Wednesday 22 January, 2020

WATCH: Holness addresses Reid's resignation

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is serious about addressing matters related to governance, allegations of corruption, and maladministration.

He made the remarks during the sitting of the House of Representatives on Thursday, as he addressed the resignation of Ruel Reid from the Cabinet and Senate.

Prime Minister Holness noted that issues have been raised in the public domain, which resulted in him meeting with the former Minister of Education, Youth and Information.

“After that conversation, it appeared to me that given the sensitivity of the Ministry… that the best thing to do would be for the Minister to tender his resignation,” he said.

According to a release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Reid’s resignation will ensure that any investigation into matters of concern will not be in any way impeded by his presence or oversight of the Ministry.

“Our job now as an Administration is to ensure that there is no impediment and that there is no obstruction and that there is transparency. I believe that the action taken would strengthen the system of our democracy, so that there is transparency,” Holness stressed.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will fall under the temporary supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister, which will start its own review of the Ministry and its agencies.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Karl Samuda, has been assigned to the Ministry, and Permanent Secretary, Dr. Grace McLean, has been asked to prepare a full report of the functioning of the entity.

“My office will undertake a review of the Ministry of Education. We don’t expect to be doing that review for more than a month or two. It is a large Ministry and we will be doing a full review,” Holness said.

Holness explained that part of the role of the OPM is to ensure that every Ministry is properly run.

“How I view my job is from the point of view of ensuring that the principles of good governance are institutionalised in every Ministry. So once I see there is a problem that signals a governance issue, a breakdown in supervision and oversight by a Minister, then I have to intervene and ensure that those problems are not systemic or deep-rooted, and if they are, to correct them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said that a new senator should be appointed by Sunday, March 24, when he returns from an overseas trip.

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