Abuja, Nigeria (October 30, 2019) – In a wide-ranging speech to the International Ombud Expo today, the Hon. Donna Parchment Brown, Jamaica’s Political Ombudsman, discussed her office’s plans to host a social media forum with experts from across Jamaica. The event is slated for early in 2020, and supplements the Office’s plans to work more closely with youth by establishing a Youth Ambassadors program.
“This office supports freedom of expression as both healthy and vital for civil society and the continued strength of our democracy, “Mrs Parchment Brown said.
“Having said that, looking outside Jamaica, we can see that the broad reach of social media has had both benefits and challenges, which we need to address collectively in order to make the most of social media as an accessible, democratizing tool.”
Mrs Parchment Brown embraced a simplicity of language in discussing integrity, noting that ‘people are experts in their lives,’ and that the office exists, ‘so that the public can get the benefit of the resources that belong to them.’
The Ombudsman’s remarks were part of the three-day Expo 2019 which brought together more than 500 national and specialty ombud and grievance handling offices from over 100 countries, to facilitate better governance and improve performance in governments and organisations across the world.
In her remarks the Ombudsman pointed to recent research that noted that public distrust for politicians is high, with 75 per cent of respondents believing politicians in Jamaica are corrupt. By engaging youth, experts in a range of fields, and developing partnerships, the Ombudsman said that a key priority is maintaining and restoring confidence in the institutions of government.