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Jamaicans will have to wait longer for answers about the money the government has spent to fund Foreign Secretary Kamina Johnson Smith’s campaign for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General.
The contest ended with Johnson Smith losing in June to incumbent Baroness Patricia Scotland.
Edmund Bartlett, House Leader of Government Affairs, said on Tuesday Prime Minister Andrew Holness would answer questions from St Andrew South East MP Julian Robinson on June 28 at the next sitting.
Bartlett was answering Robinson’s questions about the Prime Minister’s late responses.
Holness should have delivered his answers on July 19.
It is unclear at this stage whether Holness will take questions during a special session of the Lower House on Tuesday afternoon to receive Senate amendments to the Road Traffic Act. Bartlett told his colleagues that during this session lawmakers will discuss the traditional summer vacation.
Robinson had filed his questions after The Sunday Gleaner sought answers, among other things, on the budget or the total cost of the campaign and the source of funding.
In her failed bid to become Commonwealth Secretary General, Johnson Smith made stops in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa as she tried to drum up support for her candidacy.
International media reported a US$99,000 (J$15 million) outlay for public relations and thought leadership services from international marketing firm Finn Partners. The three-month contract ended on June 30.
In June, de facto Information Minister Robert Morgan has indicated that a full breakdown of Johnson Smith’s campaign funding and spending will be revealed in the coming weeks.
A joint session of Jamaica’s bicameral legislature will be held on August 5, when Namibian President Hage Geingob will address lawmakers.
1. Could the Prime Minister provide the following: a) the total cost of the campaign for Jamaica’s candidacy for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General; (b) cost of airfare and accommodation; and (c) the cost of marketing, communications and public relations for the campaign?
2. Would the Prime Minister confirm whether Finn Partners provided public relations, media relations and thought leadership services for Jamaica’s bid for Commonwealth Secretary General?
3. If the answer to part 2 is yes, would the Prime Minister indicate: (a) by whom this company was engaged, (b) the duration of the contract, (c) the amounts paid and payable to the company in under the contract, and (d) the source of funds to pay the business?
4. Could the Prime Minister advise if the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has received any financial or other support from any other government or non-Jamaican entity in connection with Jamaica’s bid?
5. If the answer to part 4 is yes, would the Prime Minister provide details of this support?
6. Could the Prime Minister advise how many people from Jamaica (including the GOJ delegation, media and non-governmental organizations) traveled to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda at the expense of taxpayers?
7. Could the Prime Minister provide the total cost of Jamaica’s participation in CHOGM in Rwanda?