THE Association of Finsac Entrepreneurs (AFE) has written to Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, urging him to direct FINSAC enquiry commissioners — Charles Ross and Warrick Bogle — to produce a report from the enquiry within four weeks.
The AFE made the demand in a letter to the governor general dated August 16, 2013. The decision to urge the GG to demand the report was influenced by a recent court ruling that only Sir Patrick could demand a report from the commissioners.
The association said the grounds on which the demand was being made included the fact that more than 40 testimonies were taken by several Jamaicans directly affected by the actions of Finsac during the period of the hearings, November 2009 to November 2011.
The AFE also noted that:
* More than $65 million has been spent on the enquiry to date;
* Opposition Leader Andrew Holness had requested the GG to direct the Finsac commissioners to produce the report;
* The report is of critical importance to the nation in ascertaining what caused the meltdown between 1996 and 2002;
* Persons responsible, if found to be in breach of any law, should be charged and held accountable;
* Several Jamaicans, whose properties were foreclosed pursuant to their contracts with financial institutions over the same period of time, may have been foreclosed unlawfully; and that
* The nation needs answers to the financial losses resulting from the meltdown.
"We have attached five sheets of paper of a petition signed by Jamaican citizens demanding the Finsac report. We also have over 300 likes that we can interpret as signatures on a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SFCEJamaica).
"We now anticipate your directions to the Finsac Commissioners to complete and make public the Finsac Commission of Enquiry Report on or before Monday 16th September, 2013," the letter to Sir Patrick said.
The Supreme Court on August 12 turned down an application by the AFE for a Judicial Review of the commissioners' refusal to produce a report on their enquiry.
In refusing the application, Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop said that, given the terms of reference of the Commission, only the governor general could compel the commissioners to produce the report.
The court made the decision after hearing an application brought by Milton Baker, husband of the president of the AFE, Yola Gray-Baker, who claimed losses of over $150 million due to the 1990s financial meltdown, when two of his properties were foreclosed by Finsac (Financial Sector Adjustment Company), which was established by the Government to handle the losses arising from the meltdown.
The AFE, represented by attorney-at-law Kent Gammon, sought a Judicial Review for an interim report to be produced by Finsac commissioners Charles Ross and Warrick Bogle. However, the attorney for the commissioners, Patterson Mair Hamilton, tendered an objection to the claim, stating that the procedure was an abuse of the process, and that the commissioners/defendants "did not owe the claimant any duty to produce a report from the evidence given and presented at the enquiry... and cannot therefore be compelled to produce such a report". The court agreed with the defendants.
The AFE made an appeal to Sir Patrick to intervene into the issues in July 2012, which failed to produce any results. A similar request from Opposition Leader Andrew Holness also failed to deliver any result.
The enquiry lasted from October 2008 to November 2011.