JAMP Forum explores good governance, trust as drivers of profitability Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Efforts to enhance accountability and combat corruption in Jamaica have gained momentum with the participation of 60 executives from various sectors, including corporate entities from both the private and public sectors at recent forum titled “Business Integrity: Building Commercial Advantage Through Trust and Good Governance”.

The forum, presented by the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP) with funding from the European Union and the UK Government, brought the executives together to discuss and develop practical strategies for leveraging business integrity to drive commercial success.

In his remarks to open the forum, Oliver Blake, Head of the Political and Development Team in Jamaica and Caribbean Governance Lead, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office reminded attendees that building a culture of integrity, responsibility and accountability is where long-term sustainable change can be achieved.

“Whilst it is important to investigate and prosecute offenders using a sanctions approach, it is equally essential that we improve systems for managing the use and regulation of government and business funds,” Blake said. “Ultimately though, it is the attitudes in society towards corruption that will deliver sustainable change, and this is why events such as this are important. Business leaders coming together to work on improving ethics and integrity is critical to ensuring good governance and a productive society.”

Through presentations, roundtable deliberations and a panel discussion the executives explored how integrity and good governance impact long-term investment, consumer perception and profitability for businesses.

Douglas Orane joined one of the roundtable deliberations with Glen Christian, Chairman, Carimed, Dr David McBean, Executive Director Mona School of Business, Lloyd Distant, Chair of Crime Management Oversight Committee (CMOC) and Past President of Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and Maxine Gawron, Chief Experience Officer, Bird Pepper Tours.

The highlight of the event was a fireside chat hosted by distinguished retired business leader Douglas Orane with guest speaker Richard Bistrong, CEO of Front-Line Anti Bribery LLC who shared his journey from the front-lines of corruption to becoming a champion of corporate integrity.

“When you have a reputation for good governance, trust and doing things the right way, companies will seek you out. Multinationals cannot risk having their projects or programmes interrupted because a supplier or sub-supplier is having an issue,”Bistrong said.

In encouraging the executives, he said: “The more you gain a reputation as an organization, as a country for doing things the right way, the more companies will seek you out to be part of the responsible supply chain due to trust, reputation, good governance.”

Orane was firm in his encouragement to the executives present saying, “This forum highlights the Jamaican private sector’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and good governance. Prioritizing ethics is not just the right thing to do, but a key competitive advantage for our businesses.”

The group of executives, which included representatives of large, small and medium enterprises, business associations and government bodies, engaged in roundtable deliberations and a panel discussion to explore practical strategies for leveraging business integrity to drive commercial success.

“This was a timely forum to remind and bring more of the business community and civil society into the fight against corruption and to improve accountability,” said Lloyd Distant, Chair of the Crime Monitoring & Oversight Committee (CMOC) and Past President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.

“I particularly appreciated the wrap-up session focused on solutions and attention to pragmatic actions we can take to advance anti-corruption activities and advocacy .”

The Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP) is a non-profit, non-partisan, pro-accountability NGO dedicated to improving governance in Jamaica. The Jamaica Stock Exchange and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica provided support to enable JAMP to host the business integrity forum.