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VOL. 11 NO.595
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
JULY 31 - AUGUST 6, 2011
PRICE: $100 US$2.00
YP Seaton in $180m legal battle with NHT A
ttorney General Ransford Braham, earlier this year, led a legal battle on behalf of the National Housing Trust in its legal tussle with contractor YP Seaton & Associates Company
Limited to recover over $180 million. YP Seaton, which has been the recipient of the lion’s share of public works contracts under the government’s controversial
Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), was loaned the funds to construct 259 housing solutions in 1995. The scheme comprised of 210 two-bedroom units and 49 serv-
iced lots. The development was slated to be completed in 20 months after the first advance, subject to any extension of time granted. Based on the statement of claim
in the in the pre trial review heard in Chambers in March this year, the first advance was made to the company in November 1995 on the project, which should have been completed in July 1997. But by October that year it became apparent that the defendant would not be completing the development. The parties engaged in discussions over several months aimed at settling issues arising from the non-completion of the project. In July 1999, the parties arrived at a settlement, which identified certain unresolved issues, which were to be settled either by further discussions or through arbitration. The defendant chose the latter. Robert Evans and Robert Wan were appointed arbitrators by the parties, after which both men appointed Dr Hilton McDavid as mediator. The arbitration process took some time to materialize. However the parties agreed to
terms of reference in March 2009. After long deliberations, the arbitrators inked an award in October 2009. Under that agreement the amount to be paid to the NHT was finalized at $146,660,923.90 plus legal costs. This should have been paid after six months, but YP Seaton and Associates Company Limited has challenged the award. The company has received billions in public works contracts since the change of government in 2007, a matter, which has caught the attention of Contractor General Greg Christie. Earlier this year the company paid the air fares for Prime Minister Bruce Golding and his son on a bird shooting vacation in Paraguay. The government through Minister with responsibility for Information Daryl Vaz later produced a cheque, which he claimed was the Prime Minister’s cheque to cover the cost.
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LEGAL LUMINARIES HONOURED TONY PATEL PHOTO
Collectively their years of service to the legal fraternity surpasses over 150 years, as the Hon Justice Ferdinand Algernon Smith (left) Christopher David Rhys Bovell (right) and Howard Randolph Hamilton (centre) are men who have distinguished themselves not only in their chosen career path, but also in every aspect of their lives. The Jamaica Bar Association honoured the trio on Friday July 22, at their annual awards banquet held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The ballroom was packed to capacity with friends, well-wishers, fellow legal luminaries, young attorneys-at-laws and law students who came out to hear how these men have charted their paths to success, many times championing the cause of the marginalized, poor and disenfranchised.
Butch resigns as FDI flows fall to record lows T
here are indications that business mogul Gordon “Butch” Stewart has quit his job as chairman of JAMPRO, the country’s investment promotions agency, following the removal of Karl Samuda from the portfolio. Stewart’s resignation comes in the wake of 61 per cent decline in foreign direct investment from US$540.9 million in 2009 to US$201 million last year, the lowest level in 14 years. When he took the job on March 15 last
year, he asserted that he would have done everything possible to increase the flows of quality investments into the country. Sancia Bennett Templer, president of Jampro attributes this steep decline to a trend, which started during the year 2008 with the great recession, but the appointment of a big entrepreneur such as Stewart was expected to have stemmed the trend. The impact of the great recession on FDI flows was exacerbat-
ed by the high cost of power, the high levels of crime and insufficient investments in the country’s human and physical capital. This will lead to continued economic decline, high levels of unemployment, massive trade and current account deficits and a higher debt burden. Data released by the central bank and Jampro indicated that foreign direct investments in plant and machinery fell by almost US$900 million to
US$540.9 million in 2009 from US$1.4 billion in the year 2008, before falling sharply to US$201 million. This is coming from US$882.2 million in 2006 and US$866.5 million in 2007. The high cost of power will also make it difficult to maximize the returns from existing investments, making the country uncompetitive in export as well as local markets. TURN TO PAGE 5A
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