OCG warns Cabinet against violating law

Published: Saturday | December 15, 2012 Comments 0

THE OFFICE of the Contractor General is indicating that the Office of the Cabinet and/or the Cabinet of Jamaica has refused to comply with a requisition of the contract oversight body and as such could be in flagrant violation of the rule of law.

In a special report to Parliament, the OCG says the refusal of the Cabinet of Jamaica, or by any other person or authority to comply with a request for information from the commission constitutes a criminal offence under Section 29 of the Contractor General Act.

In the last seven months the OCG has written to the Office of the Cabinet requesting information in relation to the approval for the continuation of the North South Link of Highway 2000, the Gordon Cay Container Trans-shipment Hub, the Fort Augusta Container Terminal and the establishment of an oversight panel to oversee the award of government contracts.

The OCG has also requested information on the extension of the operating agreement with Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts Inc - Braco Resorts Hotel, in Trelawny and the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

The commission believes it is necessary to bring to the attention of the Parliament of Jamaica what it considers to be a very grave situation.

The Office of the Cabinet has advised that compliance with the OCG's requisitions will be subject to the pending ruling in the application for judicial review which has been filed in the Supreme Court.

Transport and Works Minister Dr Omar Davies had brought a court action against the OCG questioning the commission's mandate to monitor the pre-contract award status of government of Jamaica contracts. A decision is pending in the court.

Attorney General Patrick Atkinson has advised the Office of the Cabinet to await the ruling of the court before complying with the OCG's request.

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