The sacking of Patrick Wong as head of the National Works Agency (NWA) is reasonable proof that Prime Minister Andrew Holness was treated to a malodorous whiff from the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), which he felt was potentially injurious to the re-election chances of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
But while the failings of Mr Wong contributed to the contamination, the fault, as the auditor general, Pamela Monroe Ellis, pointed out in her special report on JDIP, would not have been entirely his.
Said she: "The MTW (Ministry of Transport and Works) must be mindful of its fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the Government and, by extension, taxpayers obtain value for every dollar spent."
It failed, she implied, in those responsibilities.
In that regard, there are at least two other persons, who, in our view, must be held to account. The first of these is Dr Alwin Hales, who, as permanent secretary, is the top accounting officer in the transport and works ministry, to which the NWA is contracted.
Then there is Mike Henry, the minister, who not only made himself the face and soul of JDIP but who, ultimately, is accountable for everything that transpires in his portfolio.
The Road Maintenance Fund (RMF), the vehicle through which the Government borrowed US$340 million from the China ExIm Bank for the project, ought not to escape scrutiny, although, it seems, any misdemeanour on its part would have been imposed, rather than deliberate, carelessness.
It ought to be noted that the NWA, a semi-autonomous body, was merely an implementing agency for the works ministry on the road construction and repair projects of JDIP. So, when the NWA was bending its own procurement rules and consenting to the hiring of inappropriate contractors, splurging on its own headquarters and failing to monitor work being done on the taxpayers' bill, Dr Hales' ministry should have been a second line of defence.
That the auditor general found that it failed means that Dr Hales should take responsibility. He, too, should be fired. Indeed, Mr Wong's departure, at the request of Minister Henry, amounts to confirmation of the NWA's failures and dissipates the flaccid exculpation offered by the permanent secretary last week.
That these things happened on Mr Henry's watch, with his flagship project, of which he was almost proprietary, indicates that either he facilitated an environment of permissiveness, or he was not on top of the issues in his portfolio. In either event, he should offer his ministerial resignation to Mr Holness, which the prime minister should grasp with firmness.
There is another point of failure from the JDIP mess: the finance ministry. This programme, including the Palisadoes foreshore project, added around $42 billion to the country's debt, at a time when debt management and the effective use of borrowed money are high on the national agenda.
Yet, the finance ministry appeared to have little or no control over the flow of JDIP funds, and the finance minister, Mr Audley Shaw, saw it fit only to deflect current complaints by shining a light on the misdeeds, real and perceived, of the former administration. That is unacceptable.
Mr Shaw should perhaps explain whether Mr Henry's strength as a minister contributed to the lack of restraint on JDIP.