Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Debushing project a breach of faith

Published:Saturday | November 26, 2016 | 11:00 AMPhillip Paulwell

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This is an open letter from Phillip Paulwell to leader of government business in the Lower House, Derrick Smith, on the Government's breach of faith and the implications for cooperation in Parliament.

The Opposition wishes to bring to your attention our grave concern that the Government has breached the codes of good governance by approving and commencing a $600-million programme funded by the National Works Agency for temporary work involving the bushing of roadways and verges without any consultation with any of the duly elected members of parliament on the opposition side and without regard for transparency in the selection of contractors and workers.

The work programme, being carried out a mere week before the holding of local government election, has the appearance of a politically partisan exercise and a blatant attempt to unduly influence the outcome of the local government and municipal polls in favour of candidates of the governing Jamaica Labour Party through the improper use of state resources.

Given the seriousness of the situation, the Opposition will be compelled to bring the matter to the attention of the contractor general for an investigation to be launched into the programme. We also serve notice that this issue constitutes an egregious breach of faith between the Government and the Opposition and will have serious consequences for the continued cooperation of the Opposition with the Government in the Parliament.

In the circumstances, and until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of the Opposition, we cannot guarantee our cooperation with the Government on any parliamentary matter.

The Opposition urges that you use your good offices to bring our concerns to the attention of the Government and to seek to open the lines of communication to resolve the matter.

PHILLIP PAULWELL

Leader of the Opposition Business in the House of Representatives