Dun­can ex­pected to re­place Byles as EPOC co-chair

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Jo­van John­son Staff Reporter jo­van.john­son@glean­erjm.com

KEITH DUN­CAN, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Ja­maica Money Mar­ket Bro­kers (JMMB) Group, is ex­pected to re­place Richard Byles as co-chair of the Eco­nomic Pro­gramme Over­sight Com­mit­tee (EPOC). Byles, the pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Sagi­cor Group Ja­maica Lim­ited, in­formed com­mit­tee mem­bers in an email yes­ter­day that he was step­ping down from the po­si­tion but would re­main on the com­mit­tee as his com­pany’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive. “For the past


three and a half years, I have had the op­por­tu­nity to co-chair the com­mit­tee, and I be­lieve it is now a good time to have some­one else take on this new agree­ment and lead it to a suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion,” Byles said in the email ob­tained by The Gleaner.

“It has been a re­ward­ing jour­ney, and I thank you whole­heart­edly for your sup­port.”

EPOC was set up to mon­i­tor the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 2013 IMF deal, which was re­placed last week by athree-year pro­gramme.

Since the change of administration and ap­point­ment of Aud­ley Shaw as fi­nance min­is­ter, there were con­cerns in some quar­ters that Byles would have been re­placed.

While in op­po­si­tion, Shaw had re­peat­edly crit­i­cised Byles as be­ing “a mouth­piece” for the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party administration.

There were also con­cerns that the mon­i­tor­ing com­mit­tee would not con­tinue.

How­ever, Shaw has given the as­sur­ance that the EPOC would re­main although its struc­tures would be re­viewed.

“We fully in­tend to con­tinue with EPOC,” he said in an in­ter­view yes­ter­day on Na­tion­wide Ra­dio. “We want to thank him (Byles) for the work that he has done. It has been tremen­dous work.”

Shaw, mean­while, said Dun­can is the pro­posed co-chair and is “en­tirely ap­pro­pri­ate”. He’s “an out­stand­ing young busi­ness­man, who is will­ing to take up the man­tle”.

Dun­can de­clined to speak on the mat­ter, only stat­ing that he be­lieved the over­sight com­mit­tee should con­tinue.

Byles also de­clined to com­ment on the mat­ter.

EPOC com­prises 11 rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors, civil so­ci­ety, and trade unions.

Bank of Ja­maica Gov­er­nor Brian Wyn­ter is the other chair­per­son.



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