Following an appraisal of a recent newspaper article that speculated on expenditure on the premises at 5 Millsborough Crescent, St. Andrew, which is now occupied by Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, the Ministry has moved to outline the background to the actual expenditure on the property, which was acquired and refurbished by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ).
The records indicate that over the years the property has been occupied by a succession of Government Ministers. For years, repairs there were done on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Works. However, when the property was acquired by the Jamaica Omnibus Service (JOS), the company took over responsibility for the maintenance and general upkeep of the premises.
Since the JOS went out of business in the 1970s, there has been virtually no repairs or upkeep of the property, due to its ownership by a defunct company.
Although Cabinet gave approval in 2000 for the ownership to be formally transferred to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), the transfer was not done.
Some of the interior damage to the house at Millsborough Crescent, St. Andrew which was bought and refurbished by the Port Authority of Jamaica and is currently occupied by Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry.
On assuming office in September 2007, and being advised of the availability of the Millsborough Crescent premises for his use, Minister Henry enquired about the obvious repair needs there, but was advised that the Ministry of Transport and Works could not have the repairs done, based on the fact that the JOS still owned the property.
After an appraisal of the situation, followed by a note being sent to Cabinet on the matter, the property was eventually offered for sale to the Port Authority, which later acquired the asset as part of its pension fund investments, and has since had repair and refurbishing works done.
The details of the works done on behalf of the Port Authority are listed in an accompanying outline from the authority.
The Cabinet is expected to review the process of formally transferring the ownership of the property from the JOS to the JUTC, based on the 2000 decision, then to the Port Authority, as a result of the above-mentioned purchase agreement.