JLP Believes Integrity Commission Report is a Political Attack

Purely political, unfounded, and misguided is how the Governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is classifying recent claims made in an Integrity Commission special report about the Prime Minister, 16 years ago. The Party says the conflict-of-interest accusation was without merit and should be dismissed forthwith. Hours after, the Integrity Commission’s ruled no criminal charges could be laid in the matter.

107 pages concluded among other things that the allegations of conflict of interest and breaches in the government’s procurement process warranted intervention by the Director of Corruption Prosecution.  A massive story piqued interest as Prime Minister, and former Education Minister, Andrew Holness was among those who were allegedly in breach for failure to disclose his personal and business relationship with Westcon Construction and its Director Robert Garvin. That incident unfolded over a decade ago. 

In a statement on Thursday from the Integrity Commission addressed to the Parliamentary Leaders, the ruling from the Director of Corruption Prosecution, the Director Mrs Kiesha Prince Kameka ruled that no charges are to be brought in support of the allegations made. In the case of the claims against the Prime Minister who allegedly recommended a friend and business associate for several contracts over the period from 2006- 2009, she notes, failure to contradict or provide more evidence in support of the offences contemplated, meant no criminal charges could be laid. 

She also notes, in the case of several public servants and accounting officers from the Ministry of Education who allegedly breached the procurement and reporting guidelines, regarding the contracts awarded to Westcon Construction, despite evidence to mount charges, the prosecution would be hard-pressed to resist the abuse of process application, regarding the undue delay.

In the absence of Prosecution, the Director of Corruption Prosecution affirms there is no need for a redaction of the report to prevent prejudice. Meanwhile, the JLP is lamenting the claims were unfounded and strikes them as an attempt at personally attacking the Prime Minister a residue of the political attacks since the 2016 election activities. The party notes Holness remains unmatched in his efforts to create transparency and strengthen the country’s anti-corruption laws. 

Prime Minister Holness had dismissed aspects of the report on Wednesday insisting he was approached in an emergency situation and his recommendation sought when he referred to the entity at the heart of the report.