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DFID aid impact review on Montserrat

by Bennette Roach

A two-member team from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) is scheduled to visit Montserrat to review the aid that the Department for International Development (DFID) provides to Montserrat. The ICAI team David Sharif and David Parish will arrive on island on February 25 with a departure date of March 4, 2013.

The investigating team says their review of the DFID aid to Montserrat, will look, “particularly around some of the recent and on-going capital projects.”

The team informs that in carrying out the mission, “We focus on maximising the effectiveness of the UK aid budget for intended beneficiaries and on delivering value for money for UK taxpayers. We carry out independent reviews of aid programmes and of issues affecting the delivery of UK aid.”

The ICAI then publishes transparent, impartial and objective reports to provide evidence and clear recommendations to support UK Government decision-making and to strengthen the accountability of the aid programme.

They will look at the overall UK aid program focusing primarily on six DFID recently funded projects which include the airport, water supply, Look out School, Road rehabilitation, Geothermal and the upgrade of the electricity power station. However, there are numerous other and smaller projects that will come under scrutiny, some of which may be noted by the stakeholders and individuals who may or not have been impacted.

A huge number of projects fall within such headings and in particular, Finance: Fiscal Policy & Economic, Agriculture Projects; Agriculture Projects, to include: Shelter Construction; Construc. of Agriculture Feeder Roads; Technical Assistance for Housing; Public Market Extension;  National Environment Management Strategy; Physical Development Plan Update; Housing Incentives Scheme; and many more.

Communication and Works Projects, to include Little Bay Infra. Phase I, Emergency Road Repair & Hope Bypass, Water Development – Phase III Geothermal Exploration, Access Transport Coordinator Montserrat, Road Refurbishment – Salem to St Johns, and many more.

Meanwhile with the news circulating of what observers believe is an investigation into how UK aid moneys have been spent on Montserrat, Premier Reuben Meade has been commenting on the teams purpose and gives his view point in a ZJB interview. “…they are simply saying let us take a look at the management of our little projects in Montserrat.”

He sees the mission as the UK seeking to find out: ‘are we getting value for money, are they being corrupt in Montserrat, are the tenders operating the way they should be operating?’

The utterances by the Premier remind of DFID’s statements about providing aid but ensuring that they want to see “value for money”; as well as recent concerns and complaints about the tendering and procurement environment of his government.

In the interview he said: “…and we have to be in a position to respond to all of these, so therefore we must be in a position to say to them, here are our books, here is the documentation we have nothing to hide.”

Messrs. Sharif and Parish have made preliminary arrangements advising that they wish to meet with a variety of stakeholders. During the visit they plan to speak with organisations, individuals and senior staff from the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the impact of aid on Montserrat.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Bennette Roach

A two-member team from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) is scheduled to visit Montserrat to review the aid that the Department for International Development (DFID) provides to Montserrat. The ICAI team David Sharif and David Parish will arrive on island on February 25 with a departure date of March 4, 2013.

The investigating team says their review of the DFID aid to Montserrat, will look, “particularly around some of the recent and on-going capital projects.”

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The team informs that in carrying out the mission, “We focus on maximising the effectiveness of the UK aid budget for intended beneficiaries and on delivering value for money for UK taxpayers. We carry out independent reviews of aid programmes and of issues affecting the delivery of UK aid.”

The ICAI then publishes transparent, impartial and objective reports to provide evidence and clear recommendations to support UK Government decision-making and to strengthen the accountability of the aid programme.

They will look at the overall UK aid program focusing primarily on six DFID recently funded projects which include the airport, water supply, Look out School, Road rehabilitation, Geothermal and the upgrade of the electricity power station. However, there are numerous other and smaller projects that will come under scrutiny, some of which may be noted by the stakeholders and individuals who may or not have been impacted.

A huge number of projects fall within such headings and in particular, Finance: Fiscal Policy & Economic, Agriculture Projects; Agriculture Projects, to include: Shelter Construction; Construc. of Agriculture Feeder Roads; Technical Assistance for Housing; Public Market Extension;  National Environment Management Strategy; Physical Development Plan Update; Housing Incentives Scheme; and many more.

Communication and Works Projects, to include Little Bay Infra. Phase I, Emergency Road Repair & Hope Bypass, Water Development – Phase III Geothermal Exploration, Access Transport Coordinator Montserrat, Road Refurbishment – Salem to St Johns, and many more.

Meanwhile with the news circulating of what observers believe is an investigation into how UK aid moneys have been spent on Montserrat, Premier Reuben Meade has been commenting on the teams purpose and gives his view point in a ZJB interview. “…they are simply saying let us take a look at the management of our little projects in Montserrat.”

He sees the mission as the UK seeking to find out: ‘are we getting value for money, are they being corrupt in Montserrat, are the tenders operating the way they should be operating?’

The utterances by the Premier remind of DFID’s statements about providing aid but ensuring that they want to see “value for money”; as well as recent concerns and complaints about the tendering and procurement environment of his government.

In the interview he said: “…and we have to be in a position to respond to all of these, so therefore we must be in a position to say to them, here are our books, here is the documentation we have nothing to hide.”

Messrs. Sharif and Parish have made preliminary arrangements advising that they wish to meet with a variety of stakeholders. During the visit they plan to speak with organisations, individuals and senior staff from the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the impact of aid on Montserrat.