Holness establishes Public Accountability Inspectorate for Petrojam
Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced the establishment of a Public Accountability Inspectorate to examine the management of the scandal-hit Petrojam, the country’s sole oil refinery.
The public company has, over the past five weeks, been grappling with allegations of improper spending to include massive cost overruns, questionable contracts and charges of nepotism and cronyism as well as numerous breaches of the Government’s procurement guidelines.
The allegations were sufficient to force the resignations of the three Jamaican members of the board.
In response, Holness, who is both Prime Minister and Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) announced the setting up of the Inspectorate on Sunday, while addressing a meeting of the JLP’s powerful Central Executive which is the second highest decision making body within the party. The Prime Minister sought to assure that the new board, which was named last week, will ensure that Petrojam is in good shape and that strategic decisions taken by the Government are fulfilled in a timely manner.
“We are very committed as a Government to ensure our energy security and our ability to provide the country with a reliable energy source,” said Holness while stressing that the administration was committed to its pledge to be accountable to Jamaicans.
“When we won the election I said that the cost of victory is going to be accountability because we were able to convince the public that we will be an accountable Government.“If we proceed towards accountability as the objective, then every member of the party, even without enforcement, accepts that if something goes wrong, take responsibility, that is ultimate accountability,” said Holness
The Prime Minister urged all members of the central executive, the Cabinet and the party to refrain from the mere perception of corruption.
“So the issue of corruption, we have to address it, the perception of corruption we have to address it both at the Cabinet level and at the Parish Council level. I want you to address in your own little way, this perception and it there are any realities of corruption, if you are doing anything stop it, if you plan, don't start it and if you are in it, come out of it. I can only warn you. This perception is just not good for us,” he said.