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Public Service Commission to rule on fate of local gov't officials linked to Spalding Market affair

Published:Wednesday | September 25, 2013 | 3:55 PM

The Local Government Ministry says it is awaiting a ruling from the Public Service Commission on whether disciplinary actions will be taken against officers of the Clarendon Parish Council over the Spalding Market scandal.

In his report released last week, Contractor General Dirk Harrison recommended that disciplinary actions be brought against administrative officers for failing to address irregularities at the illegally built shops despite knowing about the issue for months.

Harrison has also referred May Pen Mayor Scean Barnswell to the Director of Public Prosecutions for allegedly knowingly misleading his office during the investigation into the matter.

Local government minister, Noel Arscott, says the ministry has sent a letter to the services commission for the body to investigate and determine whether any disciplinary action is to be taken, in accordance with Harrison’s recommendations.

"There is an established way to deal with matters, to deal with the staff and so on and so all those matters are dealt with at the level of the Services Commission," said Arscott.

The Contractor General has said then Commercial Services Manager, Ralston Peters, did not take any action in regard to the shops, in particular, because the erection of the buildings involved a member of the Political Directorate.

Harrison has said disciplinary action should be taken against the Budget and Revenue Officer for charging vendors a fee ranging from 100 dollars to 200 dollars per day without advising supervisors.

The mayor has dismissed calls for his resignation by Jamaica Labour Party councillors as merely politics.

Meanwhile, the local government minister says the ministry will be incorporating recommendations to improve the administration of contracts into the local government reform process.

The Contractor General has recommended that an accountability framework be created and implemented to clearly outline the reporting relationships and obligations of officers at the parish councils.


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