THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Government's failure to give clear and concise information regarding the Jamaica House London expenditure is unacceptable. And recently unearthed information that approximately $3 million was spent to develop an unimpressive Jamaica House London website where all the information of value is that hyperlinked to the JAMPRO page, just adds insult to injury.
Jamaica is calling on the de facto minister of information, or JAMPRO, to disclose the person who was responsible for designing this website.
What is more infuriating is that the minister of information finds it appropriate to tell the nation that the London expenditures fell below what was budgeted for, while telling us that all the bills are not in yet. When will this Government give us some hope that it will operate on the premise of accountability and transparency? Do they think that we are idiots?
I also find Captain Horace Burrell's recent public outburst that $140m was a minimal cost - or should I say 'chicken feed' - to market Jamaica, without having full knowledge of how the money was expended, very irresponsible. This is the tribal mentality and biased approach to issues of national interest by some prominent Jamaicans.
We are told that some members of the London delegation took care of their personal expenses. We need documented proof of this.
We need more information on the extent and magnitude of networking done in London that is expected to attract at least a break-even return on this $140m in the near future. I would think that vital data were being collected. All we keep hearing is that we shouldn't expect to see anything before six to 12 months, but, to date, we don't know what we should be expecting to see within that period of time.
WHY SO DIFFICULT?
If a strategic and serious approach was taken in London to seek out investors and encourage them to invest in Jamaica, giving a detailed report on the expected value from this money should not be so difficult. Instead, we are seeing where the country is being directed all over the place for information on how the $140 million was expended.
We are pleading with the Government to once and for all tell us exactly what strategic activities were initiated or participated in that will garner future investment and bring value added to taxpayers' money. Or do they expect that business opportunities will come from their just showing up in London, having a grand time in one of the world's most expensive cities, and that should be enough to attract foreign direct investments to Jamaica?
Jamaicans need answers now. Our patience is waning.