Editorial – January 25, 2013:
Among the issues that those who bother to concern themselves about the economics of Montserrat is the question of what is the accountability or who is accountable for losses or unnecessary expenses incurred that must come from government funds, which we should be reminded belongs to all the people of Montserrat.
That last is said because very often on the other hand, one hears the comment that some public servants behave as though the funds are their personal possessions with a hateful attitude to pay out to honest to goodness accounts.
There was a time and it is possible that this still exists where moneys are made available for projects that seem not to get off the ground or take forever to complete; monies in some instances having to be returned to its source. Then there are the situations where government continually faces claims against it for all kinds of wrong doings by public servants that end up in court, with little chance of coming out on the good side, or simply forced to settle. Then, there are projects that seem to just get out of hands where they overspend or just run out of funds, for one reason or the other.
The A1 road project deserves some answers. We reported very early that people were suggesting it appeared that the works were not following any plan, especially with the works at Cassava Ghaut. Since December 2011 DFID announced Montserrat would receive 1.5 million pounds (approximately EC$6.07 million) to finance an extensional scope of work on the A1 road rehabilitation project. Remembering that the project began at about $15 million and the last count we were told was up to $24 million.
Today they are having confusion over tendering for laying ducts, while the never ending works still continue at Cassava Ghaut. Why were these ducts not laid during all of last year when there was the long delay and wait for the road surfacing material? Did they not have to get additional monies to complete this project? Questions will be asked.
It is shocking to learn that after constructing a house at the cost of $160,000.00 Government only collected $85,125 with $1572.00 of it uncertain on a raffle, which began in September, 2011. They had hoped to conclude the raffle in three months by January 2012, but the draw was extended to the end of Festival 50. What was the reason for this?
One reason, a major one we can give for this failure is the deliberate act of not involving The Montserrat Reporter in the promotion and advertising of the raffle to the world. Less than one percent of what they say it cost could have brought them a great profit on this dismal performance running this in the local paper and online. (see in this issue: Festival 50 House Raffle a huge loss to Government).
They continue to deny the existence of The Montserrat Reporter but it is Montserrat that is being dumped back into the very dark ages with the spiteful, irresponsible and incompetent attitudes.