KINGSTON, Jamaica — Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party, today expressed concerns about the effects that an “incomprehensive and misleading” report presented by former Contractor General Dirk Harrison will have on investment opportunities for Jamaica.
In the report, tabled in Parliament by the Integrity Commission, which has since assumed the role of the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) and two other anti-corruption agencies, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, and the ministry, were criticised for their alleged interference in the divestment process of the Rooms on the Beach property to Puerto Caribe Properties Limited by the Urban Development Corporation, which the OCG said failed to optimise the income for the country.
The OCG said beach land valued at US$3.5 million was handed over to the purchaser without being factored into the sale price, with the consent of Vaz and the non-objection of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
G2K, in a release this morning, argued that: “The deficient report only addressed the property-sale aspect of a much broader investment strategy and failed to address the returns on investment, including 7,000 jobs and J$4-billion in tax revenue for Jamaica over three years.”
G2K President, Stephen Edwards stated that “the fact that the major benefits of the investment deal were not included in the former contractor general’s report raises serious questions. This information would have been extremely important in helping the public understand that there is a net benefit to the Jamaican people.
“As a public servant Mr Harrison doesn’t have the privilege to pick, choose and refuse which important information is to be pursued and disclosed to the public. One has to wonder whose interest the former contractor general is really serving as the non-disclosure by Mr Harrison could lead to serious and adverse consequences in the nation’s development at this time.”
G2K further noted that the media has widely carried comments by Justice Karl Harrison on the questionable report, saying: “After a detailed review, the commission agreed unanimously that the validity to certain substantive conclusions was doubtful and could be open to serious questioning if read by an objective person.”
In light of the view expressed by the Integrity Commission G2K said it is now calling on the commission to take the necessary steps, as it sees fit, to address the actions of Former Contractor General Harrison which are now in question.
“At a time when we are aggressively seeking foreign investment the misinformation surrounding the transaction may prove to be quite damaging to Jamaica, as the Investor may consider pulling out of the deal. If this happens, someone will have to answer for the lost opportunities in foreign revenue, local revenue and thousands of local jobs that would have been generated,” said G2K Vice President Ryan Strachan.