Details, details

October 30, 2008

What happens when one overlooks the “details” involved in one’s work, like, I don’t know, noticing that the ground below the scheduled construction site is actually hollow and replete with caves, rendering any building constructed there useless and dangerous. You know, small details like that.

Well, first, your identity will be protected – we still don’t know who the surveyor was because the esteemed Observer chose not to report this information. People will excuse rather than condemn your behaviour, and if you work your networks sufficiently, you might actually get to walk away scot-free. Maybe.

A most-embarassed Bruce Golding who was part of the committee overseeing the construction of new school facilities in St. Ann, “admitted that the consultants employed to the project had fallen down.”  Fallen down.  Now that is an interesting choice of words.

Golding continues: “The consultants we employed, I must confess, didn’t do a good job so they did not identify the caves that were there, also the geotech survey only indicated rocks, they did not indicate that we had these caves.”   Didn’t do a good job.  Hmmm. Is that all now?  Why does this stink of nepotism and some backdoor deal gone bad? Ah one o’ im fren dem sheg up di project so?  I’m roundly suspicious.   We await more news on the topic.

Then we find out that “there was no penalty clause in the consultant’s contract for matters of this nature.”  In other words, the assumption is that there is no recourse for when so-called experts fail to do their jobs properly and jeapardize people’s lives with their inept behaviour.

Golding plans to sell the land to someone else; I wonder if they will bother to disclose the caves to potential buyers?  Apparently, when the government was buying the land, the seller did not disclose this information, and the buyers clearly didn’t pay attention to broader geographic/geological knowledge that suggests that the existence of caves is a distinct possibility.   So, someone sold govament useless land.   Why am I not surprised?  Wasn’t there a recent problem with some illegal arms trader selling guns to the ministry of national security just recently?  Hmmm.  What we have here – a bunch of not so smart folks making decisions that end up wasting taxpayers’ money?  Now they plan to pass it on.   But, Ii you can’t put up a school  building on the land, then you damn sure can’t put any other building on it.  Although, one could explore whether there was a way to incorporate the cave structures into whatever physical building was being constructed on the land.  Now there’s an idea!

Meanwhile, whoever did such a shoddy job of surveying and approving the building of the school should lose their license to practice in Jamaica and banned from any professional association.  They should also be sued for the cost of the partial construction, as well as the cost of creating a new project, including the acquisition of new land.  That ought to teach them fi ‘top treat govament money like is freeness.   That’s my pipe dream anyway.

P.S. Just so you don’t think is only we do dem sort a foolishness ya. Check out what happened in Barbados.

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6 Responses to “Details, details”


  1. […] What happens when one overlooks the “details” involved in one’s work, like, I don’t know, noticing that the ground below the scheduled construction site is actually hollow and replete with caves, rendering any building constructed there … Details, details […]


  2. Totally agree with your suggestions in your last paragraph…what do you think it would take to make that happen??

  3. longbench Says:

    Like everything else, it takes a group of committed citizens who make enough noise to make a federal case of anything, including:

    1. doing the necessary research to find out the name of the person, their record of doing work in Jamaica, the costs involved, the process by which this person was hired, the laws that might be brought to bear on this kind of fraudulent and negligent behaviour.

    2. putting this on the radar of the contractor general, the consumer protection agency, and the various powers that be, including getting one of the newspaper columnists to write about it

    3. putting incredible pressure on the contractor general, the prime minister and whoever else according to what the research showed, to act according to the letter of the law.

    This is the same kind of shoddy behaviour by surveyors that allows people to build houses in areas that are not habitable. The entire profession of surveyors should be put under scrutiny for this mess. Only then will they begin to think they are accountable.

    You can also use your own voice to bring attention to the issue. We really need more watchdog groups who are willing to be advocates for the public interest. We don’t have nearly enough of those.

  4. Annie Paul Says:

    wow, these are really good posts LB. yes, well, as you say, “first, your identity will be protected – we still don’t know who the surveyor was because the esteemed Observer chose not to report this information. People will excuse rather than condemn your behaviour, and if you work your networks sufficiently, you might actually get to walk away scot-free. Maybe.”

    you forgot “…and get new contracts because your reputation for overlooking (inconvenient) details precedes you now…”

  5. Annie Paul Says:

    oh by any chance did you see jamaica for sale and what did you think of it? i missed it but look forward to watching it on dvd.

  6. diatribalist Says:

    @ Annie: Why is the Jamaica for Sale DVD not available online on a website or Youtube at the least? I think the project is laudable and praiseworthy, but must I wait for carrier pigeon to deliver the audio on an 8-track in order to see it? I can’t wait to see it, I wish they’d upload it already.


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