The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) has unleashed a verbal assault on Industry Minister Anthony Hylton for statements he made on Wednesday.
Hylton, speaking during a Jamaica House press conference, said the OCG has been a hindrance to economic activity on the island.
But yesterday, the state body, which has been set up to monitor the awards of government contracts, said Hylton's statement is "extremely unfortunate and, at best, misguided".
hindrance to business
Hylton, minister of industry, investment and commerce, said that arising from a stakeholders meeting two Friday's ago, it was felt that the guidelines for procurement and contracting were an impediment to doing business.
"We have still not got the correct balance in our strive to eliminate corruption and to make strides at the pace that we need to," Hylton said during a Jamaica House press briefing.
"The role of the OCG, for example, in the matter of contracting and procurement is one that is currently being looked at because it is clear that that has been part of the burden for the pace of business," Hylton added.
However, in a media release yesterday, the OCG said while it was invited by the Ministry of Finance and Planning to participate in discussions geared at "facilitating meaningful dialogue pertaining to the Government of Jamaica's public procurement system", it in no way expressed or supported the view that the office is a hindrance to economic development in Jamaica.
"The OCG considers the foregoing statement to be careless and reckless since it has the potential to undermine a commission established by the Parliament of Jamaica to ensure, among other things, probity in the Government's contracting process and thereby urges the honourable Anthony Hylton, or anyone else, to produce the evidence to the people of Jamaica that the OCG, in discharge of its lawful mandate, is an impediment to economic development," the release stated.