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  • The board of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is reporting that it has improved governance and financial challenges at the entity.
  • This has been attributed to meeting the majority of recommendations outlined in a 2012 Auditor General (AG) Performance report.
  • Chairman of the Corporation, Senator KD Knight, said 15 of the 18 recommendations in the AG’s report that were received at the start of the tenure of the current board have been met, and in another two months, all of them would be accomplished.

The board of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is reporting that it has improved governance and financial challenges at the entity, by meeting the majority of recommendations outlined in a 2012 Auditor General (AG) Performance report.

Chairman of the Corporation, Senator KD Knight, said 15 of the 18 recommendations in the AG’s report that were received at the start of the tenure of the current board have been met, and in another two months, all of them would be accomplished.

“This board mandated management to ensure that each recommendation would be implemented. We felt that this was an issue to be tackled, and we tackled it, and at the end of our tenure, we feel that we have achieved in improving governance within the Corporation,” the UDC Chairman said.

He was addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, February 10, at the entity’s downtown Kingston offices.

Senator Knight said the board, which is at the end of its three-year tenure, has improved the financial status of the entity to one that is “sustainable”. He said the agency has shed assets that were costing millions each year for insurance and security, while they remained idle.

“The financial status of the Corporation when we arrived was one that caused us some concern. We were in a loss position; we could not properly service our debts,” he informed, adding that mechanisms were employed to reduce expenditure, and ensure efficiencies.

He noted further that the structure of the Corporation was modernised to effectively carry out its mandate of spearheading development projects, which it achieved by adopting cost-saving methods.

“We are in a position now, where the UDC’s financial status is far more secure than it was when we assumed office. We have put in on the kind of foundation, which is sustainable,” he stressed.

Mr. Knight informed that five major buildings have been divested, with three acquired by the private sector, and they are being retrofitted for use as commercial operations. One facility will be used by HEART Trust /NTA, to provide training for the general workforce for mega projects such the Logistics Hub.

“From those divestments will come the creation of jobs at different levels. They will make a huge impact on the national economy… and employment statistics,” he said.

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