KINGSTON, Jamaica, December 7, 2017: The People’s National Party (PNP) repudiates Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ contemptuous dismissal and rubbishing of the damning report from the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) on the corruption involved in the $800 million de-bushing programme to the Office of the Contractor General, executed by prior to the Local Government elections last year.
In a statement backing its General Secretary condemnation of the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament last night, the PNP said the OCG’s report on the de-bushing and drain cleaning programme underscored the depth of corruption, wanton dishonesty and the length of trickery that the Holness government unleashed on the people of this country and ought to be taken seriously by a Prime Minister, who claims to be interested in removing from his government any hint of stain and corruption.
The attitude displayed by the Prime Minister last night was contemptuous of the taxpayers of Jamaica and a brazen attempt to give comfort and succour to rule breaking within his government. It is this cavalier attitude which has caused the Contractor General to be conducting no less than four special investigations at present.
The Prime Minister needs to be reminded of the serious findings of the Contractor General’s report including the fact that cabinet selected the contractors contrary to law, no joint inspection of work by the NWA and contractors, unsigned payment vouchers based on work not measured, funds paid to contractors without payment vouchers, which resulted in the OCG being unable to verify payment of over $507.8 million.
In addition, the PNP says the Prime Minister has not investigated or commented on specific allegations made by Contractor Vincent Taylor relating to the involvement of at least five JLP Members of Parliament. Those allegations included the fact that those MPs instructed to whom cheques should be payable and the amount. The use of facilitators named by the politicians was also criticised by the CG, who described it as a corruption enabling mechanism.
The report also found ministers such as Robert Montague were not only naming who should to paid, but providing banking information, therefore stating in what account the money ought to be lodged.
In his response to the questions about the Report, the Prime Minister during Wednesday’s sitting of Parliament lambasted the OCG for what he said amounted to making a mountain out of a mole hill about what is routine operations in constituencies when contracts are issued. The PNP described those statement as arrogant and served as encouragement for MPs to improperly insert themselves in contract award and management.
The Party expressed alarm at Mr. Holness attempts to bamboozle the House and the Jamaican people, and said it insults the intelligence of every member of this Parliament and the intelligence of the people of Jamaica.
The PNP says, Mr. Holness’ attempts to obfuscate on the issue, only serves to confirm that he leads and rubber stamps the open acts of corruption and the blatant systems of deception in which his government is engaged. The fact that the OCG viewed the activities as corrupt and called out three senior Government Ministers for shady operations, and named one as mendacious, must to be taken and treated with seriousness and cannot be set aside as frivolous.
The reckless and corrupt handling of taxpayers’ money and the gross deficiencies in governance of our nation are cause for very serious concern.
The PNP says the barefaced act of breaching the set procurement rules and their cabinet rules in a vulgar voter buying exercise disguised as a de-bushing programme has seen no consequent fallout or condemnation from Holness who has, on many occasions postured that he is anti-corruption.