Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Holness wants MOCA to investigate HAJ projects completed under PNP government

Published:Thursday | October 12, 2017 | 9:48 AMDebbie-Ann Wright
Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has instructed the board of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) to bring in the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) to investigate certain projects completed under the previous government.

Holness was speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for a housing project in Luana, St Elizabeth, yesterday, where he addressed calls by the opposition for an investigation into government spending ahead of the October 30 by-election in South East St Mary.

On Tuesday, the Opposition People’s National Party accused the governing Jamaica Labour Party of moving millions from the Tourism Enhancement Fund in a scheme to buy votes in South East St Mary ahead of the by-election.

However, Holness hit back saying it’s the PNP’s actions in government that need investigating.

Holness stated that under the JLP administration the HAJ in 2008 built houses in Luana at a cost of $2.1 million per unit.

However, he said just a few years later the PNP administration spent $11 million per unit to build similar houses then sold them for $4.5 million.

  

He also pointed to another development in Boscobel, St Mary, where he said work which should have cost $802 million ended up running up costs of $1.6 billion.

Holness pointed out the alleged questionable projects as he disclosed that he had considered closing the HAJ when he became Prime Minister last year.

He said he could not justify continuing with the agency which had racked up massive losses and was plagued by corruption:

 

Holness says the efforts of the current management led to the HAJ recording a $183 million profit for the 2016/2017 fiscal year.