Act now, Holness, on Port Authority irregularities

Act now, Holness, on Port Authority irregularities

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

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Dear Editor,

The Jamaica Observer wrote an editorial titled, ‘Let’s see if the Government has guts’, relating to the appalling irregularities taking place at the Port Authority of Jamaica (PA). The unacceptable flagrant breaches of the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act that involved 14 senior executives at the PA is shocking and the entire board should be instructed to forthwith resign by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Those PAJ employees who received those enormous unlawful payments of gratuity and pension sums in breach of the law should be instructed to repay those sums immediately, for they received same illegally and they should have been cognisant of the fact. This is a serious government issue which involves taxpayers’ monies, and we need the prime minister to fully investigate those payment irregularities and make a public statement on the issue.

Why hasn’t the PA board been asked to resign?

According to an Observer news report the Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis reported that one senior executive officer at the PA received three pension benefits, a golden handshake valued at more than $100 million, plus gratuity amounting to $31.33 million. This was done against the law and and without the approval of the finance ministry. Clearly things are out of control at the PA and requires immediate action and disciplinary measures levelled against those responsible for those unlawful payments.

Recently we heard of major irregularities at the Housing Agency of Jamaica and alleged corruption in some State agencies. Is this the way taxpayers’ monies are being thrown away and given away to high government agency officials? It is shameful. Over to you, Prime Minister.

Angela S Francis

Mandeville, Manchester


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