MPs surprised JEEP's replacement HOPE is in operation
Parliamentarians have criticised the Andrew Holness administration, claiming that they were not properly informed that a new secretariat that replaced the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) has been in operation.
In August, the Government replaced JEEP with the Housing, Opportunity, Prosperity and Employment (HOPE) programme.
The previous People's National Party administration created JEEP as a short-term response to unemployment.
The National Works Agency (NWA) told the Infrastructure and Physical Development Committee of Parliament that HOPE was in Phase eight and has been almost 50 per cent complete.
Committee chairman Mikael Phillips said MPs were not told previously that the HOPE was in operation.
Chief technical officer in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation under which the NWA and HOPE fall, Doreen Prendergast, said the secretariat has been processing applications.
Up to October, HOPE has spent 394 million dollar on Phase seven which has a budget of $880 million.