According to the Opposition Leader, "the mealy mouthed response of the Prime Minister to the massive and unprecedented break down of ministerial oversight of proper administration across the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET) represents a clear attempt to divert attention from the depth of the problem and an absence of any political will to confront and fix it."
In a statement today, the Opposition Leader called on the Prime Minister to "immeditely appoint a minister who can take charge of the energy portfolio and deal with the outstanding issues in other entities involved in the ministry, especially Jamaica's energy security."
He said the PCJ Board, which has oversight responsibility, "has clearly been derelict in its duties and should be removed immediately. It should be noted that there are members of the former Petrojam Board still serving on the present PCJ Board," he said.
"Elsewhere in the Ministry, we note the board of the USF is still in place despite the corrupting of the recruitment process and hiring of a CEO who did not meet the requirement while at least 24 other qualified individuals, who more than met the requirements, was not short-listed," he lamented.
"We note also that the NESOL Board remains in place despite the recruitment of a GM who again did not meet the minimum requirement; and two employees are now criminally charged. In short, we can say that during the PM’s tenure nothing has been done to repair these significant breaches," The Opposition leader pointed out.
Dr. Phillips repeated his call for for a forensic audit to be indertaken by independent professionals, insisting that "a separate audit of the transaction between Petrojam and the West Indies Petroleum Limited be undertaken to answer the question of the missing oil revenue identified in the AG’s report."
The Opposition Leader in his statement reminded that an audit by PDVESA conducted and submitted in February 2018, in the operations of the refinery, indicated emergency purchases done in March 2017 by Petrojam were not qualified to be treated as such, as well as other spot purchases of oil made above market prices.
He said "from the sample done by PDVSA, Petrojam paid JMD$334M above market for the product. If all the transactions during this period were examined, the losses could be higher."
The Opposition Leader maintains that "appropriate investigations must be conducted by the Major Organized Crime Agency (MOCA) and the Integrity Commission to determine whether there were criminal behavior and those responsible," and said where necessary, the government should obtain" investigative assistance from our International Partners who have the required expertise and who I have no doubt will be willing to assist."
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