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Kellier defends action following OCG probe
2012-08-14 16:52:51 | (0 Comments)
Charlene Stuart, Senior Staff Reporter
Derrick Kellier, Minister of Labour and Social Security - File Photo
The Labour Minister Derrick Kellier has defended his actions which are now the subject of probe by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).
The OCG is investigating allegations that Kellier influenced and directed that his brother Martin Kellier receive more than $1.3 million worth of government contracts from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
In a statement issued this afternoon, the OCG said it’s seeking to find out if procurement procedures and CDF guidelines were followed.
The OCG is also probing whether there was impropriety and irregularity in the award of the contracts.
Kellier says his brother is a registered contractor who is entitled to work in Jamaica.
He also says he makes recommendations but the final decision rests with the accounting officer at National Works Agency (NWA).
Three CDF contracts were awarded by the NWA to M&K Heavy Equipment Hireage Company Limited, which is owned by Kellier’s brother.
Martin also sits as the People’s National Party (PNP) councillor for the Welcome Hall Division, an area which falls under his brother’s South St James constituency.
According to the OCG, the three contracts were awarded between December 2010 and last month.
The OCG says written correspondence from the NWA and interviews, revealed direct and veiled interventions by the minister in the award of the contracts.
In one instance, members of staff from NWA's St James Parish office reportedly told OCG investigators that contractors were shortlisted and selected by the minister.
The OCG’s investigation was sparked by an email from an unidentified citizen who wrote the Contractor General raising concerns that a councillor had received a government contract.
Meanwhile, Kellier has dismissed as “non-sense” suggestions that he might have influenced the process in favour of his brother saying he says he has nothing to hide.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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