Wed | Aug 15, 2018

CDF tosses Ian Hayles' request - No support for school programme on leased lands

Published:Thursday | May 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue/Senior Staff Reporter
Ian Hayles

The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committee of Parliament on Tuesday rejected a project request from Hanover Western Member of Parliament Ian Hayles, who sought approval for $2.4 million for "Green Island Primary School multipurpose hall 2018-2019."

Committee Chairman Everald Warmington, in a forensic scrutiny of the project, outlined problems with the project; which, he noted, included a stated implementing agency - the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. According to Warmington, the project was deficient.

"They say they are asking for $2,280,000 for building material. Members just listen to me ... there is nothing here to tell you what building material it is ..." he charged.

Reading from a list of contributors, and the sum of their contributions, Warmington said that the project sum was $6 million.

"But there is nothing before this committee to tell us that these agencies are in fact contributing this amount. We have taken this position before," he said. "Unless there is something from the constituency, the other agencies that are contributing to it, in fact they are, and the funds have been realised, then we can't ... ", he told the committee before he was interrupted by committee member James Robertson.

Brushing him aside, Warmington insisted that the full story must be told.

"It says the multipurpose hall be located on lands on which the school owns a 20-year lease and that it is currently in negotiations to purchase the property. No proof is provided that, in fact, there is a lease or that it will be purchased.

"You are in negotiations to purchase a property. It can fall apart anytime, so you can't put government money in it," he charged before reading the supporting sections of the CDF guidelines regarding documen-tary evidence of ownership and the MP's responsibility.

The committee approved more than 50 projects, several were returned for signatures, and in at least three instances, there was confusion over the project total cost and the fees for the implementing agencies.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com