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More calls for NSWMA probe even as OCG investigates agency

Published:Wednesday | April 6, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Contractor General Dirk Harrison says his office is already conducting a probe at the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).

Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry called for the contractor general to carry out an investigation into claims that the NSWMA had engaged contractors who were "loyalists" of the People's National Party.

Harrison Henry indicated that then opposition spokesman on local government Desmond McKenzie had called for an investigation into the matter.

While not giving details about his current investigation of the NSWMA, the contractor general said as soon as he reviews the public defender's report, he would be in a position to make a determination about whether his office has jurisdiction over the recommendations highlighted in the report or if he is already probing these matters.

In August 2015, personnel from the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) seized several documents from the NSWMA's headquarters on Half-Way Tree Road in St Andrew.

At the time, the OCG was investigating the award of contracts for street cleaning by the NSWMA.

In her report, the public defender also asked the contractor general to investigate the circumstances under which the NSWMA has come to be indebted to former employees in excess of $200 million as a result of Industrial Disputes Tribunal awards arising from dismissals in a previous period.

The public defender's recommendations are contained in a report she prepared on the March 2015 fire at the Riverton City disposal site.