Mon | Oct 2, 2023

Late MPs keep BOJ governor waiting

Published:Thursday | December 16, 2021 | 12:06 AM
Member of Parliament for East Rural St Andrew, Juliet Holness (left), is pressed into entertaining the Bank of Jamaica Governor Richards Byles (third left) and his team at the entrance to the Parliament on Tuesday, well after the 1:00 o’lock start time.
Member of Parliament for East Rural St Andrew, Juliet Holness (left), is pressed into entertaining the Bank of Jamaica Governor Richards Byles (third left) and his team at the entrance to the Parliament on Tuesday, well after the 1:00 o’lock start time.

A very patient Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Richard Byles and his three team members were kept standing in the hallway of the George William Gordon House for more than 15 minutes on Tuesday, and then had to endure another 15 minutes before the 16 members of parliament required to form a quorum of the Standing Finance Committee could get under way.

The BOJ team was further detained for almost three-quarters of an hour before they were allowed to begin addressing the committee, with Byles starting his presentation at 1:43 p.m., according to the clock on the wall.

Earlier, an infuriated Member of Parliament for East Rural St Andrew Juliet Holness, after trying in vain to rally fellow members of parliament to form a quorum, some of whom had gone next door to get their booster COVID-19 vaccinations, took it upon herself to go and meet with the team.

During the previous sitting of the House on Tuesday, December 7, House Leader Edmund Bartlett had warned the other legislators that they needed to be on time for the 1 p.m. start, but he was absent this time around.

“It is to be appreciated that this report is part of the new BOJ Act, which has created the independent governor whose responsibility, among other things, requires him to report biannually to the Parliament.

“So in that context, I would urge members to be on time at 1 o’clock, so that they can receive the report from the governor and have their opportunity to interact with the governor at the level of legislators,” Bartlett had urged then; but sadly, he, too, was guilty of being late.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com