Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
CONTRACTOR GENERAL Greg Christie has hopped into the fray as the Opposition intensifies pressure on a noticeably silent Portia Simpson Miller-led Government that has found itself enmeshed in yet another national flag flop.
A fresh bout of controversy erupted early this week in the midst of the Independence celebration when it was revealed that the face of Education Minister Ronald Thwaites appeared on an image of the black, green and gold flag, on bookmarkers, stirring a rage of angry commentaries on the social network, Facebook.
Christie disclosed yesterday that his office has written to the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Grace McLean, to formally request the particulars of the Education Ministry's alleged procurement of the bookmarkers.
Christie noted that "a photograph of the Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites, was reportedly superimposed over an impression of the Jamaican flag".
He stated in a release that his decision came on the heels of public complaints through the Parliamentary Opposition.
Christie also noted McLean's alleged refusal to disclose the costs at which the souvenirs were procured, as well as the identity of the printing contractor to whom the contract was awarded.
"Upon the conclusion of its enquiry, the OCG will, in short order, submit a formal report of its findings to the Parliament of Jamaica," Christie said.
Complaints have also surfaced in the public domain over the willingness of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to rush to the airwaves in the aftermath of Olympic events in which Jamaicans have been successful and her contrasting unwillingness to speak on any of the flag issues or other controversies.
Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has also weighed in on the latest flag episode. He has expressed "grave concerns" in a letter to Simpson Miller.
The Opposition also welcomed the decision by the OCG to probe the issue. Opposition Spokesperson on Education and Human Resource Development, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert had called for Christie's intervention.