Sat | Sep 30, 2023


Published:Sunday | June 12, 2022 | 12:10 AM
Dr Horace Chang, Minister of National Security
Dr Horace Chang, Minister of National Security

Questions sent to the Ministry of National Security more than a month ago on the multi-million-dollar Security Strengthening Programme (SSP) that is intended to enhance the work of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in the areas of violent crime prevention and management, investigative capabilities for homicides and change management and communications, are yet to be answered.

On May 3, 2022, the questions were emailed to Paul Clarke, communications adviser to Dr. Horace Chang, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security.

The same day, Clarke confirmed receipt of the email and advised that the questions were forwarded to Permanent Secretary Courtney Williams, who suggested that The Sunday Gleaner’s query be made through the Access to Information channel.

The Sunday Gleaner responded stating that its questions were submitted by an appropriate channel and again requested that they be answered.

A follow-up email and WhatsApp messages were also sent but did not elicit a response from PS Williams. An email was subsequently sent to the portfolio minister, Dr. Chang. No response was received to that either.

However, The Sunday Gleaner is desirous of updating Jamaicans on the status of the Inter American Development Bank-funded SSP. As a result, we are requesting a status update on the implementation of the project and responses to the questions listed hereunder:

1. Can the ministry confirm whether the SSP’s project manager was fired earlier this year? If yes, what was the reason for the dismissal?

2. How much was the project manager paid before her dismissal/departure? Did the ministry get value for money from the work done based on agreed deliverables and actual services rendered?

3. What is the total amount allocated for the implementation of the SSP; and is the SSP in danger of losing unused funds when the project is slated for completion next year?

4. What is the total amount spent thus far on the project and how much of that sum has gone into paying salaries?

5. Please provide a list of the names and posts of all the persons who have been paid under the SSP and how much each person has received to date.

6. Is the implementation schedule on target for the programme? If not, what are the major reasons behind the delays that have impacted the timely completion of the SSP, and the implications?

We await the responses.