Opposition Demands Breakdown of CHOGM Spend Following Filing

The Opposition is demanding transparency and accountability from the government of Jamaica regarding the spend for Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith’s campaign for Commonwealth Secretary General. This after a filing in the United States allegedly contradicts several aspects of the spend pertaining to PR firm, Finn Partners. `

The government of Jamaica should come clean with full disclosure of who paid US $99,000 for or on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. That is the charge from Opposition Spokesperson on Justice and Information, Senator Donna Scott Mottley. 

Opposition Senator Donna Scott Mottley says the Government must also declare the payment dates and the purpose for which the payments were made. She says only full disclosure will satisfy the transparency test. This after it was alleged that taxpayers funded 18.2 million dollars towards the minister’s failed bid. 

Scott Mottley insists that Information Minister Robert Morgan, misled the Jamaican people when he described the Finn Partners PR contract for the commonwealth secretary general campaign as a “private transaction between Jamaican companies and a US company”.

In a statement, she said she had disclosure of the contract from an eleven-page US Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filing done by Finn Partners on June 1, 2022, and amended on June 6, for the contract which began on April 22, 2022, with equal payments of US$33,000 at the start of work, May 1, 2022, and June 1, 2022.

Senator Scott Mottley says the disclosure lists senator Johnson Smith as the “foreign principal” with her address being 2 Port Royal Street, Kingston, Jamaica, the same as Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign trade.

She says “nowhere in the FARA filing does it mention any Jamaican private sector company as claimed by Minister Morgan, who speaks for the cabinet of Jamaica”. The opposition senator says Morgan’s public statement exposes Jamaica to direct conflict with the United States Foreign Agent Registration System. 

Senator Scott Motley noted that in the filing, there are a number of references to the ministry of foreign affairs and foreign trade of Jamaica and is questioning why was it necessary to refer to the ministry if the contract was between private parties.

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