Finance Minister Audley Shaw says he’s on a mission to clean up corruption in his ministry, its departments and agencies and has put Jamaica Custom’s Agency on the priority list.
Shaw said corruption, which denies the treasury of much needed finances, has caused the government to turn outside of Jamaica for funding.
He said cutting out corruption could cause the country to reduce that dependence.
“W have a number of agencies that come to immediate attention and I put at the top of my list – Customs Administration of Jamaica, Customs represents not just the potential for revenue leakage, but also the point for national security.”
He said the customs agency will have to be reorganised and assistance is being sought from the United States to make customs more effective in collecting revenues and preventing security breaches.
The Finance Minister was speaking at the 3rd Annual Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies Conference Opening Ceremony held in Kingston yesterday.
Concerning corruption, Shaw said the high level of informality in the economy contributes to corruption.
He noted that based on statistics up to 40 percent of the economy is informal. And this creates less transparency which leads to corruption.
© Zenaida Claret Urbano
© Zenaida Taylor