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New energy minister to focus on strengthening governance

Saturday, February 16, 2019

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NEWLY appointed Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams says the first order of business will be promoting good governance across the ministry.

Williams said she will be guided in this regard by the new procedures approved by Cabinet in the selection of boards and in the procurement process.

The guidelines are in keeping with the Administration's undertaking to further strengthen the corporate governance framework of statutory bodies in order to improve accountability and the transparency of operations.

“Right now, what the Jamaican people want is for their hope and trust to be restored in this organisation (the ministry and its agencies), so that is first,” she said in an interview with reporters following the ceremonial opening of Parliament on February 14.

“We (including the new permanent secretary) will go in and begin the process of restoring their trust and confidence in these institutions,” she continued.

Williams said the Government will be forging ahead with the compulsory acquisition of Petrojam.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness tabled the Bill to retake ownership of the 49 per cent shares in the State-owned oil refinery that are held by the Venezuelan State-owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDV) Caribe.

Entitled the Compulsory Acquisition (Shares in Petrojam Limited) Act of 2019, the Bill provides for: ownership of the applicable property to vest in the accountant general in trust for the Government, and for compensation to be paid to persons having an interest in the property in accordance with specified rules.

Meanwhile, Williams advised that there will be “broad consultations” from interested parties on the terms of references for the forensic audit into Petrojam.

She assured that the drafting of the terms of reference will be a transparent process “so that the people of Jamaica will (be able to) trust the outcomes”.


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