Jamaica Contractor General refers Cabinet to DPP

-showdown over contracts reaches new heights

(Jamaica Gleaner) Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn says her office will apply the usual professional and objective standards in analysing and researching the unprecedented referral of Cabinet for prosecution by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).

Llewellyn told The Gleaner yesterday that she would be assembling a team to examine the OCG’s referral, but noted that she could give no specific timeline as to when her office would arrive at an opinion on the matter.

However, the DPP pointed out that her office would try and complete its work as soon as possible, but stressed that she had a duty to be thorough and to peruse all the material.

“We have not yet perused it. It is fairly voluminous and we have to peruse all of the material and, as we do with every other referral from all entities to this office, we are taking our usual objective, professional approach, which involves analysis of the material, research of the law, then we send back a response to the OCG and, because it is a high public interest matter, send something to the media,” Llewellyn said.

Referred for prosecution

On Wednesday, Craig Beresford, acting contractor general, formally referred the Cabinet of Jamaica to the DPP for criminal prosecution.

Beresford, in a media release, indicated that the referral was made as a result of the Cabinet’s failure to comply with the lawful statutory requisitions relating to, among other things, at least four major projects which are pertinent to the OCG’s monitoring and investigative mandates.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has described the current impasse between the Government and the anti-corruption body as “untenable”. He said the situation has led to extreme positions without any sign of a resolution.

In a media release yesterday, Holness said the stand-off could undermine the integrity of the country’s anti-corruption system.

“It is untidy and reflects poorly on us internationally for the Government to ask the courts to limit the powers of scrutiny of its own anti-corruption agency,” Holness said.

In that regard, Holness wants the Portia Simpson Miller administration to withdraw its current action in the courts against the OCG.

The opposition leader observed that the OCG fell under the legislative and policy direction of Parliament.

He noted that “if the Government of Jamaica has a difficulty with the OCG’s interpretation and use of its powers and feels that such powers were obstructing national development, then the administration must bring laws to Parliament to redefine the powers of the OCG and not wimpishly hide behind the courts”.

He added: “The Opposition is, therefore, calling for the Government to withdraw its actions in the courts against the OCG and take to Parliament the legislation it sees fit to redefine the powers of the OCG.”

Holness also urged the Cabinet to formulate in collaboration with the Opposition a policy on strategic investment and development.

He said the Opposition would not support any actions that undermined or weakened the OCG.

Latest in Regional News

default placeholder

Jamaica not preparing to leave Caricom, says Holness

(Jamaica Observer) Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday launched his promised Caricom Review Commission and immediately dismissed speculation that Jamaica is preparing to pull out of the regional economic bloc.

A basket of local onions is on display beside Don McGlashan, director general in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Agriculture, in Old Harbour, St Catherine.

Jamaican farms aiming for 40% of onion market

(Jamaica Gleaner) Three years ago, Jamaica was producing just six per cent of the onions consumed locally. Now it’s meeting 10-12 per cent of demand, but that’s still around a quarter of the levels agriculture officials aim to reach.

default placeholder

‘Jamaica is T&T’s ATM’ – Mahfood slams one-way CARICOM benefits

(Jamaica Gleaner) “Jamaica has been the ATM for Trinidad and Tobago.” That’s the claim from the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), which has indicated that it wants Jamaica to use the upcoming Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government Summit to push forcefully for changes that will “rebalance trading relationships” in the 15-member group.

William Mahfood

‘Jamaica is T&T’s ATM’ – Mahfood slams one-way CARICOM benefits

(Jamaica Gleaner) “Jamaica has been the ATM for Trinidad and Tobago.” That’s the claim from the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), which has indicated that it wants Jamaica to use the upcoming Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government Summit to push forcefully for changes that will “rebalance trading relationships” in the 15-member group.

default placeholder

Trump vows to reopen, or scrap, NAFTA pact with Canada and Mexico

MONESSEN, Pennsylvania/WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump yesterday vowed to force Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the NAFTA trade agreement with the United States – or scrap it – if elected, as part of an effort to protect and restore American jobs.

default placeholder

Sweet potato experts win World Food Prize

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – Four scientists who specialized in sweet potatoes were named the winners of this year’s World Food Prize yesterday for their work to make foods more nutritious.

default placeholder

Sanders back in U.S. Senate, blasts ‘colonialism’ in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders brought his firebrand rhetoric back to the floor of the Senate yesterday to condemn a White House-backed bill on Puerto Rico’s financial crisis as “colonialism at its worst.” Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who turned an unlikely presidential bid into a political movement to combat inequality, warned that legislation due for a crucial Senate vote on Wednesday would subject Puerto Rico to Republican trickle-down economics and favor “vulture capitalists” at the expense of the island’s increasingly impoverished population.

default placeholder

Man arrested in Brazil for attempt to douse Olympic torch

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A man has been arrested for trying to extinguish the Olympic torch by throwing a bucket of water over it as it passed through his farming town of Maracaju in central Brazil, an officer at the local police station said yesterday.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: