Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced on Wednesday morning that he had fired Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth & Information.
He said Mr. Reid had also resigned from the Senate.
The Prime Minister, in a statement to the media, said he had met Wednesday morning with Mr. Reid “regarding certain allegations in the public domain”.
“In keeping with the principles of good governance, I requested and received Minister Reid’s resignation,” he revealed.
He said the Minister’s resignation will “ensure that any investigation into matters of concern will not be in any way impeded by his presence or oversight of the Ministry”.
“The Ministry of Education Youth and Information will now fall under the temporary supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister which will start its own review of the ministry and its agencies,” the statement concluded.
It was on Monday that the Parliamentary Opposition urged the Auditor General to immediately investigate allegations of breaches and misuse of public funds, involving the Ministry of Education and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).
At his post-budget media briefing, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips said the People's National Party had received information about politically connected persons collecting hefty salaries without doing any work.
"We have information regarding...issues of cronyism, nepotism, and corruption which were manifest spectaculary in the Petrojam scandal being also present in the Ministry of Education, involving specifically the Caribbean Maritime University and how funds from the HEART/Trust sent to the ministry for the career advancement programme and the T-VET rationalisation programme are being utilised. We are aware that politically connected persons are being employed as advisors but are not doing any work," he charged.
RJR News has been informed that the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Division (C-TOC) and the Financial Investigation Division (FID) are probing allegations of impropriety at the Ministry of Education.
It is understood that the probe started after a woman was picked up two weeks ago after she attempted to withdraw large sums of money at a financial institution in New Kingston.
She was questioned by C-TOC detectives and released.
The Office of the Prime Minister has said it will start its own review of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information as well as its agencies in response to the the allegations of impropriety.