Jamaica became a member of CARICOM on 1st August 1973. For details on the economy, political structure and demographics see the World Fact Book - Jamaica.
Jamaica is one of three CARICOM Member States which undertook significant public sector procurement reform. Guyana and Belize are the other two member states. However, Jamaica by far has undertaken and implemented the most comprehensive reforms and is accordingly the leading jurisdiction from a legislative standpoint. The Constitution of Jamaica provides the foundations of the legal framework for public financial management and procurement and outlines the basic principles for efficient management of public resources. Key aspects of public sector procurement are covered by the Financial Administration and Audit Act (FAA) 1959, and the Contractor-General Act No. 15 of 1983, as amended by No. 17 of 1985 and No.1 of 1999, and further developed in other acts and regulations. The Jamaica Public Procurement system divides the functions amongst various bodies. The oversight function is shared by the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Contractor General. The Ministry of Finance has the overall responsibility for the public sector procurement system including direct responsibilities for informing public sector procurement policy, monitoring the implementation of those policies particularly with regard to public expenditure, and facilitating a proper understanding of the governing documentation service-wide. The Contractor General monitors and, as necessary, investigates, at its own discretion, the award and implementation of any government contract, in order to ensure that such contract is awarded impartially and on the basis of merit, that the circumstances under which it is awarded or terminated do not involve impropriety or irregularity, and that the contract is implemented in conformity with its terms and conditions.
On 15th October 2008 Jamaica signed the CARIFORUM EC - EPA which contains public procurement conditions for the first time in a multi-lateral trade agreement in the ACP. The conditions require transparency in all Government Procurement above a threshold of approximately 164,000 Euros.
Jamaica has enacted the Corruption Prevention Act No. 18 of 2000, the Money Laundering Act 1988 as amended in 1999, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters 1995 as amended, and the Access to Information Act 2004 with its subsidiary regulations. In 2008 the Government of Jamaica commissioned a Green Paper on Whistleblowing Legislation and now amidst much public criticism the Jamaica Protected Disclosure (Whistleblowing) Act 2011 has been passed.
Jamaica has ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and has signed and ratified the UN Convention on Corruption and the CARICOM Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty on Serious Criminal Matters.
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2009 Ranking measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world. The CPI is a "survey of surveys", based on 13 different expert and business surveys. Jamaica was ranked 99th in the CPI 2009 with a score of 3.0.