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'Crazy and ridiculous'

Published:Thursday | April 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Gillings: Increased ceiling could aid approval process.

REVELATION THAT it takes up to 250 days or just under 36 weeks for some projects administered by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) to be approved by Cabinet yesterday irked members of a parliamentary oversight committee, with some describing the protracted period before approval as "crazy and ridiculous".

Opposition Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw yesterday urged a parliamentary oversight committee to take a serious look at this matter.

Shaw was supported by Mike Henry, who also commented on the issue during yesterday's meeting of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee at Gordon House.

Slow process

"That (timeline) of nearly a year is a ridiculous situation and people who are poor need instant response, not that kind of time frame," Henry stated.

Committee Chairman Edmund Bartlett said efforts would have to be made to reduce the time on the basis of greater efficiency of the agencies and the sector committees and the National Contracts Commission.

Managing director of JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, said there were "several parts to this problem".

Gillings suggested that the prolonged approval process could be contracted if the ceiling for contract approval by Cabinet was increased.

The JSIF wants the existing approval threshold for JSIF projects by Cabinet to be increased from $30 million to $50 million.