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Montague’s six-page statement written in 100 minutes

MEMBER OF Parliament for St Mary Western Robert Montague yesterday asked Speaker of the House of Representatives Marisa Dalrymple Philibert if he could address an addendum from the Integrity Commission, which was tabled in Parliament earlier that day.

The Integrity Commission says that the report was sent to Gordon House, the seat of Jamaica’s Parliament, on May 30 at 10:36 a.m. and collected by a member of the parliamentary staff.

The House of Representatives sat on May 30 and again on May 31, at which time the Integrity Commission’s addendum had not been tabled.

Seven minutes into the sitting of the Lower House yesterday, after the tabling of the addendum by Clerk to the Houses Valrie Curtis, Montague signalled to the Speaker that he wanted to address the contents of the addendum on the Motion of Adjournment.

The Speaker indicated that she would allow him to move the motion at the time of the adjournment.

About 100 minutes after the report was tabled, Montague rose on the Motion of Adjournment and read from a six-page prepared text addressing the contents of the addendum.

Montague told Radio Jamaica’s Beyond The Headlines Host Dionne Jackson Miller yesterday that he received the report after its tabling and prepared the six-page response.

House rules

The Standing Orders or the rules of the Lower House state that “any member may, after public business has been entered upon rise in his place and ask leave to move the adjournment of the House” for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of “urgent national importance”.

However, the Standing Orders stipulate that a member who “wishes so to ask leave to move the adjournment of the House shall, before the commencement of the sitting, hand to the Speaker a written notification of the matter which he wishes to discuss”.

If this provision in the Standing Orders is to be properly observed, a member would have had to “hand to the Speaker a written notification of the matter which he wishes to discuss” not during the sitting but “before the commencement of the sitting”.

Section 53 (3) of the Integrity Commission Act states: “Until the tabling in Parliament of a report under Section 36, all matters under investigation shall be kept confidential and no report or public statement shall be by the commission or any other person in relation to the initiation or conduct of an investigation under this Act.”