Categorized | Editorial, Local

Mal-practice is almost cultural, no progress unless corrected

Doubtful anyone would have difficulty realising that the ICAI report that we covered last week, though not comprehensively, might leave one wondering what may be achieved or come out of it.

We waited to hear reactions, maybe it is too early, but if either side were more happy than upset about it, something would have been in the air. What is in the air is deafening. But, we should still and will wait.

We were forced to fine-tune some issues or questions that cause concern and having to do with the suspension of the A1 road project especially when we learn the real reason for the actions by DFID, supported by sections of government.

From reports, there is a certain level of mediocrity and even dishonesty from all sides on the issues. That road project started wrong, as was confirmed by DFID with less money than was approved prior to the June 1995. Minister Kirnon would have remembered, but in fairness, some work had been done in upgrading the road from Salem northwards (Fogarthy) since the volcanic crisis began. However, the least that could have been done was an insistence from Government (GoM) that the approved sum be what was approved earlier, rather than reducing even what was approved in the 2000s.

In addition to DFID not admitting or rather only admitting to quarterly reports, there were monthly reports on that project that exposed difficulties in carrying out the project as expected from the beginning. The regular person on the street observed something was wrong and we reported the concerns. The problems were poor planning from the beginning and on the way (like the Hurricane Earl repairs and ducting), rather than management. Then on top of this ‘small mindedness, immaturity and other nameless attitudes’ set in.

The problem we see here is a lack of capacity in so many areas. We have asked about of GoM and the UK government (UKG) about this for over four years. If anything comes out of the ICAI report we expect to see action in this regards, recalling also DFID’s 2013 Budget Aide Memoire in February.

While the new or current UKG wanted to stamp its own policies on how they do business and look after their dependent territories (OTs) it appears they have some work to do, just like is required with our ‘public servants’ here in Montserrat, at all levels. The lack of or the problems we face, it is good for some but deadly for others, the result, an economy that sees no light.

We have to tell the truth to our own people. One way to do that, requires much the same as the UKG supports independent and other investigations even on themselves. They call that democracy, so what do they call it here? This applies no less to GoM who must really grow up and cut out that which leads to only more corruption.

A few other questions of concern, have to do with the ease with which GoM and by extension UKG question the people for resorting to the courts. They spend enormous sums to prosecute matters of no benefit to our economy, and on the other end instead of accepting when the courts say they are wrong, they go to the appeal court even to the Privy Council. Is this because there pot is limitless, so frustrate the unfortunate away to suffer more? This is in the face of several outstanding judgments against them and a growing number of new matters. And, there are those, that the already broke can only think about. It is bad advice from the Premier to tell people when GoM screw-up, take the matter to court and then complain people are too litigious.

There is a serious culture of mal-practice in Montserrat and about Montserrat. It is costing the country that which it doesn’t have as well as its future, at the same time building golden elephants. Yes, who benefits?

We remember too well Minister Duncan, following their promise to be different and to correct, was asked whether he could be specific about what would be done to change the current situation of Montserratians continuing to leave and those wanting to return not finding it possible because of the poor state of the local economy.

He offered hope to correct the situation TMR had expounded on many times prior. “We have enormous confidence in Premier Meade and the partnership that is built up which is very frank, very straight forward, very honest and open on each side, to try and work out the best way forward…” he declared.

We wonder if this was mockery or sincerity, but we should hold them to that.

Meanwhile ICAI say they should not have spent 8.5 million pounds to build the airport and now we better be more careful about 8.5 million pounds to explore geothermal.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Doubtful anyone would have difficulty realising that the ICAI report that we covered last week, though not comprehensively, might leave one wondering what may be achieved or come out of it.

We waited to hear reactions, maybe it is too early, but if either side were more happy than upset about it, something would have been in the air. What is in the air is deafening. But, we should still and will wait.

We were forced to fine-tune some issues or questions that cause concern and having to do with the suspension of the A1 road project especially when we learn the real reason for the actions by DFID, supported by sections of government.

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From reports, there is a certain level of mediocrity and even dishonesty from all sides on the issues. That road project started wrong, as was confirmed by DFID with less money than was approved prior to the June 1995. Minister Kirnon would have remembered, but in fairness, some work had been done in upgrading the road from Salem northwards (Fogarthy) since the volcanic crisis began. However, the least that could have been done was an insistence from Government (GoM) that the approved sum be what was approved earlier, rather than reducing even what was approved in the 2000s.

In addition to DFID not admitting or rather only admitting to quarterly reports, there were monthly reports on that project that exposed difficulties in carrying out the project as expected from the beginning. The regular person on the street observed something was wrong and we reported the concerns. The problems were poor planning from the beginning and on the way (like the Hurricane Earl repairs and ducting), rather than management. Then on top of this ‘small mindedness, immaturity and other nameless attitudes’ set in.

The problem we see here is a lack of capacity in so many areas. We have asked about of GoM and the UK government (UKG) about this for over four years. If anything comes out of the ICAI report we expect to see action in this regards, recalling also DFID’s 2013 Budget Aide Memoire in February.

While the new or current UKG wanted to stamp its own policies on how they do business and look after their dependent territories (OTs) it appears they have some work to do, just like is required with our ‘public servants’ here in Montserrat, at all levels. The lack of or the problems we face, it is good for some but deadly for others, the result, an economy that sees no light.

We have to tell the truth to our own people. One way to do that, requires much the same as the UKG supports independent and other investigations even on themselves. They call that democracy, so what do they call it here? This applies no less to GoM who must really grow up and cut out that which leads to only more corruption.

A few other questions of concern, have to do with the ease with which GoM and by extension UKG question the people for resorting to the courts. They spend enormous sums to prosecute matters of no benefit to our economy, and on the other end instead of accepting when the courts say they are wrong, they go to the appeal court even to the Privy Council. Is this because there pot is limitless, so frustrate the unfortunate away to suffer more? This is in the face of several outstanding judgments against them and a growing number of new matters. And, there are those, that the already broke can only think about. It is bad advice from the Premier to tell people when GoM screw-up, take the matter to court and then complain people are too litigious.

There is a serious culture of mal-practice in Montserrat and about Montserrat. It is costing the country that which it doesn’t have as well as its future, at the same time building golden elephants. Yes, who benefits?

We remember too well Minister Duncan, following their promise to be different and to correct, was asked whether he could be specific about what would be done to change the current situation of Montserratians continuing to leave and those wanting to return not finding it possible because of the poor state of the local economy.

He offered hope to correct the situation TMR had expounded on many times prior. “We have enormous confidence in Premier Meade and the partnership that is built up which is very frank, very straight forward, very honest and open on each side, to try and work out the best way forward…” he declared.

We wonder if this was mockery or sincerity, but we should hold them to that.

Meanwhile ICAI say they should not have spent 8.5 million pounds to build the airport and now we better be more careful about 8.5 million pounds to explore geothermal.