Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Verbal contract outrage! - NIA says NESoL breached good-governance procedures!

Published:Friday | September 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Munroe

Anti-corruption watchdog group National Integrity Action (NIA) has expressed outrage over revelations that Peak Energy Solutions - a company whose shareholder is Constantine Gordon - was contracted on word of mouth. The company was paid $12.16 million worth of taxpayers' money to carry out work on behalf of National Energy Solutions Limited (NESoL).

NIA, in a media release yesterday, said that the agency, like all well-thinking Jamaicans, must be concerned about the activities of the Ministry of Science and Technology, which led to the removal of Andrew Wheatley, the former minister, and the resignation and or removal of sector agency heads and the dissolution of boards under the ministry.

"NIA, along with all well-thinking Jamaicans, is greatly concerned and increasingly alarmed at the extent of blatant breaches being revealed [during recent hearings of the Public Administration and Appropriation Committee (PAAC)] of basic good-governance procedures designed to safeguard public money against nepotism and corruption. Most recently, the existence of a so-called "verbal contract" for $60 million issued to Peak Energy Solutions Ltd by NESol is an outrage," said a release from the agency yesterday.

The release, under the authorship of Executive Director Professor Trevor Munroe, said that it was "absolutely unacceptable that executives and board members who appear culpable simply resign or retire with no sanction whatsoever for grossly improper, unethical, and possibly illegal conduct with whatever questionable gains they may have acquired during their tenure".

He said that the principle of equality before the law requires that "persons with powerful connections and high status be brought as promptly to justice as the man in the street who has neither connections nor status".

Munroe said that the country must remember that Jamaica's National Security Policy identifies corruption as the number one "clear and present danger" to our country's national security and our people's economic prosperity.

"As such, not only NIA, but all citizens of goodwill must demand that the relevant authorities, in particular, the Integrity Commission, and the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, and other bodies, treat as the number one priority the initiation and completion of investigations related to Petrojam, the Universal Service Fund, NESol, and Peak Energy Solutions Ltd," said the release.