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JEEP spits up a smokescreen

Published:Monday | March 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM


I am smelling a stench here. What is it? To clear the air, we need not only transparency but a complete winding down of the tinted windows of JEEP (Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme).

We have heard conflicting stories from the contractor general and the transport ministry/political directorate, and obviously the truth is being badly mishandled by one side.

The Gleaner's lead story in the March 23, 2012 edition, 'Misleading!', relates events that are very troubling, to say the least. After reading it, I feel that both Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies and Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell are treating Jamaicans as if we are a set of idiots who can easily be duped into believing that Contractor General Greg Christie and his office have suddenly become overzealous, unreliable and untruthful.

Dr Davies and the People's National Party applauded when the Office of the Contractor General responded to their complaints about the handling of the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme. Now that the tight shoe is on their smelly feet, they are crying foul.

credibility in tatters

Let's not be euphemistic here. Let's not say that the permanent secretary recanted her story. Call a spade a spade: she has not spoken the whole truth; and this is a gross dereliction of duty by the ministry's chief financial officer.

Surely, Ms Sewell must realise that her credibility is now in tatters. Can she now be entrusted with further responsibility for protecting the public?

Greg Christie and his staff must again be commended for defending good governance and aggressively dealing with the smelly, smoking landfill that certain other public servants fear to tread.


Bronx, New York