MP enters into contract with non-existent company, findings revealed at CDF sitting
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Claims of fraud and chicanery were made during today's sitting of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) after it was revealed that a Member of Parliament entered into a contract for the hiring of a company for consultancy that did not exist.
The documents submitted to the CDF, according to unit head Moveta Monroe, show that the contract for consultancy was signed on July 11, 12 days before the company was incorporated.
"It is a moral issue. It is a matter of integrity," Monroe said.
The Gleaner was not allowed access to the documents, which would, among other things, reveal the MP in question, the company and the value of the contract.
MPs normally utilise a consultant to assist in the implementation of projects.
The ceiling for consultancy payment is $1.5 million.
Monroe told the committee that after the documents were submitted by the MP indicating that a company would be providing the consultancy services, the unit requested registration documents which revealed that it was only incorporated on July 23.
This is despite a stamp being given to the unit with a July 20 date.
Committee member J.C. Hutchinson said it sounds like something was amiss, stating "chicanery business".
Everald Warmington, another committee member, claimed that it was "fraudulent" and that some "hanky-panky" was afoot.
Monroe pointed out that the MP has subsequently submitted a revised document.
The dates, she said, are now aligned and that a new project proposal has been submitted to the unit.
However, Monroe said that the situation could have been worse had the committee unknowingly approved the original project.
The committee, which was chaired by Mikael Phillips, agonised over whether to give its stamp of approval to the new project, but in the end decided to seek legal advice on the matter.
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