The Auditor General’s Department (AuGD) and the Financial Investigations Division (FID) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at strengthening both organisations’ response to, among other things, corruption, money laundering, fraud, and other financial crimes.
The MoU was signed by the Auditor General Pamela Monroe-Ellis and the FID’s Chief Technical Director Selvin Hay during an event at the FID’s offices.
The bilateral agreement provides a framework for the FID and AuGD to formalise and operationalise the working relationship between the two parties and to facilitate greater collaboration. Chief among the objectives is the closing of any operational coordination gaps between the parties relating to potential cases of financial crimes or breaches of laws relating to financial, compliance and performance audits.
A key pillar of the MoU is strategic information sharing. This includes data and/or other material on issues and trends affecting the detection of misuse of public funds as well as corruption issues which may affect government revenue and expenditure. The FID will advise the AuGD on any impending criminal investigation relating to any public body or official in relation to money laundering or other financial crimes. Meanwhile, the AuGD will provide technical assistance to the FID with respect to inflows and outflows of funds for public bodies/agencies, developing statistical methodologies for data capture and statistical analysis to properly record and represent activities pertinent to law enforcement.
FID’s Chief Technical Director Selvin Hay noted, “Since 2021 the FID has strengthened its strategic partnerships with key law enforcement agencies and anti-corruption organisations as we widen the application of POCA. Today the Auditor General’s Department joins the JCF, MOCA), the Integrity Commission and the Jamaica Customs Agency as entities which have an MoU with the FID. We are already seeing encouraging results from those partnerships and anticipate the same with the Auditor General.
Strengthening the existing working relationship between the FID and the Auditor General’s Department is important and significant. The work done by both entities is a critical part of the country’s anti-corruption and anti-money laundering framework. Issues such as fraud, corruption, misappropriation of public funds or cheating the government of revenue are already being tackled. Today’s MoU signing demonstrates the commitment to intensifying that fight. Both organisations have a vested interest in bringing to justice any public body or official which commits public malfeasance. We are ensuring there is nowhere to hide.”
Auditor General Pamela Monroe-Ellis added, “The AuGD has long recognized the benefit of collaborating with anti-corruption agencies in conducting special audits as well as cross-training opportunities arising from the diverse skill profile requirements of both agencies. This MOU between the FID and the AuGD marks the fulfilment of both agencies’ commitment to providing support to each other within the ambit of the Law. Today signals the beginning of a mutually beneficial working relationship.”