First Look

GOJ/OCG Crisis



JAMAICANS UNITED FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (JUSD | 2012-05-03 09:57:00

 

JAMAICANS UNITED FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (JUSD)

GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA/OFFICE OF THE CONTRACTOR GENERAL CRISIS

The latest press statement from The Office of The Contractor General which was issued yesterday regarding allegations and charges that the “OCG is holding up the process of the approval of major national investment projects” and at the same time overstepping his authority, seems to refute these charges and raises more questions than answers regarding our entire governmental process.

There are three projects that have been mentioned in this regard. First, the Fort Augusta Container Terminal project which the OCG says it has had no official involvement with up to this date. Second, the Gordon Cay Container Transshipment Hub initially discussed in January 2011 and which the OCG became involved with through the Port Authority of Jamaica in August 2011. The OCG states that it has never made any demands to cease or terminate this project.

Third, is the controversial North/South link of the Highway 2000 project which the GOJ was advised from the start not to pursue. They disregarded this advice, went ahead with the project and incurred massive cost overruns and the project came to an abrupt end. There is now a proposal for China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to finish the highway on another sole source US$600m contract to be paid for on a 50 year toll payment basis which the OCG is opposed to for the following reasons, amongst others.

1.    “The award of the US$400m JDIP contract to CHEC has been the source of grave controversy and is currently the subject of two major investigations in Jamaica the ongoing OCG as well as a GOJ commissioned forensic audit”.
2.    The hiring of a foreign based consultant to “determine whether there was any fraudulent transactions or acts of fraud” in the CHEC/JDIP programme.
3.    The fact that it was untrue that the CHEC/JDIP contract was based on “a specific and mandatory aspect of the relevant loan agreement”    
4.    That there are problems in other countries of the world with sole source CHEC contracts and these respective governments.
5.    The view that the project may not be financially viable.




Every Jamaican especially our members wants investments and economic development to be the focus in Jamaica right now as we face desperate times but we are also aware that much of our problems have resulted from some catastrophically bad economic policies and investment decisions over time, which have led to the current unsustainable  $1.6 Trillion debt burden and the balance of payments crisis which cannot be increased by more, poor governance decisions.

We are therefore deeply concerned about the stance taken in and out of the parliament regarding the OCG and wonder how the present Government who told us that the JDIP programme had even by-passed parliamentary scrutiny could even remotely be associated with this type of criticism of the OCG.

JUSD is supporting the call for an emergency meeting between the GOJ and all concerned parties and for full transparency now on the issue of investment and economic development plans for Jamaica.


Dickie Crawford
P.O. Box 1823
Kingston 8
Convenor
Contact 366-1966   

 




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