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Stories by Livern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Published:Thursday | June 6, 2019 | 12:21 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

The extended period being taken to complete probes into impropriety, fraud, and corruption at a number of state agencies left several lawmakers fuming at yesterday’s meeting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of...

Published:Wednesday | June 5, 2019 | 12:42 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

For more than a century, the practice of obeah has been illegal under Jamaican law. But just as lawmakers were getting ready to push the maximum fine to $1 million for anyone found guilty of practising obeah, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck signalled...

Published:Friday | May 31, 2019 | 12:27 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) has removed former Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley’s name from a centre established in his honour at its main campus. Instead, the facility will now be called the Centre for Digital Innovation and Advanced...

Published:Friday | May 31, 2019 | 12:23 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Balfour Peart, the United States-based Jamaican businessman placed in the spotlight because of two payments by Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) totalling almost $700,000 towards a yacht party for since-discarded education minister Ruel Reid, has...

Published:Thursday | May 30, 2019 | 12:16 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

With an associate degree, former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament Othneil Lawrence secured a three-year contract that pays him $5.1 million a year, or $425,000 per month, to serve as an adviser to the Caribbean Maritime University (...

Published:Wednesday | May 29, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

The first time Desmond McKenzie wore a business suit or enjoyed a hamburger was because of Edward Seaga. McKenzie, the minister of local government and community development, who was born and grew up in the west Kingston community known at the time...

Published:Thursday | May 23, 2019 | 12:18 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

All but one of the nearly three dozen private security firms contracted by government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) are flouting the law either by short-changing their guards or not making maternity payments to females, an...

Published:Wednesday | May 22, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Petrojam and the Government gave up revenue totalling close to $300 million because of the decision taken by former general manager of the state-owned oil refinery, Floyd Grindley, to shave $2 off the ex-refinery price of gasolene products around...

Published:Wednesday | May 22, 2019 | 12:27 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Petrojam has confirmed that it saw no supporting documents for work to be undertaken when it disbursed a controversial $9-million donation to the Sydenham Citizens’ Association in St Catherine. By contrast, the state-owned oil refinery confirmed...

Published:Thursday | May 16, 2019 | 12:23 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) President Professor Fritz Pinnock yesterday insisted that the hiring of former St Ann North West Member of Parliament Othneil Lawrence as a $5.4 million-a-year adviser to the institution was above board. Further...

Published:Wednesday | May 15, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) director Lionel Myrie has pointed the finger at late Councillor Owen Palmer as the person who asked him to forward two requests for donations totalling just over $19 million to the state-owned oil refinery...

Published:Thursday | May 9, 2019 | 12:13 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Senior executives at Petrojam and permanent secretary in the energy ministry, Carol Palmer, were left stumped for answers after lawmakers questioned the decision by the state-owned oil refinery to pay a Canadian firm US$55,000, or about J$7 million...

Published:Wednesday | May 8, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Former boss Floyd Grindley was repeatedly warned by a subordinate about possibly breaching the Government’s procurement guidelines before he gave instructions for Petrojam to back out of $29.8-million contract with the National Works Agency (NWA)...

Published:Tuesday | May 7, 2019 | 12:24 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

The parliamentary Opposition yesterday took veiled shots at the Integrity Commission, using words such as “odd” and “strange” to describe the corruption watchdog agency’s handling of the controversial Rooms on the Beach report. Further, Opposition...

Published:Wednesday | May 1, 2019 | 12:14 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

As the controversial pricing regime at the state-owned oil refinery Petrojam came into focus yesterday, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was given an example of what seemed like the arbitrary adjustment of market prices by a former...

Published:Wednesday | April 24, 2019 | 12:32 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has raised concerns about the fall-off in recent years in the number of Jamaicans vaccinated against measles even as he sought to assure the country that no imported case of the disease has been recorded. In a...

Published:Thursday | April 18, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

An investigation by the Ministry of Labour has “validated” a complaint by the Jamaica Society of Industrial Security (JSIS) that just over a dozen private security companies are engaged in practices that short-change individual guards just over $5,...

Published:Thursday | April 18, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

JamaicaEye, the state-run network of surveillance cameras designed to monitor public spaces and help the police crack cases, is expected to become fully operational by September. Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang, who made the...

Published:Wednesday | April 17, 2019 | 12:29 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Less than a week after the Constitutional Court ordered that the National Identification and Registration Act (NIRA) be struck from the books, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has signalled his personal commitment to ensuring that his administration...

Published:Wednesday | April 17, 2019 | 12:23 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Moments after the Andrew Holness administration signalled that it was on the verge of rolling out its signature anti-crime measure – the zones of special operations (ZOSO) – in other communities, one opposition lawmaker pleaded for a section of his...

Published:Wednesday | April 10, 2019 | 12:23 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Petrojam, the scandal-scarred state-owned oil refinery, has come clean about the status of its chief financial officer (CFO), Delroy Brown, disclosing yesterday that he was fired, rehired, then sent on ‘garden’, or indefinite, leave. Further,...

Published:Thursday | April 4, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Yet another figure has emerged as the total salary package for former Petrojam human resource manager Yolande Ramharrack. New documents presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Tuesday indicate that Ramharrack’s annual...

Published:Wednesday | April 3, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Lionel Myrie has been fingered as the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) director who submitted a sponsorship request to Petrojam from a reportedly unregistered citizens’ group that ended up with a $9-million donation being disbursed from the...

Published:Wednesday | March 20, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday announced plans by the National Housing Trust (NHT) to increase the limit for loans by $1 million, raise the ceiling for construction loans, while reducing interest rates for all contributors. He declared...

Published:Friday | March 15, 2019 | 12:31 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter

A People’s National Party (PNP) government led by Dr Peter Phillips would abolish the requirement for student loan guarantors. Phillips, the opposition leader and PNP president, committed yesterday that the repayment of student loans would only...

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