Fri | Mar 23, 2018

K.D. Knight takes issue with AGD's report on Oceania hotel sale

Published:Friday | March 17, 2017 | 1:45 PM
Former UDC chairman KD Knight

The former chairman of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), K.D. Knight, has taken issue with the report by the Auditor General on the sale of the Oceana Hotel and the lease of the Jamaica Conference Centre multi-storey car park as part of the deal by the agency.

The property was sold in 2014 for $385 million and the car park for leased for 25 years for $15 million for the first 10 years.

In a special report to Parliament the Auditor General raised concern about transparency in the deal.

Speaking in Senate this morning, Knight said he was troubled by the report.

"The report has a certain laziness of mind associated with it," he said, noting that some of the conclusions were based on speculation.

Former UDC Chairman, K.D Knight

The report found that the lease arrangement for the car park was included in the deal subsequent to the deadline for the submission of bids.

It said the process lacked transparency and UDC may have denied itself the benefit of obtaining better offers.

Among other things, the report states that the UDC used a valuation dated August 2011 as a basis to assess offers in September 2013.

The auditor general also found that the UDC breached the terms of divestment outlined in the Requests for Proposals by considering bids that did not provide all the mandatory information.

According to the auditor general, this casts doubt on the objectivity of the decision-making process.