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Wheatley stripped of energy - PM takes charge of portfolio

Published:Monday | July 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM

In a press release late last night from the Office of the Prime Minister, Cabinet outlined several decisions regarding the ongoing saga at Petrojam. Key among them is that the energy portfolio will be taken from Dr Andrew Wheatley and placed in the Office of the Prime Minister. Wheatley will retain oversight of science and technology.

Below is the full statement from Cabinet:

"Cabinet today (Monday) continued its consideration of a report it received last week on Petrojam and, having regard to investigations already under way, decided the following:

1. The residential status of all persons nominated to boards must be stated in the Cabinet submission seeking approval for appointment.

2. Overseas travel of board chairmen or board members must receive prior approval of the minister.

3. Public bodies will be prohibited from entering into sole-source retainer contracts without the prior approval of Cabinet.

4. The Ministry of Finance has been tasked with to developing and finalising uniform regulations for public bodies around donations and corporate social responsibility. Among other things, this would see limits on the amount that can be approved at the agency level. It will be a requirement that all donations, be disclosed, with details to include the amount, the receiving entity, the purpose of the donation and connected party consideration with the management, board of directors or the minister.

5. After discussion with Minister Wheatley, it was agreed that Petrojam requires a strategic review of both of its management and operations, as well as its long-term commercial viability and role in Jamaica's energy security. Having regard to this and the ongoing investigation, Minister Wheatley agreed with the prime minister that in the interest of transparency, the energy portfolio will be transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister, effective July 4, 2018.

6. A special enterprise team will be assembled to conduct and oversee the organisational and strategic review of Petrojam."