PM wants use of NDAs in government contracts to be reviewed

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has conceded that the confidentiality clause used in separation payouts to a former manager at the state-run oil refinery Petrojam was inappropriate and has ordered a review of the practice.

There was much public debate about the confidentiality clause which was part of the separation package for the former Human Resource Manager.

On Wednesday the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica said the use of the confidentiality clause, also known as a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), was flawed.

That response came one day after the Prime Minister disclosed in Parliament that the separation package for the former Human Resource Manager Yolande Ramharrack was the subject of a non-disclosure agreement.

Under intense questioning from opposition MPs during Tuesday’s sitting of the House, he eventually confirmed that her separation package included payments amounting to $9.2 million, while Floyd Grindley, the former general manager, received $7.2 million.

Mr. Grindley’s separation package did not include a  confidentiality clause.

Mr. Holness, addressing an Area Council meeting of the governing Jamaica Labour Party in St. Andrew on Sunday, announced that the attorney general will review the use of confidentiality clauses in government contracts, "to see what rules and regulations we can put in place to ensure that these clauses are never used, in any way, shape or form, that could even suggest that Parliament could not get information."

Contract to be tabled
He also said he given notice to the attorney general that he will be tabling the contract for the former Human Resource Manager of Petrojam in Parliament.

That decision, he said, had been made to ensure full transparency, "becasue it is such a matter of important public interest."

Doing this was also an important response, he said, "to all those would want to make mischief and drag people's names through the mud..."


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