By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada, (CNG Health) – On the advice of the Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) to resume reconstruction of St Jude hospital on November 1, 2022, albeit in S.T.E.P methodology, inclusive of not knowing, not disclosing, many basic fundaments point to the consequences of negligence and deceit. This has now transposed to intermingled with the political narrative of governance [policy] vs the fundamentals of construction management and reporting – ‘progress report’ – to what most equate to mind-bending, in the forename of government accountability and transparency.
Strained bedfellows no more titled ‘progress report’, the program is expected to feature various entities involved in the St Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project (SJHRP), the ministry of health wellness and elderly affairs (MOH), office of the prime minister (OPM) ministry of economic development, ministry of infrastructure, the project contractor and members of the public.
It is not surprising to see attempts to strengthen the government offensive in exceptional circumstances for transparency and the charge against political corruption.
But there is also the attempt to confront the GOSL’s own pork-barrelling against common sense – significantly weakened for the sake of what-about ‘bipartisanship and national government.
The GOSL doesn’t seem too worried about the principle of access to information – appropriate news conferences – and substantive question and answers of members of parliament and cabinet ministers, in a perceived democratic country.
In an article published September 10, 2022, Caribbean News Global, (CNG) noted:
“ The Pierre led-administration must differentiate itself from the historical chronology of “shame, intellectual gangsters, corruption” and in theory, access to the “Special Prosecutor to institute both civil and criminal proceedings against any public official who may have engaged in acts of malfeasance and/or is suspected of misappropriating state resources and assets for personal gain,” is fair game.
In the balance of diversity and meritocracy, there should not be a new effort in separatism against elected leaders who are prone to putting their foot in their mouths. But clear as a church bell, a brief exploration of the meaning and function of ‘progress reports’ reveal the following.
“A progress report is a document that explains in detail how much progress you have made towards the completion of an ongoing project. A progress report is a management tool used in all types of organizations, that outlines the tasks completed, activities carried out, and target achieved vis-à-vis your project plan.
Purpose of a progress report
The main function of a progress report is persuasive: to reassure clients and supervisors that you are making progress, that the project is going smoothly, and that it will be completed by the expected date – or to give reasons why any of those might not be the case.
What should a progress report include?
“Progress includes milestones, goals achieved, finished tasks and validated items that contribute to project completion. Plans include things to do, short- and long-term objectives, and other plans that affect project completion. Problems are blockers and issues that affect project completion.”
To parallel mind-bending, is the statement by the minister for health, Moses Jn Baptiste, that the joint effort of key stakeholders on the longstanding project marks a certain path to the completion of SJHRP.
“The way we have collaborated gives me hope that this is not a one-man show project. This is a project that will be constantly reviewed and we are going to report to the people of saint Lucia on the progress of this project. At every stage, we are going to report to the people of Saint Lucia. So that will cover part of the accountability aspect of this project.”
Minister Jn Baptiste’s narrative of selective information concluded:
“St Jude hospital accommodates the healthcare needs of approximately 66,000 people, mainly from the southern belt of the island. Phase one of SJHRP involves the fumigation and clean-up of the site.”
Excluded from the ministers’ report is the public availability of drawings, costing, budget allocation and financing, except ‘hope’.
In the interest of ‘hope’ and ‘progress report’ the implication of extremely poor judgement and advice, the GOSL has assume the function of construction and project management, points to the political narrative to mechanism information dissemination.
And in the context of ‘mind-bending’ and ‘progress report’ to itself [SJHRP] – is a form of media control and monopoly.
The MOH press release continued:
“The program will air via the SJHRP social media pages and will also be disseminated via the Government Information Service (GIS) and private media entities.
“Progress report will be produced exclusively by the (MOH). It is just one component of an extensive communications plan being rolled out by the GOSL as it pertains to the SJHRP,” said MOH.
Of significance, the MOH, OPM and the ministry of economic development, ministry of infrastructure have one thing in common. They are “owners” – “stewards of SJHRP” – in the name of the “GOSL.”
If the MOH is remotely correct in its assertion, two questions comes to mind.
- Why is GOSL engaged in reporting to itself – key stakeholders – and not a construction project management team, that is separate and apart from GOSL?
- Is the GOSL engaged in self-preservation and perhaps concealing pertinent information of national disgrace?
Two weeks after the recommencement of works at St Jude hospital, MOH said it launched the ‘progress report’:
“We understand the essential need for public engagement. To this end, we have drafted a comprehensive plan that entails an internal and external communications strategy. One that will ensure engagement, accountability and transparency at every level,” adding agility of sophistry that “ members of the public are encouraged to participate in the interactive component of the program by following the social media pages.”
An architect and planner to the GOSL advised:
“The GOSL strategy on SJHRP is just that,” he added. “You have to execute and change behaviour to achieve results.”
“The political narrative of construction projects, the day-to-day involvement of cabinet minister and now the mind-bending ‘progress report’ to be ‘produced exclusively by the (MOH),’ and ‘disseminated via GIS and private media entities’ is unhelpful.”