Jamaican official stands up to contractor’s threats
(CNS): In his battle to fight corruption in Jamaica, Greg Christie the contractor general has been threatened by general contractors who appear not to appreciate his efforts. However Christie said yesterday that he would not submit to the threats and ultimatums as he does his job. The contractors issued the threats to Christie and his staff at a meeting this weekend of firms that have been denied re-registration by the National Contracts Commission because of suspected corruption. Contractors who have been interviewed by Jamaica’s fraud squad and dropped from the official list for government work called the meeting and issued an ultimatum to Christie’s office.
Threats of violence were also made and an OCG staff member was warned to get police protection by the contractors.
The Office of the Contractor General in Jamaica said it has been contending with rampant corruption in the NCC’s Government Contractor Registration process for the last three years and has taken several decisive and deliberate steps to root it out from the Contractor Registration Process.
“The OCG, as a matter of necessity, has also instituted a 100% Zero Tolerance Compliance Audit of all Works Contractor Re-Registration Applications that have been submitted to the NCC,” Christie said in a statement in the wake of the threats. “These measures have resulted in roughly 60 contractors being investigated for major …. irregularities.”
As a result the OCG passed information to the Fraud Squad and delisted a number of companies from getting government work. “The ….regulations, which are developed and promulgated by the Government and the NCC - and not by the OCG - are clear and unambiguous in their terms,” the OCG general’s office stated.
“Many of the contractors that were in attendance at Saturday’s meetings would prefer if the referenced Regulations – which are intended to ensure that Government Contractors are suitably qualified, experienced and resourced to perform the Government contracts which they bid on – are relaxed,” Christie said as he vowed not to be intimidated.
“The OCG ………., will not be intimidated by ultimatums or threats of violence, which emanate from any person, contractor or contractor group, from diligently and dispassionately discharging its lawful responsibilities under the Contractor General Act,” he said adding that a report had been filed with the police.
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