Where’s the consultation?

 The 17th recommendation of the Uff Report is: “User groups and other interest groups should be properly consulted on decisions regarding public building projects, to ensure that relevant views can be expressed at the appropriate time and taken into account before decisions are made.”

The decisive part is “before decisions are made”.

The People’s Partnership has not implemented the Uff Report’s 90 recommendations as promised and there has never been an explanation of that failure or refusal to carry out those critical measures. The sod was turned for the Couva Children’s Hospital on March 2, 2012, at which time, the project’s type, location, size, budget and procurement arrangements were all announced for the first time. Plainly, no consultation took place before those decisions were made, which was the point made in my December 11 article, “Invader’s Bay Review” (Business Express).

UDeCOTT (Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago) has now issued full-page newspaper advertisements to attempt to label my irrefutable observation as “reckless and damaging” and so on. Yet another waste of public money, given that UDeCOTT provided no examples of consultation before the key decisions were made on this huge project. 

That pattern of secret development is inimical to our country’s progress. We must be properly consulted before decisions are made. We strongly criticised the last administration for that pattern of development and we will continue to make the same point. We must become a learning society.

Afra Raymond

Port of Spain

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