The Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal tracks accountability issues that span the last five years of public administration in Jamaica. In which case, we are currently addressing matters pertaining to the Financial Years 2014/15 to 2018/19.
THE MP TRACKER
JAMP has identified three performance indicators to assist the public in assessing the level of compliance of each parliamentarian (both Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate) with the rules of the Parliament, as well as the policies and regulations that dictate how they should function. The current indicators are as follows:
JAMP is of the view that the CDF accountability loop contains a gap vulnerability as long as the CDF Policy does not require MPs to provide a yearly spending report that details the projects completed, their location and the full expenditure of the $20M allocated each year. Though no required, some MPs do provide a report to their constituents. JAMP wishes to encourage this ‘best practice’ and makes requests of all MPs to provide same. All received, are uploaded to the site for public consumption.
JAMP obtains attendance records directly from the Parliament. We take into consideration absences where members are unable to attend due to “official government business” for example trips to conferences or meetings overseas. When applicable, this notation is available on the Parliament’s attendance sheet.
If the House of Representatives sit for 50 meetings in a Parliamentary year and an MP is present for 45, a score of 90% is contributes to the overall score.
CONSTITUENCY DEVELOPMENT FUND
JAMP obtains reports via the Access to Information legislation, from the Constituency Development Fund unit that is located at the Office of the Prime Minister. These reports indicate whether the MPs have or have not held the required meetings with their constituents.
In 2015, the CDF policy was amended. MPs were no longer required to meet annually but biannually. Therefore, from 2016 onwards, JAMP’s assessment changes to reflect that modification.
If a MP met with his/her constituents a score of 100/100 is allocated. If the meeting did not take place, the score is 0/100. If a MP meets each year, instead of every other year, no additional points are given. Citizens can express their commendation but JAMP maintains its policy to assess only what is required.
Since the Integrity Commission Act was passed in 2017 and became effective in 2018, issues pertaining to reports on the statutory declaration of each parliamentarian have to be assessed under two different pieces of legislation. To reflect that, our methodology for assessment is changed from 2018 on-wards.
The Integrity Commission reports 2014-2017 are based on the Parliament (Integrity of Members) Act of 1973 and only contain information on Members of Parliament that are not compliant, meaning, they have committed an offence under the Legislation. If an MP’s name is not in the report, it means he/she is in full compliance with the Law. JAMP has identified the offences that the Integrity Commission reports on. We have applied a penalty for each offence, based on the severity of the offence.
Reported to Parliamentary Leaders
Reported to the Director of Public Prosecution
Fined by Court
Did not declare
A Member of Parliament submitted their declaration on time but did not provide sufficient information to explain how he/she was able to afford a vehicle that was purchased since their last declaration. They did not cooperate with the Commission to provide the needed explanation, with the support of documentation. After a reasonable amount of attempts by the Commission to obtain a response, that MP is reported to: The Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House (Clause 12).
Penalty: That MP will lose 20 points for having to be reported by the Commission.
If that MP still did not provide the information to support the purchase of the vehicle, then the Commission cannot determine if the MP acted with integrity in the acquisition of that asset and at the end of the year, will report that the MP could not be cleared.
Penalty: That MP will lose 70 points for failing to prove that he/she has not acted corruptly.
If based on its investigation, the Commission decided that the situation called for the MP to be reported to the Director of Public Prosecution for an act of corruption (Clause 12.4), a charge will be laid against the MP.
Penalty: That MP will lose 80 points for the matter being escalated to the DPP without he/she rectifying the concern. Note full points are not deducted because, the MP has only been accused and charged for failing to comply with the law. At this point, it has not been determined that he/she is in fact guilty. If pronounced guilty – all points are removed for a score of 0.
If an MP achieves an average JAMP Score of 85% or above based on the above variables, he or she receives a congratulatory JAMP STAMP (image shown top right of this page).