Lobby group weighs in on delayed Spaldings Market report
Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
Local lobby group, the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, has responded to the decision of the Local Government Ministry to withhold the findings of a probe into the Richard Azan Spaldings Market controversy.
Last week, Local Government Minister, Noel Arscott, told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that it would not be prudent to release the report before a similar probe is completed by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).
Carol Narcisse, the executive director of Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, says the decision may be appropriate since the Contractor General’s report would be the more comprehensive report.
According to Narcisse, Contractor General Dirk Harrison’s use of a semi-judicial proceeding to have persons answer questions, increases the value of his report.
Narcisse says the civil group expects that the OCG's report into the Spaldings Market affair will be available before the Parliament goes on its summer recess.
She says the OCG should make it known to the public, if it will not complete its investigation by that time.
Azan, who is a junior minister and member of parliament, has admitted to instructing a private contractor, John Bryant, to construct 10 shops at the market last September without the permission of the Clarendon Parish Council.
A staff member at his constituency office reportedly collected the rent on the contractor’s behalf.
The OCG has been probing the matter since March 6.
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