Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Clearing Narcisse's fog on JFJ support

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

For the record, regarding Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) member Carol Narcisse's article titled 'JFJ critics have lost their soul' (August, 10, 2014), several of Ms Narcisse's statements on the issues of which I have knowledge are misleading. The statements seem designed to mislead readers to make an erroneous conclusion in support of whatever position that stirred Ms Narcisse into letter-writing action this time.

My advice to Ms Narcisse is to check the facts and to present them accurately. This advice is especially important for Ms Narcisse to take seriously, given her professional role as a communication officer of an organisation that seeks to influence the public agenda.

Carol Narcisse states that JFJ members and former directors Carolyn Gomes and Susan Goffe signed off on a draft strategic plan I crafted during my brief time at JFJ. Though one is never sure of someone else's intention, Ms Narcisse's statement seems designed to make the case that both Carolyn Gomes and Susan Goffe supported the three-year JFJ strategic plan I crafted and this support remains intact.

The evidence does not support this argument.

Key facts that Ms Narcisse omits in her article are that the board approval of the draft strategic plan did not mean approval to implement the plan. It meant approval for me to continue developing the plan with the full knowledge that the most important aspect of the plan was the proposed priority advocacy portfolio which required the board to vote on each portfolio item at a later date.

As anticipated, the board later voted on each priority advocacy portfolio item, with 10 board members present voting unanimously to approve the priority advocacy portfolio.

Contrary to Carol Narcisse's misleading statement, Carolyn Gomes was not in attendance at this board meeting.

PLAN DISCREDITED

Importantly, no sooner was there majority board agreement on the strategic plan's priority advocacy areas, then director Susan Goffe and others promptly started a campaign to discredit the strategic plan. Their public and private arguments were that the strategic planning process was flawed, the plan did not sufficiently reflect past JFJ accomplishments and methods, and other attacks that were designed to undermine the legitimacy, validity, and credibility of the strategic plan.

As a result, I shared relevant information with Mrs Goffe, making it clear that the plan was valid, deserved support, and was in the JFJ's best interest.

It remains my position that the three-year strategic plan that includes a priority advocacy portfolio focusing on socio-economic justice, the rights of the child, and citizens' security is not only in the JFJ's best interest, but in the best interest of the people of Jamaica.

KAY M. OSBORNE

Former JFJ Executive Director

kaymosborne@gmail.com