Black Immigrant Daily News
The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) has called on the government to finalise the arrangements and regulations for the Public Bodies and Management and Accountability Act (PBMA) to instil the desired level of competence and probity in the conduct of the affairs of public bodies.
The JCC made the call while weighing in on the SSL scandal and what it calls the “moral decay” the country is undergoing.
A release from the council noted the reports that have been disseminated in the media regarding alleged improprieties at the financial institution.
“We note with sadness the reports that several citizens of our country, including our outstanding national treasure and icon Ambassador Usain Bolt and members of the retired community, have reportedly lost resources which were placed in the fiduciary care of this institution.
“We note also the significant response of the government inclusive of a policy statement by the minister of finance and the public service and public statements by the prime minister.”
The council bemoaned the fact that the Financial Services Commission (FSC), for several years, failed to carry out the necessary and decisive actions as the regulator of the securities sector it was mandated to do.
“We are also aware of the recent jurisprudential manoeuvres of the FSC which appears to be an effort to enforce the control of the state over this beleaguered situation. We note also with great consternation the deleterious impact that this situation may have on the morale of the nation, on “brand Jamaica” and on the lives of vulnerable persons who often suffer first and hardest”.
The council said the erosion of trust and confidence regarding the international community is primarily because of the international profile of Ambassador Bolt, a fact, which belies the inherent double standards of the country’s approach to ethical shortcomings.
They are of the view that the present debacle is part of “the wider malaise of moral decay which pervades our society. Greed and selfishness have become the path to success that one too many Jamaicans have chosen to take.”
The council said it must inspire the confidence of the nation to persist in the fight to reduce corruption by insisting on the principles of accountability, probity and transparency in public and private life.
“In this regard, we repeat our call on the government to finalise the arrangements and regulations for the Public Bodies and Management and Accountability Act (PBMA) to instil the desired level of competence and probity in the conduct of the affairs of public bodies.”
Further, JCC is also supporting the call for a commission of enquiry into the financial sector to determine the true nature of its operations, motivations and the extent to which corruption may have derailed its effectiveness as a contributor to nation-building.