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OCG said waiting on legal documents from contractors

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Senior staff reporter dunkleya@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 09, 2013    

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THE Office of the Contractor General (OCG) says it has no plans to respond to reports of pending legal action against it by the Jamaica Association of Contractors and Construction Consultants (JACCC).

This, after the JACCC in a statement issued to the media Monday, announced that it had decided to take court action against the OCG for allegedly breaching its rights following a meeting with its membership.

But as far as the OCG is concerned, it is business as usual.

"We will await the documen. We have not yet been served and we will not be commenting nor will we make any public statements even afterward," Acting Contractor General Craig Beresford told the Jamaica Observer yesterday in response to the latest development.

The JACCC, for its part, is contending that the cntractor general has been constantly persistent in contravening the Act that governs how it operates hence the instructions to their attorney to "immediately start legal proceedings against the OCG' office".

In building a case against the OCG, the JACCC alleged that office has "illegally held interviews and records interview under duress, denying the contractors legal representations during interviews" and sent documents to the Fraud Squad using the interview that was "illegally obtained".

It is also charging that the OCG is guilty of delisting and suspending contractors, resulting in these contractors not being gainfully employed.

"The OCG has breached the process of Natural Justice and the contractor's constitutional rights," the JACCC argued.

The tiff between the OCG and the JACCC dates back as far as last September when JACCC Chairman Percival LaTouche indicated that he would be seeking legal redress from then Contractor General Greg Christie,for statements about him included in releases from the OCG.

At the time, LaTouche insisted that his character was "maligned and tarnished" by the OCG.

However, the OCG stood its ground and refused to retract the statements holding instead that it was LaTouche who should temper his utterances.

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