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.
This was the view from my window one morning last week:
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.
And with the dust in the air, this was the view from my window on Wednesday morning. I could not see the hills!
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…
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).
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.
During 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
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.
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.