“When you stay false, how can I stay true?
Tell me why do you always do the opposite of what I do.”
Here’s an idea – if you want to teach your child about opposites, feel free to use this administration as an example.
The quote above is a line taken from the Sesame Street song, “Opposite of What I Do” . I must say, though, that yellow-haired blue muppet has NOTHING on the current administration, because it appears that for every promise made, it has done the exact opposite.
On December 20, 2011, during the leadership debate between leader of the People’s National Party, Portia Simpson Miller, and Jamaica Labour Party leader, Andrew Holness, an audience member asked the question:
“How is the People’s National Party different from the Jamaica Labour Party since both parties have been accused of corruption, bribery and mismanagement, and such the like?”
This was Mrs. Simpson Miller’s response:
“The People’s National Party is different because we’ve put in place a number of institutions to deal with corruption. I’m very strong in terms of fighting corruption. I will not tolerate any form of corruption in a People’s National Party Government. And that’s why, when I’m returned to power as Prime Minister, I will ensure the strengthening of these institutions like the Office of the Contractor General, and all the institutions having to investigate corruption and deal with corruption when they are reported.”
– (Jamaica Leadership Debate 2011 – comments at 9:15)
Eighteen months later:
“The Portia Simpson Miller-led Cabinet is to consider a submission, which is aimed at amending the Contractor General Act to prevent the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) from getting involved in certain strategic investment projects at the pre-contracting stage.” (“Gov’t looks to limit OCG’s powers“)
Funny, isn’t it, how time changes things?
Question 1: Who determines what these “certain strategic investment projects” are?
Question 2: If there is a valid concern about the procurement of contracts for a particular project, and the OCG is made aware of this during the initial (say, the bidding and selection) stages, is it that we would have to wait until the contract is signed and money spent on the project before we decide to investigate a breach (a la Spalding-gate)?
It actually sounds like a case of “It’s easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission.” God forbid that there is a breach of procurement guidelines, the horse would have already gone through the gate, money would have already exchanged hands, and we could all brush it aside as “nine-day talk”.
But kudos to this administration, though – only they could convince the people that one can strengthen a body by reducing its power. I guess this is what governance is like in the twilight zone.