Jeanette Calder says FLA Scandal MPS should step aside

Executive Director of the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP), Jeanette Calder, wants public officials involved in the deepening Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) scandal to step aside from their public duties until further investigations are complete.

Read PNP Mark Golding defends Bunting in FLA scandal role

At the same time, head of the National Integrity Action (NIA), Trevor Munroe, believes the practice of members of parliament (MPs) recommending the issuance of gun licences further undermines public confidence in the country’s Parliament.

The civil society leaders’ comments come in the wake of a special report by the Integrity Commission into questionable operations at the FLA. The report was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

In a statement last evening, Calder said that “due to the severity of the matter, any public official deemed complicit in approving licences for applicants convicted of crimes and questionable activities should be suspended from presiding over the public affairs pending the outcome of further investigations”.

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The JAMP executive charged that the report makes a damning case of abuse of power by those placed in positions of trust.

She contended that the information in the report spoke to conduct that would have seriously undermined the work of law enforcement and compromised the fight against corruption and crime.

“When the persons implicated include officials who still retain positions of trust in our Parliament and in Government, the seriousness cannot be overstated and a clear and unambiguous message must be sent.”

The anti-corruption watchdog organisation is urging the Government and Parliament to act immediately on the recommendations of the Integrity Commission.

She wants the Government to address all operational deficiencies identified in the report and determine if licences approved on appeal are to be revoked.

Calder is also pushing for the Integrity Commission to act immediately to determine if the actions of Dennis Meadows, former deputy chairman of the FLA, amounted to misconduct in public office and a breach of public trust.

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Munroe, in a press release yesterday, wants the code of conduct of MPs promised since 2009 in Jamaica’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030, to be developed and enforced to encourage good behaviour and to sanction parliamentarians who are guilty of improper conduct.

Step aside! | Lead Stories  Jamaica Gleaner

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