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Civil society group 'completely disappointed' in PM's NHT board decision

Published:Thursday | December 18, 2014 | 8:00 AM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) says it is disappointed that the Government will allow the National Housing Trust (NHT) board to complete its tenure and survive the Outamneni controversy.




Yesterday, Information Minister, Sandrea Falconer, announced that a new board for the NHT will be appointed in April 2015.



The Easton Douglas-led board has been severely criticised over its decision in 2012 to spend $180-million of contributors money to buy the property on which the Trelawny-based Outameni attraction is located.



Several civil society, religious and private sector groups argued that the purchase was outside the NHT’s mandate and demonstrated poor leadership.



Executive Director of the JCSC, Jeanette Calder says the coalition believes the government is focused on defending the legality of the purchase rather than on whether good governance was demonstrated.



Meanwhile, Calder says the coalition will not stop its public agitation over the retention of the NHT board.



The announcement that the NHT board will be allowed to complete its tenure followed a meeting on Tuesday involving the Portia Simpson Miller-chaired Partnership For Jamaica.



Two groups have suspended their participation in the partnership because of the handling of the controversy.



But president of the Private sector Organisation of Jamaica, Chris Zacca says despite concerns, he is confident that things will be better going forward.



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