Politicians and their Delinquent Non-Profits
One of the eleven organizations connected to politicians that formed just before the 2020 general election was Krystal Lee’s Hands of Grace Foundation.
Miss Lee is the member of parliament for the St. Ann North Western constituency.
But Miss Lee didn’t answer one of the questions 18º North asked about whether she was advised to set up the foundation before the general elections.
Instead, she said, “The organization was formed when I was a councilor in St. Mary. From time to time, I have been contacted by persons/companies to make donations to communities that I represent. They would not be willing to make donations to a personal account. Therefore, a charitable foundation was established.”
But even so, there are no records on file at the Companies Office of Jamaica related to how much money Miss Lee’s foundation had received from these persons or companies. Also outstanding was the 2022 annual return listing the contact information for the foundation and the details of the current directors.
The finding comes as 18º North has been raising questions about the transparency of non-profits linked to politicians. An 18º North analysis shows that foundations connected to politicians are far more delinquent on their filings than those tied to the average Jamaican.
Ms. Lee didn’t respond when asked about the delinquency of her foundation’s filings via WhatsApp though the message was viewed on September 8, a day after it was sent.
Checks at the Companies Office on October 24, 2023 show that the annual return for 2023 is still outstanding as well as the one for 2022. The financial statements for 2021 and 2022 are also listed as outstanding.
With reporting by Isa Ridgard and Graphics by Shenelle Hanson