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JDIP: $1.8 billion spent on bushing

Published:Tuesday | February 21, 2012 | 6:19 PM

Debbie-Ann Wright, Assistant News Editor

The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre

The Jamaica Development and Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) dominated this afternoon’s sitting of parliament with the government again raising concern about what it says is the cavalier way in which public funds have been spent on the project.

Transport and Works Minister, Dr. Omar Davies, again noted that US$398.1 million of the US$400 million budgeted for the five-year programme has already been spent or committed, by the previous administration.

This afternoon he further informed that $1.8 billion was spent reportedly on bushing during December last year.

The statements by Dr. Davies were not well received by members of the Opposition, particularly former works minister Mike Henry, who had primary responsibility for the programme.

He suggested Dr. Davies had not taken enough time to educate himself on how the programme operates and why certain decisions were taken by the previous administration.

Meanwhile, Dr. Davies says the government has reorganised the JDIP so that the projects will now cost US$350 million, with the remaining US$50 million going to the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme.

He says the government is currently in the process of selecting a firm to conduct an independent audit of the programme.