Thu | May 24, 2018

Political ombudsman out of her league - Warmington

Published:Wednesday | February 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Everald Warmington

Six years and one political ombudsman later, South West St Catherine Member of Parliament Everald Warmington is reviving his call for the scrapping of said office.

"That office is redundant and the Parliament needs to send the report back to the Cabinet for it to be dealt with," said Warmington.

The matter was raised by the MP at a Constituency Development Fund meeting in Parliament yesterday. Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown, who was not in Parliament, declared in an interview with The Gleaner that she differed with that claim.

"If that's his point of view. This is a free country, and certainly any respected elected official would be expected to make a considered statement about different matters in the public domain, so I respect his opinion. I disagree, but I respect his opinion," said Parchment Brown.

Warmington said that the political ombudsman is now interfering in administrated governmental policies and administration by requesting a list of programmes from the National Works Agency of projects to be completed.

"She's out of her league; this is above her pay grade. She has nothing to do with government policies and programmes. She needs to go back and read carefully what the duty of the political ombudsman is for and I believe she is acting politically," said Warmington.

Warmington further took issue with the salary of the political ombudsman, as it is said to cost the country $18.6 million to keep her office operational.

"I don't believe she [and her office] should be paid this big salary to talk bout tek down flags, because that's all she talks about," said Warmington. The political ombudsman again disagrees.

"It is true that there is more media coverage during election campaigns, and I think in every country you will find that different institutions get more visibility depending on what's happening, so my office values the opportunity through the media to bring matters to the attention of the public as appropriate," said Parchment Brown.

Warmington suggested that the money used to pay the political ombudsman should be rerouted to the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education or to repair roads or improve supply water.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.com