Two months after five senior managers from the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) were dismissed due to reports of gross mismanagement at the state run entity, allegations have emerged of irregularities.
Sources have disclosed that officials of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation have requested a deeper probe into the affairs of the HAJ after a red flag was raised about a multi-million dollar contract.
The contract should have been reviewed by several state agencies as well as Cabinet, however, they were reportedly bypassed by a former senior manager at the housing agency.
According to sources, MOCA detectives have commenced preliminary investigations into several areas of the HAJ’s operations including the procurement department.
In one instance, it was revealed that a former senior manager approved a variation on a contract in the amount of $600 million. However, the requisite approval was reportedly not sought.
According to the source, the contract should have gone to an internal procurement committee; the National Contracts Commission; as well as Cabinet, due to the dollar value.
There are also reports that HAJ resources were used to build two houses on lands which were initially described as underdeveloped.
Gary Howell, Senior Manager for Sales and Services, is acting as managing director of HAJ in the interim.