Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This section contains categorised Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) postings.
Select the category that best serves your purposes to view the question listings. The answers may be viewed by clicking on the respective questions. If your question is not answered or you require further clarification, please use our contact form.
If you are unhappy with a decision made by a Public Authority on your ATI request, you are entitled to ask for an internal review by that Public Authority within 60 days of being advised of the Public Authority's determination.
You may do this if:
- You have been refused access to a document;
- You have been refused access to part of a document;
- You have been refused a request to amend a personal document;
- You have not been notified of a decision for grant of access
- You have been given access to a document but access has been deferred;
- You are a third party specified in the documents but have not been consulted about giving access to another person; or
- You have been consulted, but disagree with a decision to release the documents
Your request must "reasonably describe" the records you are seeking. This means the description must be specific enough that a government employee familiar with the Public Authority's files will be able to locate the records within a reasonable amount of time and without an unreasonable amount of effort.
You don't have to explain why you want the information you are seeking - but this explanation might be necessary if you want the Public Authority to waive its fees or comply more fully with your request.
The more precise and accurate your request, the more likely you are to get a prompt and complete response
Make Requests For Personal Files As Specific As Possible
Be sure to include -
- Your date and place of birth
- NIS number or other identifier
- Any previous names or nicknames
- Any previous addresses
- It can also be helpful to mention the nature of your relationship with the agency (former employee, participant in an agency program, etc.) Include the dates of your involvement.
- You may want to state where you lived and/or were active - some files will only be available from an agency's field office. In this case, you should ask the agency to check the relevant field
NB Keep Records Of Your Verbal And Written Correspondence
- Be sure to keep a copy of all correspondence to and from the Public Authority. You'll need it if you write an appeal or go to court later.
The first thing you need to do is decide which Public Authority you are going to send your request to. If you are not certain about which Public Authority has the information you are seeking you should call the ATI Unit or visit their website. Information on the various Public Authorities and their subject matters are available in a publication entitled Guidelines on the discharge of functions by Public Authorities under the Access to Information (Jamaica) Act 2002
Once you have narrowed down the possibilities, you might want to call the ATI Desk of those Public Authorities for more specific information. The ATI telephone numbers for MOFP are 932 5077 -8. Email email@example.com
Computer print out
Per roll (of 35 mm microfilm minimum order @ cost of $150)
Microfilm print out
Paper to Braille
Per single pager/$70.00 per duplex
|5`` x 7``|
|500.00||6`` x 10``|
|1200.00||11`` x 14``|
|2000.00||16`` x 30``|
If the information you request is in a written form, the Public Authority can let you know when and where you can see the document or provide you with a copy. If you have asked for access to information that is not in written form, such as video tapes, sound recordings or photographs, arrangements will be made for you to hear or view the material.
Unless the Public Authority shows that "exceptional circumstances" exist, and that it is actively trying to meet your request, you have the right to appeal your request to the responsible Minister or to an Appeal Tribunal established to pursue your request.
The ATI Act requires a Public authority to acknowledge receipt of the public's request within 10 working days from the recorded date of the request and 30 workings within which to grant, refuse or defer access the document or to extend the period to grant access to another 30 days.
All Public Authorities covered by the ATI legislation have a responsibility to deal with your request as soon as possible. You will be contacted if any difficulties arise. They must advise you in writing within 30 working days that the information is available, or if your request has been deferred or refused. This period may be extended by a further 30 days if special circumstances apply, such as the need to consult with a third party.
Yes, if you believe any information held by the Public Authority about you is incomplete, incorrect, misleading, or out-of-date, you have the right to request that it is corrected.
To a gain access to a Public Authority's records it
- must already exist and have been created or obtained by a Public Authority, (ATI does not require a Public Authority to create a record just to satisfy your request)
- must be within both the possession and the control of the Public Authority at the time you make your ATI request. A Public Authority does not have to retrieve a requested record it doesn't possess at the time your request is made.
Ministries and public bodies that must grant you access to information under the ATI Act include:
There are nine legal categories that are exempted under the ATI Act, sections 14 -22 of the law. These are:
- Government Ministries, departments and agencies
- State boards and commissions
- Local and municipal councils
- Public hospitals
- Regulatory bodies
- Public enterprises (where government has over 50% stake in the company)
Although the goal of ATI is ready access to government records, the Act clearly states specific areas of exemption as Parliament has recognized that some confidentiality is necessary for the government to function. ATI Exemptions;
There are nine legal categories that are exempted under the ATI Act, sections 14 -22 of the law. These are:
- Documents affecting security, defense or international relations
- Cabinet documents
- Documents relating to law enforcement
- Legal privilege
- Documents affecting national economy
- Documents revealing government's deliberative processes
- Documents relating to business affairs etc.
- Documents related to heritage sites etc.
- Documents affecting personal privacy
If some portions of a record contains exempted information the Act requires that a Public Authority provide you with a "reasonably segregable" (easy to excerpt) portion of the record after the portions which are exempt have been deleted from it. This means a Public Authority cannot withhold an entire document just because some portions of the document are exempt.
No. Access will be granted to official documents other than those classified as exempt documents. Exemption of an official document will not apply after a 20 years period. However the Minister may specify a shorter or longer period.
You can ask for any kind of personal or non-personal information. Personal information must be related to you, this includes your employment records, health, welfare and superannuating records, and examination and training records. Non-personal information includes government policy documents, research materials, information about how the Ministry, agency etc. operates, what actions it has been taking, how it has been spending its money, and what statistics and other information it has collected on any subject. Citizens routinely request and receive records relating to public health, environmental hazards, consumer product safety, government spending, labor relations, business decisions, taxes, foreign policy, and the economy.
Information requested can be in the form of reports, certificates, computer printouts, maps, films, photographs, tape recordings and video recordings.
A Public Authority is a Ministry, Department, Executive Agency or other agency of government, a statutory body, a Parish Council, the Council of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, any government company which is wholly owned by government or any agency of the government in which the government holds more than 50% shares or any other body or organization that the Minister declares that this Act is applicable to.
The ATI Act is a piece of legislation that gives you the right to gain access to information held as records by Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments, and other public bodies except for those exempt documents so designated.
The MLA is designed to ensure that interest charged on loans by lending institution does not exploit the “public”. Therefore, those lending institutions not specified by MLA may seek exemption on an annual basis from provision of the Act
The following documents are required (in duplicate):
- Taxpayer Registration Number (of the company and each director);
- The latest annual report and the audited statements of the company (if it is a new company the projected cash flow and income and expenditure statement);
- Certified copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the said organization;
- Certified copies of the Certificate of Incorporation;
- A list and profile of the Board of Directors of the organization;
- The details of the types of loans made to borrowers and the terms and conditions of such loans;
- The types and nature of securities required to cover the loans in (6) above
- The minimum and maximum limits relating to the loans made by the organization; and
- An outline of all other activities that the organization is involved with.
No, an exemption is not necessary for operations to take place. However, the companies involved in the business must recognize the importance of this Act in carrying out their activities.
No, the division is not responsible for the regulation of any financial institutions
The objectives are to:
- Ensure that the proper arrangements are made by and for Jamaicans so that they are able to receive an adequate pension at retirement; and
- Create an effectively regulated pension system in which the contractual savings arrangements are made more secure and profitable for participants.
Any monies which have remained in the possession or under the control of a bank for a period of 15 or more years may be categorized as an unclaimed balance. The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service under the Banking Act is only responsible for publishing unclaimed balances in the newspaper. Any query about such balances must be made to the relevant banking institutions or the Accountant General’s Department where such funds are recoverable.
- Financial and legal difficulties
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Interpersonal relations
- Changes in the Organization
- Frequent and extended sick leave
- Poor interpersonal relationships
- Deterioration in job performance
- Self Referral: If you recognize that you need help, you may call or visit one of the above sites.
- Supervisor-Assisted Referrral: A supervisor may make a formal referral on your behalf.
- Union-Assisted Referral: Your union may make a formal referral on your behalf.
- Peer-Assisted Referral: Peers may make a formal referral on your behalf.
- Enhanced personal porblem solving skills
- Identification and resolution of personal and health related problems
- Reduction in stress
- Higher level of confidence and self-esteem
- Greater control over their lives and the challenges they face
- Increased productivity
- Improvement in office morale
- Reduction of time lost in absenteeism and sickness
Revenue Protection (12)
Primarily through the identification, and investigation of acts, both internally and externally which are or may be detrimental to the collection of the revenue needed to help sustain the economy, including instances of bribery and corruption.
The RPD is responsible for protecting the Government’s Revenue by Minimizing corruption within the Revenue Agencies and improving tax collection and enforcement of Revenue Laws.
Tax Policy (11)
Travelling officers in central government who are permanently appointed and their substantive post attracts traveling.
- CET (Customs Duty)- varies with the type of good;
- GCT – 16.5%;
- Environmental Levy - .2%;
- Standard Compliance Fee (SCF) - .3%;
- CUF – 2%
Returning residents are granted a waiver of the import duties on personal and household effects. They are also granted a discretionary waiver of 50% of the SCT payable on motor vehicles they import. They have to make an application to the Ministry of Education to access this relief along with documentation from the Customs Department that they have met the requirements for consideration as Returning Residents.
Articles of Incorporation are submitted to the Commissioner, TAAD for a determination to be made if its objects are exclusively charitable
Seven (7) Working Days upon receipt of all requisite documentation
The income tax threshold (otherwise known as the ‘nil rate’) is currently $320,736.00. Effective July 2009 to December 2009.
Motor Cars as defined in Section 11 of the Road Traffic Act; (ii) Cars with engine displacement not exceeding 3000 cc for cars using gasoline and 3200 cc for cars using diesel fuel; (iii) Maximum CIF Value of US$25,000 with full duties/SCT/GCT payable on the excess thereof.
Fill out the form (can hyperlink this word). The following documents should be attached to the form: -
- Letter from human resource department of the employee detailing the grade and position of the individual, the eligibility for the concession (has the employee received a concession within the last five (5) years), the traveling allowance that the officer receives.
- Proforma Invoice with details inducing cost of car (CIF) and engine size/capacity.
- Copy of a valid Jamaica driver’s licence.
After three (3) years. If the vehicle is disposed of in any way before the three years, the officer is required to pay the duties forgone.
Every five (5) years
No, the concession is only given to officers who have entered in a contract for three years or more. In the case where the contract is three years, the benefit in this case must be used within the first three months of the contract.
It is the responsibility of financial institutions to establish and implant programmes, policies, procedures and controls that are necessary to prevent or detect money laundering. These include;
- Established procedures to ensure high standards of integrity of employees
- Evaluation of employees’ personal employment and financial history
- Training programmes for employees in the recognition and handling of transactions by persons believed to be engaged in money laundering
- Independent audit to ensure established programmes are being implemented
- Establish identification and transaction verification procedures and record-keeping procedures in accordance with regulations under the Act.
Under the Act, the ‘consent to perform a prohibited act’ prevents a protected disclosure from being considered a breach providing that
- the information is disclosed to an authorized or nominated officer
- the information came to the person in the course of the person’s trade, profession, business or employment
- the information causes that person to believe or have reasonable grounds to believe that another person has engaged in money laundering.
- the disclosure is made in such a form or manner as may be prescribed by the Regulations.
A financial institution or a regulated business that fails to make a report or comply with a disclosure order commits an offence and is liable upon conviction before a Resident Magistrate Court to a fine not exceeding $400,000.oo
A person who commits an offence to disclose information regarding transactions believed to be related to money laundering knowingly is liable on conviction before a Resident Magistrate Court to a fine not exceeding $1m , or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.
On conviction in a Circuit Court to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to both fine and imprisonment.
Any information received by FID is treated with the strictest of confidentiality. An allegation of fraud should however be substantiated with some form of Documentation name of offender nature of offence quantities of money defrauded (if applicable) Information on money laundering activities does not necessarily require the informant to disclose his/her identity.
It is the duty of Financial Institutions operating under the Regulations Act to report certain transactions referred to as ‘suspicious transactions. These include;
- Building Societies
- Money transfer or remittance agencies
- Societies registered under the cooperative society act
- Investment Dealers
- Insurance Companies and Brokers
Terrorist financing is the financial support in any for, of terrorism or of those who encourage, plan or engage in terrorism. Terrorist financing may involve funds raised from legitimate sources such as personal donations and profits from businesses and charitable organizations, as well as from criminal sources such as the drug trade, smuggling of weapons and other goods, kidnapping, fraud and extortion. The Chief Technical Director of the FID was named as the Designated Authority under the Terrorism Prevention (Designated Authority) Act 2006. This allows FID to receive and process reports on terrorist financing
The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) (May 20, 2007) is the main Act governing the FID, along with the Terrorism Prevention Act and Regulations. Under POCA a person commits an offence if that person;
- engages in a transaction that involves criminal property (drug trafficking, fraud, corruption, extortion)
- conceals, disguises, disposes of or bring into Jamaica any such property. Concealing or disguising property includes concealing, disguising the nature of the property, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership of property.
- Enters into an arrangements that facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of the criminal property by or on behalf of another person knowing the property to be illegal.
- Converts transfer or removes any such property from Jamaica knowing it to be criminal property.
The process of making money derived from criminal activity (particularly drug offence, fraud, corruption, arms trafficking and other serious crimes) appear to be from a legitimate source. In short, making ‘dirty money’ seem clean.
- Information regarding ‘suspicious transactions’
- Request pertaining to due diligence checks
- Corruption activities
Annual Reports must be submitted to the portfolio Minister within four (4) months after the end of the financial year.
- Cumulative Statements are to be submitted to MOFPS four weeks after the end of each month/quarter.
- Half-year reports are to be submitted two months after the end of the half year.
- Preliminary Corporate Plans and Budgets - January 1
- Approved Corporate Plans and Budget - January 31 each year
The PED monitors Self-Financing Public Bodies (Selected and non-Selected)