Mon | Sep 25, 2017

43 questions for 'Babsy' Grange, Lisa Hanna seeks answers

Published:Friday | April 7, 2017 | 4:48 AM
Hanna (forefront) in Parliament recently.

The Opposition spokesperson on culture Lisa Hanna has presented a raft of questions for her government counterpart Olivia 'Babsy' Grange amid the controversy over spending at the culture ministry.

In Parliament this week Hanna accused Grange of leading a "culture of extravagance" claiming there was nepotism and corruption in the distribution of contracts for the independence celebrations.

Grane, however, has rejected claims of wrongdoing on her part.

See questions below posed by Hanna in a statement released to the media.

1. Does the Budgetary Allocation in the Ministry of Culture for the promotion of cultural activities and the celebration of national events total $440,501,000.00?

2. Does this budget represent an increase of 130% above the allocation of $190,800,000.00 for the previous year?

3. In the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditure is this total budgetary allocation divided into two separate and distinct allocations as follows
(a)​promotion of cultural activities;
(b)​celebration of national events

IN PHOTO: Hanna

READ: Hanna blasts Grange, unveils damning 'culture of extravagance'

4. Is the budgetary allocation under the heading "The Celebration of National Events" $380,500,000.00 for 2017/2018 compared to $163,080,000.00 for the previous year?

5. If the answer to 3 above is yes, is it a fact that the total budgetary allocation at 1 above has been split in the said estimates into $60 million allocated for item 3(a) and the remaining $380 million for item 3(b)?

6. Has a project named “the Jamaica 55 project” been established?

7. If the answer to 6 is yes, by what entity was the project conceived or established?

8. If the answer to 6 is yes, was the project approved by cabinet?

9. Has a Jamaica 55 Secretariat been established?

10. If the answer to 9 is yes, which entity established the Jamaica 55 secretariat and what are its functions?

11. Is the allocation to the Jamaica 55 Project of $200 million as stated on 4600-18 in the Estimates of Expenditure 2017/2018 intended to fund the Jamaica 55 Secretariat’s work?

12. Is this Jamaica 55 Project a new item compared in the budget compared to the budget for 2016/17?

13. On April 5, 2017 in  Minister Grange's Statement to the House she advised that all funds were to be administered through the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. If this is so why is the allocation for JCDC separated from the allocation for the “Jamaica 55 project” and specifically limited to “assist the JCDC to promote at the local and national level to unearth talents in the performing and visual arts?

14. If, as Minister Grange alleged, all funds were to be administered through the JCDC, why is there a separate allocation of $380,501,000.00 “to assist in the promotion of events commemorating Independence Day including the Grand Gala Independence Day and National Heritage week” with no reference whatsoever to JCDC?

15. If, as Minister Grange alleged, all funds were to be administered through the JCDC, why is there a need for the note referring to "Jamaica 55 project" in the Estimates of Expenditure 2017/2018 which makes no reference to JCDC?

16. Is Mr. Lenford Salmon in any way associated with the Ministry of Culture?

17. If the answer to 16 is yes, in what capacity is Mr. Salmon associated with the Ministry?

18. Is Mr.Lenford Salmon assigned the Jamaica 55 project as one of his responsibilities?

19. Is Mr. Salmon a shareholder in the company Jambiz International Limited (JIL)?

20. Is Mr. Trevor Nairne another registered shareholder in JIL?

21. Is the Minister aware that Messrs Salmon and Nairne are equal 33 1/3 % shareholders in JIL?

22.. Was the expenditure for the Grand Gala in 2016 over $60 million?

23. Did the Ministry or JCDC put any aspect of the 2016 Grand Gala expenditure out to public tender?

24. Was Mr. Nairne contracted in his personal capacity by the JCDC to provide artistic services for the Grand Gala in 2016?

25. If the answer to 24 is yes, was Mr Salmon associated with the Ministry in the capacity revealed by the answer to 17 above at the time of Mr Nairne’s contract?

26. Was Mr. Nairne's contract fee to be "artistic director" $15 million?

27  Was the date of the Grand Gala August 6, 2016?
 

IN PHOTO: Grange

READ: It's a big, fat lie! 'Babsy' Grange fires back at Lisa Hanna

28. Did Mr. Nairne submit an invoice to the JCDC onJuly 15, 2016 for $15 million?

29. Was Mr. Nairne paid the full invoice value on or before July 15, 2016?

30. If the answer to 29 above is no, when was he paid?

31. If the answer to question 29 is yes, is it not true that he was paid before the staging of the Grand Gala?

32. Was the Minister aware of the transaction with Mr. Nairne?

33. Does this Transaction meet the letter and spirit of the GOJ procurement Guidelines?

34. Did JIL (a limited liability company) win a public offering tender for the production of the Jamaica 50 Grand Gala in 2012?

35. Does the Minister understand that a limited liability company is a separate legal entity from its shareholders?

36. Would the Minister agree that both Mr. Trevor Nairne and Mr. Lenford Salmon, shareholders of JIL, are different and separate legal persons than the company?

37. Would the minister agree that the entity hired to produce the Grand Gala in 2012 was the company JIL?

38. If the answers to questions 36 and 37 are yes, why did the Minister mislead the house in her statement on April 5 when she claimed that Mr Nairne, the consultant hired as artistic director in 2016 was the same person hired by the Minister in 2012?

39. On what basis is Jamaica 55 to be treated as a milestone year?

40. In the face of a year with unprecedented increases in taxes, shortages at hospitals and reductions in student loans how does the Minister justify a $200 million allocation for Jamaica 55 projects/celebrations?

41. Why does the Ministry of Culture have a Jamaica 55 Secretariat when the JCDC has done the work in the past and can do the work?

42. Would the Ministry agree that with the budgetary allocation increased by over 130% for 2017/2018 the public perception is one of extravagant funding of national celebrations in the face of great austerity and hardship facing the nation?

43. Is there going to be a Jamaica 56 Project/Secretariat?