Above Questions: Questioning the Contractor General

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A battle of words has once again begun between the Contractor General, Greg Christie and a public official.  This time the contractor General has turned his attention to

Contractor Genereal: Greg Christie

the Minister of Information, Daryl Vaz, who questioned Christie’s investigation into the pending sale of Sandals Whitehouse.

Since his ascension to the Office of Contractor General there have been several verbal sparrings with politicians and public sector employees.  It is recognized that while the Contractor General is so empowered to examine government contracts; Tact should always be employed in fulfilling the tasks of the post.

There is no doubt that the Office of the Contractor General is performing its mandate as per the Contractor General Act. Originally crafted in 1983, the Act notes that  the Contractor General under Part II Section 4 (which is a commission of Parliament) is required to inter alia monitor the award and the implementation of government contracts with a view to ensuring that —

i.          such contracts are awarded impartially and on merit;

ii.     the circumstances in which each contract is awarded or, as the case may be, terminated, do not involve impropriety or irregularity;

iii.      without prejudice to the functions of any public body in relation to any contract, the implementation of each such contract conforms to the terms thereof

In the six years that he has held the position, Mr. Christie has earned the respect of many Jamaicans. He is respected for being undaunted in tackling public officials about their failure in adhering to government procedures and procurement guidelines.  Many Jamaicans support his actions because he highlights the breaches of Government mandated guidelines which is invariably linked to the possibility of corruption.  However, in the process his approach and zeal to publish information about individuals and his response to those who comment on his investigations have raised questions about his professionalism and the place of due process. Indeed, he displays a cavalier approach where it would seem he is above scrutiny and questions.

Minister of Information and Telecommunications, Daryl Vaz

Recently Minister Vaz stated that both the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party have concerns with the publicly incriminating pronouncements made by Christie and those of which he writes.  The minister stated that remarks made by Christie seemingly scare competent individuals away from the public sector.  Vaz again commented on the approach taken by the Contractor General in reviewing the proposal for the sale of the Sandals Whitehouse property to Gorestew Limited.  Immediately, the Contractor General responded to Vaz just stopping short of chastising him for commenting on the matter.  The Contractor General, in a press release, stated that “if the minister does not like how the OCG approaches its investigations or who the OCG investigates, he should simply change the law or take the requisite steps to immediately disband the commission of the contractor general.”

It must be highlighted that the work of Greg Christie is respected and that democracies cannot function well if their public institutions fail or under-perform.  Mr. Christie is placed in the position not to be liked; in fact, it may be argued that the post of Contractor General requires a personality that revels in universal dislike, a hermit of sorts.  However, approach is also very important and though Mr. Christie is urged to continue the work that he is doing, he should adjust the way in which he responds to people who criticize him and his work.  In respect of Minister Vaz’s suggestion that “in his approach he should be careful that he does not scare good individuals from the public sector,” this comment should not be dismissed as the ruminations of a Politician with one eye on a second term.  It should be looked at within the high principles of the constitution that affords individuals the freedom of speech and the opportunity of a fair trial.

Prime Minister Golding, in a presentation at a Generation 2000 meeting stated that while he commends the Contractor General for his work he has some concerns.  The concerns are linked to Christie’s public pronouncements regarding investigations, and what he calls the “haste to publish even before the basis of the investigations and the questions of persons who may be involved are clearly identified.” Good criticism should be welcomed by the Contractor General; people should be free to comment without being verbally attacked.  It is also important that in his work the integrity and presumed innocence of public officials be protected and zeal doesn’t become the order of the day.

http://www.ocg.gov.jm/ocg/contractor_general_act.php

Poll Reopened:Should Straight Persons be allowed to attend Gay Parties

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Yes we know we asked you this question before, however, there were persons who vociferously disputed our poll result findings. So we are putting it back out, to YOU the people to GIVE US A PIECE OF YOUR MIND!

Please note that the reasons for these polls are to:

  • inquire about what you think;
  • discover what matters to you and
  • design programmes for your benefit

Voting Instructions

  1. Place your browser cursor over the box to the left of the OPTION you intend to vote for (it doesn’t matter if you are using a mobile device or a computer)
  2. Check the box
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click the vote button
  4. If you do not agree with any of the choices and would like to submit another, type it in the box marked Other

Your vote will be recorded and counted. Your vote is private and secret, when you vote we have no way of knowing who voted! Only the vote is important to us.

$222 Million approved to buy drugs for persons living with HIV/AIDS

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Cabinet approved the award of contracts for the purchase of more than $222 million worth of antiretroviral drugs to support the work of the Jamaica Country Coordinating Mechanism for HIV/AIDS Response. Matrix Laboratories will provide $174 million in drugs and Ranbaxy Laboratory $48 million.
 
The announcement was made by Minister with responsibility for Information, Daryl Vaz, at yesterday’s post cabinet briefing at Jamaica House (January 26).
 
The funds are from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and will be used to continue treatment of persons living with HIV/AIDS while expanding services for all persons in need of such care.

Majority Rules: Let the Straights In!

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THE PEOPLE SPEAK: ALTER EGO WINS

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People’s Choice Awards: Vote for best Promoter of 2010

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Below is a list of Party Promoters who did work over 2010. Vote for the promoter who in your estimation did the best work for the period

Voting Instructions

  1. Place your browser cursor over the box to the left of the Party Promoter you intend to vote for (it doesn’t matter if you are using a mobile device or a computer)
  2. Check the box
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click the vote button
  4. If you do not agree with any of the choices and would like to submit another promoter, type it in the box marked Other

Your vote will be recorded and counted. Your vote is private and secret, when you vote we have no way of knowing who voted! Only the vote is important to us

COIN/CVC Employment Opportunities

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Please see link below regarding job/career opportunities working with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities. These opportunities represent a PANCAP Regional Global Fund Project to reduce HIV in high risk groups. Note that:

  • Positions available include managerial, technical, administrative, financial and Monitoring and Evaluation staff
  • Posts based either in the Dominican Republic or Jamaica

For full description of postings and the application procedure please consult the following web link: http://coin-cvc-human-resources.blogspot.com/