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UPDATE: OPM learned about Outameni purchase through the media

Published:Wednesday | November 19, 2014 | 5:07 PM

Karlene Brown, Assistant News Editor - Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Onika Miller, says she only found about the controversial Outameni purchase after it appeared in the media last month.

The deal was approved in December 2012.

Miller’s admission mirrors comments by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who has direct responsibility for the National Housing Trust (NHT), which bought the property.

The Permanent Secretary made the revelation this morning while answering questions from Audley Shaw in Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC).

Miller was also pressed by Shaw to disclose how the OPM is kept abreast on matters related to the Trust.

She said it was the role of Sonia Hyman, the OPM's representative on the NHT Board to notify her on matters of significance.

Committee member, Raymond Pryce, asked Miller to clearly state what protocol exists to determine "significance" as well as who makes this determination.

In response, Miller noted that significance will vary depending on the functions of the specific agency in question.

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