The office of contractor General was created to bring credibility to the awards process of public contracts in Jamaica. This became necessary because of the high levels of corruption and malfeasance that permeated that process for decades. Most Jamaicans are acutely aware to some degree of the corruption within the government contract process.
Without re-litigating the past we move to the present day. The nation’s Parliament drafted and enacted the Contractor General’s Act. The Office is now headed by capable Lawyer Greg Christie. Many who hold political power in the Island nation has very little use for Greg Christie a man many more see as a breath of fresh air, and much-needed integrity into the public sphere.
It follows therefore that it would not be long before the recently elected government of the country’s far left-of-center People’s National Party Government would have a problem with Greg Christie. The former Jamaica labor party Government at times butted heads with Mister Christie and his office. however the newly installed PNP government if its history is any barometer has never seen a scandal and a potential for corruption it did not dive into. The PNP government is formed from a populist party that thrives on promises, cheap give-aways, nepotism, cronyism, corrupt practises, and abuse of State power. As such they are rewarded with office for extended periods of time , their last stint lasting 18 1/2 years. During which the country recorded astronomical escalation in the murder rate , rising to within the top three places in the world where one is likely to get murdered. Registering at its height, an average of 1600 reported homicides annually out of a population of 2.7 million inhabitants.
Omar Davies the former finance minister presided over the worst financial period in the nation’s history,at a time when most other carribean Islands were recording positive growth in their economies. His performance was so abysmal the equally incompetent prime minister Portia Simpson Miller could not put him back at Finance this time around. Incredibly telling when Portia find someone unsuitable for a task.
It is therefore not surprising that Omar Davies now minister of transport, works and housing would be at odds with the work of the contractor general and the works he does. Davie’s ministry is the one that handles the old cookie jar, the pot where the tax-payers got their asses handed to them through illegal and corrupt acts within the procurement process. So in all his wisdom here’s what Omar Davies does !
In a statement to Parliament announced that an independent oversight panel has been established to expand the framework for monitoring the award of contracts. The body is to be chaired by Professor Gordon Shirley, principal and pro-vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Mona. He is to be joined by businessman R. Danny Williams, and Everton McDonald, a retired territory senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.jamaicagleaner.com
Davies announced the establishment of the panel while revealing that Cabinet has given approval for the continuation of three projects – the completion of the north-south link of Highway 2000; the Gordon Cay Container Transhipment hub, and the Fort Augusta Container terminal. The OCG, headed by Greg Christie, had expressed it was not in agreement with the direct negotiations with investors in relation to these three projects. The office had said the projects should be subjected to competitive tender.jamaicagleaner.com
Yesterday, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness and North Central Clarendon Member of Parliament Pearnel Charles said they were uncomfortable with the reason for which the panel has been established. Holness questioned whether Davies was seeking to replace the OCG with the panel.jamaicagleaner.com
Here’s the thing , there is nothing wrong with this panel of Jamaicans, after all in Jamaica one only has to go to college and they are given God status, so I have no evidence one way or the other as to the character of these people, But they are not needed. I totally get how this administration and in particular this minister could have a problem with the integrity process that is enshrined in the OCG, after all they are used to making decisions as politicians without oversight or anyone daring to question them.
“We do not accept impotence as an option,” he said.”This administration, this Parliament, is very much aware of the knife’s edge in terms of the timing and we would suggest that it is not apparent that this understanding of the fact that investors are not going to hang around in perpetuity, hoping that you may come to a decision,” Davies said. He added: “What we are seeking to do is to do the right thing and to ensure that the public is assured that there are other persons … who have accessed what we are doing.” He said: “It cannot be that 63 members are all so tied together in a narrow, focused attempt to deceive the people and one office is the only correct one.jamaicagleaner.com
Clearly mister Davies must have been living in a distant universe, or he choses to be oblivious to the fact that people trust the OCG far more than they do any single parliamentarian, or all of them combined. Clearly the esteemed minister is suffering from an abundance of over confidence in his and his colleagues importance and or popularity. I know the minister finds obeying the law a nuisance, but the law is the law mister Davies, you are not allowed to abrogate the law or usurp the duly constituted OCG in your expressed hurry to take advantage of opportunities.
I suggest you get used to sharing power, I understand what a bother it must be for you and your colleagues to obey laws, after all you people were never held to answer for anything. During your last go around you had carte-blanch to do whatever you wanted and look at the results.
A new day is dawning.
I love it.