Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Heroes Circle concerns valid

Published:Wednesday | May 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I wish to relay my deep gratitude to Jeanette Calder for the highly thorough yet comprehensive article regarding the Heroes Circle public-private partnership (PPP) plans by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ).

The article expresses perfectly the key concerns that many Jamaicans have, yet were unsure how to frame. The article puts into sharp focus why our red flags were flying.

I would like to find out from the PM his explanation of this paradox. Indeed, as Ms Calder noted, why have policies that facilitate and exemplify more transparent, fair practices, and advocate due diligence, then test them by essentially flouting the policy guidelines in favour of practices that are more enabling of corruption?

This way of operating begs the question, is our procurement policy for show? Is it a box that we had to check off for our national and international development partners?

I agree with Ms Calder's concern about our standing and the potential impact regarding public-private partnerships.

This action by the GOJ also has implications for our Corruption Perception Index, which is 43 - the least dirty we have ever scored.




Government procurement research has shown where some of the most corrupt practices occur and precious dollars denied to national development - healthcare, education, social services, to name a few.

The GOJ has a responsibility to come clean with the people. The process must be made transparent. We the people must have access to all the information pertaining to this PPP transaction.

What are the people on the hook for?

Government is not an exclusive business or social event for the political elite.

In this democracy, account-ability, transparency, good governance, meaningful participa-tion and access to information, etc, are not words for Spelling Bee. They form part of the social contract we the people have with our elected government that we, by the way, fund.