Jamaica Transport and Works Minister resigns

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday November 30, 2011 – Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry has become the second official to resign in the wake of a damning report by the auditor general into the management of the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP).

Henry has resigned with immediate effect, stating his decision is due to “ongoing attacks” on the programme.

He decision comes just over a week after he asked for the resignation of Patrick Wong, Chief Executive Officer of the National Works Agency, which had programme oversight.

“As the line minister, I take full responsibility for the issues which have arisen, and today tendered my resignation as Minister of Transport and Works with immediate effect,” Henry said in a short statement.

“There is nothing to hide about my stewardship of the JDIP, which is very important to the country, and I look forward to the conclusion of the ongoing investigations.

“I thank all concerned for their support over the years I occupied the position as a member of the Cabinet, especially Central Clarendon which I represent in Parliament, and from where I will be focussing more of my energy at this time.”

The Auditor General’s report found that the JDIP was not being executed transparently, and suffered from inadequate capital project planning, monitoring and record keeping.

The findings prompted Prime Minister Andrew Holness to take temporary control of the programme that is funded through a US$400 million (J$36 billion) loan from China.

PM Holness said the services of an independent consulting firm would be procured to provide oversight, and quality assurance to determine value for money. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)