Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Disaster Risk Management Order No. 9 – Dated July 1, 2020

The Gazette of the most recent Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) Order was posted on three government websites this afternoon (July 9, 2020). The Gazette of this Order – No. 9 – is dated July 1, 2020, although it wasn’t gazetted on or before July 1. This doesn’t surprise me anymore, as it seems to be common with the gazetting of these Orders, that they are given a date which is earlier than the date on which they are actually gazetted.

A copy of the Gazette is provided here:

The Disaster Risk Management Order No 9 cover page blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No.9) Order – July 1 2020

I tweeted earlier this week about this ongoing, unsatisfactory situation regarding the delay in gazetting the Disaster Risk Management Orders.

SG tweet re no gazetted order - July 6 2020

 

OPM website Order No 9 posted July 9 2020 blog picThese are the links to the document on the Ministry of Justice website, the Office of the Prime Minister’s website and the Ministry of Health & Wellness’ website.


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The Death of Noel Chambers: “…a comprehensive audit…has been commissioned”

On January 24, 2020, Mr Noel Chambers died in the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre.

INDECOM 1st Quarterly Report 2020 - Noel Chambers - blog picOn June 2, 2020, the public was made aware of Mr Chambers’ death when the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) released its First Quarterly Report for 2020 at a digital press conference. The details given about Mr Chambers’ incarceration and death were horrifying and outraged the country.

“At the time of his death Mr. Chambers was 81 years old. He was incarcerated on February 4, 1980 and had been in prison for 40 years without being tried. He was being held at the Governor General’s pleasure, deemed unfit to plead to a charge of murder. Therefore he was being held in custody without being convicted for an offence….

At the time of his death he was in a deplorable physical condition. His clothing was filthy and his body showed evidence of chronic emaciation. He was covered with what appeared to be vermin bites, live bedbugs (‘chink’) and he showed signs of having bed sores.”

(p. 5, INDECOM First Quarterly Report 2020)

In the days following news of Mr Chambers’ death, we were told that more details regarding the circumstances surrounding his death and the government’s response would be given when Minister of National Security Horace Chang gave a statement in Parliament. The Department of Correctional Services, which manages the prisons, falls under the Ministry of National Security.

On June 16, 2020, Minister Chang gave a statement in Parliament.  This is the text of the statement…

Minister Chang statement re Noel Chambers blog pic

PARLIAMENTARY STATEMENT on death of Noel Chambers

…and this is a link to the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica’s (PBCJ) recording of the sitting of the House of Representatives that day. Minister Chang’s statement about the death of Mr Chambers begins at approximately 23:30 in the recording.

PBCJ Min Chang Parliament 16-6-2020 Noel Chambers statement pic

I have a number of concerns arising out of this statement, but the one I want to focus on here is the audit announced in Paragraph 4 of Minister Chang’s statement:

Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that a comprehensive audit into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Chambers has been commissioned. This audit is expected to not only reveal the circumstances specific to his death but also to thoroughly examine the procedures involved in the treatment of inmates who are deemed unfit to plead. In the interim, I wish to outline the details of preliminary findings from the special investigation undertaken by the Department of Correctional Services.

“…a comprehensive audit into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Chambers has been commissioned.” This is what the Parliament was told and by extension the country as a whole. This is put forward as a major mechanism for uncovering the details surrounding Mr Chambers’ death, for accountability and for recommending changes in the systems that allowed for his incarceration and death.

“…a comprehensive audit into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Chambers has been commissioned.”

  • Who commissioned the audit?
  • Who is carrying out the audit? What body? Which individuals?
  • What are the terms of reference of the audit?
  • What resources and powers have been granted for the carrying out of this audit?
  • What is the timeline for the completion of the audit?
  • To whom will the audit report be sent once it is completed?
  • Will the audit report be tabled in Parliament? Will it be made public?

If the answers to these questions are not made public, it will be difficult – if not impossible – for the public to hold the government accountable for this process and any subsequent action.

One reason why greater transparency is absolutely necessary is that this audit process may be being carried out by entities and/or individuals responsible for the circumstances that led to Mr Chambers’ incarceration and death.

More information is necessary, Minister Chang.

We need to remember that it wasn’t the Ministry of National Security that brought Mr Chambers’ death to public attention. Without INDECOM’s report, we would not have known.

 

 

 

 


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Integrity Commission Petrojam Reports Tabled in Parliament

Three reports from the Integrity Commission were tabled in Parliament today, June 30 2020. Two are special reports of the Commissions investigations into allegations regarding the functioning of Petrojam Limited; the third is the Annual Report of the Integrity Commission for 2019/2020. The point of this post is simply to make these reports  more widely available.

Integrity Commission Petrojam Report 1

REDACTED 2 – IC Petrojam Investigation – Recruitment and Parties October 18, 2019 final

Integrity Commission Petrojam Report 2

REDACTED -IC Petrojam Investigation – Donations October 2019 final

Integrity Commission Annual Report 2019-2020

Integrity Commission – Annual Report 2019-2020

 

 


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Sahara Dust & The View from My Window

This was the view from my window one morning last week:

view from the window week of 17-6-2020

Then a plume of Sahara dust swept across the Atlantic into the Caribbean, not an uncommon event, but this was perhaps the worst in fifty years, they said.

saharan dust

And with the dust in the air, this was the view from my window on Wednesday morning. I could not see the hills!

Sahara dust view 24-6-2020

 

 

That plume of Sahara dust has moved past us, here in Jamaica, though they say another will affect us in a few days time. But tonight, at sunset, I could see the hills again…against a salmon-coloured sky…sunset 26-6-2020

 


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Gazette of Disaster Risk Management Order No. 8 – Dated June 15, 2020

The electronic copy of the Gazette of the most recent Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures ) Order has now been posted on the websites of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Justice. This is Order No. 8. The hard copy was not yet available from the Jamaica Printing Services when I called this morning (June 19, 2020).

Here is a copy of the Gazette:

Disaster Risk Management Order No 8 blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 8) Order 2020 – June 15 2020

Order No. 8 is firmly dated June 15, 2020, though it obviously wasn’t gazetted on that date. On Tuesday night (June 16, 2020), Prime Minister Andrew Holness brought the draft order to the House for discussion, as has been his practice. No copies of the draft order were circulated to the Members of Parliament, which has been the recent practice.

AG Malahoo Forte Parliament 16-6-2020 PBCJDuring the discussion, Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte responded to a question that had been posed by an Opposition MP and her preface to her response makes clear that the Gazette of Order No. 8 was not available at the time.

All right, so the Disaster Risk Management Enforcement Measures Number 8 Order was promulgated by the Prime Minister last week taking, took effect on the 15th, which was yesterday. This is the non-gazetted, it is being gazetted and should be completed by now, but this is it. You will see a number of improvement, clarity. Right, I’m just telling you. So, it, the law does not require the Order to be laid in the House, but it’s going to be brought here.

– Attorney General Malahoo Forte, Parliament, 16-6-2020

The PBCJ recording of the sitting of the House is available and the Attorney General’s comments begin at approx 5:47:40 in the recording.

Tracking when the Gazettes of the Covid-19 Orders become publicly available has really raised fo me the issue of the dating of the Gazettes containing these Orders, as the Gazette often carries a date prior to the date when it seems that the gazetting has actually taken place.

How is the date for the Gazette determined? Is it the date on which the measures are first broadcast by the Prime Minister, but not yet gazetted? Or the date on which measures come into effect, but not yet gazetted? Or when the final draft copy is sent for gazetting? Or when the Gazette is actually printed?

It is an obscure process, but can have some significant consequences. I will try to find out more.

I am also posting here a copy of an amendment that was made to the previous Order, Order No. 7. Just for completeness.

Disaster Risk Management Order No. 7 Amendment

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 7) (Amendment) Order 2020 – June 1 2020


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Gazette of Disaster Risk Management Order No. 7 – Dated June 1, 2020

I continue to have concerns about the delay in the publishing of the Gazettes of the Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) Orders after measures have been announced at press briefings by Prime Minister Holness. On Sunday, May 31, 2020, the Prime Minister announced changes to the measures, some of which came into effect immediately and the following day. On Tuesday night, June 2, 2020, the Prime Minister made a presentation about the new measures in Parliament. The Prime Minister held another press briefing last night, at which he made reference to the gazetted order while talking about the measures. The Gazette of Order No. 7 – the written document containing all the details – although dated June 1, 2020 – only became available today, Saturday, June 6, 2020.

And a continuing concern is whether what is contained in the gazetted orders differs at all from what was previously announced by the Prime Minister.

Gazetted Order 7 cover blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No.7) Order, 2020 – June 1 2020

It is now posted on the Ministry of Justice website.

 

 


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The Eventide Fire: 40 Years Ago

Forty years ago, on May 20, 1980, a fire at the Eventide Home in Kingston, Jamaica, resulted in the deaths of 167 women, aged 19 to 102. This week Wednesday, May 20, 2020, there will be an online event to learn and remember what happened forty years ago, and to remember the names of the women who lived at the Myers Ward.

Eventide Event flyer 2

Contributors at the event include:

Barbara Nelson
Horace Levy
Natalie Bennett
One of the organizers of the event, Alexis Goffe, says that there will be time for public comments from anyone who wants to contribute. To receive the link to attend the virtual event, click here: tinyurl.com/Eventide40
Also there is a call for memories about the Eventide Fire. If you are interested in contributing stories and memories, please submit them here by June 30, 2020: bit.ly/3buURsl
If you have any questions about this call, you can send them to learneventide@gmail.com

Eventide Call for Memories poster


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Gazette of Disaster Risk Management Order No. 6 – Dated May 7, 2020

This is a copy of the most recent Gazetted Covid-19-related order issued by the Government of Jamaica. It is Order No. 6, dated May 7, 2020 and was made available today (May 16, 2020). There is more to be said on all of this, but for the moment, here is the newly released Gazette. (Much thanks to the person who sent it to me!)

Disaster Risk Management Order No 6 - May 7 2020 - blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 6) Order, 2020 – May 7 2020


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Update: Jamaica’s Gazetted #COVID19 Declaration, Orders & Amendments – March 13 – May 6, 2020

I have now got gazetted copies of what I think are all the COVID-19 related orders issued by the Jamaican government from March 13 – May 6, 2020. There is still no government website that has all the gazetted orders posted on it. I have posted them in chronological order below.

March 13, 2020

The Public Health (Class 1 Notifiable Diseases) (Amendment) Order, 2020 – March 13, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Declaration of Disaster Area) Order, 2020 – March 13, 2020

March 16, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) Order, 2020 – March 16, 2020

March 23, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (Amendment) Order, 2020 – March 23, 2020

March 24, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management Act (Enforcement Measures) (No. 2) Order, 2020 – March 24, 2020

March 25, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 2) (Amendment) Order, 2020 – March 25, 2020

March 27, 2020

The Trade (Sale of Goods During Period of Declaration of Disaster Area) Order, 2020, Resolution – March 27, 2020

March 31, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 2) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 2020 – March 31, 2020

April 1, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 2) (Amendment) (No. 3) Order, 2020 – April 1 2020

April 8, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 3) Order 2020, – April 8, 2020

April 14, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No_ 3) (Amendment) (No_2) Order, 2020 – April 14, 2020

April 21, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 4) Order, 2020 – April 21, 2020

April 28, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 4) (Amendment) Order, 2020

May 6, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No.5) Order, 2020 – May 6, 2020


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Gazetted Amendment to Jamaica’s #COVID19 Order No. 4: April 28, 2020

An amendment to The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 4) Order, 2020 – April 21, 2020 has been gazetted. It is dated April 28, 2020 and a copy of it can be found below.

Disaster Risk Management amendment to gazetted order 4 - April 28 blog pic

Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 4) (Amendment) Order, 2020

It was posted on the Office of the Prime Minister’s website yesterday and can be found at this link below.

 

Previous Orders & Amendments can be found in earlier blog posts.