Categorized | Editorial

Aid impact review can teach plenty and should benefit…

Editorial – February 22, 2013 :

In a few days a team from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) an independent body responsible for scrutinising UK aid, will begin a visit to Montserrat which will run over seven days from February 25, March 4. According to their terms of reference, they “will examine how the UK Government manages its aid to Montserrat as part of its support to British Overseas Territories. In particular, we will evaluate the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) arrangements for capital investment in Montserrat.”

It will be more than necessary that the bodies, i.e. Organisations, groups and individuals be truly open and sincere in their responses and opinions as they respond to the two-man team’s search to find out “the impact of the UK aid to Montserrat”. This must be unlike what some people might believe will not work in Montserrat’s interest.

There is the hope that this team, other than for courtesy calls will not speak to anyone involved in the public service from the cleaner to the Governor with respect to this matter, or anyone (with careful exceptions) with the responsibility of delivering the aid on the ground to Montserrat.

However, the problem is that the majority of people in Montserrat have little or no knowledge of what the projects that are involved in the scope of ICAI review. It is primarily for this reason that there are some who would say they prefer to have the British come and deliver their taxpayers’ money to and for the people. These people would be accused of not being nationalistic or desire independence, but oddly enough it would be those people who are interested in Montserrat’s welfare.

So as, not to get into that discussion, suffice it is to say now, it is the absence through transparency, poor governance from all round by both governments of Montserrat. Figure it out!

The premier should not reduce himself, knowing that people know little or nothing about the hundreds of projects that have been around, to be saying this, referring to the visiting team. “The UK is saying, let us take a look at the management of our little projects in Montserrat. Are we getting value for money, are they being corrupt in Montserrat, are the tenders operating the way they should be operating?…Therefore, we must be in a position to say to them, here are our books, here is the documentation we have nothing to hide.’

Most people are not familiar with the projects. They have not been informed, and nothing has been explained to them. Is it that they do not know how to do it? Ah, everyone sees the road project from Salem to St. John’s. They finished the money; not all the roads are refurbished or upgraded, and it has not even reached Government Headquarters. So, what will people say is the impact on that? They will ask also, how much money was spent on the incomplete project? The only one who mentioned it to the public was the newspaper.

Very often, they say from all sides, “it is the media, the newspaper who must keep people informed, watch dog, etc.” However, no one considers the responsibility and cost for doing so, neither do they who should, care! In fact, they believe ignorance is bliss, so put the onus to get information on those who think they want know. “It’s on the web site/internet,” they say.

The ICAI state in their TOR  that ‘Since 1995, DFID has provided a total of £350 million to Montserrat for emergency assistance, construction and financial support. In 2012-13, DFID is providing a subsidy of up to £14 million to Montserrat’s recurrent budget, equivalent to 55% of total recurrent expenditure.’

That £350 is approximately EC$92.65 million per year. Has Montserrat been given any special treatment? Whatever the answer, it should. The circumstances warrant it. Have DFID, the UK and the Montserrat government been responsible? Difficult to answer? Not for those, the few who have benefited, but the unfavoured, and indeed the masses will have no difficulty, for all kinds of reasons. The ICAI and the UK people responsible for the taxpayers money want to know what impact the projects have had on Montserrat. Whether it is hypocritical or not, the UK government says UK Government expects Overseas Territories governments to reduce and eventually eliminate their dependence on UK aid.

Accordingly, the Overseas Territories Operational Plan contains three priorities:

 ‘to meet the reasonable assistance needs of Overseas Territories citizens cost effectively’;

 ‘to accelerate aid-dependent

Overseas Territories towards self-sufficiency’; and

 ‘to manage the UK Government’s financial liability for non-aided Caribbean Overseas

Territories in crisis’, by working closely with the FCO.

The Montserrat Reporter acknowledges duty and responsibility, but it needs the support of those with the obligations, to ensure that the people are freely and independently informed. If DFID, the UK and the Montserrat governments are responsible, they will ensure that the people can provide the feedback that is required in a democratic society that expects to benefit from transparency and good governance. Pretending otherwise while systematically trying toobliterate independent media.

 

Leave a Reply

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – February 22, 2013 :

In a few days a team from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) an independent body responsible for scrutinising UK aid, will begin a visit to Montserrat which will run over seven days from February 25, March 4. According to their terms of reference, they “will examine how the UK Government manages its aid to Montserrat as part of its support to British Overseas Territories. In particular, we will evaluate the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) arrangements for capital investment in Montserrat.”

It will be more than necessary that the bodies, i.e. Organisations, groups and individuals be truly open and sincere in their responses and opinions as they respond to the two-man team’s search to find out “the impact of the UK aid to Montserrat”. This must be unlike what some people might believe will not work in Montserrat’s interest.

Insert Ads Here

There is the hope that this team, other than for courtesy calls will not speak to anyone involved in the public service from the cleaner to the Governor with respect to this matter, or anyone (with careful exceptions) with the responsibility of delivering the aid on the ground to Montserrat.

However, the problem is that the majority of people in Montserrat have little or no knowledge of what the projects that are involved in the scope of ICAI review. It is primarily for this reason that there are some who would say they prefer to have the British come and deliver their taxpayers’ money to and for the people. These people would be accused of not being nationalistic or desire independence, but oddly enough it would be those people who are interested in Montserrat’s welfare.

So as, not to get into that discussion, suffice it is to say now, it is the absence through transparency, poor governance from all round by both governments of Montserrat. Figure it out!

The premier should not reduce himself, knowing that people know little or nothing about the hundreds of projects that have been around, to be saying this, referring to the visiting team. “The UK is saying, let us take a look at the management of our little projects in Montserrat. Are we getting value for money, are they being corrupt in Montserrat, are the tenders operating the way they should be operating?…Therefore, we must be in a position to say to them, here are our books, here is the documentation we have nothing to hide.’

Most people are not familiar with the projects. They have not been informed, and nothing has been explained to them. Is it that they do not know how to do it? Ah, everyone sees the road project from Salem to St. John’s. They finished the money; not all the roads are refurbished or upgraded, and it has not even reached Government Headquarters. So, what will people say is the impact on that? They will ask also, how much money was spent on the incomplete project? The only one who mentioned it to the public was the newspaper.

Very often, they say from all sides, “it is the media, the newspaper who must keep people informed, watch dog, etc.” However, no one considers the responsibility and cost for doing so, neither do they who should, care! In fact, they believe ignorance is bliss, so put the onus to get information on those who think they want know. “It’s on the web site/internet,” they say.

The ICAI state in their TOR  that ‘Since 1995, DFID has provided a total of £350 million to Montserrat for emergency assistance, construction and financial support. In 2012-13, DFID is providing a subsidy of up to £14 million to Montserrat’s recurrent budget, equivalent to 55% of total recurrent expenditure.’

That £350 is approximately EC$92.65 million per year. Has Montserrat been given any special treatment? Whatever the answer, it should. The circumstances warrant it. Have DFID, the UK and the Montserrat government been responsible? Difficult to answer? Not for those, the few who have benefited, but the unfavoured, and indeed the masses will have no difficulty, for all kinds of reasons. The ICAI and the UK people responsible for the taxpayers money want to know what impact the projects have had on Montserrat. Whether it is hypocritical or not, the UK government says UK Government expects Overseas Territories governments to reduce and eventually eliminate their dependence on UK aid.

Accordingly, the Overseas Territories Operational Plan contains three priorities:

 ‘to meet the reasonable assistance needs of Overseas Territories citizens cost effectively’;

 ‘to accelerate aid-dependent

Overseas Territories towards self-sufficiency’; and

 ‘to manage the UK Government’s financial liability for non-aided Caribbean Overseas

Territories in crisis’, by working closely with the FCO.

The Montserrat Reporter acknowledges duty and responsibility, but it needs the support of those with the obligations, to ensure that the people are freely and independently informed. If DFID, the UK and the Montserrat governments are responsible, they will ensure that the people can provide the feedback that is required in a democratic society that expects to benefit from transparency and good governance. Pretending otherwise while systematically trying toobliterate independent media.