JAM | May 23, 2023

Job descriptions for MPs, ministers to be tabled in Parliament -Holness

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing a press conference held at Jamaica House on Monday, May 22, 2023. (Photo: Contributed)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the long-awaited job descriptions for Government ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) are completed and will be tabled in Parliament shortly.

Holness said the job descriptions were completed in 2021 and were revised by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck and Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Marlene Malahoo Forte last year.

They will be tabled in Parliament for the public to view said the prime minister.

“A code of ethics to govern the conduct and duties of Members of Parliament was already developed, there was an existing Code of Conduct developed under the (PJ) Patterson Administration, and we have enhanced that, not just for ministers, but for Members of Parliament,” he said. 

Holness said at the next Cabinet meeting, it will be reviewed and turned over to Parliament for review or to recommend adjustments, after which it will be enforced. 

The headquarters of Jamaica’s Parliament, Gordon House in downtown Kingston. (Photo: Twitter @PressSecOPMJA)

The prime minister made the announcement yesterday (May 22) during a press conference where he highlighted some accountability measures that will be put in place for the political directorate.

The accountability measures come amid backlash from the public over a more than 200 per cent salary increase, in some cases, for politicians.

Penalties for MPs absent from Parliament

Holness also announced that financial penalties will be introduced for unexcused absences of parliamentarians from sittings of the Houses of Representatives and committee meetings.

The funds will be deducted from the MPs’ new salaries under the Public Sector Compensation review.

“The fines will be more meaningful, and that will be implemented right away,” the prime minister said. 

Additionally, each parliamentarian will be required to write a report to the prime minister, detailing the work they are doing in their constituencies. He said the reports will be tabled and reviewed by a specially established committee of Parliament, and the public will be able to review these reports. 

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