Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that he is shocked that non-disclosure agreements would be used at the level of a board.
The prime minister was responding to a question by Television Jamaica’s Andrea Chisholm during this morning’s press conference at Jamaica House to announce the imposition of a state of emergency for East Kingston.
Chisholm asked Holness whether he was aware of the non-disclosure agreements signed by the 23-member council governing the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), which The Sunday Gleaner broke today.
The agreements were signed by the council members after meeting for the first time in eight months. During the period when the board had not meet, the university had executed contracts totalling $200 million.
Holness says he will be seriously looking into the matter.
“That is most unusual and I will have to take advice, as to whether that is permissible and I will be doing so on Monday,” he told journalists gathered at Jamaica House on Sunday morning.
He says he would be discussing the matter at cabinet on Monday.
Dr Grace McLean, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, told The Gleaner that the agreement is a part of the governance framework. She said it is included on a framework checklist the ministry introduced during the legislative year along with a declaration of interest form.
And responding to whether he had knowledge of the content of the Auditor General’s Report on operations at the CMU before its tabling, the prime minister said that while he was aware of the draft report from August, but was never given access to the report until a few days ago. He said his permanent secretary maintained an embargo on the report.
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