Categorized | Editorial, Local, News

This is all to do with the lack of ‘Good Governance’

Editorial – October 18, 2013 :

One of the main problems plaguing Montserrat’s Strategic Growth Plan is the near absolute scarcity of information, even in a general sense.

Readers of The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) will easily remember that this has been a subject of our focus repeatedly. This is in addition to the many verbal attempts to draw this deficiency to any official who matters.

Perhaps the most difficult part of the problem is the myth, especially for Montserrat, where even with some statistics scarce though it might be in some respects, there is this belief firstly, that Montserratians ‘do not read, or like to read’. Secondly, in a very short space of time, almost overnight, one can hear, “it’s online; it’s on the internet,” or any phrase that suggests it.

Even then, those responsible commit two crimes to the country; one intending to starve the leading media online outlet, and the only one in print, even with the knowledge, that most are not listening either. The other, is the misunderstanding and the misrepresentation of the benefits of ‘social media’. Overall, there is an ignorance to the responsibility, and the obligation to make information available to ALL.

That has reached such heights, that in addition to not meeting its statutory obligations in circumstances so required, they are withholding information that should be shared with people.

Much has also to do with the fact that there are those who believe, that only certain people, a very small section, a select section by the way (a misconception in itself) of the people who are interested. In addition, there is  propensity to deceive, a lack of desire to be transparent, hypocritically declaring otherwise, if only by expressions of intent. All of this comes down to a country that often openly breaks conventions and the law, at times to the detriment of course of any chance of progress.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) which holds the purse strings of a volcano-dependent Montserrat, for its capital development, and 60% of its recurrent budget, has on three occasions, since the signing of the yet to be discussed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of May 2012, told Government of Montserrat (GoM) that it falls short in informing and interacting with the people.

Now we receive a GIU release dated yesterday, which speaks to a GoM publication of a 2012 investment survey which began in July last year, report of Montserratians across the Diaspora which says, “while, ‘there is a strong appetite for supporting the redevelopment of Montserrat in a number of ways’ limited access to information about the development plans was the largest barrier to their involvement.”

The release directs to the Government website where the release is published. The proper thing to do especially in this electronic age, would be to attach the document to the release, and not add to the cost of research on government obligation.

Following is the full text of the section dealing with this, where we find the words, transparency, effective communication, and digestible information:

“With regards to barriers to investing in Montserrat, a number of concerns were highlighted that need to be addressed if a successful investment vehicle is to be launched by the government.

These include:

1. Transparency on how funds are to be managed

2. Continuous, clear and effective communication on the investment (e.g. management of funds) economic progress and stability in Montserrat and risks to investment as a direct result of the volcano

3. Digestible information on the overall development plan for Montserrat.”

The Governor at his recent press conference reported that on October 9 – 11, top public servants participated in an Economic Modeling workshop, which took place at the Cultural Centre. They looked to get assumptions about the (new) port and its economic benefits, to agree on the basis of developments over the last year, what were realistic assumptions for this model; along with geothermal and fibre optics.

The Governor when questioned about the private sector and the rest of the people’s involvement in such a workshop offered that these were represented by the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC). He was reminded that they were doing a dubious job at keeping the country and the rest of the world up to date and convinced, if they were in fact tasked with the responsibility. There can be a lot more said about that, but this will suffice for the discussion.

All this is proof of, to be kind, the misunderstandings, misconceptions and misperceptions resulting in the kind of report just quoted prior. Do ‘they’ really care though? If this sounds confusing, that is because there is corruption. So it follows, where there is corruption there is confusion.

It may not be long before this quote becomes real for Montserrat: “The entire crew have taken every valuable thing off the ship and left. We are now wrecked on “Devils Islands”. It’s all night here, we are doomed.”

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – October 18, 2013 :

One of the main problems plaguing Montserrat’s Strategic Growth Plan is the near absolute scarcity of information, even in a general sense.

Readers of The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) will easily remember that this has been a subject of our focus repeatedly. This is in addition to the many verbal attempts to draw this deficiency to any official who matters.

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Perhaps the most difficult part of the problem is the myth, especially for Montserrat, where even with some statistics scarce though it might be in some respects, there is this belief firstly, that Montserratians ‘do not read, or like to read’. Secondly, in a very short space of time, almost overnight, one can hear, “it’s online; it’s on the internet,” or any phrase that suggests it.

Even then, those responsible commit two crimes to the country; one intending to starve the leading media online outlet, and the only one in print, even with the knowledge, that most are not listening either. The other, is the misunderstanding and the misrepresentation of the benefits of ‘social media’. Overall, there is an ignorance to the responsibility, and the obligation to make information available to ALL.

That has reached such heights, that in addition to not meeting its statutory obligations in circumstances so required, they are withholding information that should be shared with people.

Much has also to do with the fact that there are those who believe, that only certain people, a very small section, a select section by the way (a misconception in itself) of the people who are interested. In addition, there is  propensity to deceive, a lack of desire to be transparent, hypocritically declaring otherwise, if only by expressions of intent. All of this comes down to a country that often openly breaks conventions and the law, at times to the detriment of course of any chance of progress.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) which holds the purse strings of a volcano-dependent Montserrat, for its capital development, and 60% of its recurrent budget, has on three occasions, since the signing of the yet to be discussed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of May 2012, told Government of Montserrat (GoM) that it falls short in informing and interacting with the people.

Now we receive a GIU release dated yesterday, which speaks to a GoM publication of a 2012 investment survey which began in July last year, report of Montserratians across the Diaspora which says, “while, ‘there is a strong appetite for supporting the redevelopment of Montserrat in a number of ways’ limited access to information about the development plans was the largest barrier to their involvement.”

The release directs to the Government website where the release is published. The proper thing to do especially in this electronic age, would be to attach the document to the release, and not add to the cost of research on government obligation.

Following is the full text of the section dealing with this, where we find the words, transparency, effective communication, and digestible information:

“With regards to barriers to investing in Montserrat, a number of concerns were highlighted that need to be addressed if a successful investment vehicle is to be launched by the government.

These include:

1. Transparency on how funds are to be managed

2. Continuous, clear and effective communication on the investment (e.g. management of funds) economic progress and stability in Montserrat and risks to investment as a direct result of the volcano

3. Digestible information on the overall development plan for Montserrat.”

The Governor at his recent press conference reported that on October 9 – 11, top public servants participated in an Economic Modeling workshop, which took place at the Cultural Centre. They looked to get assumptions about the (new) port and its economic benefits, to agree on the basis of developments over the last year, what were realistic assumptions for this model; along with geothermal and fibre optics.

The Governor when questioned about the private sector and the rest of the people’s involvement in such a workshop offered that these were represented by the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC). He was reminded that they were doing a dubious job at keeping the country and the rest of the world up to date and convinced, if they were in fact tasked with the responsibility. There can be a lot more said about that, but this will suffice for the discussion.

All this is proof of, to be kind, the misunderstandings, misconceptions and misperceptions resulting in the kind of report just quoted prior. Do ‘they’ really care though? If this sounds confusing, that is because there is corruption. So it follows, where there is corruption there is confusion.

It may not be long before this quote becomes real for Montserrat: “The entire crew have taken every valuable thing off the ship and left. We are now wrecked on “Devils Islands”. It’s all night here, we are doomed.”