Finance Minister Audley Shaw racks up $64,869 cellular phone bill

first_imgFinance Minister, Audley Shaw phone bill a whopping JMD$8 MillionFollowing public outcry after it was revealed that Jamaica’s finance minister Audley Shaw racked up a J$8.3 million cell phone bill, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that all Cabinet ministers will take responsibility for their telephone bills.Following an emergency meeting of the island’s cabinet at Gordon House in Kingston on Tuesday, Holness said the situation is unacceptable and must be addressed immediately.During the meeting Holness ordered an audit of all cell phone bills of Ministers and State Ministers to confirm the accuracy of information in the public domain.Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew HolnessHolness admitted that there was no standard, clear and consistent policy being applied across government regarding the treatment of communication expenses for Ministers.Read More: Jamaican Government reduces property tax ratesThe Prime Minister has directed the Ministry of Finance to review the respective policies for the provision of communication services including cell phones, operating in the various Ministries. This is to allow Cabinet to make a comprehensive decision on how communication services and expenses for Ministers are treated. Below is a copy of Audley Shaw’s phone bill from April 2016 to March 2017.A copy of Audley Shaw phone bill from April 2016 to March 2017Should phone bills be capped?In the interim, he instructed that cellular phone expenses be capped. The Ministry of Finance has been tasked to advise the Prime Minister, within a week on the appropriate amount for the cap. Any amount exceeding the cap should, therefore, be the responsibility of the respective Ministers unless otherwise approved by the Permanent Secretary.The Cabinet members have agreed that public concerns about the level of some bills are valid.Read More: Income Tax threshold increase for JamaicansIn furtherance of their Ministerial responsibility to be frugal with the public purse, notwithstanding that most of the costs incurred would have been in pursuit of the Government’s business, they have committed to reimburse the Government retroactively the difference between actual bill and the capped amount to be determined and imposed.In the meantime, the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology is being mandated to enter into discussions with telecommunications providers to devise standard cell phone and data packages for Government Ministers.last_img

first_imgFinance Minister, Audley Shaw phone bill a whopping JMD$8 MillionFollowing public outcry after it was revealed that Jamaica’s finance minister Audley Shaw racked up a J$8.3 million cell phone bill, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that all Cabinet ministers will take responsibility for their telephone bills.Following an emergency meeting of the island’s cabinet at Gordon House in Kingston on Tuesday, Holness said the situation is unacceptable and must be addressed immediately.During the meeting Holness ordered an audit of all cell phone bills of Ministers and State Ministers to confirm the accuracy of information in the public domain.Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew HolnessHolness admitted that there was no standard, clear and consistent policy being applied across government regarding the treatment of communication expenses for Ministers.Read More: Jamaican Government reduces property tax ratesThe Prime Minister has directed the Ministry of Finance to review the respective policies for the provision of communication services including cell phones, operating in the various Ministries. This is to allow Cabinet to make a comprehensive decision on how communication services and expenses for Ministers are treated. Below is a copy of Audley Shaw’s phone bill from April 2016 to March 2017.A copy of Audley Shaw phone bill from April 2016 to March 2017Should phone bills be capped?In the interim, he instructed that cellular phone expenses be capped. The Ministry of Finance has been tasked to advise the Prime Minister, within a week on the appropriate amount for the cap. Any amount exceeding the cap should, therefore, be the responsibility of the respective Ministers unless otherwise approved by the Permanent Secretary.The Cabinet members have agreed that public concerns about the level of some bills are valid.Read More: Income Tax threshold increase for JamaicansIn furtherance of their Ministerial responsibility to be frugal with the public purse, notwithstanding that most of the costs incurred would have been in pursuit of the Government’s business, they have committed to reimburse the Government retroactively the difference between actual bill and the capped amount to be determined and imposed.In the meantime, the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology is being mandated to enter into discussions with telecommunications providers to devise standard cell phone and data packages for Government Ministers.last_img

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