No hanky-panky with CDF money - Silvera
Gary Spaulding, Gleaner Writer
JOLYAN SILVERA, the member of parliament who has found himself enmeshed in controversy over allegations that he engaged a non-existent company to carry out a Constituency Development Fund (CDF) consultancy, has said the facts in the matter do not support "any notions of hanky-panky".
Silvera, first-term parliamen-tarian for Western St Mary, presented documents to The Gleaner, which he said substantiated his claim that he was not involved in any form of impropriety since he was elected MP in December 2011.
"I would never do anything to jeopardise the trust reposed in me by the leadership of the People's National Party, the constituents of Western St Mary, or the political and parliamentary processes," Silvera said.
A contract for consultancy under the CDF was signed with CRC Business Assistant Ltd on July 11 and submitted to the CDF unit for approval.
Moveta Munroe, head of the CDF unit, told the parliamentary committee reviewing the projects that after the documents were submitted by the MP, indicating that a company would be providing the consultancy services, the unit requested registration documents, which revealed that it was only incorporated after the contract was signed.
Silvera produced documents from the Companies Office of Jamaica that show that the principal of CRC Business Assistant Ltd, Stephen Dunkley, was first registered as a sole proprietor. Silvera said he had continuously engaged his services as a consultant since 2012.
"The company was never a dummy company," asserted Silvera. "I have never been a party to any form of scam to acquire anything for myself or my constituents.
"The documents are there to prove that in my capacity as member of parliament for Western St Mary, I have always engaged the services of CRC to assist in project management," he added.
From the documents shown to The Gleaner, the professional status of Dunkley's company changed from sole proprietor to being a limited liability when he submitted a project submission to Silvera for consultancy funding in July.
In a letter dated July 31, 2014, Moveta Munroe, CDF director, told Silvera that she had received his consultancy funding project from Dunkley in his capacity as Silvera's project assistant.
She stated, however, that the project was not included in those referred to the committee for approval as the stamp and seal of CRC Business Assistant Ltd was outstanding.
In her letter, Munroe said the requested documents, which were received later the same day, revealed that the CRC was registered on July 18, 2014, seven days after the contract was signed.
Munroe told Silvera that given these circumstances, the CDF unit was unable to accept the existing contract.
Silvera told The Gleaner that he signed a subsequent document on July 27 when he was informed of the discrepancies.
"I have documents to prove that CRC was always contracted to carry out these functions, so any notions of hanky-panky must be dismissed," he said.