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OCG to oversee multimillion$ Junction road project

Published:Monday | September 18, 2017 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell

Contractor General Dirk Harrison has said that his office will be monitoring the more than $600-million road project in St Mary that was announced by the Andrew Holness administration last week.

The value of the project includes the works component and management fees for the contractors.

The People's National Party (PNP) had written to the Office of the Contractor General, asking the oversight body to monitor the works to be carried out on the Junction corridor that links Kingston and St Andrew to the parishes of Portland and St Mary.

Harrison told The Gleaner yesterday that his office will provide oversight and report its findings.

General secretary of the PNP, Julian Robinson, said the party's call for the contractor general to monitor the major roadworks in St Mary comes against the background of the Government's $600-million debushing exercise that triggered extensive public debate.

Harrison, who conducted an investigation into the debushing work, reported to Parliament that the project had deviated from government guidelines and that the selection of the five contractors lacked transparency and accountability.

The contractor general had also said that three government ministers may have lied about their role in selecting contractors, subcontractors and setting payment terms in the execution of the controversial exercise carried out in the run-up to the local government elections.

PNP says it has no issue with Junction road repairs but ...

Addressing journalists at a press conference yesterday at the People's National Party PNP headquarters, Old Hope Road, St Andrew, Julian Robinson said his party had no issue with proposed repairs to the Junction road, noting that the late St Mary South East Member of Parliament, Dr Winston Green, had made representation to the Government for the work to be done.

A by-election is to be called by Holness and both the PNP and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) have hit the campaign trail in a battle to win a seat where only five votes separated the candidates in the 2016 general election.

"We don't have an issue with the road being repaired. We have an issue with two things - [first], there needs to be an assurance that there is value for money in the work that is done, and, second, that the work is managed in a way that is fair and transparent, so that you don't have public funds being used corruptly, as was done in the debushing project prior to the local government elections to influence the outcome of a by-election."