KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Opposition People’s National Party has called for full disclosure of the US$100,000 contract between the Jamaica Tourist Board’s US Public Relations agency, FINN Partners and unknown people, in Kamina Johnson Smith's campaign for Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
In a release, Opposition Spokesperson on Information, Senator Donna Scott Mottley, said this information was necessary for the public as a detailed analysis is warranted "to determine if Jamaica’s foreign affairs and foreign trade policies have been in any way compromised by the acceptance of undisclosed funds from local or international private sector interests."
In a statement today, Senator Scott Mottley said the failure of the Government to disclose the details and the evasive posture of the Minister of Information in a radio interview this morning, makes the disclosure imperative. She said undisclosed private donations to pursue the Minister of Foreign Affairs’ objectives are fraught with danger and could open the door to compromising Jamaica’s established international affairs principles.
“These disclosures must include names and amounts given by donors, the name of the person or persons who entered the contracts, and whether the contract was filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, oversighted by the United States Justice Department”, she said, highlighting that unless there is disclosure, a private company which donates money in secrecy could demand a benefit or other reciprocity without the public ever knowing.
“The Minister’s stubborn refusal to disclose brings into question the credibility of the information he has disseminated to the Jamaican people and the reasons he provided for the failure to disclose”, said Scott Mottley.
In a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Sunday, it was revealed that Johnson-Smith's failed bid for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General, cost taxpayers a significant $18.2 million.
OPM said the cost of the summit was absorbed by three participating ministries with the OPM being responsible for $12.8 million of the amount. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade covered $7.7 million and the Ministry of Tourism $5.1 million.
The statement also confirmed that FINN Partners provided public relations, media relations and thought leadership services for Jamaica’s candidature for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General but revealed that the "Government of Jamaica was not a party to this arrangement, which was secured by corporate Jamaica."