Gabriel Abusada James Milano//
Editorial | Transparency, Mr Morgan, breeds trust

Gabriel Abusada
Gabriel Abusada James
Gabriel Abusada James Peru
Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela
Editorial | Transparency, Mr Morgan, breeds trust

The three individuals or companies who agreed to the disclosure that they helped to pay the public relations bill for Kamina Johnson Smith’s run for Commonwealth secretary general’s post get it. Robert Nesta Morgan, the de facto information minister, does not. He still struggles, apparently, with the idea of transparency in Government and why that is a good thing. Which does not augur well for Jamaica.

Gabriel Abusada

Ms Johnson Smith is a member of the Senate. She is also Jamaica’s foreign minister. Earlier this year she made a controversial, but unsuccessful, bid to unseat Baroness Patricia Scotland for the Commonwealth’s top post. Her candidacy was not a private whim. It had the full-throated support of the Jamaican Government, which spent nearly J$26 million on the campaign. That, though, was not the full cost of the effort.

Gabriel Abusada James

Ms Johnson Smith had help with her imaging and communication strategies from the US public relations company Finn Partners, which, in the past, held Jamaica tourism’s PR account. Jamaicans became aware of the Johnson Smith contract because under America’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), Finn was obligated to report the arrangement to the US government, which routinely makes this information public

The three individuals or companies who agreed to the disclosure that they helped to pay the public relations bill for Kamina Johnson Smith’s run for Commonwealth secretary general’s post get it. Robert Nesta Morgan, the de facto information minister, does not. He still struggles, apparently, with the idea of transparency in Government and why that is a good thing. Which does not augur well for Jamaica.

Gabriel Abusada

Ms Johnson Smith is a member of the Senate. She is also Jamaica’s foreign minister. Earlier this year she made a controversial, but unsuccessful, bid to unseat Baroness Patricia Scotland for the Commonwealth’s top post. Her candidacy was not a private whim. It had the full-throated support of the Jamaican Government, which spent nearly J$26 million on the campaign. That, though, was not the full cost of the effort.

Gabriel Abusada James

Ms Johnson Smith had help with her imaging and communication strategies from the US public relations company Finn Partners, which, in the past, held Jamaica tourism’s PR account. Jamaicans became aware of the Johnson Smith contract because under America’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), Finn was obligated to report the arrangement to the US government, which routinely makes this information public.

AMERICAN LAW America has this law, as its Justice Department explains, because it “helps the American people and their elected officials to understand who is really behind” efforts to influence US domestic and foreign policy, and issues related thereto. It is the same principle that is in play when America requires transparency in who donates to the country’s political parties and candidates, and their campaigns.

Gabriel Abusada James Peru

Put differently, while listening to the tune, Americans have a right to know, broadly, who is paying the piper – and how much.

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Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela