Contractor General, Dirk Harrison, says the staging of the Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-corruption Bodies CCAICACB Conference next week is a critical opportunity to share best practices and develop mechanisms for tackling corruption regionally.
The third staging of the five-day regional conference, facilitated through the Commonwealth Secretariat, is being hosted by Jamaica for the first time and will run from Monday, April 24 to Friday, April 28.
In an interview with JIS News, today (April 21), Mr. Harrison said the sharing of practical operational experiences among anti-corruption bodies from across the region will be part of the conference agenda.
“The main objective is to see ways in which we can develop our own systems and programmes for the betterment of the countries. It’s looking at how we actually investigate, and how we share and gather information. We have sought, through the Commonwealth Secretariat, to ensure that we have a number of partners on board that we can share best practices and learn from each other,” he said.
Arrangements for the conference have been spearheaded by the Office of the Contractor General, in collaboration with the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), the Revenue Protection Division (RPD) and the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC).
Local participants also include the Financial Investigations Division (FID), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the National Integrity Action (NIA).
Some 30 international delegates have been confirmed for attendance, including Commonwealth Secretariat Deputy Secretary General, Deodat Maharaj and Governance and Anti-Corruption Advisor, Dr. Roger Koranteng, as well as Chairman of the CCAICACB, Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph.
The Contractor General emphasised the importance of Jamaica hosting the conference and engaging with the region on the issue of corruption, as the country is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).
Mr. Harrison said a regional document will be formulated based on recommendations from the country papers delivered at the event, which will provide a legally binding framework to guide members of the CCAICACB in implementing practices agreed on.
“We at the Office of the Contractor General have never believed that we can do it alone, as we know one hand can’t clap, so importantly, we continue to forge friendships and to share with our regional and local partners,” he said.
Senior Director at the OCG, Maurice Barrett, also hailed the conference as an important event for Jamaica and the Commonwealth Caribbean.
“Along with sharing of the country papers, the degree and extent of the presentations this year will be geared toward developing what we have termed ‘moving towards developing our individual and collective capacities’ as anti-corruption agencies,” he said.
The conference, which will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, is being done under the theme: ‘The Anti-Corruption Agenda – Today, Tomorrow, the Region and Beyond’.
The CCAICACB hosted the first conference in Grenada in 2015 and the second in Trinidad in 2016. It comprises 11 Commonwealth Caribbean countries, namely Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Dominica, Turks and Caicos, Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, St. Vincent and Anguilla.
The group encourages Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies to develop and implement meaningful and effective strategies to achieve effective control of corruption.
Article by: Denise Dennis
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm