Panel In Jamaica Says Big Cement Company Lacked Quality Control

Sub-standard cement has delayed many projects and cost an estimated 100,000 jobs.

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - A government-appointed panel said Tuesday that Jamaica's main supplier of cement was at fault for distributing roughly 550 tons (500 metric tons) of sub-standard product earlier this year.

The 15-member team's report said that a lack of internal qualitycontrol by management at Caribbean Cement Company Limited led to the distribution of the faulty cement, which it said was a major breach of Jamaica's Standards Act.

The panel also called for a comprehensive review at the Bureau of Standards of Jamaica which certified the inferior cement. It said the government bureau did not have a suitable process or appropriate equipment to assess the product.

The report was released some two months after being appointed by industry and commerce minister Phillip Paulwell to investigate production standards at Caribbean Cement Company Limited.

Several major construction projects have been delayed by the shortage, which began in February when the company recalled 550 tons (500 metric tons) of cement.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica has said more than 100,000 people who worked in the construction sector have lost their jobs because of the shortfall.

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