Categorized | Features, General, Local, News, Opinions

DFID must remain vigilant with Project Management Issues on Montserrat

By Claude Gerald :

Claude Gerald

Claude Gerald

Development proceedings at our fictitious town centre continue to paint a picture of suspicion in resource use management and an arrogant disregard for moral and ethical standards in the work place.

The procurement of labour at least at the site is in defiance of set rules and regulations. Tendering processes are being undermined with the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) acting as its own contractor, employing at will, workers of certain affiliations and persuasions. Physical Planning laws are subjected to scornful slight and disregard to quicken the desire to expedite profit margins and by relation, hasten losses in environmental capital. Emerging is a mosaic of ghost institutions in the form of Project Implementation Unit’s, designed to further erode built in checks and balances against unfair practices in tendering for employment.

It is felt that key operators allied to MDC are seeking to exploit at public’s expense, a syndrome that Jack-the-Warner can take pride in authoring. Is the combination of the opportunistic John E. Ryan, Executive Chairman of (MDC) and his side-kick the Premier, Reuben T. Meade, a man programmed to naturally engage in dealings that raise questions of their probity value, nicely positioned to make capital of their respective positions? Their ways of doing business are characterized by varying measures of personal interests’ conflicts with MDC executive chairman reportedly getting involved in procurement outside his soon to be expired role; given a fearlessly knowledgeable and responsible Montserrat, their ambitious involvement in people development projects, which ought to rest on robust accountability and transparency, would have been derailed.

Construction trading remains an abiding focus in their lives on Montserrat. Mr. Meade despite his denials is believed to be still a key decision maker in L&M Construction, a company he formed after his descent as Chief Minister in the 1990’s. His admitted partnership in the company that frowned on election nomination regulations for which he escaped in a weird court battle attempt with editor Bennette Roach as complainant challenger, is still a sore issue in the minds of many with knowledge, who claim he lied in securing his nomination in 2009. Those party stalwarts who excused their leader, did so out of blind loyalty and are belatedly admitting to faulty evaluations of their leader’s position then.

Though Ryan has dabbled in construction for near 25 years, securing significant contracts, his record in this endeavour remains shabby in work quality; outside his suspected insider trading connections, gaseous learned posturing and a disarming personality that floors some, he would not have enjoyed his pre-eminence in such diverse social services or be able to pull rank as frequently as he does. Ryan as far as is known still retains a contingent working crew to his beckoning.

In this management setting it is unreasonable to fashion optimistic feelings of people-welfare gains on any social investment undertaking like Little Bay development. The duo, given their historical business profiles on Montserrat cannot be trusted to act in the public’s interest as expected. Construction is the core to a realized commercial centre at Little Bay. Trust and confidence runs parallel. On this we are tumbling already at the edge of the abyss.

It is a historical fact that neither power broker trusts each other. But convenience is their watch word and wedded in their DNA is the ability to exploit talents to create synergies, that are not altruistic and people empowering. Each is talented in brokering and advantaging a situation, which calls for collusion and together their machinations can gain momentum, tinkering with legal and ethical barriers if needed.

They have clashed many a time since 1980, with a memorable open-secret fallout in the lead up to the 2009 elections, resulting in the Premier distancing himself and others he influences from the Lyme, an entertainment business establishment of Ryan, built on lands with long lease arrangements that can be eye brow raising.

It must be understood that John Ryan is not a political animal, never linked to any political grouping. He is sure to appear as lilies in spring, once a government is formed. Feisty and soulless, with a knack to cultivate others, he micromanages and woos to his fancy, when and whom he pleases.

John Ryan is now a resurrected man of significant global influence on Montserrat , dwarfing a throwback to his halcyon years of the early eighties when his detractors dubbed him the ‘Henry Kissinger of Montserrat’, for his energies and appeal as a highly traveled public servant in a regime ripe for his brand of exploitation. Tenaciously he triumphs when the season lends to growth and dominance.

Note worthily he rose to the position of Financial Secretary by-passing the mathematician Kenneth Lee, economist Jim Bass amongst other eligible contenders in a political directorate that initially treated him as a son of Lucifer. Ryan left office prematurely for reasons not yet clear and entered the business world with more competitive knowledge due to his various positioning in government.

DFID the once sleeping giant is now awakened to protect British taxpayers’, in a time of global austerity in what rightfully is its business. The development agency may not be able to alter the practice of the politics of bad mindedness that is inherent but it can very well bring impropriety to book at Little Bay, by various means available, to ensure resource management satisfies equitable criteria at least, as it enforces proper stewardship in its partnership with the people of Montserrat.

Public Works, where the ‘former’ top accounting officer is facing growing attention in the handling of project resources, is now tasting the wrath of DFID, in sanctioning and ordering a stoppage of development funds to that Ministry, halting road and other projects. It may well be not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning in the agency’s wake up call to ensure efficiency in its relationship with the territory.

DFID ought to be mindful of the way Allan Stanford’s cricket development funds to Montserrat were administered, under a certain Cricket President and take stock accordingly. Montserrat was unique in the OECS in troubling the accounting arm of Stanford’s visionary experiment with cricket development in these islands.

History will begin to judge this international development agency with more favour if it continues to project strength. It must continue to strategize, to use legal and diplomatic means in righting the glaring inequities rampant in areas that DFID has more than passing interest.

The mismatch between direct budgetary plus development support and what is being achieved since 1995 ought to be improving.

Nothing less should suffice.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator on Montserrat. Find him at ceegee15@hotmail.com

 

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

By Claude Gerald :

Claude Gerald

Claude Gerald

Development proceedings at our fictitious town centre continue to paint a picture of suspicion in resource use management and an arrogant disregard for moral and ethical standards in the work place.

Insert Ads Here

The procurement of labour at least at the site is in defiance of set rules and regulations. Tendering processes are being undermined with the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) acting as its own contractor, employing at will, workers of certain affiliations and persuasions. Physical Planning laws are subjected to scornful slight and disregard to quicken the desire to expedite profit margins and by relation, hasten losses in environmental capital. Emerging is a mosaic of ghost institutions in the form of Project Implementation Unit’s, designed to further erode built in checks and balances against unfair practices in tendering for employment.

It is felt that key operators allied to MDC are seeking to exploit at public’s expense, a syndrome that Jack-the-Warner can take pride in authoring. Is the combination of the opportunistic John E. Ryan, Executive Chairman of (MDC) and his side-kick the Premier, Reuben T. Meade, a man programmed to naturally engage in dealings that raise questions of their probity value, nicely positioned to make capital of their respective positions? Their ways of doing business are characterized by varying measures of personal interests’ conflicts with MDC executive chairman reportedly getting involved in procurement outside his soon to be expired role; given a fearlessly knowledgeable and responsible Montserrat, their ambitious involvement in people development projects, which ought to rest on robust accountability and transparency, would have been derailed.

Construction trading remains an abiding focus in their lives on Montserrat. Mr. Meade despite his denials is believed to be still a key decision maker in L&M Construction, a company he formed after his descent as Chief Minister in the 1990’s. His admitted partnership in the company that frowned on election nomination regulations for which he escaped in a weird court battle attempt with editor Bennette Roach as complainant challenger, is still a sore issue in the minds of many with knowledge, who claim he lied in securing his nomination in 2009. Those party stalwarts who excused their leader, did so out of blind loyalty and are belatedly admitting to faulty evaluations of their leader’s position then.

Though Ryan has dabbled in construction for near 25 years, securing significant contracts, his record in this endeavour remains shabby in work quality; outside his suspected insider trading connections, gaseous learned posturing and a disarming personality that floors some, he would not have enjoyed his pre-eminence in such diverse social services or be able to pull rank as frequently as he does. Ryan as far as is known still retains a contingent working crew to his beckoning.

In this management setting it is unreasonable to fashion optimistic feelings of people-welfare gains on any social investment undertaking like Little Bay development. The duo, given their historical business profiles on Montserrat cannot be trusted to act in the public’s interest as expected. Construction is the core to a realized commercial centre at Little Bay. Trust and confidence runs parallel. On this we are tumbling already at the edge of the abyss.

It is a historical fact that neither power broker trusts each other. But convenience is their watch word and wedded in their DNA is the ability to exploit talents to create synergies, that are not altruistic and people empowering. Each is talented in brokering and advantaging a situation, which calls for collusion and together their machinations can gain momentum, tinkering with legal and ethical barriers if needed.

They have clashed many a time since 1980, with a memorable open-secret fallout in the lead up to the 2009 elections, resulting in the Premier distancing himself and others he influences from the Lyme, an entertainment business establishment of Ryan, built on lands with long lease arrangements that can be eye brow raising.

It must be understood that John Ryan is not a political animal, never linked to any political grouping. He is sure to appear as lilies in spring, once a government is formed. Feisty and soulless, with a knack to cultivate others, he micromanages and woos to his fancy, when and whom he pleases.

John Ryan is now a resurrected man of significant global influence on Montserrat , dwarfing a throwback to his halcyon years of the early eighties when his detractors dubbed him the ‘Henry Kissinger of Montserrat’, for his energies and appeal as a highly traveled public servant in a regime ripe for his brand of exploitation. Tenaciously he triumphs when the season lends to growth and dominance.

Note worthily he rose to the position of Financial Secretary by-passing the mathematician Kenneth Lee, economist Jim Bass amongst other eligible contenders in a political directorate that initially treated him as a son of Lucifer. Ryan left office prematurely for reasons not yet clear and entered the business world with more competitive knowledge due to his various positioning in government.

DFID the once sleeping giant is now awakened to protect British taxpayers’, in a time of global austerity in what rightfully is its business. The development agency may not be able to alter the practice of the politics of bad mindedness that is inherent but it can very well bring impropriety to book at Little Bay, by various means available, to ensure resource management satisfies equitable criteria at least, as it enforces proper stewardship in its partnership with the people of Montserrat.

Public Works, where the ‘former’ top accounting officer is facing growing attention in the handling of project resources, is now tasting the wrath of DFID, in sanctioning and ordering a stoppage of development funds to that Ministry, halting road and other projects. It may well be not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning in the agency’s wake up call to ensure efficiency in its relationship with the territory.

DFID ought to be mindful of the way Allan Stanford’s cricket development funds to Montserrat were administered, under a certain Cricket President and take stock accordingly. Montserrat was unique in the OECS in troubling the accounting arm of Stanford’s visionary experiment with cricket development in these islands.

History will begin to judge this international development agency with more favour if it continues to project strength. It must continue to strategize, to use legal and diplomatic means in righting the glaring inequities rampant in areas that DFID has more than passing interest.

The mismatch between direct budgetary plus development support and what is being achieved since 1995 ought to be improving.

Nothing less should suffice.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator on Montserrat. Find him at ceegee15@hotmail.com