Neika Lewis has that story.

Scores of detainees in Jamaica’s police lockups are receiving just a single dumpling for supper.

That revelation was made today as the deficiencies in the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s procurement processes were publicized at today’s sitting of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, PAC.

The committee examined Auditor General Pamela Munroe-Ellis’ report on the JCF’s procurement management system.

Three hundred dollars a day.

That’s how much  is allocated to feed a person who’s being held in a police lock-up.

Eight years ago, the amount was even less. It was  200 dollars per day.

Central Manchester, MP Peter Bunting, was shocked to realise just how little that provided in terms of daily sustenance.

In the Auditor General’s report, 8 lock-ups were visited across the Corporate Area in June and July last year.

It was found that not only were several of the facilities over capacity but inmates were not being fed adequately.

In one instance in Portmore, 92 detainees were being held in a facility designed for 65.

They received only breakfast for the day constituting just tea and peg bread.

The Auditor General also noted that meals and other items such as uniforms were routinely acquired through direct or emergency procurement and not put to public tender.

She calls this a violation of the principles of competitiveness and transparency.

The JCF in response noted that the amount provided for meals would be increased to 500 hundred dollars daily as of next January.

However, MPs found that amount laughable.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, acknowledged the failings of the JCF’s procurement processes.

The Permanent Secretary says the decision has been made to move the catering process to open tender without a specific cap on spending.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary Diane McIntosh, admitted the JCF procurement infrastructure was woefully lacking compared to the size of the portfolio.

She acknowledged the concerns of the Auditor General and outlined steps being taken to address them.

Diane McIntosh, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security.
She was speaking this afternoon at Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.