Timeline: The NESOL Scandal

Background to the Issue

Coming in tandem with the Petrojam Scandal (see our timeline here), a scandal has unfolded around the management of the National Energy Solution Limited (NESOL). NESOL falls under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Energy & Technology, overseen by embattled Minister Andrew Wheatley. Formerly known as the Rural Electrification Programme (REP), it is responsible for creating new energy solutions to expand the reach of electricity supply to rural areas and minimize unauthorized connections to the national grid in urban communities through the build-out of renewable energy at the domestic level.

NESOL’s Acting Chief Engineer Lawrence Pommells was arrested on money laundering charges, and an audit on the projects that Mr. Pomells signed off on up until his arrest was requested by the PAAC. A timeline of the resulting scandal is chronicled below.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pommels was allowed to sign cheques for seven months after his stint as acting chief engineer ended in November 2017. According to company policy, Pommels should have been removed as a signing officer after Anthony Brown, chief engineer, returned from leave that ran from May to November 2017.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Phillip Paulwell called for Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in his capacity as Minister of Energy, to immediately relieve Carolyn Warren of her duties as managing director of NESOL.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Anthony Brown, NESOL chief engineer, told Parliament’s PPAC that he was circumvented from continuing as a signing officer at the entity when he returned from a seven-month lease. Lawrence Pommels was elevated to signing officer over three other engineers with degrees, Pommells himself having only a diploma in engineering. NESOL’s Director of Finance, Angella Prendergast, who joined the company as Financial Specialist and was promoted two months later to Director of Finance, did not apply for her original post through advertisement, saying she heard of the position “through the grapevine.”

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Warren resigns. The Opposition insist Trevor Forrest’s attempt to breach procedures to parachute Carolyn Warren to the Spectrum Management Authority makes him unsuitable to sit on any government board. Forrest insisted that Warren’s application be on the short list of candidates for the post of Manager – Administration even though it was late, but his request was rebuffed by then managing director, Dr David McBean.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Warren admits that she has six criminal convictions. The Opposition steps up pressure on the government, calling for the removal of Trevor Forrest, who is chairman of the Spectrum Management Authority, deputy chairman of the Universal Service Fund Board, and the e-Learning board, from all state boards.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

PSOJ head Howard Mitchell has called for an audit of the “general conduct” on state boards of Trevor Forrest.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

It is revealed that Trevor Forrest ignored the advice of MSET permanent secretary Hilary Alexander against the late addition of Carolyn Warren to a shortlist of persons to be interviewed for a management position after the application process had closed in 2016.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Friday, August 3, 2018

Trevor Forrest resigned yesterday as board chairman for Spectrum Management Authority (SMA).

Sunday, August 5, 2018