October 31, 2020

PM takes control

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has taken temporary control of an initiative touted as the country’s single largest, most comprehensive infrastructural programme after the Auditor General identified serious management shortcomings.

The multi-million dollar Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) was previously the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport and Works headed by Mike Henry.

However, PM Holness took over in the wake of the findings of a special report by Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis, which was tabled in Parliament early last week.

That report found that the programme was not being executed transparently, and suffered from inadequate capital project planning, monitoring and record keeping, which threatened its primary objective.

Patrick Wong, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Works Agency, which had programme oversight, has resigned at the request of the Minister of Transport and Works, a government statement said.

“An interim head will be named shortly,” the statement added.

PM Holness said the JDIP would be reviewed to improve its accounting, reporting and general management structures.

“The services of an independent consulting firm are being procured to provide oversight, and quality assurance to determine value for money,” the government statement noted.

“The Independent Consultant will operate from the Office of the Prime Minister and provide technical advice on project prioritisation, evaluate the various work activities, review payment certificates and work orders, as well as, provide project management oversight of JDIP.”

 

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