Sat | May 26, 2018

Letter of the Day | Is there now nepotism in tourism?

Published:Tuesday | April 24, 2018 | 12:07 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This is an open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Despite your bold talk at the Conference of the Americas in Peru about fighting corruption in Jamaica, this scourge seems to be intricately embedded within your administration.

A few days ago, you advised the conference in Peru that "my administration continues to take bold steps to address the issue of corruption in our society, and has enacted and implemented various laws, initiatives and mechanisms geared at eliminating corruption in several areas ...".

However, your pronouncements do not square with actions here at home within your administration.

Godfrey Dyer was appointed a member of the Jamaica Tourist Board, and the chairman of Tourism Enhancement Fund by your administration. Recently, his wife was appointed western regional manager of the Jamaica Tourist Board!

Doesn't this, by any stretch of the imagination, constitute nepotism? Could it evolve into corruption?

We have been informed that Mr Dyer resigned from the JTB board of directors subsequent to his wife's appointment. I guess that since he has resigned, her appointment can no longer be regarded as inappropriate - or can it?

 

Lingering questions

 

I am, therefore, forced to ask the following questions:

Where were the board members of the Jamaica Tourist Board in relation to this appointment?

Did the Jamaica Tourist Board members question whether there was a possible conflict of interest?

Were they overruled in their decision by the minister of tourism?

Did Mrs Dyer meet the qualifications that were outlined in the advertisement published for the position? Further, what special qualification did she have that surpassed the other fully qualified applicants?

Mr Prime Minister, this does not look good, smell good, and it does not taste good.

In concluding your presentation in Peru, you proffered that "Jamaica remains committed to cooperating with international bodies and other member states to combat corruption in the forms of bribery, international graft, and organised crime". You, unfortunately, omitted one critical element of corruption: nepotism.

Mr Dyer should now also resign from the Tourism Enhancement Fund. And if the Jamaica Tourist Board directors were in agreement with this appointment, they should also resign.

DAVID WELSH

Granville PO, St James