Opposition Senator Lambert Brown has raised concerns about the failure of the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) to submit two annual reports to the Houses of Parliament.
Brown, who was speaking in Parliament on Friday, argues that, in the past the OCG insisted on timely reports, noting that it is ironic that the last annual report to Parliament was in 2015.
He said the Contractor General owes Parliament an explanation.
“I am concerned that we are being short changed as a Parliament , when a Commission of Parliament has failed to provide us with the 2016 report and failure in the middle of 2018 to provide us with the 2017 report. This is not like the contractor General and I’m wondering what is happening …. Why the silence? We need some explanation from Parliament,” he said.
In response, Government Senator Kamina Johnson Smith responded said one of the outstanding annual reports should be tabled in Parliament shortly.
“So far as I understand, the 2016 report should be tabled within the next few weeks and the 2017 (report) is being drafted. The concern expressed is shared …..”
Meanwhile, Brown also raised concerns about the length of time it is taking the OCG to provide a report on its probe into the Government's sale of a beachfront property in Ocho Rios, St Ann to Mexican investors, allegedly without due regard to valuation reports.
In April last year, Mexican luxury hotel group, Palace Resorts, acquired the Rooms on the Beach property for an undisclosed sum after working out a deal with the Urban Development Corporation.
The opposition senator says the OCG started its probe one year ago and the report should have been completed.
“The OCG promised the report to be soon. .I want to know, how come one year after, that report of the sale by the UDC of Government property, tax payers property, that the country cannot be told if we got value for money. ….. it’s important Mr. President, that the Contractor general quickly provides the report to Parliament.”
The Rooms on the Beach property is adjacent to the recently refurbished Moon Palace Resort, which is owned by the Mexican investors.
The Office of the Contractor General and two other agencies were merged earlier this year to form the Integrity Commission.
Former Contractor General Dirk Harrison was assigned to act as director of the new corruption prosecution division; former secretary manager of the Corruption Prevention Commission, David Grey was installed as acting head of the investigation division; and Joy Powell appointed interim director of the information and complaints division.