CONTRACTOR General Dirk Harrison has referred both junior government minister Richard Azan and mayor of May Pen Scean Barnswell to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in relation to the illegal construction of shops at Spalding Market in Clarendon earlier this year.
Harrison has asked the DPP to consider whether Azan's conduct, in the illegal construction of the shops, gives rise to "a conspiracy to defraud the revenue of the Clarendon Parish Council and/or any other criminal acts".
He also referred Barnswell to the DPP on the basis that he "knowingly misled the contractor general" during the conduct of the investigations, and Bridget Daley-Dixon, Azan's constituency secretary, who collected the rental for the shops.
Harrison also recommended that consideration be given by Parliament to appropriately discipline Azan; "in accordance with the Westminster model of governance as his actions have brought into disrepute the Clarendon Parish Council and are, at best, tantamount to being politically corrupt as defined by Transparency International".
The recommendations were included in the report issued by the Office of the Contractor General and tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday, on allegations that Azan had violated established Government procurement policy, procedures and regulations, and other laws in personally selecting contractor John Bryant to construct shops on the parish council's land at the Spalding Market in Clarendon, and permitted the renting of the shops to tenants who paid directly into his own constituency office.
Harrison noted that:
(1) The shops were illegally erected by John Bryant;
(2) Bryant collected rent for the shops without the authority of the Clarendon Parish Council, and agreed to set the rates which were paid by the occupants, even though he had no authority to do so, and with the facilitation of Azan;
(3) As a result of Bryant collecting rent from the occupants of the shops, the usual market fees, which were required to have been collected by the Clarendon Parish Council for vending, were not collected from the occupants.
Harrison said in his referral to the DPP that Azan admitted to facilitating the construction of the illegal wooden shops on government-owned land "without the requisite permission and/or approval".
He also noted that Azan's actions bypassed the established approval process administered by the Clarendon Parish Council.
"It is of importance to note that approval, by the requisite authority, is required to erect structures, and approval is needed to determine the rental to be charged for the occupation of these shops," Harrison noted.
"Due consideration must also be given to the fact that Minister Azan, in convening and/or participating in a meeting, where herein, rates were set for the lease of the illegally constructed wooden shops and the designation of the persons responsible for the collection of rent, further implicates the Hon Richard Azan in the web of conspiracy," Harrison stated.