­tional ser­vices in­crease its farm­ing and agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion by 20 per cent.

JER­MAINE BARN­ABY/FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Ge­orge Quallo (right) and Min­is­ter of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Robert Mon­tague at the launch of the Se­cu­rity Over­sight Com­mit­tee at the Min­istry of Na­tional Se­cu­rity in Kingston yes­ter­day.

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