Money
JM | Jun 29, 2022

Robinson demands answers from Holness Gov’t as dust settles on failed Commonwealth campaign

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

administrator
Opposition finance spokesperson Julian Robinson, addressing media at a post-Budget Presentation press conference in Kingston on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Robinson is flanked by PNP general secretary Dayton Campbell and Opposition Leader Mark Golding. (Photo: Hanif Onana)

Amid Jamaica’s failed bid to secure the Commonwealth Secretary-General post in the Rwandan capital of Kigali last week, questions on the funding of the two-month campaign are today (June 29) being raised by Opposition Spokesperson on Finance Julian Robinson. 

Robinson, cutting straight to the point, is demanding clarity from the Andrew Holness-led administration on several aspects of Jamaica’s participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which concluded on June 25. 

His questions are as follows: 

  • Would the Prime Minister state the following:
    1. The total cost of the campaign for Jamaica’s candidature for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General;
    2. The cost for airfare and accommodation; and 
    3. The cost for marketing, communications and public relations for the campaign? 
  • Would the Prime Minister confirm if Finn Partners provided public relations, media relations, and thought leadership services for Jamaica’s candidature for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General? 
  •  If the answer to part 2 is in the affirmative, would the Prime Minister state:
    1. By whom that company was engaged,
    2. The duration of the contract,
    3. The amounts paid and payable to the company under the contract, and
    4. The source of the funds to pay the company.
  • Would the Prime Minister indicate whether the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) received any financial or other support from any other government or non-Jamaican entity in connection with Jamaica’s candidacy?
  • If the answer to part 4 is in the affirmative, would the Prime Minister provide the details of such support?
  • Would the Prime Minister state how many persons from Jamaica (inclusive of the GOJ delegation, media and Non-Governmental Organisations) travelled to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda at taxpayers’ expense?
  • Would the Prime Minister indicate the total cost of Jamaica’s participation at the CHOGM in Rwanda?

At the close of the election, incumbent Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland staved off the challenge by Jamaica’s candidate Kamina Johnson Smith to remain in the post and complete her two-term tenure. 

Baroness Patricia Scotland speaking after confirmation that she returned as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat on June 24, 2022; the penultimate day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. (Photo: Facebook @commonwealthsec)

Scotland, saved blushes by a narrow three-vote margin, defeated Johnson Smith 27-24.

Comments

What To Read Next