Jamaica’s prime minister speaks to the Integrity Commission

Jamaica's Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.
Government of Jamaica

Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness has promised that he will provide information on his taxes and assets before the end of this week to the Integrity Commission. The prime minister was questioned at a post-cabinet news meeting when the matter arose.

The prime minister stated that he is “in the process” of answering the questions by the Commission, but Holness claimed that he is concerned because his declarations for 2021 and 2022 have not been confirmed. Holness claimed that while he had already replied to the Commission’s inquiries, the organization subsequently contacted him with more inquiries.

“It does take some time, and particularly for me to get two or three days to go through matters and provide answers. I simply have to be very frugal with my time and I suspect the same for the Integrity Commission that has to go through several thousands of declarations,” the prime minister commented.

Prime Minister Holness stated that he thought that the Commission would have prioritized his declaration, adding that the panel has questioned public servants frequently and he is hopeful “that in short order this matter will be resolved.”

It was also declared that the statements coming from Prime Minster Holness are not certified. Thus, this has drawn criticism from the Opposition People’s National Party as well as several civil society groups and organizations all in agreement that the documents from Prime Minister Holness should be certified.

The legislation requires all senators, members of parliament, and public servants making at least $3.5 million in gross annual compensation to submit yearly statements of their income, assets and liabilities.

The Integrity Commission has already released the report for Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, and his family’s 2022 statement in October. It revealed that they made $56 million in real estate revenue last year.

A summary of the disclosures submitted by the opposition leader and the prime minister must be published in the Jamaican Gazette each year, as required by the Integrity Commission Act.