Auditor General now probing CAP debacle
The Pamela Monroe Ellis-led Auditor General's Department has stepped in to probe allegations of irregularities in the Clarendon Alumina Production (CAP) contract debacle that saw the chairman of the board Norman Reid resigning in protest.
The revelation was made by Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke while responding to questions from the parliamentary Opposition in Gordon House Tuesday afternoon.
At the same time, Clarke named a new eight-person board chaired by Professor Gordon Shirley, who, as an engineer, worked in the bauxite sector in the 1970s.
It was earlier reported that Reid had stepped down as chairman in protest against the renewal of a contract with an overseas company, CCPA Capital Partners.
The contract, valued at several million dollars, was being renewed every six months over a two-year period.
With the contract of CCPA Capital Partners expiring on October 11 this year, Clarke told Parliament that it would not be renewed.
"With this board in place, there is no need for any continuation of that," he said.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who described media reports on the issue as "troubling", had ordered the transfer of CAP from the Robert Montague-led transport and mining ministry to the Finance Ministry.
Clarke told members of the House Tuesday that CAP was no longer indebted to its joint venture partner Noble Holdings Limited, noting that the Government had provided some US$200 million in the past two years to pay down the debt.
He said one of the immediate priorities of the new board is to work with Noble to chart the course for the restart of production in the quickest possible time.
In September, fire caused extensive damage to the bauxite plant leading to a halt in production.
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