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Higher salary needed for Information Commissioner

Below are some highlights from an editorial article published in the Jamaica Gleaner, authored by Brittny Hutchinson.

  • Nigel Clarke’s promise of a major bumping up of public-sector salaries notwithstanding, we can’t but be sympathetic to the Opposition’s insistence on a much bigger salary package for the proposed information commissioner from the inception of the office rather than waiting until the finance minister is able to implement his promised pay reforms.
  • However, in a situation where a public official has the power to refer a company to court for breaches of the act, where that firm could be “liable to a fine not exceeding four per cent of the annual gross worldwide turnover”, we would feel better if that official’s remuneration placed him or her in a position to better resist the blandishments of corporations.
  • Mr Robinson talked of linking the information commissioner’s salary to that of judges, which would mean, at current rates, a salary of between J$9.4 million and J$11.6 million (which is less than what was proposed by an independent review commission).
  • The public sector wage overhaul is down the road.
  • As is the case with the INDECOM commissioner, the tenure of the information commissioner should be seven years, placing it beyond the life of a political administration, thereby giving the commissioner greater security.

 

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