JIS News

Transport and Works Minister, Michael Henry, has said that he will be seeking the guidance of the Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, regarding the current tenure of Acting Managing Director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Bindley Sangster, at the organization.
Mr. Sangster had requested a leave of absence from his position to facilitate investigations by the Office of the Contractor General, into reported breaches in the award of contracts by the state-run transport company, in which he was implicated.
Addressing journalists at a media briefing at Jamaica House on Thursday (Dec. 18), Mr. Henry said the JUTC Board had requested that Mr. Sangster stay on as Acting Managing Director until December 31, to facilitate a smooth transition by his successor. He said, however, that the Attorney General will be consulted on the matter.
“I will stand by the Board’s request, subject to the Attorney General’s advice (but), I have only acceded to Mr. Sangster’s staying until that transition period has concluded. In the final analysis that decision will rest with (me, as) Minister,” Mr. Henry stated.
Meanwhile, JUTC Chairman, Robin Levy, who was also present, said the Board of Directors stand ready to support Mr. Sangster, amidst allegations of breaches on his part, in his submissions to the Office of the Contractor General.
“We have reviewed what the Contractor General has identified as the breaches that he committed, in terms of the statement to the OCG. We believe that he really has done nothing terribly wrong, and that all he did was, in his opinion, in the best interest of the company, at all times,” Mr. Levy stated.
The JUTC Chairman also said that the Board will support any investigation that will be conducted into Mr. Sangster’s actions. “We will cooperate with any investigative authority but we do believe that he will be vindicated,” he added.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Alwin Hales, who also attended the briefing, advised that internal auditors are examining the JUTC’s operations, adding that “we do not expect to discover anything additional, because the Board had endeavoured to make full disclosure, and that, we think, they did.”
“Nevertheless, we are looking at the JUTC…, not only at events, but we are also looking at systems and procedures, to ensure that the organisation is complying with the Government’s guidelines on procurement procedures, and that if there are events that might not yet be disclosed, (that) those will be disclosed as well,” he stated.