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Civil groups not pleased with plans to amend OCG Act

Published:Thursday | May 30, 2013 | 6:00 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



Two civil society groups are expressing outrage at the move by the Government to amend the act governing the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).




Attorney General Patrick Atkinson announced in Parliament yesterday that the Act is to be amended to prevent the OCG from monitoring certain projects at the pre-contractual stage.



However, the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) is blasting the move and argues that it contradicts pronouncements by the Government for the establishment of a single and strong anti-corruption agency.



JCSC board member, Dr Carolyn Gomes says efforts should be placed on establishing the anti-corruption agency, rather than attempting to limit the powers of the OCG.



Citizens Action for Principle and Integrity (CAPI) says it is alarmed by the move and the seeming support of the Parliamentary Opposition.



CAPI’s co-convenor, Dennis Meadows argues that it makes good sense that the OCG monitors government contracts particularly major investments projects at the pre-contracting phase to prevent unnecessary costs.



He has called for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to immediately advise the public on the rationale of the move.



The Attorney General has said if Cabinet approves the amendment, the government would discontinue pursuing court action questioning the powers of the OCG.



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