Nearly a year after it launched an investigation into allegations of bribery, the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) said yesterday that that inquiry had concluded “without finding definitive or provable evidence” of corruption.
In January, the JCNP asked the police to investigate claims that some judges of the 2018 Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade and 2019 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade took bribes.
However, on Tuesday, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle said that based on information she received, “nothing” came out of that investigation.
Yesterday, the JCNP said in a statement, “The investigation concluded without finding definitive or provable evidence that corruption took place on behalf of the judges. Nevertheless, the alleged acts of bribery and corruption have negatively impacted the Junkanoo community and our partners both in government and corporate Bahamas.”
The JCNP said it takes the matter “very seriously”, noting that it has taken measures “to ensure that such acts of corruption, alleged or not, never happen again”.
The organization noted that its investigative committee interviewed members of the parade management team as well as several judges “relative to their involvement in the parade’s alleged acts of corruption”.
“Additionally, several attempts were made to interview the individual at the center of the corruption allegation but were unsuccessful due to the individual’s failure to cooperate with the investigation,” it said.
“The JCNP also presented the matter for police involvement, after which it was determined that the matter was not a criminal matter for which police involvement was appropriate.”
In the aftermath of the allegations, the JCNP said it has introduced a revamped judges course which includes ethics training; a code of conduct for judges which includes civil and criminal penalties; a revised judge compensation package; and the introduction of a new digital scoring platform.
The organization said it has also banned the use of personal mobile devices during judging.
It also noted the revamp of its standard operating procedures.
“In conclusion, the JCNP wishes to also advise the public that although the investigation was inconclusive, based on the lack of cooperation from the alleged individual’s claim of corruption/bribery, the JCNP is looking to ensure that any such further allegations cannot be levied against the JCNP,” it said.