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MOCA To Share Anti-Corruption Tools At Regional Conference

MOCA To Share Anti-Corruption Tools At Regional Conference
Commissioner of the Revenue Protection Division, Major (Ret’d) Johanna Lewin (right), has the attention of (from left) Governance and Anti-Corruption Advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Roger Koranteng; Contractor General, Dirk Harrison; and Director General of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), Colonel Desmond Edwards. This was shortly after an interview with JIS News at the Office of the Contractor General on Friday (April 21), ahead of Jamaica’s hosting of the Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies (CCAICACB) Conference from April 24 to 28 at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. The conference is being hosted under the theme ‘The Anti-Corruption Agenda – Today, Tomorr
(Media Credit: R. Fraser)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- The Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) is expected to share some key investigative approaches and deterrent methodologies with anti-corruption bodies from across the region, at the Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies (CCAICACB) Conference, which opened on Monday (April 24). MOCA Director General, Colonel Desmond Edwards, said the entity will highlight, among other things, its vetting and polygraph system, which, he noted, is a significant tool in ensuring that the public sector is comprised of persons of the highest standard of integrity. “This goes a far way in mitigating corrupt practices and opportunities for corruption,” he said in a recent interview with JIS News.

The five-day conference, being held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, will include participation from more than 60 entities, inclusive of regional and international delegates. It is intended to facilitate the sharing of best practices across the Commonwealth Caribbean member countries of the CCAICACB.

Colonel Edwards said MOCA hopes to benefit significantly from the interaction.

“An important component that we hope to benefit from is networking, so you get to identify and meet people who are doing the same things you are doing in other Caribbean states,” he pointed out.

“Corruption in and of itself has some deleterious effects, particularly in the public sector where systems (can be) exploited by corrupt employees, but more significantly, I believe, is how it facilitates other criminal enterprises – to include major organised criminal networks; money laundering and terrorism,” he said.

He noted that transnational criminal enterprises in the region tend to operate across borders, and the conference will provide the opportunity for discussion of the trends in each country.

“(We want to learn) how these entities are infiltrating and corrupting public officials and about the facilitations made available by public officials, so we can use that knowledge to mitigate it locally; and what we are seeing here can be of use to them as well,” Colonel Edwards said.

Among the local presenters is Commissioner of the Revenue Protection Division (RPD), Major (Ret’d) Johanna Lewin, who will highlight the work of the entity and its focus on investigation and solutions.

She noted that the RPD “not only investigates for prosecution, but we also have to fix the problem within the revenue services. It’s a different approach and I am hoping that this will be of interest to the region”.

Major Lewin said she is impressed by the commitment of the Commonwealth Secretariat, through which the CCAICACB is facilitated, to bolstering regional cooperation on anti-corruption and related issues.

“I don’t believe that we can do it on our own, and everybody has their contribution to make in different ways,” she pointed out.

The RPD focuses heavily on anti-corruption due to its debilitating effect on the country’s revenue. The Division, last month, signed a memorandum of understanding with MOCA to provide a framework for the continuity of collaboration and sharing of information in tackling corruption.

In the meantime, Manager of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC), David Grey, said the entity will provide an overview of Jamaica’s anti-corruption efforts and will also highlight the need for the development of an ethical framework.

MOCA, RPD and the CPC have collaborated to spearhead arrangements for the conference.