Davis heads new NHT board
Veteran public servant Dr Carlton Davis has once again been summoned to command the powerful National Housing Trust (NHT).
Davis, who first navigated the NHT in the 1990s, is expected, as the first order of business, to wrestle with another potentially explosive controversy threatening the organisation.
Information Minister Sandrea Falconer promised yesterday that the Board will be addressing allegations that billions of dollars from the coffers of the NHT have been squandered.
"The NHT will be responding to the report as soon as possible, as they are examining the auditor general's report," said Falconer.
The Gleaner reported yesterday that Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis has found that investments totalling $2 billion have failed to yield the desired results, more than five years after deals were inked.
In naming 14 members of the new board that replaces the one hounded last year by the controversial multimillion-dollar Outameni scandal, Falconer disclosed that three additional members are to be named.
The previous board, led by former parliamentarian Easton Douglas, had been under fire since news broke in late October that the NHT had purchased lands in Trelawny on which the Outameni attraction is located for $180 million and planned to spend another $120 million.
Four new members were appointed in November last year, following the resignations of three directors in the wake of the Outameni scandal. However, the life of the board subsequently expired on April 1.
Lambert Brown, outspoken ally of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, under whose portfolio the NHT falls, remains a member of the board along with noted People's National Party (PNP) functionary Percival Latouche.
No representative of the power-ful Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), affiliated with the rival Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), or of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers (JALGO) has been named to the board, after the resignation of their prominent representatives.
Kavan Gayle, president general of the BITU, and Helene Davis-Whyte, general secretary of JALGO, which represents 5,000 workers in local and national government and quasi-government agencies, walked from the beleaguered board in the midst of the storm.
Falconer has promised that other trade unions will be included in the line-up to bring the board's complement to 17.
"We will let you know of those in short order," said Falconer.
Members of the NHT Board of Directors for the three-year term
from April 3, 2015
to April 2, 2018:
1) Dr Carlton Davis - chairman
2) Daisy Coke - deputy chair
3) Scarlette Gillings, CD
4) Senator Lambert Brown
5) Robert Buddan
6) Percival Latouche
7) Jacqueline Lynch Stewart
8) Lisa Harrison
9) Granville Valentine
10) Sgt Raymond Wilson
11) Pastor Michael Harvey
12) Clayton Hall
13) Sonia Hyman
14) Martin Miller