Wheatley apologises for absence from Joint Select Committee

Former Science and Technology Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley today sought to clear the air about his absence from several meetings of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee (JSC) which is reviewing the Data Protection Act of 2017.

Wheatley, who quit the Andrew Holness Cabinet last July in the wake of a deepening scandal involving Petrojam, one of the agencies under his portfolio – was also chairman of the JSC up to that point.

He said his extended absence from the meetings was not intentional as was intimated over the last couple of meetings of the JSC.

“Let me apologise for my extended absence from this committee meeting, as I was reliably misinformed that I was no longer a member of this committee,” Wheatley told the committee at meeting Gordon House today.

He spoke on the motion for apologies for absence.

According to the former minister, it was only on Sunday of this week that he was informed by another committee member that he is still a member of the committee. He said this was confirmed by the committee clerk.

The committee is now chaired by Minister of Science Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams. The Bill was assigned to a JSC of Parliament in 2017, but deliberations stalled for over a year, and resumed in July this year.

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