Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Gov’t shelling out $200K per House sitting

Published:Tuesday | October 20, 2020 | 12:13 AM

It has cost the Government more than $200,000 for every sitting of the House of Representatives at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, since mid-September, according to information requested from the Houses of Parliament.

With four sittings of the Lower House, including the start of the new session of Parliament in September, the Government has had to shell out more than $800,000 to date for the meetings at the centre.

A decision was made by the Government to have sittings of the Lower House at the Jamaica Conference Centre in light of the Ministry of Health’s social-distancing protocol to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Jamaica Conference Centre is operated by the Urban Development Corporation.

Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Edmund Bartlett told members of the Lower House last week that renovation work was scheduled to start after the Heroes Weekend.

“As you are aware, we have been utilising the Kenneth Rattray Room for much of this month, and I’m to advise the House that work on the Gordon House reconfiguration will commence just after the Heroes Weekend, and we hope to be back there by the middle of November,” the House leader told his parliamentary colleagues last week.

It cost $208,096 to rent the Kenneth Rattray Room for the new session of Parliament and the swearing-in ceremony on September 15.

Each subsequent sitting of the House of Representatives cost $204,725.

editorial@gleanerjm.com