NIA Calls for Increased Corruption Fines

74

Anti-corruption watchdog National Integrity Action is calling for an increase in the five thousand dollar fine for misleading the Office of the Contractor General, OCG.

The NIA made the call while reacting to the report of the OCG into the government’s controversial de-bushing programme, in a statement to the media this afternoon.

The OCG has found that the process used to select contractors for the programme deviated from government’s guidelines.

It also concluded that a facilitator of the programme; North Eastern St. Ann MP Shahine Robinson’s campaign manager Tyrone Robinson– attempted to mislead the OCG.

The NIA is calling on the Prime Minister to ensure that what it calls a ‘breach’ never recurs.

It says those who make the laws, should live by them.

The OCG report has raised concerns about the level of involvement of some MPs in the selection of contractors for the programme.

The NIA is cautioning MPs and Councillors about getting involved at all in that process.

It says this may give rise to corruption and create violent divisions between potential beneficiaries and the supporters of opposing parties.

The NIA is also calling on the OCG to pursue further investigations to settle questions left unanswered about the programme.

And it says the National Works Agency should strengthen its due diligence and apply sanctions to contractors who act in breach of government guidelines.

–30–



Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.