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JAMAICA | BPO Industry Threatened by closure of Criminal Records Office

Featured Opposition Spokesman on Science, Technology and Information, Julian Robinson Opposition Spokesman on Science, Technology and Information, Julian Robinson
KINGSTON, Jamaica. October 9, 2019. Opposition Spokesman on Science, Technology and Information, Julian Robinson, MP, today warned that thousands of jobs for young Jamaicans are at risk, as employers in the Business Process Outsourcing sector have not been able to get police record reports to clear potential employees as a basis for hiring them.

In a media statement, Mr. Robinson pointed to the abrupt closure of the Criminal Records Office on September 19 as the genesis of the problem. It was only yesterday that the CRO resumed offering service at a temporary location. "Even though there is now a temporary office, there is such a large backlog that hundreds of potential employees cannot be confirmed in their positions," he said.

 The PNP spokesman said that persons who need reports for travel, the courts or other security verification are being seriously affected.

 Mr. Robinson emphasized that Jamaica's reputation as a place to do business is taking a negative hit and some of these jobs may be lost permanently, as without the police record, there was no other form of due diligence which the companies could have confidence that their employees do not have criminal records. He said employers could, therefore, shift the jobs to other locations.

 The PNP spokesman said the crisis at the Criminal Records Office has come at a time when employers are ramping up hiring for their peak season. “We must have a plan to correct this issue and ensure it never happens again.

 He noted that the CRO generates some $800 million in revenue annually, and more should be invested to upgrade the capacity of the office. “We need to look at off-site fingerprinting at divisional headquarters, a permanent office in Montego Bay, and systems that make it easier for citizens and businesses to get their police reports", he said.

 Mr. Robinson said the Opposition is calling on the Ministers of National Security and Technology to urgently address this critical issue to safeguard the jobs of Jamaicans.

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  • Countries: Jamaica

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