Black Immigrant Daily News
The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) has joined the now band of individuals and organisations now pounding the Integrity Commission (IC) for its handling of the release of information relative to a probe the commission conducted of matters relating to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
In a release on Saturday, the JCC said as follows:
“The JCC, like the rest of Jamaica, has watched with alarm and dismay, the unfolding events surrounding the seemingly inept release of information issued by the Integrity Commission on the Westcon investigation involving the prime minister.
“In the first instance, the commission recommended conflict of interest charges against the prime minister, and then in a second but materially delayed instance, noted that the commission had already ruled, prior to the release of the recommendation for charges, that the matter did not rise to the level warranting prosecution.
“To say that a delay of such salient information as contained in their second release (the ruling) in a matter with such grave implications, requires justification of the highest standard, is an understatement.
“We have seen nothing in the subsequent clarification issued by the Integrity Commission that explains its handling of the matter. It is the delay and specifically the length of the delay that have caused immeasurable damage to the Office of the Prime Minister and the international reputation of our country. This remains unexplained and, in our view, unjustified.
“We understand the argument that the law mandates that the tabling of the investigative report and the ruling could not be executed simultaneously, but nothing that we have read suggests that a delay beyond five minutes (to be generous) was required by said law. A delay of more than 24 hours, given the fallout that must have been foreseen and in fact has now been realised, appears unacceptable and frankly unforgivable.
“The JCC firmly supports the tenet that no one is beyond scrutiny, but in this episode, the commission’s handling reflects poor judgement at best, and amounts to, at least, reckless disregard for the impact its reporting would have on the country.
“For this alone we require further justification (from the IC). (In the absence of) such, we call for swift accountability and consequence at the highest level of the commission. Only then can we begin to repair the immense and painful loss of credibility that has resulted.”