Jamaica News: The Revenue Protection Department (RPD) will continue to fight corruption by including in its strategies the recommendation to introduce ethics in schools.
Speaking at the RPD’s 10th anniversary church service at Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Port Royal on Sunday, June 17, Commissioner/Principal Director (Acting), Cranston G. Morgan, said the Department will step up enforcement activities as well as engage more civil society groups.
Additionally, he said the RPD will continue the fight by assisting more Government entities to put systems in place to deter corrupt activities.
Mr. Morgan highlighted that according to the 2017 corruption perception index, Jamaica has improved 15 places to be ranked 68 of 180 countries, and encouraged Jamaicans to strive to reduce corruption even further.
“Improvements must come from all sectors. Government must continue to set the tone by being open and transparent, and public servants must continue to understand what acceptable ethical behaviour is, and to live it,” the Acting Commissioner said.
He said that in addition to this, the public must take responsibility as well, “as it takes two to tango, and if they are not willing to participate in bribery or other forms of corruption, then public servants won’t have corrupt opportunities”.
The Acting Commissioner urged the media to continue to shine the light on corrupt practices, while calling on the church to “continue to preach the truth and to be our collective conscience”.
He called on civil society; non-governmental organisations and other special-interest groups “to continue to agitate for better and to expose those among them that are corrupt or seek to corrupt public officials”.
Acting Commissioner Morgan said that the RPD, within the last 10 years, “has stopped the Treasury from being fleeced of millions of dollars, has successfully brought perpetrators of fraud to Justice, has stemmed the leakages of tax dollars already collected, and has dealt with persons and agencies attempting to breach the laws of Customs”.
The RPD engages primarily with the Jamaica Customs Agency and Tax Administration Jamaica in helping to make their systems and processes more robust by investigating cases involving tax fraud; enforcing tax laws and screening potential employees.
Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, said good governance is integral in moving Jamaica forward as a country, and the RPD is part of that good governance infrastructure.
She emphasised that the role of the RPD is very crucial, as it ensures “that the tax of the people of Jamaica finds its way to what matters for the people, such as roads, bridges, drainage systems, general infrastructure and the uplifting of the lives of those who suffer”
Source: JIS News