Wed | Aug 23, 2017

13 curious questions! - Hayles wants answers about operation of OCG

Published:Sunday | March 12, 2017 | 3:00 AM
Holness

Eyebrows were raised last week as the parliamentary opposition indicated that it is seeking answers from prime minister Andrew Holness about several issues related to the operation of the Office of the Contractor General.

Member of Parliament for Western Hanover, Ian Hayles tabled the questions in the House of Representatives last Thursday. The prime minister has 21 days to provide the answers.

Here are edited versions of the questions.

1 (a) Is the prime minister aware that the Contractor General, in a number of matters, has sought the assistance of a foreign government to investigate Jamaicans or American citizens of Jamaican birth?

(b) Will the prime minister state whether the contractor general may, as part of his duties under the contractor general Act, make a request of a foreign government to investigate and interview Jamaica or American citizens of Jamaican birth without making such request of the Government of Jamaica?

(c) Will the prime minister state whether any request was made of and approved by the Government of Jamaica for the contractor general to seek the assistance of the United States Government or Homeland Security in the contractor general's investigation into the application by Cenitech Engineering Solutions Limited for approval as a registered Grade One Contractor.

(d) Is the prime minister aware that in carrying out his investigation into the application by Cenitech Engineering Solutions Limited a United States Citizen of Jamaica birth was visited in New York and threatened with being charged for fraud and with deportation unless she gave a statement to Homeland Security and policemen from Jamaica?

(e) Will the prime minister sate whether any request was make of, and approved by the Government of Jamaica, for the contractor general to seek the assistance of the United States Government or Homeland Security in the contractor general's investigation into the application by Cenitech Engineering Solutions Limited for approval as a registered Grade One Contractor.

(f) Will the prime minister state whether, arising from the contractor general's investigation Into the said application by Cenitech Engineering Solutions Limited, he or any arm of the Government of Jamaica is aware of a complaint entitled "Disclosure pursuant to the Protected Disclosure Act", against the contractor general of Jamaica made to the Director of Public Prosecutions (and others),

(g) Is the prime minister also aware that no action has been taken by any of these bodies to investigate the serious allegation contained in the said disclosure?

(h) If the answer to Question 2 (b) is the negative, will the prime minister sate whether the fact that the legal adviser to the Governor General happens to be the father of the contractor general has anything to do with the lack of action taken by either of the bodies to whom the Disclosure pursuant to the Protected Disclosure Act was addressed?

2 (a) Is the prime minister aware that in carrying out investigations involving the Hanover Parish Council the contractor general engaged the assistance of Homeland Security in Interrogating and harassing, on two occasions, the mother of the Member of Parliament for Western Hanover, who is an American citizen of Jamaica birth on an allegation of her being involved in a fraud?

(b) Will the prime minister state whether he, or any arm of the Government of Jamaica, is aware that on both occasions Homeland Security advised the mother of the Member of the House of Representatives for the Constituency of Western Hanover that they found no evidence of fraud and advised that she contact the Jamaican Authorities who made the allegation?

3 (a) Will the prime minister state whether the law allows the contractor general to intercept telephone conversations, email and Facebook accounts of citizens of Jamaica without first obtaining approval from the Supreme Court of Jamaica to do so.

(b) Is the prime minister aware that the contractor general has had private meetings and telephone conferences with elected politicians at their homes?

(c) Will the prime minister order an investigation to be carried out to determine the identity of these politicians, what was discussed at these meetings, and whether any directives were given to the contractor general by any of these politicians?