Patrina Pink, Gleaner Writer
Opposition Spokesman on Works Robert Pickersgill is urging the Jamaican Government to suspend the controversial multibillion-dollar road-repair project dubbed the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP).
The Opposition has repeatedly demanded full disclosure of the process used to select the roads to be repaired, and Pickersgill wants the brakes applied until this is done.
In a continuation of the fiery war of words which has dogged the programme, Pickersgill yesterday told The Sunday Gleaner that the Opposition's criticism of the JDIP is justified.
He said the Government was engaged in dishonesty in its defence of the selections and was trying to confuse the issue by accusing the Opposition of trying to sabotage the programme.
"Instead of providing the information to the Jamaican taxpayers who will ultimately have to repay the approximately US$400-million loan, (Transport Minister) Mike Henry fired off an obvious and shameless attempt at obfuscation," Pickersgill claimed.
"The only guarantee we have of value for money in the award process is the employment of a competitive bidding process," added Pickersgill.
He argued that the JDIP had been clouded by "allegations of cronyism and price gouging".
Henry and other government ministers have repeatedly accused the Opposition of attempting to sabotage the programme in order to gain political mileage.