What is delaying the implementation of the Montserrat Transformation Program?

June 1, 2018

It took all of two years until agreement and a Cabinet Paper regarding The office of the Premier (OoP) Functional Review.

That Cabinet decision was dated January 30, 2017 and agreed:

…to endorse the development of Montserrat Transformation Programme (MTP) by a cross-functional working group led by the Financial Secretary in the short-term, until the CEO of the Office of the Premier is recruited; and,

that the Office of the Deputy Governor should be responsible for the structural changes of the transformation.

Our information is that this idea or requirement began during the R T Meade government. Preliminary plans/changes had already been implemented or perhaps better described as ‘tried.’ We might recall there was a point when the Premier’s office did not function under a Permanent Secretary. Probably associated with the plan was the doing away with what was known as the Development Unit. We suspect that the MDC – Montserrat Development Corporation was all tied in there somehow.

Anyway, the MTP discussions began since March 2015, and that we also recall coincide with the announcement of the ‘mistaken’ closure and shut down of the MDC. But, it was agreed that Consideration should be given to the term ‘Montserrat Transformation Programme’ and recommendations made for more appropriate terminology.

The Deputy Governor (Ag) at the time, and Financial Secretary would consult with the Attorney General (Ag) to produce Implementation and Change Management Plans, by the end of February 2017. If staff support was required to carry out this ‘assignment’ approval was already on hand.

The public has never been informed about this very important move, but we remember well the Premier’s lament at the end of budget talks in December 2016 when he vowed that monies will be spent to budget from the next year. The Premier knew or believed that everything would be in place and his office would be appropriately staffed creating new strategic leadership function of the Office. ‘required for robust strategic oversight of the activities to be delivered under the MTP.’

Under the new plan there would be two (2) senior positions reporting to the Premier – one PS and one CEO. The scope of the role and functions of the Permanent Secretary whose primary function would be the strategic leadership of the Office of the Premier, and general Policy Advisor to the Premier; along with the recruitment of a CEO in the Office of the Premier who would have specific responsibilities.
It was around that same time that the Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) came on board and that was followed quickly with the creation of a Program Management Office and an officer who would have and had begun to change and transform the project performance of government.

But alas! What went wrong? The PMO was marched off the job as though he had committed some terrible crime and 15 months later there isn’t a CEO. What was supposed to be of obvious ‘paramount importance’, which entailed ‘working closely with the United Kingdom Government (UKG) as a whole to ensure the transformation actions planned through this Programme – a key feature of the Development Partnership that so much had been repeated time and again. If there is any wonder as to how much has not gone right, why progress is only something spoken of, much is at someone or some persons feet. It is time for those persons be held accountable.

 There is much more to this plan which would seriously bring transformation to the functioning of government on a whole, but if we can hear nothing more that its gone nowhere we must ask, was the capacity curse taken on board during the long discussions or is government still trying to find out if there is such a problem? Or is it that there is just no appreciation of the power and responsibility that is required for Montserrat to progress.

 

 

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June 1, 2018

It took all of two years until agreement and a Cabinet Paper regarding The office of the Premier (OoP) Functional Review.

That Cabinet decision was dated January 30, 2017 and agreed:

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…to endorse the development of Montserrat Transformation Programme (MTP) by a cross-functional working group led by the Financial Secretary in the short-term, until the CEO of the Office of the Premier is recruited; and,

that the Office of the Deputy Governor should be responsible for the structural changes of the transformation.

Our information is that this idea or requirement began during the R T Meade government. Preliminary plans/changes had already been implemented or perhaps better described as ‘tried.’ We might recall there was a point when the Premier’s office did not function under a Permanent Secretary. Probably associated with the plan was the doing away with what was known as the Development Unit. We suspect that the MDC – Montserrat Development Corporation was all tied in there somehow.

Anyway, the MTP discussions began since March 2015, and that we also recall coincide with the announcement of the ‘mistaken’ closure and shut down of the MDC. But, it was agreed that Consideration should be given to the term ‘Montserrat Transformation Programme’ and recommendations made for more appropriate terminology.

The Deputy Governor (Ag) at the time, and Financial Secretary would consult with the Attorney General (Ag) to produce Implementation and Change Management Plans, by the end of February 2017. If staff support was required to carry out this ‘assignment’ approval was already on hand.

The public has never been informed about this very important move, but we remember well the Premier’s lament at the end of budget talks in December 2016 when he vowed that monies will be spent to budget from the next year. The Premier knew or believed that everything would be in place and his office would be appropriately staffed creating new strategic leadership function of the Office. ‘required for robust strategic oversight of the activities to be delivered under the MTP.’

Under the new plan there would be two (2) senior positions reporting to the Premier – one PS and one CEO. The scope of the role and functions of the Permanent Secretary whose primary function would be the strategic leadership of the Office of the Premier, and general Policy Advisor to the Premier; along with the recruitment of a CEO in the Office of the Premier who would have specific responsibilities.
It was around that same time that the Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) came on board and that was followed quickly with the creation of a Program Management Office and an officer who would have and had begun to change and transform the project performance of government.

But alas! What went wrong? The PMO was marched off the job as though he had committed some terrible crime and 15 months later there isn’t a CEO. What was supposed to be of obvious ‘paramount importance’, which entailed ‘working closely with the United Kingdom Government (UKG) as a whole to ensure the transformation actions planned through this Programme – a key feature of the Development Partnership that so much had been repeated time and again. If there is any wonder as to how much has not gone right, why progress is only something spoken of, much is at someone or some persons feet. It is time for those persons be held accountable.

 There is much more to this plan which would seriously bring transformation to the functioning of government on a whole, but if we can hear nothing more that its gone nowhere we must ask, was the capacity curse taken on board during the long discussions or is government still trying to find out if there is such a problem? Or is it that there is just no appreciation of the power and responsibility that is required for Montserrat to progress.