PSOJ Calls for Depoliticization of Code of Conduct Signing by Government and Opposition

Kingston, Jamaica – 13 June 2023: The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) urges the Government and the Opposition to refrain from making arbitrary public pronouncements and grandstanding regarding the Leadership Code Of Conduct and the ongoing process of amendments to the Integrity Act.

Our leaders must allow the duly appointed Joint Select Committee to manage the process of reviewing the Integrity Act currently before Parliament. We urge all elected officials to treat the discussions about the Act and the required signing of the Leadership Code of Conduct with the due respect befitting this crucial component of our democracy.  

Furthermore, the Leadership Code of Conduct stands as a legitimate universal guideline for parliamentary behaviour, and we, therefore, anticipate that all members of the Government and Opposition will sign the Code of Conduct and have it instituted without further delay. 

The Integrity Commission has been charged with the responsibility to develop and enforce anti-corruption legislation, policy, and initiatives. The institution must, therefore, receive unwavering support from both the Government and the Opposition in its efforts to establish a Code Of Conduct, which at its core, calls for our elected officials to operate at the highest standards of transparency.

Moreover, in keeping with its recent strides to institutionalise anti-corruption and accountability measures such as the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act and the Corporate Governance Database for Prospective Directors, we call on the Government to remain consistent in upholding these values by signing the Code Of Conduct. By doing so, our country’s leaders will send a clear and distinct signal that they are committed to upholding the highest standards of good governance. This act will serve as a unifying force, transcending political boundaries.

In addition to the call for signing the Code of Conduct, the PSOJ reiterates the urgent need to quickly pass the Constitution Impeachment Amendment Act, 2021, in Parliament. If the Government wants to address our prevailing corruption crisis and show that it is serious about holding elected officials accountable, this must be a top priority in 2023. The passage of this bill is indispensable in holding our politicians responsible for the misuse of public resources and neglecting their duties – which is invariably linked to ethical behaviour as outlined in the Code of Conduct.

The PSOJ remains committed to collaborating with the Government, Opposition, and all stakeholders in advancing transparency, accountability, and good governance in Jamaica. By working together, we can build a brighter future for our nation.