Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Henry summons JUTC chairman, managing director to meeting

Published:Saturday | October 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Mike Henry, minister of transport and works.
Mikael Phillips
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Transport Minister Mike Henry has summoned chairman of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC), Russell Hadeed, and managing director of the entity, Paul Abrahams, to a meeting this weekend to discuss the Millennium Security Limited (MSL) contract arrangement.

The parliamentary opposition has maintained its call for the resignation of Abrahams and the JUTC board for alleged breaches of government-procurement procedures in entering into a contract with MSL, which is now the subject of an investigation by Contractor General Dirk Harrison.

In a terse release yesterday, Henry said he welcomed the probe by the contractor general, noting that he was a firm believer in transparency and fair play. He said the operations of the JUTC must be above board and be able to withstand the glare of public scrutiny.

Henry said he called the meeting to be properly briefed on the contractual issue bedeviling the state-owned bus company.

In a release yesterday, opposition spokesman on transport Mikael Phillips said that Abrahams was misleading the public by providing contradictory information in a news release he issued on Wednesday.

 

HALF-TRUTHS

 

According to Phillips, the public needs clear answers to several issues raised in Abraham's news release which he claimed was laced with "half-truths with the intent of covering up the scandalous behaviour of the board of directors".

Phillips said, "In the first place, at no time was a security-service contract mentioned in our initial release; the issue in question was a contract to provide services in property loss and recovery assessment, accidents/ incidents investigation and damage assessment, as well as disciplinary hearings for worker infractions."

He noted that Abrahams should be aware that on September 18, 2017, he posted a general notice to staff, advising that "effective Monday, September 18, 2017, Millennium Security Services would be operating from the Lyndhurst Road facility under a three-month pilot programme". The notice says further that under this programme, "they would be tasked with investigating all accidents/incidents and breaches of procedure as may be directed by the company".

"This is the contract of which I spoke yesterday (Thursday) and not a security 'agreement' which the managing director has introduced into the debate during his defence of the scandal," Phillips said.