The New Today

Fixing the problem at the Ministerial Complex!!!

The taxpayers of the country are being shortchanged by the inaction of government to fix the aged-old problem of a faulty design to the air-conditioning system at the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens in Tanteen, St George.

This is the main place where hundreds of public officers gather on a daily basis to earn a living from doing their work on behalf of the government and people of Grenada.

It is not fair to the public to spend money to reach the Complex and be turned back in the early hours of the afternoon as staffers have been forced to leave work due to excessive heat generated in the building due to lack of a proper functioning air condition system.

THE NEW TODAY is not blaming the 9-month old National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell for the problem, as it inherited it from the New National Party (NNP) of long-standing Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell which did nothing to resolve the issue.

The experts have said that the problem was spotted 24 years ago when the NNP government took the decision to award a contract to a Trinidad company to build the complex.

Persons who looked at the design of the AC system became very concerned that what was proposed was not suitable for a building with so many floors and offices.

These knowledgeable local experts agreed that each floor on the complex should have its own AC system installed and not put in place one system to cover the entire building.

The problem became much clearer as it was then realised that the scent from the food in the Restaurant on the Bottom Floor of the Complex was passing through the ducts and reaching all the way up to the 6th Floor in the building.

One bus operator mentioned the fact that he picked up a female government employee at 8.45 a.m one morning to drop her off to work at the Ministerial Complex and just after 1.00 p.m he picked her up again to drop her off at the Bus Terminus on Melville Street as she was making her way back home from a day’s work.

The point he was making is that this government employee was giving only four hours of service each working day and was still getting her full pay cheque at the end of each month.

It is ironic that the same bus operator was working from 6.00 a.m to 7.00 p.m daily which is approximately 13 hours to earn a living.

The Dickon Mitchell-led Congress government cannot be serious when it talks about seeking to improve the implementation rate of projects from the 37% figure under the previous administration in order to fast track projects for the development of the country, with this existing condition at the Ministerial Complex.

Grenada is already saddled by a serious deficit of skilled manpower within the Public Service to prepare projects for funds and even having the qualified and competent persons to oversee projects to fruition.

There are reports that significant funds are now being expended by the new Congress administration to improve the conditions on the Sixth Floor of the Complex where the Office of the Prime Minister is located.

THE NEW TODAY would like to see some of the funds earmarked to fixing the 24-year old problem of a badly designed Central Air-conditioning system for the complex which is resulting in taxpayers being “robbed” each and every day when it comes to adequate service at the Ministerial Complex.

The evidence is clear that the Keith Mitchell/Gregory Bowen combination that dominated the NNP regime and set the agenda for Cabinet meetings was more concerned with pouring millions into vote-catching programmes like the Imani and assistance to the poor and vulnerable, especially its supporters than spending state funds on fixing the AC problem at the Complex.

Grenada should not be allowed to celebrate its 50th anniversary of an Independent State on February 7, 2024 with the woes of the AC system at the Complex still hovering around us.

There are credible reports that documents do exist within the Ministry of Works offering several suggestions to fix the problem.

This is a call for Infrastructure Development Minister Dennis Cornwall and Minister of Mobilisation, Implementation and Transformation Andy Williams to come together and formulate a plan to take care of the issue.

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell can also make a formal approach to his counterpart in Trinidad & Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley for assistance in solving the problem and getting our public officers back to work in the national interest.

The public sector unions especially the Grenada Public Workers Union (PWU) is also guilty of aiding and abetting the governments over the years in their failure to provide adequate working conditions for civil servants.

The Ministry of Labour which is staffed by members of the PWU, is the Department responsible for ensuring that workers both in the public and private sectors have adequate health and safety conditions in which to perform at the workplace.

The members of the Public Service Commission (PSC), especially those who served the NNP regime of Dr. Keith Mitchell should also take some blame for not letting their voices be heard on this vexing problem at the Complex.

It is another manifestation of the breakdown in the institutions of the State under the Mitchell dynasty as many persons occupying high positions in the country were prepared to turn a blind eye to many things in order to continue to benefit from the NNP system that was spreading across the length and breath of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique

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