Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Demanded reports

Published:Friday | January 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM


On January 1, 2018, Minister of National Security Robert Montague demanded a report from Commissioner George Quallo, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Fortunately for Montague, he did not insist on a threshold for quality that the report should meet. Nor did he insist on a day, month, or year within which the report should be delivered. "By 5 o'clock this evening," could have been interpreted by Quallo as the evening on which he was brave-enough to open his e-mail.

It is the going fare for politicians in power, or, of people in powerful positions in Jamaica, to 'demand reports' when problems arise. Their demands present to the public an in-charge, no-nonsense image. But how many of those 'demanded reports' are ever complied with? And more importantly, how many of those 'demanded reports' have the public ever demanded be shared with them?

Of the lightning strike that knocked out operations of the Norman Manley International Airport of Friday, September 8, 2017, did not the Minister of Transport and Mining Mike Henry ask for, if not demand, a report? Did he get it? What became of that?

How about The Gleaner report of May 10, 2016, in which local government minister Desmond McKenzie demanded a report within 24 hours following the collapse of section of a building at the hotel in Negril? Did McKenzie ever receive that report? Was that report ever made public? And were there any consequences?

How about the 'bad-gas' saga, reports of which were first made to the energy minister, Phillip Paulwell, on December 19, 2015? An official report was to have been made public on January 31, 2016. Was that deadline ever met? Instead, what the public got was a song-n-dance by one official that "the unknown cannot be known".

Ray Ford