October 25, 2021

The Editor speaks: Government agencies have “too much red tape to humbug progress”

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Colin Wilson

How many times have we, the public at large, had to deal with government agencies executing willy nilly “too much red tape to humbug progress”?

All the time.

And now our Lord Chief Justice,Anthony Smellie, has encountered it and uttered the exact statement I have used in my Editorial title – “too much red tape to humbug progress”.

The Chief Justice made the comment today (Wed Jan 16) in his REPORT TO THE OPENING OF THE COURTS. This is what he said:

“At the opening last year, it was with a measure of relief that I announced the acquisition of the Scotia Bank building by Government for the use of the Courts.

“Based on assurances which were given, I also announced that by mid- year, we would have commissioned two more long overdue courtrooms in that building, to be dedicated to criminal trials, one of which would serve as the base for the Court of Appeal when in session.

“The clear stated priority was to tackle the backlog of criminal indictments.

“Despite the fact that this courtroom project would involve simply the reconfiguring and fitting out of internal space within the building, I am obliged to report this has not yet been achieved. In the meantime the Building has been partially occupied to relieve the space shortage for administrative staff, some members of the judiciary, and as facilities for mediation and training of staff.

The fact of the matter is that the Judicial Administration may not undertake the courtroom project without the permission of the Planning

“Department, and input of Public Works and Lands and Survey who hold title to all Government buildings. We therefore call upon our colleagues from these other agencies to recognize the urgent need for these courtrooms and not to allow too much red tape to humbug progress. As I will come to explain, we now have the largest number of indictments ever awaiting trial.

“As was the position last year, the judges are already rostered to tackle the backlog of indictments but this effort cannot begin without the courtrooms being available. It is of utmost urgency that these two court rooms are available no later than May of this year. So far as the Administration can drive this initiative, we will be engaging a project manager especially to work with the other agencies to have these courtrooms installed by May.

“As in past years, the chronic lack of courtrooms continues to hamper the work of the Summary Courts also and this problem, along with the unavailability of criminal defence counsel, is the main focus of the Chief Magistrate’s Report. As in past years, her Report will be published as an annex to mine.

“But here while we continue to struggle with the lack of courtrooms, I wish to underscore the fact the work of the Summary Courts is very much impacted by this situation.”

Quite frankly, HEADS SHOULD ROLL!!!

Can you imagine if we had another hurricane and this absolutely ridiculous and costly red tape was allowed to occur where on earth would this country be?

IN ONE DAMNED AWFUL MESS!

So what are the Ministers in charge of these ministries going to do about it?

President Trump said he was going to “drain the swamp”. Isn’t it time we shouted out the exact words of Ebenezer Scrooge to all this government red tape, especially when there is a crises, “BAH HUMBUG”!!!!?

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