Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stealth and Exposure important in fight against corruption - Contractor General to PRSJ

Kingston, April 11, 2013

The Contractor General Dirk Harrison said that the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) will not continue to announce its investigation of persons who do not play by the rules, as this allows witnesses and wrongdoers to go into hiding.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Public Relations Society of Jamaica (PRSJ) on April 4 in Kingston, Mr Harrison said, “If an investigation is being conducted, we shall not tell the entire country that we are coming for that person...When we announce that we are doing a possible investigation one scares away possible witnesses, one scares away the subject.”

Mr Harrison used as a highlight the fact that none of the 41 recommendations of the OGC over four years had been brought forward for prosecution; and that the way forward will be to do the investigation quietly. He noted that this approach also reduced the possibility of persons, such as media, being open to charges of libel.

Despite the stealth approach now being practiced by the OCG, Mr Harrison also said that public exposure through the media would also be important to its arsenal of tactics.
“The Office of the Contractor General has to utilise the tool and the weapon of public exposure. It is the only tool available and as such the OCG must continue to be visible and vocal,” he said.
Noting the role for robust communication in anti-corruption, Mr Harison said, “I think it is important for the media to let the public know what is happening. Oftentime we don’t know what happens in the courts, we don’t know about investigations. I think the media has a vital and very important role to play in letting Jamaica know what is happening.”

Mr Harrison demonstrated his understanding of good public relations as he said that he had been meeting with stakeholders to promote the inclusion of the OCG at the commencement of any government contract process. He gave high marks to the Ministry of Ministry of Science Technology Energy and Mining (MSTEM) for its procedures to prepare for the auction of the 70MHz band. Mr Harrison said that the approach supports investment in the industry, and helps to avoid litigation and other ugly matters and contentions in the long term.

The PRSJ AGM marked the 32nd anniversary of the society and saw the swearing in of the 2013 executive: President, Christopher Benjamin; First Vice President, Rohan Powell; Vice President Finance, Analisa Downes Allen; Vice President Membership, Meris Haughton; Vice President Special Events, Leo McEwan; General Secretary, Gwyneth Davidson, Assistant General Secretary, Maxine Francis and trustees Dayner Azzellino and Camille Taylor. The PRSJ is the professional association that promotes the ethical practice of public relations in Jamaica.

No comments:

Post a Comment