Wed | Jan 29, 2020

NIA warns against corruption in Corporate Area drain cleaning

Published:Monday | July 16, 2018 | 12:03 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Trevor Munroe

As local government authorities prepare to undertake drain cleaning activities across the Corporate Area, Professor Trevor Munroe, executive director of the National Integrity Action, has warned against corruption in the issuance of contracts.

The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) announced on Tuesday that drain cleaning activities were to get underway some time last week in 21 divisions, once the necessary funds had been pooled.

However, recalling allegations made about the de-bushing programme in St Mary in November 2016, Munroe said that no discrimination on political grounds should take place.

"The town clerk's office must ensure that the contracts are chosen on the basis of proven performance track record and competence," Professor Munroe said.

He added: "The municipal corporation must set up a quality control mechanism that is to be disclosed to the public. There should be no discrimination on the grounds of politics in the employment of persons to carry out drain cleaning."

Munroe said non-political persons should be consulted by authorities. He also urged citizens' associations and neighbourhood watches to be vigilant in ensuring that communities receive value for money by reporting any contractual breaches to the Office of the Contractor general.

As the country moves closer to the heart of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the KSAMC will carry out drain cleaning in all 40 divisions. However, communities in 21 divisions will benefit in the first phase of the project.

The communities that will benefit initially are: Rae Town, Dallas, Greenwich Town, Seaview Gardens, Duhaney Park, Waterhouse, Chancery Hall, Hughenden, Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town, Havendale, Norman Gardens, Springfield, Barbican, Mavis Bank, Harbour View, Norbrook, Payne Land, Maxfield, Hagley Park and Cassia Park.

Both phases of the project should be completed by September, according to Deputy Mayor Winston Ennis.