Hol­ness must act in the Petro­jam dis­grace

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - EDITORIAL -

Dear Edi­tor,

The shock­ing rev­e­la­tions of the re­port re­cently tabled in Par­lia­ment by the au­di­tor gen­eral touch­ing and con­cern­ing the op­er­a­tions of some em­ploy­ees of Petro­jam, as well as its par­ent com­pany the Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion of Ja­maica (PCJ), smacks of reck­less­ness, neg­li­gence, and an abuse of tax­pay­ers’ re­sources.

Can you imag­ine? Two sur­prise par­ties amount­ing to ap­prox­i­mately $2.6 mil­lion for the for­mer board chair­man, Dr Perce­val Ba­hado-singh, and the for­mer min­is­ter, Dr An­drew Wheat­ley. How many needy cit­i­zens could ben­e­fit from that for their so­cial de­vel­op­ment?

The cake for the for­mer min­is­ter, which cost a whop­ping US$1,000, must have been lined with gold. What extravagance!

Wheat­ley’s ig­no­rance is no ex­cuse. He barely knew any­thing about what was hap­pen­ing at Petro­jam, al­beit it was his re­spon­si­bil­ity to know and act.

These con­cerned in­di­vid­u­als were clearly a law unto them­selves who made their own rules and im­ple­mented their own ac­tions at the ex­pense of us tax­pay­ers.

Where was the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary in all of this?

How will this na­tional dis­grace be dealt with ef­fec­tively? Time to change the nar­ra­tive.

If Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness is re­ally se­ri­ous about ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency, then he must demon­strate it.

This mad­ness re­quires ap­pli­ca­tion of swift and se­vere civil and crim­i­nal con­se­quences for the reck­less and cor­rupt in­di­vid­u­als who are found cul­pa­ble at the PCJ and Petro­jam.

Dr An­drew Wheat­ley

Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness

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