Jamaican minister resigns over procurement scandal

| 30/11/2011

Mike-Henry_w445.jpg(CNS): In the wake of news that the Cayman Islands premier led a six-man team to Jamaica this week to pick up tips about procurement, that country’s transport and works minister resigned Tuesday evening amidst a growing procurement controversy at Jamaica's National Works Agency. Mike Henry said he had tendered his resignation in light of the ongoing attacks “which continue despite the prime minister and I having acted to address the issue”. The scandal relates to a probe into irregularities over the purchase of J$62million worth of new office furniture by the NWA using contract funds from the renovation of a narrow strip of shore road leading to Kingston’s international airport. 

The chair of the Jamaican parliament’s Public Accounts Committee described the NWA as "a runaway rogue agency operating on its own without reference to the ministry, Parliament or anybody except perhaps the minister.”

According to the Jamaica Observer, Dr Peter Phillips' comments came on the heels of news that five 40-foot containers of furniture had been discovered by Contractor General Greg Christie on the premises of the NWA, which had been procured using funds allocated for the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Works Project  being executed by China Harbour Engineering Company.

Two weeks ago Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis revealed that, contrary to the Jamaican government’s procurement guidelines, the NWA used the sole source method to award a contract for approximately J$102m to China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to refurbish the NWA's corporate offices without the required approval of the National Contracts Commission.

Permanent secretary in the transport and works ministry, Dr Alwin Hales, said the furniture was not paid for out of Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) funds but from loans procured under the institutional strengthening component of the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection contract.

Category: World News

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This actually gives a favourable comparison for Jamaica. When its Contractor General made findings about the lack of good corporate governance and waste of public funds the CEO of the Agency and the Minister had the good grace to resign. In similar circumstances here our Premier makes a personal attack on the Auditor General so much so that he has to be rebuked by the Governor and will not even consider resignation.  And we haven't even got to the criminal investigation for corruption yet. As a patriotic Caymanian I say this with the deepest regret: we suffer from a serious lack of political maturity so that Independence is not an option for the foreseeable future.  

  2. Anon2 says:

    This proves that this man called McKeeva Bush, aka Premier of Cayman, isXXXX  Jam to look @ systems? a Government that is known for its institutionalised corruption, proven yet again by the Minister in charge resignation jus this week!!!  please do the same Mr. Premier and RESIGN and save this country any future embarassment by yur constant ignorant utterances and actions.  u have come out of the bush, but obviously we can't take the bush out of you! 

  3. TIRED n BROKE says:

    This is a joke right? It has to be.

    The Premier, Deputy Governor, Financial Secretary and Senior Civil Servants from Cayman didnt really go to Jamaica to review and study the procurement and governace model of our neighbours…they must have gone for some vacation, rest n relaxation, a boys lime or some other 'valid' reason.

    I can only hope and pray that maybe they went to learn how NOT to manage , develop and create an economic n governance model that fails to work properly nor benefits that country. Sadly,  If  Jamaica is the political and governance model that the Premier, Deputy Governor, Financial Secretary and our leaders want to follow they should take immediate medical leave and resign from their posts.

    Couldnt they have all just called or asked some of their JLP/UDP buddies about what NOT to do? It would have saved a few dollars and saved the country such embarassment. 

    Jamaica fails the procurement tests even worse than us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/americas/anti-corruption-investigator-to
    -probe-troubled-government-works-agency-in-jamaica/2011/11/29/gIQA4EFs9N_sto
    ry.html

    we all know the Premier loves to rack up the air miles but what exactly goes through the minds of senior government officials like Donnie, Franz n Ken-Ken…do you understand how foolish you all look as the senior managers of the civil service? Do you understand how frustrating it is for Caymanian people to see our non-elected (experienced, professional n educated) leaders blindly following and being a part of this PR nightmare?

    What can Jamaica show you about procurement that our Auditor General's reports and failings to deliver credible accounts and accurate financial projections not illustrate already?

    Anyone who is involved in these senseless junkets and exercises is almost as bad as the jokers who sit in the LA.

    Please STOP wasting our limited funds and embarassing the country with such obvious foolishness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, but outside of Cayman, your whole Country has become a joke. Very sad.

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe you are quite mistaken.

        We are too small to factor THAT much to the rest of the world silly goose!

        You have as grand an imagination as big mac

    • so Anonymous says:

      Good luck getting any of them to start seeing things this way instead of their way.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.  Both he and Patrick Wong make ethical Jamaicans feel  embarrassed and outraged.  I am a Jamaican, and I approve this message.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Check out this link:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/americas/anti-corruption-investigator-to-probe-troubled-government-works-agency-in-jamaica/2011/11/29/gIQA4EFs9N_story.html

  6. ubelievedat says:

    Here are some sound steps the Premier should consider:

    1. allegations and scandals, step down

    2. significant losses and frevilous spending, step down

    3. failure to follow correct protocol, step down

    4. causing the country too many lawsuits, step down

    5 chastised by the mother country, step down

    6. investigated by the police, resign

    7. a total embarrassment to our country, resign and stay hme

     

  7. Anonymous says:

    Communist China and now corrupt Jamaica….hmmm. Hope he didnt accidentally leave any status grants over there…wink…wink.

  8. Anonymous says:

     "which had been procured using funds allocated for the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Works Project  being executed by China Harbour Engineering Company".

    More corruption relating to CHEC, they must have known that this was wrong and probably did nothing. All you need for corruption to flourish is two parties willing to break the law and hope that they get away with it. They are not the type of operation that ANY government should be dealing with. You would think that cabinet should have more sense….SMH………

  9. Anonymous says:

    LOL. And this is who we are learning about procurement procedures from? LMAO – seems like Mac & Co are star pupils.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh Mac, you really do have such good timing, now, were you there to pick up some tips, or were you advising?

  11. Anonymous says:

    The bigger the scandal, the more determined the Cayman Scapegoat and his followers are ready to grab on to the hook, line and sinker.  When is this government going to see the light of day and not continue to fall into the dark bottomless pit?  We need a leader who has a brain, commonsense, two eyes and "vision', even if he needs glasses.

    We are really in the gutter now, who is going to rescue us? Imagine going to Jamaica to 'pick up tips on procurement'.   It is time the people of these Islands force the elephant out of the room.  It is just from one bad decision to another.  We have allowed too many incidents to pass under the radar and no one is willing to focus on the bad decisions, globetrotting, wasting the country's money and false announcements of projects on the table and of the table.  This is the 21st Century, Cayman Islands needs new leadership, that we can look up to and not be ashamed of. 

     

  12. I Care says:

    whereever this man goes Mackeeva I am speaking of , trouble follows . MacKeeva do the country a great favour  and RESIGN NOW

     

    Thank you very much

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why would Mac think this a good model to follow?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Will this be Cayman after independence?

    • Anonymous says:

      If we were to go independent now, Yes this and worse.  We are not yet ready for independence.  Not even close.  Our current crop of officials woud rob us blind if there was not the fear of the UK over them.  ( not that that helps a lot to stop them.)

  15. Anonymous says:

    maybe our delegation could learn a lesson about resigning……

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anybody know if "institutional strengthening" is the Jamaican term for "nation building"?

  17. Dred says:

    You know I was perplexed before as to why we would be going to Jamaica to understand the procurement process but this article has enlightened me so much.

     

  18. Anonymous says:

    wow… this is educational. I would go up there just to learn what went on about the scandal. I hope the Premier and crew learn something valuable.