The National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell should be able to look back after two months in office and reach a definitive position by now on some aspects of government operations that are in dire need of some form of tweaking.
The area that immediately comes to mind is the Government Information Service (GIS) which falls under the Office of the Prime Minister.
There is no doubt that the GIS is struggling to adjust itself to the Transformational Agenda that the Prime Minister and Congress articulated in the campaign leading up to the change of government following the June 23 general election.
The evidence was quite glaring on its performance during Wednesday’s historic re-opening of Parliament due to complaints over the frequent drop of its signal that affected the ability of many outside of the halls of Parliament at Mt. Wheldale from viewing the proceedings.
However, the major mistake made by GIS is to include as part of its panel an individual who is not even an employee of the Government Department but known to be very hostile to Congress and with a strong leaning to the defeated New National Party (NNP) of former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
This was a major slap in the face of supporters of NDC who have been clamouring for serious change at the governmental level and not just a changing of the guard among persons holding ministerial positions.
It is quite obvious that GIS is lacking in leadership to fulfill the Transformational Agenda and the issue should be addressed with a sense of urgency.
Grenada has talent in the area of communications and the Prime Minister as Minister with responsibility for Information should tap into the pool of available resources that are currently on hand.
THE NEW TODAY is suggesting that some serious thought be given to deploying Mr. Terrence Forrester to help enforce the Transformational Agenda.
Mr. Forrester has the requisite managerial skills, knowhow and expertise to accomplish the mission in short order and to bring about the kind of culture that is so badly lacking and needed at this important department.
The Prime Minister needs to put GIS into the hands of someone who can take charge of the operations in every aspect especially in the execution, from start to end, of all major national events like the re-opening of Parliament.
The GIS did not perform up to par and many media outlets that were carrying the feed for the rest of the world to view the happenings in the Grenada Parliament were forced to inform their audience that the problem did not originate with them but from the source.
THE NEW TODAY was informed by someone with knowledge of what was happening, that GIS personnel were on the compound of Parliament hours before the start of the proceedings still setting up their equipment.
The prudent thing is that GIS should have had a system in place a few days before the event and to do what is called “a dry run” to ensure that all the bugs in the system were sorted out and dealt with very successfully.
The Prime Minister as Minister of Information should invite Grenadians to send in their CV’s to see the talent out there that can become a part of GIS to make it a much better and improved entity.
There is also a need for PM Dickon Mitchell to issue an apology to the members of the Parliamentary Opposition for the major error in the exclusion of their names from the official programme that was circulated to persons invited to witness the event.
This is further proof of the problem that exists within the government service as admitted by former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell that the system has broken down.
There is no need for the current occupants of the seat of power within the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens to rehash the problem but to move ahead with the Transformational Agenda and take the bold step and to ring the changes that are needed and necessary to correct the ills in the system.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing remarks on information coming out about a certain organisation called FAITH that is linked to former NNP Education Minister, Emmalin Pierre.
One government minister in the Congress line-up is on record as saying that an approach has been made to the Attorney General for legal advice on the operations of this outfit.
This might be an exercise in futility and putting the cart before the horse.
The most prudent thing to do in the circumstances is to bring in a forensic audit team to look into the funds that were given to FAITH organisation, which was the beneficiary of over EC$1 million a year in subvention from the NNP administration, as well as to review other suspicious activities and transactions under the former regime.
The ex-minister admitted publicly that she is very familiar with the FAITH organization and documents in the public domain show that a sister of the minister was a Director of the company.
The Dickon Mitchell-led Congress government should get on with the business of running the country and implementing the Transformational Agenda and seek independent outside assistance to audit many of the books involving the financial activities of the previous regime.
It is well known that one government minister had between eight to ten workers at her constituency office in rural Grenada which is way above what is budgeted for from the official government line budget.
Was taxpayers’ money channeled through FAITH to facilitate this operation of the particular Member of Parliament?
An audit team needs to request, from the commercial bank or banks , the cheques issued by FAITH and other suspicious organisations to see if any of the last NNP ministers were signatories.
The new NDC team of Ministers will disappoint a number of its supporters for failing to take action to make any wrongdoer in public office account for their stewardship.