Repost: First published Jan 12, 2012
The Prime Minister made an election promise of using the Jamaica Emergency Employment Program (JEEP) to provide temporary relief to the thousands who lost their jobs under the former administration. The JEEP has been criticized in many quarters as a throw back to the 1970′s and will not work. It has been called CRASH program, Bullo wuk and is said to be simple redistribution of money amongst members of the public.
Whether we like it or not JEEP seems set to drive, as we understand that the administration led by the Right Honourable Portia Simpson -Miller has already made contact with the Chinese representative in Jamaica with a view of making some changes to the contract. We further understand that a delegation may be headed to China soon for a meeting to solidify these discussions.
Reading from the PNP manifesto JEEP will get be funded from the JDIP funds, which were originally earmarked for infrastructural development programs.
They have indicated that the funds will be used to provide employment of persons to clean gullies, side of roads verges etc, no development work which you can look back 5 yrs from now and say, that came out of the JEEP.
The government no doubt is concerned about the high unemployment rate and this is their method to alleviate the suffering of Jamaican at this point in time.
How will the Jeep really work? I have a number of questions that I would like to ask the driver of the JEEP, Dr Omar Davis
- Under which agency will JEEP fall ?
- How will it be administered i.e. will be island wide with various administrator in various parishes?
- Will it fall under the purview of the various MP’s in the various constituency and if so how, will it be in a manner similar to the CDF?
- How will the various projects to fall under the program be determined?
- What are the priority projects to be addressed and how do we determine priory i.e. what factors determine if a project make the list or not?
- How are the contracts to be handled? Will we have one big contractor or contractors with responsibility for the overall execution of the various project and then sub contracts are issued to the various sub contractors, then to the regular work men and women.
- Will these contracts be put to tender?
- Will these contracts come under the NCC?
- If no to 6, how do we determine who is eligible to get employment contracts under JEEP?
- Will it be first come, first serve system?
- If based on needs, are we going to conduct a needs analysis to determine who really are in bad shape financially and should get work.
- If we are going to proceed with a need analysis, who will administer this process?
- Would it be one, two, or three persons required to complete this process in each of the 63 constituency?
- To whom will these persons report?
- How do we ensure transparency and objectivity in the needs analysis process?
- The needs are varying and plenty, so having done the needs analysis, what process will be used to ensure the list is made up of the most needy and ensure all gets a piece of the pie.
- If we have multiple projects in one constituency,division, area, what process will be put in place to ensure equity and no one person “ hog the show”?
- How will the work to be done be valued i.e. how do we determine fair price for the job to be done?
- What performance criteria will be put in place to determine if the job is done properly?
- What body or entity will evaluate the work to determine if it’s done to original design specifications?
- Will this be an existing government body or entity, if not how much will be set aside to pay an external group to complete this process?
- . How will payment be made i.e. what documents will be used to determine payment. If multi contractors are used then I would expect invoice to be submitted, theses would be reviewed and then payments made. The money would then be used to pay smaller subcontractors and then the regular employee.
- If no large contract then the question still remains, i.e. how will payments be made?
- Will JEEP have its own accounting setup for payment of invoice etc or will we use the system in the body that has oversight for the JEEP. Eg if JEEP falls under NWA then I would assume that JEEP would use whatever accounting system the NWA uses to pay it contracts
As you can see from the many questions that I have asked, if we want to ensure accountability, transparency and not a whiff of corruption in this program, certain systems and checks and balances must be in place.
In addition, the entire program could require the following set of individual, who all have to be paid.
a) Individuals to determine the various projects.
b) Individuals to determine estimates of work to be done.
c) Assessors to complete needs analysis, to determine suitability of workers for this program.
d) Analysts to determine who gets jobs vs who does not based on selected criteria.
e) Possible contractors and sub contractors.
f) Accounting unit to receive invoices and make payments.
g) The actual workers.
When you review, what I consider the type of system and administration that is required to execute such a program, which is most likely to be island wide, I see employment opportunities for many persons. The problem with all that is, it comes at a heavy price and those would are likely to benefit the least are those that needs it the most, i.e. the actual worker on the ground.
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