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Contractor general seeks to question head of health authority in debushing probe

Published:Tuesday | June 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Contractor General Dirk Harrison.

Contractor General Dirk Harrison late yesterday made a public appeal for Tyrone Robinson, chairman of the North East Regional Health Authority, to make himself available to answer questions in the probe of the controversial $600-million debushing programme.

Harrison said his office has tried unsuccessfully for the past two weeks to locate Robinson to serve him with a summons.

"We have tried the office (NERHA) in Ocho Rios, St Ann, today (yesterday) but we're not getting the cooperation that we anticipated," he told The Gleaner.

The contractor general said his office wants to question Robinson about contracts he received in relation to the debushing and drain-cleaning programme.




Harrison said his probe of the multimillion-dollar project is "advanced" and will be wrapped up after Robinson is interviewed.

The debushing programme developed into a political issue last year, as it was launched 10 days before November's local government elections.

The Opposition People's National Party has maintained that the programme sidelined elected representatives and was used to "buy" support for the governing Jamaica Labour Party, headed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

The Government modified the project to give members of parliament more input, but the project attracted more scrutiny after the National Works Agency gave information to a parliamentary committee in January suggesting that the project could cost over $200 million more than budgeted.