Thu | Dec 8, 2016

… Opposition seeks answers from PM, wants property resold

Published:Wednesday | November 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Incensed by the National Housing Trust's (NHT) purchase of Outameni Experience, the parliamentary Opposition yesterday signalled it would be using the legislature to put pressure on the Government to resell the property.

At the same time, the Opposition wants to see the back of the Easton Douglas-chaired board.

In Parliament yesterday, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness tabled questions for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to answer by next Tuesday.

At the same time, Dr Horace Chang, the opposition spokesman on housing, tabled a motion which called for Simpson Miller, who has ministerial responsibility for the NHT, to terminate the appointments of the current board members. He also wants her to immediately appoint a new board and "charge that board with the sale of the Outameni Experience to the private sector by a transparent process".

Chang further said the new board should sell the property at a price no less than that expended by the NHT for the purchase.

The Outameni property was purchased for $180 million, and the NHT indicated it would be spending a further $111 million over the next three years to upgrade the entertainment facility.

Holness, meanwhile, has asked Simpson Miller to state when she became aware of the purchase. In addition, she has been asked to indicate what, if any, action she has taken in respect of the board as a result of its giving approval for the purchase.

Under the rules governing questions, 21 days' notice is required for the asking of questions, but Holness said Simpson Miller has indicated she needs only seven days.

When the prime minister responds, she will be required to indicate whether any due diligence or feasibility study was conducted, and if so, she has been asked to lay the relevant reports in Parliament.