JAMAICA | PNP wants Lionel Myrie's Appointment as Head of TPDCo Rescinded

JAMAICA | PNP wants Lionel Myrie's Appointment as Head of TPDCo Rescinded

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica: The Opposition Spokesperson on Tourism, Senator Janice Allen, is opposed to the appointment of  Lionel Myrie as head of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo). Senator Allen says that bearing in mind Lionel Myrie’s role in the Petrojam scandal two years ago, his appointment as interim head of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) is alarming and disrespectful to the people of Jamaica, and  must be rejected and repudiated. 

Lionel Myrie appointed as interim head of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo)Lionel Myrie appointed as interim head of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo)Responding to an announcement by the chairman of TPDCo today, Senator Allen called on Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, to rescind the appointment as Mr Myrie has failed to distinguish himself as a fit and proper manager of public funds.

Furthermore, his testimony at the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) regarding his role in the questionable transactions under Petrojam’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme in the constituency of the then Minister Andrew Wheatley still lingers.

The Opposition Spokeswoman said Jamaicans could not be expected to have the requisite confidence in this appointment and Mr Myrie’s ability to pass fit and proper tests.

Consequently, she said, his appointment should not stand as the population in general, and the tourism industry, in particular, could have no assurance that the flagrant abuse of rules and lack of transparency will not characterize his tenure in this important public office.

Senator Allen said, “if the Minister does not rescind this improper decision, it will be a clear indication that the government continues to pay only lip service in the fight against corruption and does not support good governance, which was missing at Petrojam.” 

The Opposition Spokeswoman said the Petrojam scandal is still fresh in the minds of the Jamaican people, who have not had closure to several scandalous actions reported by the Auditor General of Jamaica and the Parliament’s PAAC.

Myrie, is the former Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) board member who caused what is being described as the questionable diversion of a $9 million donation from the McCook’s Pen Citizen Association to the Sydenham Citizens Association, and was the personal assistant to former Energy Minister, Dr Andrew Wheatley.

The $9 million, which was a sponsorship donation from Petrojam, was diverted from the McCooks Pen Citizens Association after Petrojam received a letter from Myrie which claimed that the money should instead be sent to the unregistered Sydenham Citizens Association. However, the McCooks Pen Citizens Association has denied giving such permission.

The matter was the subject of a fraud investigation by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA). Both citizens associations are in Wheatley's South Central St Catherine constituency.

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