First Look

NIA calls for early date for campaign financing bill to be tabled in parliament



National Integrity Action Limited | 2013-01-16 00:00:00

Professor Trevor Munroe, Executive Director of National Integrity Action has written to Parliamentary House Leader, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, seeking commitment on the Bill for Campaign Financing to be brought before Parliament at an early date in the new Parliamentary Year.

In a detailed letter to House Leader, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, Professor Munroe reminded Minister Paulwell of a commitment given to NIA (in a letter dated May 18, 2012) and the people of Jamaica that: “Let me assure you that it [legislation to regulate party financing] will be given the priority it deserves so as to have it promulgated before the end of this financial year.

Continuing Professor Munroe said: “In your letter you indicated that you were working with the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) to address concerns expressed in the recent debate in Parliament regarding the report. As I understand it, the ECJ submitted a document to both the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party summarizing these concerns and inviting their response. In the aforementioned Gleaner report you had indicated that “the PNP has done its review and it has put forward its views.” You were also unsure as to whether the JLP has done so”.

Professor Munroe was responding to reports in the print media on Monday, January 14, under the headlines - “No Campaign Financing Bill This Year”.

In expressing his disappointment at this delay, Professor Munroe stressed his “deep disappointment on behalf of National Integrity Action and all Jamaicans who understand the critical importance to good governance of regulating party campaign financing that circumstances have not allowed your assurance of passage before the end of the Financial Year to be fulfilled. These circumstances clearly include delayed responses to the ECJ’s report from the political parties”.

In this context to build public confidence and renew trust, Professor Munroe called on House Leader to ensure that within the shortest possible time after the new Parliamentary year begins the Bill is brought even as he expressed satisfaction at the commitment to have the political parties registration act passed before the end of this financial year.

Please see the full text of Professor Munroe’s letter to Minister Paulwell below.



January 15, 2013



Hon. Phillip Paulwell, MP
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining
Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining
36 Trafalgar Road
Kingston 10


Dear Minister,


I note a report in The Gleaner, Monday, January 14, 2013 (Page A8) entitled “No Campaign Financing Bill This Year”.  In the course of this item you are quoted as saying “Campaign Financing will come in the next legislative year”.  In so far as this statement has not been reportedly denied by you, I assume it to be accurate.  

It is in that context that I write to remind you of your letter to me dated May 18, 2012 in which you stated: “Let me assure you that it [legislation to regulate party financing] will be given the priority it deserves so as to have it promulgated before the end of this financial year”.  In your letter you indicated that you were working with the ECJ to address concerns expressed in the recent debate in Parliament regarding the report.  As I understand it, the ECJ submitted a document to both the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party summarizing these concerns and inviting their response.  In the aforementioned Gleaner report you had indicated that “the PNP has done its review and it has put forward its views.”  You were also unsure as to whether the JLP has done so.

I wish to express deep disappointment on behalf of National Integrity Action and all Jamaicans who understand the critical importance to good governance of regulating party campaign financing that circumstances have not allowed your assurance of passage before the end of the Financial Year to be fulfilled.  These circumstances clearly include delayed responses to the ECJ’s report from the political parties.  

Against this background I am asking your confirmation of the report that “we the government are moving to get the cabinet submission now for the drafting instructions.”  Moreover, would you indicate when this is likely to be completed and whether the public can expect a Campaign Financing Bill to be before Parliament in the first quarter of the Financial Year beginning April 1, 2013?  I also note your commitment to “first table the bill for the registration of political parties” before the end of March 2013.  This is a positive and necessary step.

I do hope that in the interest of not only good governance but as well the building of confidence and trust amongst the public that these commitments shall be met.

Yours sincerely,



Trevor Munroe (Professor)
Executive Director


Copies to: Dr. Horace Chang, MP – General Secretary, Jamaica Labour Party
                 Hon. Peter Bunting, MP – General Secretary, People’s National Party
                 Dr. Herbert Thompson – Acting Chairman Electoral Commission of Jamaica









 




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