Wed | May 27, 2020

Mitchell: Dunn's River debacle highlights poor leadership in Government, private sector

Published:Thursday | January 3, 2019 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue/Senior Gleaner Writer

Howard Mitchell, the out-spoken head of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), says that the findings of an audit of the operations at Dunn's River Falls and Recreational Park point to the latest example of poor leadership afflicting both the Government and the private sector.

Mitchell told The Gleaner yesterday that Jamaica was suffering from a leadership and accountability deficit at all levels.

"I have not looked at the report in detail as yet, but the reports that I have seen in the media indicate that this again is another example of lack of governance, accountability, and transparency, which everybody in this country suffers from, including the private sector," he said.

Mitchell said that the private sector had begun to act and that the Government should follow suit.




He noted that the private sector is driven to act "because accountability and transparency means profitability".

Governments, he said, were not driven by profitability, "but politics, and that's the problem".

In the meantime, the Opposition has called for sanctions on persons implicated in the fraud involving the loss of J$100 million at the world-famous Dunn's River Falls.

A release from the party's spokesman on tourism, Dr Wykeham McNeill, said that auditors were blocked in the process of doing their work by persons still employed at the attraction - the largest income earner for the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) - which earns more than $1.4 billion annually.

McNeill said that the Dunn's River debacle has signalled the need for transparent review of all public agencies in order to stem the continued pilfering of the public purse.

A statement from the UDC indicates that as a result of the review, necessary steps have been taken to contain the issues.

"Already, the boards have taken immediate action to address the key findings, which will help to limit the risk of leakage and instill a culture of accountability and transparency," the UDC statement read.