Tue | May 5, 2015

LETTER OF THE DAY - Say no to poor government performance

Published:Thursday | January 31, 2013

THE EDITOR, Sir:

IT IS EASY tounderstand whyJamaicais drowning in debt when you look at the stewardship being offered by our leaders. Forapartfrom the annualAuditor General's Report which records waste and corruptionyearin year out with littleattempt from the powers that beto give us better value for money, there are, in our face, manyagenciesandhighlypaid persons being supported by the overextendedtaxpayer, who would not survive a year in countries that take performance seriously.

Themost visible at this time is the Office of thePublicdefender, led by Earl Witter,which has cost thecountry in excess of$300 millioninthreeyears, but whichleavesus searching desperately to find any value to justify itsexistence.

Long before the failure of the public defender to meet any of the six deadlines set by him to present the Tivoli Report, I have been questioning where the findings of the regular investigations announced on television by the public defender into almostevery public issue are.

The Public Defender's office is supervised by parliament, but has our parliament had the type of track record to give them the moral authority to demand performance from any agency? I think the answer is obviousto all.

SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE

The question I am being forced to ask today, however, is: 'How can a government in all conscience cut jobs in the public service when they refuse to do anything about non-performers like the expensive Public Defender's office and a redundant parishcouncil system?' What kind of message are we sending to the younger generation when an office which has cost taxpayers in excess of $300 million in three years has so little to show for it?

While some would like to crow, lack of performance by the public defender hasstraddled both political parties which have formed the governmentin recent times.

I am heretotell Jamaica that if we get a complete write-off of all our debts tomorrow, in a few years we will be exactly where we are today, based on what we as taxpayers tolerate as performance from those holdingelectedor appointed office.

JOAN WILLIAMS

gratestj@gmail.com