Integrity Commission to scrutinise licences/permits of public bodies

THE Integrity Commission has requested 10 public bodies to provide to it, by February 28, 2023, detailed particulars concerning prescribed licences/permits that were issued, revoked, or suspended by them during the period October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. This includes warrants and exemptions.

The commission said the initiative, which will be supported by a new internally designed and developed web-based application, is geared towards ensuring enhanced compliance, accountability, and transparency in the grant and revocation of prescribed government licences/permits.

“Upon full implementation public bodies will be required to submit the referenced information to the commission’s director of investigation on a quarterly basis in the form of the Quarterly Prescribed Licenses Report (QPLR). The QPLR will be a critical component of the commission’s monitoring and investigation activities,” said the commission in a release.

It added: “The formal requisition, which was issued under the hand of the commission’s director of investigation Mr Kevon Stephenson requires the accounting officers of the 10 public bodies selected to participate in the pilot phase of the referenced initiative to provide the required information in respect of all licences issued, revoked, suspended, or varied for selected categories of government licences/permits.”

The public bodies selected are:

1.National Environmental and Planning Agency

2.Betting, Gaming and Lottery Commission

3.Mines and Geology Division

4.Water Resource Authority

5.Office of Utilities Regulation

6.Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation

7.Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority

8.Cannabis Licensing Authority

9.Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

10. Bank of Jamaica

Section 2 of the Integrity Commission Act defines a prescribed licence as “any licence, certificate, quota, permit, concession, or authority or warrant issued or granted pursuant to any enactment by a public body or an officer thereof”.

Section 51(1) of the Act provides that, in relation to Government contracts and prescribed licences, the director of investigation shall, on behalf of the commission, be entitled, among other things, to be advised of the award and, where applicable, the variation and termination of any government contract, which includes a prescribed licence from the public body responsible for such contracts, inclusive of a prescribed licence.

The Integrity Commission said accounting officers for the selected public bodies have been given detailed instructions on how the required data should be formulated and submitted.

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