JLP calls for Paulwell's resignation

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is calling for the resignation of Opposition Spokesman on Energy Phillip Paulwell in light of his involvement in the auditor general's report of corruption at the state-owned oil refinery Petrojam.

The JLP also says that Paulwell should recuse himself from deliberations of Parliamentary oversight bodies which are likely to shortly review the auditor general's report which extends to the tenure during which he was the “Primus Inter Pares of the Energy Sector”.

According to JLP General Secretary, Dr Horace Chang, it's noteworthy, that concerning issues raised in the energy sector under the current JLP administration, there has been accountability via resignations at the ministerial, board and management levels.

“However, in contrast there has been no such accountability in respect of the Opposition People's National Party's Spokesperson on Energy, who served as Minister for three of the five-year-span reviewed in the Auditor General's probe,” Chang said.

“It is in this vein the Jamaica Labour Party is calling for Phillip Paulwell to resign as Opposition Spokesman on Energy, or to be fired by Opposition Leader Peter Phillips,” he insisted.

Chang added that, “it's also noteworthy and regrettable that over $5 billion worth of unaccounted for oil at Petrojam extends to the tenure of former Energy Minister, Phillip Paulwell, who's now a PNP vice president and the party's Spokesman on Energy”.

“It's unfortunate that Paulwell who survived as minister during the Solutrea, EWI, Netserv, Light Bulb and Trafigura scandals has now positioned himself as a voice of reason in relation to issues at Petrojam which also prevailed under his watch,” Dr Chang argued.

He said that Paulwell should be held to account for the delay in the country's crucial move towards energy security because of what the Contractor General had identified as Paulwell's "unfair, highly irregular and improper intervention" in the procurement process in securing a preferred bidder, EWI, to construct the plant.

It should be further noted that under Paulwell's watch for the first time an international development finance agency, the IDB was moved to raise public concerns and withdrew from the process which was crucial to achieving Jamaica's energy security.

The JLP General Secretary said that silence from stakeholder groups on the issue of Paulwell's posture would be hypocritical, especially in a context where the Auditor General's Petrojam report implicates Paulwell's tenure but the member in question now purports to speak with credibility on the same subject area in his capacity as Opposition Spokesman.

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