PAAC: Let them dis­close their crim­i­nal records

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Livern Bar­rett/Se­nior Gleaner Writer­rett@glean­

THE PAR­LIA­MEN­TARY com­mit­tee tasked with mon­i­tor­ing pub­lic ex­pen­di­ture has pro­posed that Cabi­net and the fi­nance min­istry de­velop clear guide­lines that set out the po­si­tions and cir­cum­stances un­der which per­sons con­victed of crim­i­nal of­fences can be em­ployed within the pub­lic sec­tor.

Fur­ther, the Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee (PAAC) sug­gested that em­ploy­ment ap­pli­ca­tion forms for all govern­ment min­istries, de­part­ments, and agen­cies in­clude a ques­tion about pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

How­ever, un­der the PAAC pro­posal, per­sons whose con­vic­tions have been ex­punged would not be re­quired to dis­close them.

“There must be some [job] po­si­tions where, given the sen­si­tiv­i­ties of those po­si­tions, if a per­son has a crim­i­nal record, it must be di­vulged,” PAAC Chair­man Wyke­ham McNeill said dur­ing a meet­ing of the com­mit­tee held at Gor­don House ear­lier this week.

“We would re­ally want the in­put of the Cabi­net Of­fice and the Min­istry [of Fi­nance] sim­ply be­cause I sus­pect that if one of those jobs was, say, the gov­er­nor of the Bank of Ja­maica, whether it’s ex­punged or not, it may be a nec­es­sary re­quire­ment,” he added.

The sug­ges­tions came out of the com­mit­tee’s ex­am­i­na­tion of sev­eral en­ti­ties that fall un­der the Min­istry of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy and the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter, which has re­spon­si­bil­ity for the en­ergy port­fo­lio, and are to be tabled in Par­lia­ment next Tues­day.

The pro­posed changes come nearly four months after Carolyn War­ren stepped down as manag­ing di­rec­tor of sta­te­owned Na­tional En­ergy So­lu­tions Lim­ited be­fore con­firm­ing that she had six crim­i­nal con­vic­tions.

War­ren told The Gleaner at the time that she un­der­stood the con­cerns about her fail­ure to dis­close the con­vic­tions when she ap­plied for the job.

McNeill said that there was agree­ment among mem­bers of the com­mit­tee that Cabi­net and the Min­istry of Fi­nance should de­velop a frame­work that treats with the em­ploy­ment of crim­i­nal of­fend­ers in the pub­lic sec­tor.


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