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Government to start hunt for new political ombudsman soon

Published:Friday | January 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE PORTIA Simpson Miller-led administration is not inclined to accept any proposal to dispense with the Office of the Political Ombudsman, despite vehement calls in the past from a controversial lawmaker for the office to be scrapped.

Phillip Paulwell, leader of government business in the House of Representatives, told The Gleaner yesterday that the Cabinet was not "disposed to accepting the abolition of the post".

At the same time, Paulwell also advised that Cabinet has considered the matter of appointing a new political ombudsman, following the departure of Bishop Herro Blair at the end of June 2013.

He said consultations would begin shortly to identify a successor to Blair, who was appointed in 2002.

Blair stepped down from the post because of developments in his church ministry, which, he said, would not afford him quality time to function as political ombudsman.

Member of Parliament Everald Warmington has vigorously opposed the retention of the Office of the Political Ombudsman, questioning whether the expend-iture of roughly $18 million on the office each year was justified.