THE EDITOR, Sir:
I watched TVJ's nightly news on Wednesday with mounting dismay, particularly, the segment dealing with the interview with the principals of the consortium called Azurest Cambridge Power.
It was announced on Wednesday that this is the group awarded the contract to build and deliver the much-touted 360MW energy plant.
This huge investment is of such magnitude and importance to the future of our country that I can scarcely comprehend it.
Clearly, I am not alone.
As I see it, the spokesman for the consortium and OUR were both trying hard to backpedal from their commitment to the price of the product they undertook to deliver. The OUR was busy explaining that adjustments might have to be made and generally playing catch-up with what looks suspiciously like poor due-diligence practice.
In addition, I understood from the interview that the consortium is seeking to raise the capital locally for the bid bond from our poor foreign exchange-strapped country. Am I completely na´ve to expect foreign investment to bring in foreign currency - not milk it from the local economy?
What have these people really brought to the table but their suits and briefcases? Do they even have the capability to do the job on time, on bid? Do they have a beefy enough track record? If so, what is it? The country needs to know these things.
The whole process from the start has been full of twists and breaches, among them the allowing of late bidders, and the waiving of bid bonds, not to mention the lack of transparency throughout the process.
The overall effect is the appearance of compromising the bidding system - to the long-term detriment of the Jamaican people.
I was moved to write this letter by a quote in a book I was reading Thursday night. It is from Dante's 'Inferno', and it goes like this:
The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in the face of moral crisis.
Sir, we are in a moral and economic crisis, and as I don't much care for dark places, I am seeking to add my great concern for what is happening in this regard in Jamaica.
We need to have confidence that our policymakers are doing their job decently, and it must be seen to be done decently.