MORE TRANSPARENCY IS NEEDED
I can think of three major projects among others, that we need to or are on the stage to implement.
1. The implementation of adequate power supplies.
2. The debate and indecision of the Goat Island project.
3. The IMF requirements and our comparison, meaning how we compare to target set by the IMF.
All these projects need to be more transparent, their time-lines should be drawn.
In the first project, matters commenced with some kind of order, as the Government through the appropriate Ministry, sought prices from three sources: Azurest Cambridge, EWI (Energy World International), and a consortium, Energize Jamaica Corp, an affiliate of the well known Tankweld Group.
Azurest came in with the best bid, but they could not satisfy the initial 1% required $3.7 million being a security deposit. This incident is mystifying: How can a Company engaged in the business of project engineering, which gave quotations and a bid for a major project , be considered for the contract, and cannot find at the last minute the needed deposit to start implementation?
Yet, how could the Ministry and OUR not have realized that the bidder was associated to an insolvent party? Did the Ministry exercise due diligence? Did it ensure the validity of the bidder’s finances before requesting a price?. Mr. Paulwell needs to make explanations. Strange, for due diligence is always preached to the private sector, yet the Government does not seem to practice it.
Just to-day we further hear that OUR’s incorrect timing in expiration of bids was part of the problem; ( Gleaner 14/10/13). The whole process of selection has been compromised, opening up a situation that may lead to suits being filed against OUR and the Government.
The second matter is the Goat Island Project. Wasn’t the power plant part of the project? If so, we are going in two different directions at the same time.; The location as decided by the appointed contractor, and the Project’s initial conception place, Goat Island.
Some steps have been taken, resulting in blessings from the Environmental lobby, so implementation may take place provided there are no more in qualms. anticipated. But when will all begin, where is the project plan to be located, how long will it take?.
The third mystery is the IMF standing. At one point we hear from the Minister (Finance) that we did not meet the first target, then we hear that we did. Thereafter it was publicized by advertisements coming from (apparently) the IMF themselves. It seems that this point is “blowing in the wind”.
All this resulting in one of the reasons for the continued devaluation of the Jamaican Dollar; I recall the IMF required local production to step up to at least local demand; this has not been done, the bauxite plants are not yet back in full production, so our productivity is down. This lack of emphasis in productivity will increase inflation, which in turn will increasingly result in devaluation of the Jamaican dollar, taking it beyond $110 per USD. Let the facts speak for themselves, for I suspect IMF have considered this possibility.
( 520 words)