The Private Sector Organisation Of Jamaica (PSOJ) notes the ongoing discussions surrounding the investigations and reports by the Integrity Commission related to breaches of the Parliament (Integrity of Members) Act and the Integrity Commission Act. In this regard, we emphasise the absolute necessity for good governance practices to be upheld by all members of Jamaica’s political directorate, irrespective of their party affiliation or standing.
Good governance is not only a legal requirement but also an ethical obligation that every public servant should uphold. It is the foundation for trust, which is essential for any system of governance to function effectively. When trust is eroded, both social and economic progress are impeded, hindering the country from achieving its full potential.
It is of utmost importance to remember that all individuals are equal under the law. Therefore, anyone found guilty of any misconduct related to the current investigations should face legal action in accordance with the rule of law. During this process, it is imperative that individuals under investigation are given every opportunity to clear their names, following due process in all legal proceedings. This action safeguards public trust in our institutions by ensuring that these individuals do not become judges in their own cause.
Therefore, we join the call of civil and other private sector organisations in strongly urging House Speaker Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert to step down as Speaker Of The House while the eight charges brought against her by the Director of Corruption Prosecution are being dealt with. This is the right course of action, given the circumstances. We continue to be committed to transparency and would like to stress that this will be our stance regarding any named public official who has been charged.
We urge all political parties to respect the rule of law and take no action likely to interfere with investigations by the Integrity Commission. We encourage all parties involved to unequivocally accept and abide by general principles of good governance and refrain from the politicisation of the Commission and the undermining of its critical role as a watchdog for the system.
Jamaican citizens have long been concerned about the issue of corruption in our country. It is imperative that the government takes action to combat this problem and hold public officials accountable for any misuse of their office or public resources. Corruption is costing Jamaica a significant amount annually, projected to be J$100b, which is equivalent to 5% of our annual GDP.
The high cost of political instability is not the only concern, as corruption has a destabilising effect on people’s confidence in the political system. This, in turn, leads to lawlessness, indiscipline, and antisocial behaviour. When the law is not applied equally to everyone, it creates a sense of unfairness, and people tend to disregard it.
The PSOJ calls on all stakeholders, including members of the political directorate and the Integrity Commission, to work collectively in upholding and strengthening the principles of good governance. Only through collective effort and ethical integrity can we create an economic and social environment conducive to the betterment of Jamaica as a whole.