Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Shaw probes Permanent Secretary about NHT investments

Published:Wednesday | November 19, 2014 | 3:59 PM
Audley Shaw at Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee meeting with the National Housing Trust today. - Jermaine Barnaby photo

Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Onika Miller, was today forced to explain the process by which the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is kept abreast of investments made by the board of the National Housing Trust (NHT).

The matter has been a contentious one in recent weeks in light of the controversial decision of the board of the NHT to purchase the Outameni lands in Trelawny for $180 million.

Miller was before Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee to answer questions related to the decade old Harmony Cove Project.

However, the NHT matter was brought to her by committee member, Audley Shaw.

Miller was initially very guarded in her statements, keeping the responses specific to the Harmony Cove project.

However, with further pressing by Shaw, the Permanent Secretary was forced to answer the question generally.

According to Miller, as the Permanent Secretary in the OPM, she wouldn’t necessarily be made aware of the nature of specific investment projects.

Speaking in parliament recently, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said she only knew about the almost two-year-old deal after it was published in the media just last month.

Members of the Opposition have been doubtful of the prime minister’s claim, especially since she is the minister with direct responsibility for the National Housing Trust and there is also a representative of the OPM on the NHT’s Board.

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Jamaica Gleaner

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