Tue | May 23, 2017

Holness clarifies accumulation of CDF money for his constituency

Published:Wednesday | June 10, 2015 | 6:13 PM
Holness: It was prudent not to start the construction of the police station project until the full funding was resolved thereby retaining the option to change the use of the funds if the financing did not materialise.

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is disputing some of the information regarding his accumulating funds which should have been spent in his constituency over the past seven years.

Holness was placed in the spotlight at yesterday’s meeting of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Committee of Parliament for accumulating $8.8 million in CDF funding over seven years before taking steps to implement a zinc fence removal project in his constituency.

READ: Lawmaker questions JLP Leader's holding money for seven years

But in a statement this afternoon, Holness said the money was never intended for a zinc fence removal project.

He said it was to be used for building a new home for the Olympic Gardens Police Station and a town centre.

A finance ministry official has said CDF funds are not meant to be accumulated and are generally returned at the end of the financial year, but Holness is disputing this.

Holness contends that when the CDF was instituted in 2008 it was the policy that MPs could set aside funds for major community development projects which could not be funded in a year.

He said it was prudent not to start the construction of the police station project until the full funding was resolved thereby retaining the option to change the use of the funds if the financing did not materialise.

According to Holness, it is now clear that funding for the original project will not come through and it was decided to instead use the money to effect temporary repairs to the police station, connect a community to the sewer main along Olympic Way, and fund zinc removal along Olympic Way.