Com­mis­sion im­me­di­ate re­view of key func­tional ar­eas of PCJ and Petro­jam, au­di­tor gen­eral rec­om­mends

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

AU­DI­TOR GEN­ERAL Pamela Mon­roe El­lis has made sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions to the Govern­ment in the wake of her de­part­ment’s find­ings from a probe into the op­er­a­tions of Petro­jam and the Pe­tro­leum Cor­po­ra­tion of Ja­maica (PCJ).

The 113-page re­port was tabled in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Tues­day.

MON­I­TOR­ING AND OVER­SIGHT RE­SPON­SI­BIL­I­TIES

In terms of mon­i­tor­ing and over­sight re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, the au­di­tor gen­eral has made the fol­low­ing sug­ges­tions:

I In keep­ing with the ac­count­abil­ity frame­work, the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary should en­sure that an ap­pro­pri­ate ar­range­ment is es­tab­lished to ef­fec­tively mon­i­tor the re­spec­tive pub­lic bod­ies. This ar­range­ment should in­clude a sys­tem that en­sures that board min­utes and other spec­i­fied re­ports are faith­fully re­ceived by the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary.

I Per­ma­nent sec­re­taries should en­sure that such board min­utes are re­viewed and the port­fo­lio min­is­ter is for­mally ap­prised of sig­nif­i­cant is­sues that may af­fect the per­for­mance of the en­tity; so as to al­low the port­fo­lio min­is­ter to take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions re­gard­ing the per­for­mance of the board.

I Where the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary has des­ig­nated a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the board, the des­ig­nate must make a for­mal writ­ten re­port to the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary af­ter each meet­ing, who should then re­port these mat­ters to the port­fo­lio min­is­ter.

I The boards of PCJ, Petro­jam and all pub­lic bod­ies should de­velop a frame­work doc­u­ment in keep­ing with the Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance Frame­work, to strengthen the gov­er­nance and man­age­ment ar­range­ments in their re­spec­tive en­ti­ties, over which they have been charged with gov­er­nance re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

I The Min­istry of Fi­nance and the Pub­lic Ser­vice should make it a pre­req­ui­site that the boards of all pub­lic bod­ies es­tab­lish a Gov­er­nance sub­Com­mit­tee to mon­i­tor and re­view gov­er­nance ar­range­ments.

I Govern­ment of Ja­maica should com­mis­sion an im­me­di­ate re­view of key func­tional ar­eas of PCJ and Petro­jam.

I The ste­ward­ship of those charged with gov­er­nance should be as­sessed in the con­text of sig­nif­i­cant project cost over­runs, as well as nu­ga­tory ex­pen­di­ture, which could be deemed a con­se­quence of mis­man­age­ment.

I The Govern­ment must act in­ten­tion­ally to hold those re­spon­si­ble for fail­ure in their fidu­ciary re­spon­si­bil­ity. Case in point, in re­la­tion to the con­tract for the Perime­ter Fence (at Petro­jam), no pub­lic of­fi­cer should fi­nan­cially ex­pose any pub­lic body with­out the req­ui­site con­se­quences.

PRO­MOTE GOOD GOV­ER­NANCE PRAC­TICES

In or­der to pro­mote good gov­er­nance prac­tices and the re­ceipt of value for money, Petro­jam’s board of di­rec­tors should ini­ti­ate a re­view of its pro­cure­ment prac­tices, with a view to en­sure that:

I The ap­pro­pri­ate method of pro­cure­ment is utilised that meets the cri­te­ria stip­u­lated in the Pro­cure­ment Guide­lines;

I Pro­cure­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties are open to all el­i­gi­ble sup­pli­ers by the sub­mis­sion of the req­ui­site com­pet­i­tive quotes or ad­ver­tise­ment in keep­ing with the Pro­cure­ment Guide­lines;

I Its Project man­age­ment sys­tem is strength­ened to en­sure that proper due dili­gence is con­ducted, prior to the ex­e­cu­tion of projects, along with strin­gent project de­sign to min­imise un­planned vari­a­tions and re­sult­ing cost over­runs, and on­go­ing mon­i­tor­ing to en­sure that agreed upon de­liv­er­ables are re­ceived;

I Req­ui­site ap­proval and re­port­ing of the con­tract vari­a­tions is done and fu­ture ad­her­ence is ob­served at all times.

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