Never again should we allow loud mouth political hacks to hijack boards of public bodies

The fiasco being played out at the NHT is a clear sign of failure on the part of the adult Jamaican population and the refusal of the remaining board members to resign, is an affront to the hard working people of this country.

For far too long, we have sat by and allow the political party in power to appoint political hacks to be members of the board of public bodies, when most of these folks could not be member of a grocery shop board .They mostly have no business acumen and the only qualification they posses maybe a degree in a totally unrelated field but more importantly a supporter or activist for the party in power.

The Jamaica populace have largely accepted this position and in doing so, has failed to use the immense power we have to decide how these board members are to be selected ie ensure they must meet some basic criteria, one of which must be, no political affiliation  at least not active to the party in power.

These are PUBLIC bodies, (the name says it all)  are accountable not to the party in power, but to the people of Jamaica, but sadly the people do not seem to get it.

What we end up with therefore, is a situation, whereby issues of irregularity take on a distinctive political position given the opposition will always choose to highlight and capitalize on such situations. This will always result in the party under pressure moving to protect itself and its members and worse of all, divide the population, who will support the wrong as they choose to lend support to their respective parties.

The result of all of this, is the bigger issue gets missed in the noise of political accusation, counter accusation and opportunism  .

The Jamaica population is spineless and it is the lack of testicular  fortitude and assertiveness in the name of the country,  has allowed us to be were we are today, that is one of the worst economies in the Western Hemisphere.

We cannot trust our political leaders to take us where we want to go and therefore must take a more active role in the governance of this country.

The NHT act must be reviewed and powers of the board chairman limited, as well as what the NHT is allowed to do and how many members of the board MUST vote in support of whatever resolution may be passed,

In addition any purchase above a certain amount that is being considered must be made public via JIS, newspapers and on NHT website to the CONTRIBUTORS can have their input, after all the monies belong to us.



5 Responses

  1. and this should go for both parties as if you should look at all boards in the public service they all are chaired by party hacks ,affiliated with the government

  2. Jay I totally agree with you about more transparecny of public bodies. It’s a real problem. I think its deeper though, we really should have less of these public bodies that have these large budgets not associated with to the overall budget of the country regardless of who is on the board. It becomes a way for politicians to pass on pet projects and favors through ‘public body’ without scrutiny and disregard to fiscal discipline. The Tourism Enhancement Fund and the NHT are the worst examples of this.

    There needs to be a total reworking of the NHT Act all together (and the very existence of the agency). One SMALL reason I am sympathetic to the NHT board is the agency has more money than they know what to do with, but aren’t structurally able to approve more mortgages or housing projects. It’s a broken institution with dangerous levels of money. Time to consider things like reducing the NHT contributions level, a contribution ‘holiday’ , a reworking of what the Trust does (Maybe it should provide Subsides or Mortgage insurance) or getting rid of it all together.

    Here are some nuggets from an article earlier this year just before the scandal broke:

    The data showed “total assets” exceeding budget targets at the end of July amounting to $212.7 billion, relative to the $210.3 billion which was targeted. This was largely reflected in a 31 per cent increase in cash and investments to $20 million compared to the $13.8 billion budgeted. Total operating income of $8.4 billion also exceeded the budget target of $7.4 billion, resulting in a net surplus of $6.6 billion.

    Then this little gem:

    The PAAC said that it was also concerned that last week the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) had reported that it needed $150 million to complete certain housing schemes, including some that were 95 per cent complete, with low-income depositors waiting for the units, but the NHT turned down the request.


  3. When will Jamaicans stop thinking as “Subjects”?

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