Petrojam spends $2.6 million on surprise parties

The Auditor General’s report has brought to light, Petrojam’s poor management of expenditure at the state run enterprise.

In the report released yesterday (December 4), the Auditor General revealed that the entity spent several millions of taxpayer dollars on birthday parties – one for a former chairman and the other for the then portfolio minister.

The document shows that on November 17, 2017 and January 5, 2018, Petrojam’s General Manager approved payments for invoices totalling US $21,767 dollars or Jamaican $2.6 million Jamaican dollars, in relation to the parties, which were of a personal and private nature.

The parties were held on September 19, 2017 and January 9, 2018 at two hotels in Montego Bay.

Copies of the hotels’ invoices, along with email correspondences, referred to both events as ‘surprise birthday party’ and ‘surprise party’, respectively.

The report indicated the breakdown of the $2.6 million spent on party expenses to include $120,000 spent on a birthday cake, $760,000 for food and beverages and more than $570,000 spent on accommodation.

In the meantime, the Auditor General also raised concern about the mechanism used by Petrojam to calculate the weekly prices at which it sold petroleum to local marketing companies.

The Auditor General said she could not ascertain whether the market adjustment used to calculate the weekly ex-refinery prices was always determined in a transparent manner, as minutes of the company’s weekly pricing meetings were unavailable.