Light Bulb Project Turned Over to Fraud Squad and DPP


Minister of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, Clive Mullings, on (Nov. 6) said that investigations into the Cuban Light Bulb Project have been turned over to the Police Fraud Squad and the Department of Public Prosecution.
The matter was previously referred to the Contractor General and the Auditor General.
Mr. Mullings, in a statement on the matter in the House of Representatives, questioned why the Universal Management and Development Company Limited, which was incorporated shortly before the project started in 2006, had received payment of more than $49.7 million for transportation stipend and accommodation for the Cubans, when the Cuban authorities indicated that they had paid the stipend for the Cuban volunteers, who helped install the energy saving bulbs.
“Universal Management and Development Company Limited has submitted invoices, had them approved and then paid by the Government of Jamaica for a stipend, which as stated previously was paid by the Cuban Government,” he said.
On October 23, Mr. Mullings told the Lower House that more than $114 million has already been paid out for the implementation of the Cuban Bulb Project, through the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.
Of the total amount, he said $85.6 million was paid to a company called Universal Management and Development Company Limited for various services purported to be connected with the implementation of the project.
In addition, the Minister said $3.3 million was paid to another company called Caribbean Communications and Media Network Limited.
The Light Bulb Distribution Project originated through the generosity of the Government of Cuba, which undertook to provide Jamaica with 4 million fluorescent bulbs free of cost. A condition of the gift stipulated by the Cuban Government was that the bulbs must be provided to householders at all income levels free of cost.
In the meantime, the Minister said that no further payment will be made until the investigations are completed and a decision made by the Cabinet.
“The instructions that no further payments relating to this project are to be made until the aforementioned investigations are completed, and a decision made by the Cabinet, has been implemented and are being carried out to the letter,” Mr. Mullings stated.

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