Auditor General reports on the Degradation at Gunn Hill, Carrs Bay

Who then is responsible for the degradation and loss of Gunn Hill?

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) in its Mission Statement claims as follows:

Gunn Hill in August, 2013 before its destructioin

“The OAG is the national authority on public sector auditing issues and is focused on assessing performance and promoting accountability, transparency and improved stewardship in managing public resources by conducting independent and objective reviews of the accounts and operations of central government and statutory agencies; providing advice; and submitting timely Reports to Accounting Officers and the Legislative Assembly”.

It is suposed to be on the theory of this mission the OAG submitted its Report to the Legislative Assembly on July 29, 2019 with respect to its environmental audit report on the Coastal Degradation at Gunn Hill, Carrs Bay.

As background the Report provides: The Government of Montserrat engaged Halcrow Group Ltd in 2013 to design a proposed port and produce an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the development of a Port Facility at Carr’s Bay. A key decision stemming from the proposed development was the need to remove Gunn Hill to make way for the new port.

The Report says: “We conducted this environmental audit in accordance with International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) 5110 and 5120 relating to Environmental Auditing. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives… in accordance with relevant environmental laws, standards and policies, both at national and international level. Since our review was limited due to lack of expected documentation, it was not possible to disclose all the positives or deficiencies that may have existed at the time of our review.”

But accounting for what TMR observes to be lacking in their investigation and hence their findings, they said, required “to provide assurance that the government activities are conducted in accordance with relevant environmental laws, standards and policies, both at national and international level. Since our review was limited due to lack of expected documentation, it was not possible to disclose all the positives or deficiencies that may have existed at the time of our review.”

From TMR’s resource, they would have needed to speak to other ‘persons’ so-called whistleblowers, and others to correct and improve on their findings.

Key Successes and Highlights: Multiple colonies of endangered coral species were discovered prior to the excavation of Gunn Hill. A project was implemented to relocate corals approximately 4.5km south of the excavation site. A total of 1,295 new coral colonies were created on an artificial reef system.

Compared to those forty-three (43) words the next section of the report – Key Losses, Impacts or Shortcomings Resulting from Removal, consisted of 671 words, along with photos and captions, credited to DiscoverMontserrat, TMR, and and a few individuals.

It covered EIA’s etc. We would invite readers to enter in the search box “Gun Hill” at www.themontserratreporter.comand also read the full report atwww.oag.gov.ms.

The Report then addressed Lessons learned and made some Recommendations. This article will also be more extensive when it appears on line where the full report will also be available.

The removal of Gunn Hill had immediate adverse effects such as loss of scenic quality, loss of resilience to storm attack and reduction of sediment supply to the coast. To date, no manmade landscape was created as a result of the discontinuation of the project.

The OAG found that the appearance of sinkholes in and around the site highlighted the danger of using the area for fishing, increased dumping of soil and boulders and derelict items and vehicles which can be easily moved during strong wind and heavy rains.

Extraction of a significant portion of the hill has weakened the superstructure; Additionally, ongoing mining of significant amount of sand using excavators also threatens the possibility of further erosion.

Recommendations

Government of Montserrat should always ensure that they have agreed alternate sources of financing to cover the full cost of a project before commencing projects of such nature and magnitude. Further, a request should be made for every project/proposed development requiring an environmental impact assessment to include a section on the impact on the environment at the end of each critical phase of major projects if it were discontinued.

Auditor General Facebook Page or Online Publications at http://oag.gov.ms

Since our review was limited due to lack of expected documentation, it was not possible to disclose all the positives or deficiencies that may have existed at the time of our review.

Leave a Reply

Please Support The Montserrat Reporter

This is bottom line for us! Unless we receive your support, our effort will not be able to continue. Whatever and however you can, please support The Montserrat Reporter in whatever amount you can (and whatever frequency) – and it only takes a minute.
Thank you

TMR print pages

Flow Internet Open Gifts

Notice – British American Insurace Company Ltd.

Newsletter

Archives

Bank of Montserrat – Scholarship Offer

FLOW - Back to School

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

Who then is responsible for the degradation and loss of Gunn Hill?

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) in its Mission Statement claims as follows:

Gunn Hill in August, 2013 before its destructioin

“The OAG is the national authority on public sector auditing issues and is focused on assessing performance and promoting accountability, transparency and improved stewardship in managing public resources by conducting independent and objective reviews of the accounts and operations of central government and statutory agencies; providing advice; and submitting timely Reports to Accounting Officers and the Legislative Assembly”.

Insert Ads Here

It is suposed to be on the theory of this mission the OAG submitted its Report to the Legislative Assembly on July 29, 2019 with respect to its environmental audit report on the Coastal Degradation at Gunn Hill, Carrs Bay.

As background the Report provides: The Government of Montserrat engaged Halcrow Group Ltd in 2013 to design a proposed port and produce an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the development of a Port Facility at Carr’s Bay. A key decision stemming from the proposed development was the need to remove Gunn Hill to make way for the new port.

The Report says: “We conducted this environmental audit in accordance with International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) 5110 and 5120 relating to Environmental Auditing. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives… in accordance with relevant environmental laws, standards and policies, both at national and international level. Since our review was limited due to lack of expected documentation, it was not possible to disclose all the positives or deficiencies that may have existed at the time of our review.”

But accounting for what TMR observes to be lacking in their investigation and hence their findings, they said, required “to provide assurance that the government activities are conducted in accordance with relevant environmental laws, standards and policies, both at national and international level. Since our review was limited due to lack of expected documentation, it was not possible to disclose all the positives or deficiencies that may have existed at the time of our review.”

From TMR’s resource, they would have needed to speak to other ‘persons’ so-called whistleblowers, and others to correct and improve on their findings.

Key Successes and Highlights: Multiple colonies of endangered coral species were discovered prior to the excavation of Gunn Hill. A project was implemented to relocate corals approximately 4.5km south of the excavation site. A total of 1,295 new coral colonies were created on an artificial reef system.

Compared to those forty-three (43) words the next section of the report – Key Losses, Impacts or Shortcomings Resulting from Removal, consisted of 671 words, along with photos and captions, credited to DiscoverMontserrat, TMR, and and a few individuals.

It covered EIA’s etc. We would invite readers to enter in the search box “Gun Hill” at www.themontserratreporter.comand also read the full report atwww.oag.gov.ms.

The Report then addressed Lessons learned and made some Recommendations. This article will also be more extensive when it appears on line where the full report will also be available.

The removal of Gunn Hill had immediate adverse effects such as loss of scenic quality, loss of resilience to storm attack and reduction of sediment supply to the coast. To date, no manmade landscape was created as a result of the discontinuation of the project.

The OAG found that the appearance of sinkholes in and around the site highlighted the danger of using the area for fishing, increased dumping of soil and boulders and derelict items and vehicles which can be easily moved during strong wind and heavy rains.

Extraction of a significant portion of the hill has weakened the superstructure; Additionally, ongoing mining of significant amount of sand using excavators also threatens the possibility of further erosion.

Recommendations

Government of Montserrat should always ensure that they have agreed alternate sources of financing to cover the full cost of a project before commencing projects of such nature and magnitude. Further, a request should be made for every project/proposed development requiring an environmental impact assessment to include a section on the impact on the environment at the end of each critical phase of major projects if it were discontinued.

Auditor General Facebook Page or Online Publications at http://oag.gov.ms

Since our review was limited due to lack of expected documentation, it was not possible to disclose all the positives or deficiencies that may have existed at the time of our review.