The Government has revealed that GraceKennedy Limited, The Musson Group and Keith Duncan were responsible for engaging the services of FINN Partners, the US-based company that provided communication and other services for the failed Commonwealth Secretary-General bid of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith.
Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for information, Robert Morgan, made the disclosure as he answered questions on behalf of Prime Minister Andrew Holness in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
He was responding to questions previously posed by Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Julian Robinson, before the Parliament went on its summer break.
As has been previously stated and confirmed by FINN Partners, Morgan reiterated that the firm rendered services to the Johnson Smith campaign.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information, Robert Morgan
“Members of corporate Jamaica paid FINN Partners to provide international communication services for Jamaica’s candidature for the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General.
“As stated in public filings made by FINN Partners, the contract was for three months — the anticipated duration of the Commonwealth Secretary-General campaign”.
Morgan said the amounts paid and payable to the company under the contract, as stated in public filings made by FINN Partners, was US$99,000.
When questioned about the source of the funds, Morgan said: “The government is aware that members of corporate Jamaica paid FINN Partners for their services. The government has received permission from GraceKennedy Limited, The Musson Group and Keith Duncan to make the public aware that they contributed to the payment of FINN Partners.”
As to whether the government received any financial or other support from any other government or non-Jamaican entity in connection with Jamaica’s candidacy, Morgan said no other financial or other support was received from any other source.
The government disclosed in early August that it spent a combined $43 million on Johnson Smith’s campaign to wrest the Commonwealth Secretary-General position away from Baroness Patricia Scotland, and for its delegation that attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in Kigali, Rwanda in June.
A total of $18.2 million was spent on the Johnson Smith campaign that started with the surprise announcement of her candidature by Jamaica House in April. Approximately $25 million was spent on the delegation, which included Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his wife Juliet, that attended the week-long Summit at which the incumbent, Dominica-born Scotland, narrowly defeated Johnson Smith to retain her position as Commonwealth Secretary-General.
The Jamaica House statement then confirmed that global marketing agency, FINN Partners provided public relations, media relations and thought leadership services for Johnson Smith.
“The Government of Jamaica was not a party to this arrangement, which was secured by corporate Jamaica,” the statement said.