Jamaica minister moved from controversial infrastructure project

(Jamaica Gleaner) The Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry has been stripped of the responsibility for the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme, JDIP.

The programme will now be managed through the Office of the Prime Minister.

At the same time, it’s understood that Patrick Wong, the chief executive officer of the National Works Agency (NWA), which administered the programme, could be stepping aside.

The developments come four days after the auditor general’s damning report on the management and implementation of the controversial US$400 million road and infrastructure programme.

On his return to the island from Washington yesterday, the Prime Minister Andrew Holness held an emergency meeting of the Cabinet, where it’s understood that the JDIP report was discussed.

In the report, the Auditor General, Pamela Munroe Ellis raised serious concern about the programme.

Among the concern is that there is no evidence of work done for a $23 million project that was signed off by the NWA as having been satisfactorily completed.

The auditor general also found that $102 million in JDIP money was used to refurbish the corporate offices of the NWA.

The transport minister has said, had he known about the plans for the refurbishing of the office with the JDIP money, he would not have approved it.

The Auditor General also reported that the NWA withheld several critical pieces of information that would help to determine whether certain JDIP projects were value for money.

Since the report was made public there have been increasing calls for the transport minister to step down.

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