Fri | Jul 19, 2019

UPDATED: JLP's Central Executive says PAC should examine Petrojam report

Published:Sunday | December 9, 2018 | 5:59 PM
The state-owned Petrojam oil refinery in Kingston.

The second highest decision-making arm of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), the central executive, unanimously agreed today that the Auditor General's Report on Petrojam  should be examined by Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

This is after government members turned down a request on Friday by PAC Chairman Mark Golding, an Opposition member of parliament, for the report to be examined by the committee.

The audit, which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, details, among other things, “explicit acts of cronyism” and breaches of the government's procurement guidelines.

It also revealed that former general manager of Petrojam, Floyd Grindley, approved payments totalling just over US$21,000 or J$2.6 million for two 'surprise' parties, held nearly three months apart at hotels in Montego Bay, St James, for then energy minister Dr Andrew Wheatley and Perceval Bahado-Singh, who was the chairman of Petrojam at the time.

However, the JLP Central Executive, after a meeting at the party's Belmont Road, New Kingston headquarters today, said the auditor general report should be placed before the PAC "as soon as is practicably possible".

"The Central Executive affirmed that maintenance of public trust in public institutions is crucial to the proper functioning of our democracy and reaffirmed its position that instances of misuse of public funds and nepotism should not go unsanctioned," a statement from JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang read.

It said the Central Executive was also in support of the actions taken by party leader and prime minister, Andrew Holness.

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the Central Executive as the highest decision-making body in the JLP. It is the second highest. The article also incorrectly stated that the Central Executive voted on the Petrojam report being examined by the PAC. The Central Executive instead discussed the matter and agreed on the view that it should go before the PAC.)