Embattled Chairman of the Spectrum Management Authority of Jamaica, SMAJ, Trevor Forrest, has resigned.
Mr. Forrest resignation became effective on Tuesday at 5:00 in the afternoon. He tendered his resignation to Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.
Mr. Forrest told the Prime Minister that he’s resigned after having consultation with several persons including family and friends.
Forrest says he had consultation about varying perspective actions attributed to him in the public domain. He told the Prime Minister that he has never been afraid to accept responsibility for his actions.
He says in truth, during his tenure, he has always tried to abide by principles of good governance.
Mr. Forrest says he’s attempted to abide by the Government’s corporate governance framework that should govern agencies. But Forrest says he’s resigned following word that a review is to take place of all agencies under the Science, Technology and Energy Ministry.
Mr. Forrest says his resignation is to facilitate this process in the interest of the Sepctrum Authority and more so, the people of Jamaica.
Forrest noted that the Board of the Authority will move to nominate a new Chairman and advise the Prime Minister accordingly.
Mr. Forrest has come under pressure to resign in recent days. This after a chain of e-mails published in the print media led to allegations that he attempted to improperly insert former NESOL Managing Director, Carolyn Warren, into the recruitment process at the Spectrum Authority.
Mr. Forrest has denied wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, the Opposition People’s National Party is welcoming the Chairman’s resignation.
The Opposition on more than one occasion called for Mr. Forrest to either resign or be removed from all public sector boards.
Mr. Forrest had initially told Nationwide News he’d leave that decision to former Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Andrew Wheatley.
Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Phillip Pauwell says Mr. Forrest made the right decision to resign.
Mr. Pauwell says he also believes the incoming portfolio Minister should appoint all new boards with the Ministry.
Efforts to reach the Opposition Spokesman on Science and Technology, Julian Robinson for a comment were not successful.
However in a statement to the media yesterday, Mr. Robinson stated that Mr. Forrest’s actions were a flagrant disregard for the authority of the Permanent Secretary, Hillary Alexander.
Ms. Alexander was also copied on e-mails regarding the submission of the former NESOL Managing Director, Carolyn Warren’s resume on the SMA’s short list.
Ms. Alexander wrote back telling Mr. Forrest his request was not only outside of the regulations or standard practice but could potentially open the Minister or Ministry to serious questions regarding its recruitment practices.
She further stated ‘it consequently would not be in the interest of the entity, or by extension, the Ministry to proceed on this basis.’
Mr Robinson says even with this, which he’s describing as ‘crystal advice’, Mr Forrest insisted that his request stands, and expected it would be carried out accordingly.
Mr. Forrest had maintained that his actions were not in breach of any policies.