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OCG gives ultimatum to permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell
The row between Contractor General Greg Christie and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport Works and Housing, Audrey Sewell has deepened, with the Contractor General threatening to refer Ms. Sewell for prosecution. On Thursday morning Ms Sewell sent a release to the media seeking to outline her position on Monday's raid by the Office of the Contractor General on the Ministry's offices.
The OCG was seeking information on the government's JEEP programme launched Thursday afternoon. In his latest salvo, Mr. Christie says he notes with alarm and surprise the content of the Ministry's release. He said the OCG was categorically denying the Ministry’s assertion that “there have been meetings and the exchange of Memoranda between the Ministry and the OCG." The OCG also refuted the Transport Ministry's assertion that it had responded to all questions the OCG raised in relation to JEEP.
The Contractor General says other than a meeting on Monday with Ms. Sewell, when an OCG Team made an unannounced visit to the Ministry, no member of the OCG’s staff has ever met with any member of the Ministry's staff to discuss JEEP.
Mr. Christie says the only correspondence that the OCG has exchanged with the Ministry, regarding JEEP are the OCG’s initial Letter of Requisition to the Permanent Secretary, dated February 27, 2012; her Response, dated March 7, 2012, a further Letter of Requisition dated March 20, 2012, which was hand-delivered to Ms. Sewell when the OCG Team made its un-announced visit on Monday and the OCG’s final letter of Requisition Thursday.
Mr. Christie notes that there are several OCG Requisitions regarding JEEP, which are yet to be satisfied by Ms Sewell. He said she unequivocally asserted in Monday's meeting that neither she, the JEEP Project Manager, nor the Ministry was in a position to provide that information to the OCG. The OCG says given what it regards as the Permanent Secretary’s misleading inferences to the Media, the Office on Thursday formally demanded that she satisfy all outstanding Requisitions, by three o'clock tomorrow.
The OCG says failure to meet this deadline will render the Permanent Secretary liable for referral for prosecution.