Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Opposition questions Holness' overseas trips

Published:Friday | January 20, 2017 | 1:17 PM
Brown

Opposition Senator Lambert Brown has tabled questions in the Senate demanding the number and cost of all overseas trips by Prime Minister Andrew Holness last year.

Brown gave notice of the questions this morning which, under Senate rules, must be answered within 21 days.

Ruel Reid, the minister of education, youth and information, is to provide the answers.

Questions:

1 - "Would the Minister indicate the number of overseas trips undertaken by the Most Honourable Prime Minister since assuming office in March 2016 to the end of December 2016?"

2) "Would the Minister also indicate the following:
- the purpose of each trip
- the duration of each trip
- the size and composition of the delegation that accompanied the Most Honourable Prime Minster
- the cost of each such trip"

The previous Portia Simpson Miller administration faced public criticisms for the number, cost and size of delegations that made overseas trips.

Travels related to Simpson Miller between January 2012 when she took office and 2014, totalled $53.5 million, RJR reported in March 2015.

Some $38 million alone was spent to cover 15 trips in 2013.

In defending the travelling, Carlton Davis, an adviser in the Office of the Prime Minister at the time, said the rationale for overseas trips has to be "evaluated with rigour".

But Davis argued that "benefits from overseas visits are not always immediate" and Jamaica "must keep in touch with the outside world".