In a statement this morning, Mr. Robinson said the country has not been told about or provided with reasons for the sudden departure of the Permanent Secretary, Ms. Hillary Alexander, thereby leaving the Ministry without a Minister or a Permanent Secretary.
“It is already over three weeks since former Minister Andrew Wheatley resigned and Ms. Alexander’s departure last week now plunges the Ministry into further uncertainty for both the public and staff,” Mr. Robinson said.
The PNP Shadow Minister said the Prime Minister was being derelict in his duty by allowing the situation to continue for such a protracted period in a Ministry which has portfolio responsibility for critical national services including telecommunications and data services provision and is also extremely important to the investment climate in Jamaica.
He said further that critical agencies, including the Spectrum Management Authority which is a regulatory body, are also functioning without fully constituted boards of directors, chairmen or management heads.
Mr. Robinson called on the Prime Minister to immediately update the country on what arrangements are being put in place to effectively discharge the responsibilities of the Ministry which is now functioning without an accounting officer, the Permanent Secretary, who under the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act (PBMA) and the Financial Administration and Accountability Act (FAA) has responsibility for public funds.
He said in light of the recent worrisome breakdown of administrative functions in the Ministry and its agencies, the Prime Minister should act immediately.
He said the Opposition would not tolerate this type of ‘laissez faire’ attitude by the Prime Minister in ensuring that accountability systems are in place.
“We would see it as most urgent that tax-payers funds are protected and do not continue to go down the drain without the requisite officers being in place and being responsible to the people of Jamaica,” Robinson said.
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