Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Audrey Sewell has been instructed to ascertain whether the previous board of Petrojam undertook the emergency method of procurement for up to 74 per cent of projects in the last two years.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who has taken over responsibility for the energy portfolio, made the request after the allegation was raised by Member of Parliament for Clarendon Northern Horace Dalley, in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Mr. Dalley explained that in using the emergency methodology, the board allowed for sole sourcing or the hiring of a single contractor to carry out projects during the period in question.
Mr. Holness said if the allegation is true, the action of the board was "outrageous".
In the meantime, the Prime Minister sought to allay fears he is taking on too many responsibilities with the latest addition of the energy portfolio to the list of ministries he now oversees.
He pointed out that the energy ministry and its agencies have competent technical staff capable of ensuring the smooth running of the ministry.
However, he acknowledged that he will soon have to do a reorganisation of cabinet portfolios.
There have been calls from various organisations for Mr. Holness to appoint a new minister of energy who would be able to devote more time to the critical portfolio.
Meanwhile, the Auditor General is to shortly deliver her report on the probe into the operations of Petrojam.
The Prime Minister said as a result, the Public Accountability Inspectorate, which had been tasked to look into the oil refinery's operations, will be withdrawn.