Advise for The Office of the Contractor General

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The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) was today advised that Mr. Maurice Barrett, the Chief Investigator of the OCG, is the only Jamaican who has been selected by the Government of Singapore and the Commonwealth Secretariat to participate in a major 2-week Commonwealth Corruption Control Training Programme which will take place in Singapore between February 14 and 25, 2011.

Mr. Barrett, who has led many major Special OCG Investigations, was recently appointed by Contractor General, Greg Christie, to lead a nine (9) person team in the Special Investigation which the OCG will undertake into the circumstances surrounding the Government’s sale of the Sandals Whitehouse Hotel to Gorstew Limited, a company which is owned by local businessman, the Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.

The Programme, which will host lead and senior anti-corruption officials from several countries across the Commonwealth, is being jointly sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Assistance (CFTC) and the Singapore Cooperation Programme of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is being organized in pursuit of the Commonwealth’s commitment to institutionalize transparency, accountability, good governance and the rule of law as fundamental political values in Commonwealth countries.

The Programme will share Singapore’s anti-corruption experiences and best practices and will provide an interactive forum for Commonwealth Anti-Corruption Agencies to explore and discuss concepts and issues that are related to managing and fighting corruption and promoting integrity and clean governance in government. Participants will also be provided with a unique learning opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of anti-corruption issues and to design and implement specific strategies to reduce corruption within their own countries.

Mr. Barrett, who was specially recommended by the Contractor General for participation in the programme, is the holder of the B.Sc. Degree in Public Administration and the M.Sc. Degree in Governance and Public Policy from the UWI. He joined the OCG in January 2007 as an Inspector and moved up the ranks to Senior Inspector and Senior Special Investigator before he was appointed to the position of Chief Investigator in April 2009.

Singapore has an enviable and consistent record of being one of the least corrupt countries in the world. In 2010, it was ranked by Transparency International (TI), the International Anti-Corruption Watchdog, as the world’s least corrupt country out of 178 countries. By contrast, Jamaica was ranked 87th.