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:
- The total cost of the campaign for Jamaica’s candidature for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General;
- The cost for airfare and accommodation; and
- 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:
- By whom that company was engaged,
- The duration of the contract,
- The amounts paid and payable to the company under the contract, and
- 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.
Scotland, saved blushes by a narrow three-vote margin, defeated Johnson Smith 27-24.