Jamaica Observer / The obvious politicking from the Opposition aside, no one can deny that what is happening at Petrojam needs to be investigated. And that investigation should go beyond the probe now being conducted by the Auditor General’s Department. Indeed, the information revealed so far at Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) is most disturbing. And if there is any truth to what the country has already heard, then the authorities should take relevant action against anyone found guilty of misconduct.

While this newspaper, at this time, has no physical evidence of corruption at Petrojam, it is clear that if the allegations are not properly investigated, and the results publicised, followed by strong sanctions if necessary, then the general scepticism with which Jamaicans view State entities, and indeed the Government, will persist.

That, we hold, cannot be good for the country, and indeed the Government which, at that start of its tenure in March 2016, stated that it intended to “conduct the affairs of the country with the highest level of integrity as corruption will not be tolerated”.

We have seen, over many years, instances of reckless use of taxpayers’ money, graft, and barefaced thievery committed by individuals from both major political parties. The fact that many of these individuals are not sanctioned for their actions has left a bitter taste in the mouths of law-abiding Jamaicans. It also highlights the hypocrisy of the commitments to transparency and respect for the law made by their political parties.

The current Administration has an opportunity to change that culture and give Jamaicans reason to believe that our political leaders will, with all seriousness, no longer tolerate immoral and illegal behaviour.

Sending that signal will also instil confidence in investors that Jamaica is a country that respects and upholds the law, and as such a place where they can feel comfortable doing business.

 

VAR decision vindicated, so far

In January this year we pointed to the benefits of the video assistant referees (VAR) system and voiced our support for its use at the 2018 FIFA World Cup now under way.

At the time we spoke to the technology’s use in last year’s Confederations Cup and the Under-20 World Cup. We also noted that it was being used in Italy’s Serie A, the German Bundesliga, Major League Soccer in the USA, the Portuguese Primera Liga, the K League in South Korea, and Australia’s A-League.

Since the start of the 2018 World Cup, the VAR has been used to award at least three penalty kicks. The technology also resulted in a goal being disallowed in the Iran vs Spain match.

As we have said before in this space, the proper use of technology will add credibility to on-field decisions by officials and erase doubt in the minds of spectators, thus preventing the anger and bitterness usually triggered by calls that are considered controversial.

The system, we believe, is working well so far, and we are happy that FIFA decided on its use in the World Cup. Not everyone, we expect, will be pleased, as there are still individuals who don’t support the use of the technology.

However, as FIFA President Mr Gianni Infantino has said: “You have to help the refs and that happens through technology… It’s definitely a forward step.”

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