Mark Titus, Staff Reporter
Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is arguing that the Government's court action against the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) is an attempt to cripple the entity without paying the political price.
"It is very unusual and somewhat disconcerting that the Government should carry one of its agencies to court to interpret the law when, in fact, the Govern-ment can go to Parliament and change the law," Holness said.
Holness was addressing the public session of the Area Council Four annual general meeting in Hopewell, Hanover, yesterday.
There has been a stand-off between the Government and the OCG with regard to the implementation of three mega-projects. In July, Transport, Works and Housing Minister Dr Omar Davies applied to the courts seeking, among other things, to restrain the OCG from securing information from the Government's Independent Oversight Panel (IOP) and also from monitoring and investigating the panel's activities, and from reporting on the said activities.
The IOP was established in April by the minister to oversee the contract negotiation and award processes which are to be associated with three US multimillion-dollar mega-projects - the North-South Link of Highway 2000, the Fort Augusta Container Terminal, and the Gordon Cay Container Trans-Shipment Hub.
Yesterday, Holness said: "This Government does not want it to appear as if they are undermining the Office of the Contractor General. They want the courts to do it for them," Holness continued,
"This is a very smart way of crippling the Office of the Contractor General without taking any political heat for it."
In the meantime, the JLP leader is calling for the establishment of a selection committee to choose a replacement for Contractor General Greg Christie when he demits office next month.