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Probe NHC!

marciadottin, [email protected]

Probe NHC!

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ALL BUILDING CONTRACTS awarded by the National Housing Corporation (NHC) between December 2008 and August 2010 could be subjected to investigation by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.And as early as this week, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) will be drafting and filing a resolution in Parliament to start the process.Opposition Leader Mia Mottley announced this on Sunday night while addressing the BLP’s St Thomas branch at Lester Vaughan School.Waving a copy of a two-page statement released by former chairperson of the NHC, Marilyn Rice-Bowen, during a media briefing last Saturday, Mottley told party members and supporters that “sometimes it takes your own to bring you down”.   The St Michael North East MP noted that Rice-Bowen’s appointment had been terminated and she had put four charges in the public domain that demanded immediate answers.Rice-Bowen accused Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley of bypassing the NHC board in making decisions with respect to projects funded by that statutory body. She also questioned the volume of the work being awarded to small contractors, many of whom she described as on the brink of failure.Mottley sought clarification in relation to Country Park Towers at Forde’s Road being built by Jada Construction Ltd.“I want to know what was the situation in relation to Coverley also being built by the Jada group of companies. I want to know whether those projects were recommended by the NHC board to the minister or if it was from the minister to the board. “I want to know whether Jada or anyone affiliated with Jada has started consultancy work at Bushy Park which is another 1 000 houses. I want to know who else has received more work from the NHC since January 2008 than the Jada group of companies.”Mottley suggested that Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had the power to act because on July 1, 2010, Prime Minister David Thompson said he (Stuart) had full powers to do all that was necessary.“You can behave like the Right Excellent Errol Barrow when he fired then Cabinet minister Joy Edwards. He can behave like that, or he can let us follow the long route and investigate these contracts because the people of Barbados and the Public Accounts Committee, which I chair, ought to be able to see the contracts to determine whether Rice-Bowen is accurate in her description or she is lacking in her description as to what transpired.” (WG)