Phillips says Shaw abusing reputations of public officials to score political points
Former finance minister Dr Peter Phillips, has accused his successor, Audley Shaw, of bringing the integrity of public officials into question to score political points.
Phillips was speaking at a People’s National Party divisional meeting yesterday evening, where he explained why he has asked for a probe into the sale of the Oceana hotel and the rental of a part of the building by the Accountant General’s Department.
Dr Phillips wrote to the auditor general requesting a probe following last week’s revelation by Shaw that the Accountant General’s Department was using $400 million to renovate the ground floor of the building which the Urban Development Corporation previously sold for $385 million.
At the meeting at Vauxhall High School yesterday Dr Phillips said such decisions are not taken by politicians but by officials in the various agencies.
Phillips said the comments by Shaw were more likely to harm public servants than the PNP, which formed the government up to February.
He said if Shaw had questions he should have initiated a probe instead of going to Parliament to highlight the issue.
Phillips said it was a similar situation as it relates to the issuance of a letter of credit by Noranda Bauxite Company to the Government of Jamaica in the sum of US$5 million.
Shaw had blamed the previous administration for allowing the letter of credit to lapse and allowing Noranda to avoid paying the debt.
However, Phillips said the politicians could not be blamed for any lapse.