THE EDITOR, Sir:
In light of The Gleaner's recent cover story titled 'Heavy rent burden: More than $1b being spent to house Gov't at private premises', it is about time that we take stock of all government-owned buildings, derelict, yet repair worthy, which can be overhauled to house government ministries and departments.
While I cannot speak with any great degree of accuracy to the number of abandoned government buildings within the Corporate Area, I'm pretty confident that there are likely many, given the few which are known.
It is rather unfortunate that after 50 years as an independent nation, we do not have a civic district which houses our major ministries and government departments, as opposed to what currently obtains, that is, the scattering of ministries and departments across the Corporate Area, which does not lend itself to efficiency and effectiveness.
Such a reality is also manifest in the cost to users of the services who are often sent from one ministry or department to another - a sprawling bureaucracy!
In the midst of the many challenges facing us as a nation, we need to begin to plan properly with the foresight that would enable us to cut costs in those areas we need not expend on, where we have assets and resources that are not being utilised, which could lessen the expenses we incur.
We need to have vision which is not linked to capital, but rather, linked to government policies, translated into law which facilitates and spurs the bigger objectives through the buy-in of private enterprise, on the foundations of government being a facilitator.
At age 50, $1b PAID in rent! Why not $1b RECEIVED in rental income to the coffers?
FABIAN E. SANCHEZ