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A Parliamentary Committee is to be established to examine the relevance of the Office of the Political Ombudsman.

Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, informed the Lower House of the decision at Tuesday’s (April 17) sitting.

“This is a committee that will be meeting very shortly to examine the matter (the Political Ombudsman Interim Act) and report back to Parliament,” Mr. Paulwell said.

The decision is in response to a motion moved by Member of Parliament for South West St. Catherine, Everald Warmington, calling for the Office of Political Ombudsman to be declared redundant.

In his remarks, Mr. Warmington noted that the office was appropriate at the time it was introduced, however, it has outlived its usefulness. “At this time, we don’t believe it is necessary nor has a function within the whole realm,” Mr. Warmington said.

“There is an agreement at this stage that (the matter), having been debated, can be referred to a committee for further consideration and report to be brought back here, and I concur with such agreement,” he added.

According to the motion brought by the Member of Parliament, it now cost the Jamaican taxpayers $18.6 million annually to maintain the Political Ombudsman and his office.

The Office of the Political Ombudsman was established in 2002 and has the responsibility of investigating issues in the political arena. It is currently being held by Bishop Herro Blair.

 

By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter