The new administration of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has its work cut out after winning the June 23 general election.
With the carnival now over, the government will now have to deepen the pace of implementation of its Transformational agenda that was the mantra of its campaign to get into office as replacement for the New National Party (NNP) of the elderly leader, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
It is not an easy task that lies ahead to govern and at the same time to clean up and rebuild the broken down system of government that was inherited from the previous rulers.
The former Prime Minister was very power hungry and concentrated not on a good governance agenda but mainly on creating systems that helped to maintain his political stranglehold on Grenadians.
The establishment of the Imani program and similar social welfare initiatives were aimed primarily at ensuring that the NNP voting machine was never without a strong support base in the country.
It matters not that millions were wasted on ill-conceived projects as the priority of the previous occupants in the seat of power at the Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens was to always ensure that the status quo remained for the Green Machine to create a one-party state.
With carnival over and the business of the state about to take centre stage once again, there are several issues that need urgent attention and addressing.
THE NEW TODAY is getting some disconcerting information about the activities taking place at the state-owned Gravel & Concrete Corporation at Mt Rush.
Our position is that the new management board that was put in place by Congress should already be up and running in very short order and to inform the public about the state of play at that state body.
It is a well-known fact that a few years ago, the former rulers attempted to implement some of the recommendations from an agency of the World Bank for Gravel and Concrete to be privatised as it should never be a burden on the Treasury.
It is a statutory body that is believed to be heavily over-staffed with hundreds of workers not engaged in any meaningful productivity but just benefitting from a monthly pay cheque.
Gravel & Concrete has seemingly become a place where politicians just find “a work” for their supporters to earn money and to keep voting them back into office election after election for the favour of getting a little something to do.
There is definitely some degree of concern by even staffers about the use of some of the finances of the corporation especially in the purchase of two Concrete trucks in the United States.
The information seems to suggest that it was a bad buy and that Gravel & Concrete has not been able to get value for the monies spent on purchasing the vehicles and bringing them into the country.
The new Board of Directors will have their work cut out in getting at the bottom of many of the dealings of those who have been running the corporation over the past 10 years or so.
THE NEW TODAY is re-iterating an earlier call for Congress to invite the British government to help in rebuilding the public service that was so badly and deliberately shattered by the former regime.
The Dickon Mitchell government should not allow itself to be bogged down too much with looking for “the cat” in the room but instead to build the solid platform that is needed for Grenada to go forward with its developmental trust.
The British have the expertise and know-how to catch “the cat” especially if there is a paper trail left behind whether it is in a government ministry, department or statutory body.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to comment on a particular issue of concern in light of the government’s intention to break away from the holding of weekly post-Cabinet press briefings.
There is nothing wrong with such an approach since under the NNP regime this helped to breathe and create laziness in many of the Journalists who depended almost exclusively on these events to get some news from the government.
Too many reporters have been showing signs of not taking on their own “to look for news” but kept waiting week after week “to act as Secretaries” in showing up and taking notes in these carefully choreographed post-Cabinet sessions under the NNP regime.
With a different approach under the new government, it is obvious that reporters should now understand and see the need to probe the government especially the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers on many issues in order to get newsworthy items.
THE NEW TODAY has submitted questions of national importance and interest to the government and quite frankly is not happy with the lack of response from the relevant personnel in the administration.
It is too early to accuse the new government of trying to control the narrative as part of some grand Public Relations exercise.
Former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas had given a commitment to pass a Freedom of Information act in Parliament and those who are now flying the Congress banner should be reminded of the public’s right to know about their business and affairs.
THE NEW TODAY, as a responsible and committed media house will not allow the government of the day to force it into a position to become the mouthpiece of those wielding power in the country.