- Prime Minister Simpson Miller addresses questions in parliament relating to the Outameni Experience and the National Housing Trust.
- Prime Minister Simpson Miller states that all documentation between Government bodies and the Outameni stakeholders will be submitted to the Auditor General and the Contractor General.
- The Board of the National Housing Trust has made public through the media, the Sale Agreement for the purchase of the property.
Will the Prime Minister state whether she received correspondence or information from a Mr. Lennie Little-White or any party, within or external to the Government offering for sale or advising of the acquisition of lands and/or other assets related to the Outameni Experience, and if so when did she receive such correspondence or information?
Upon review of all the files presented to me, I can inform this Honourable House that:
1. I received no correspondence from Mr. Lennie Little-White. However, on January 10, 2012 I received a letter from his late sister, Dr. Heather Little-White. She said in her letter that former Prime Minister Hon. Bruce Golding before he demitted office, had instructed the then Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett to spearhead a team to save the attraction.
She pointed noted that Mr. Golding’s letter to Mr. Bartlett said, “it would be a terrible loss to see this attraction fold being one of the few that portray Jamaica’s history and indigenous culture.” She also said in her letter to me that she had raised the matter with the former Minister of Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange but nothing had been done and that she had later appealed to former Prime Minister Hon. Andrew Holness and did not get a reply. Dr. Little-White appealed to me to see how the attraction could be refinanced such as a mortgage for 15 years or more and repackaged because of its national importance to education and culture.
2. On February 10, 2012 I was copied on a letter from the Minister of Transport, Works and Housing Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies addressed to the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill. The letter from Dr. Davies brought to the attention of the Tourism Minister, a letter written by former Prime Minister Hon. Bruce Golding to the former Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett suggesting that Mr. Bartlett spearhead a move to find a solution to the problem being encountered by the “Outameni Experience” attraction.
3. On March 13, 2012 I wrote to the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment referencing the letter from Dr. Davies. Like former Prime Minister Golding before me had done in respect of his Tourism Minister, I asked the Minister of Tourism to intervene to see what can be done to save the property, which even though privately owned, was set up as a heritage attraction.
4. The matter never again came to my attention until it was reported in the media that the property had been purchased by the National Housing Trust…Read More