In a statement today, Opposition spokesman on Culture, Lisa Hanna said the Minister's utterances implying that she stumbled upon a "closet of Jamaica 50 pins..." was a cheap political ploy intended to give the impression that there were secrets pertaining to the Jamaica 50 celebrations of 2012.
She said "All the relevant files pertaining to the processes, and agreements regarding the Jamaica 50 pins are, and remain in her Ministry. I would direct her to the Ministry's Legal Officer and Permanent Secretary as they are the custodians of the relevant information, and documentation."
The former minister in charge of Culture explained that "The Government entered into an agreement in 2012 with two companies to produce and sell Jamaica 50 pins, as a part of the events, and initiatives to commemorate Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary. The pins were manufactured at the expense of the two companies contracted by the then Ministry of Youth and Culture. The Government of Jamaica incurred no cost in this process to produce, or sell the Jamaica 50 pins."
"As per the agreement with the two suppliers, the Government was paid a small percentage of sales, and all unsold pins were to be given to the Government. The pins now in the possession of the Ministry of Culture were those pins that were unsold by one of the companies, and as per the agreement were sent to the Government of Jamaica.
"The pins were audited and held in safe keeping under lock and key by the Corporate Services Division of the Ministry of Culture.The Ministry of Finance and Planning was contacted regarding the Ministry of Youth and Culture’s position to have the pins sold, and or disbursed. The then Permanent Secretary was advised by the MOFP that the MYC should have the pins valued. That process was in train, just prior to the change in administration," Hanna declared.
Miss Hanna concluded: " my recommendation to the incumbent Minister of Culture is: (a) that she sees to the conclusion of this process of valuation, (b) uphold the level of transparency that was achieved with respect to the Jamaica 50 celebrations (c) refrain from the cheap "politricking" to the country and (d) get on with the business of the planning and execution of our 54th Anniversary Independence Celebrations."
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