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Concern raised that PCJ board member still serving despite Petrojam scandal

PAC member Fitz Jackson, Chairman Mark Golding and Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy
 
Concerns are being raised that a member of the board of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) is still serving despite concerns that there was failure to properly manage the scandal-hit oil refinery Petrojam. 
 
At Tuesday morning's sitting of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Petrojam's Managing Director Winston Watson said two of Petrojam's board members were also serving on the PCJ's board.
 
One of the members remains on the PCJ board.
 
PAC Chairman Mark Golding described it as a glaring omission in holding persons accountable for the mismanagement of Petrojam as well as the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.
 
Committee member Fitz Jackson, who noted that the situation was a "clear demonstration of dereliction of duty", wants the Auditor-General's Department to make a recommendation regarding the board member.  
 
Minister of Energy Fayval Williams had said a new board was necessary following the government's move to acquire Venezuela's 49 per cent shareholding in the oil refinery.
 
However, Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, explained the delay in appointing a new board for Petrojam, noting that the Attorney General's Department is to issue the recommendations for the composition of the new board shortly.
 
Mrs Palmer said the Ministry of Energy is also awaiting the expiration of a public notice for anyone who has interest in Petrojam and who wishes to make a claim, in order for the Government to take final ownership.
 
"The law now gives the government 100 per cent ownership of Petrojam and so if there is anyone who has a claim to say they have a right to some ownership within the arrangement - remember it was a joint venture - then the government would have to give consideration," she explained. 
 
The legislation through which the Government compulsorily acquired Venezuela's 49 per cent stake in Petrojam came into effect on February 22.
 


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