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 Commentary: No Coordination Among State Agencies

Commentary: No Coordination Among State Agencies

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By Alicia Chamely

SOMETIMES I often wonder if our state agencies are completely oblivious to one another’s existence.

Do WASA, T&TEC, the various ministry agencies and the regional corporations know of each other?

I ask this because over the years it has become apparent that they do not, and it irks me.

Last week T&TEC did one of their routine maintenance exercises in my area, whereby they cut electricity on the hottest day of the year to service their lines. This regularly involves the trimming of various trees that rightfully pose the risk of causing severe damage.

So they came and they cut and cut; I am actually surprised there are trees left.

What bothered and still bothers, me is that all these tree trimmings were just left on the side of the road. They have been there for over a week now.

The road in and out of my valley is narrow, so now along with having to dodge the various potholes left by no other than Workers Against Smooth Asphalt (WASA), drivers are forced to swerve ginormous piles of dead shrubbery left to rot on the road way.

Again this bothers me because all it takes is one person to flick a cigarette out of their car and Voom! Fire!

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Or this refuse becoming a refuge for rats and other disease spreading rodents, because you know an outbreak of leptospirosis would perfectly complement the Covid-19 pandemic.

Or these cuttings getting washed into the drainage system and ba boom flooding. Or rather splish, splash flooding.

If any of these should happen, it would naturally cost the state some big bucks to compensate and clean up. Big bucks they could have easily saved. But then again, it’s politicians we are speaking about here. Save? Sigh!

Why couldn’t T&TEC liaise with the relevant regional corporation to have the refuse collected the next day?

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It might seem a tad bit silly to be bothered about something as simple as some irresponsibly handled tree trimmings considering there are so much more pressing issues, but this serves as a prime example of the systematic issues that plague our nation.

How can we expect to be considered a “developed” nation or move forward if we cannot even get the simple things done efficiently and correctly.

Another frustrating example of this lack of coordination between state agencies is road works. When roads are being paved, why isn’t WASA contacted to do an assessment of the lines or be on standby during the paving exercise so that if a problem arises or a line springs a leak it can be fixed immediately before the road works are completed?

Instead a crap ton of money is paid to do road works, which honestly is often sloppily done, only to be dug up a couple of weeks later by WASA to do repair work, which costs another big hunk of cash.

Wastage. Wastage. Wastage.

Think of all the money the government could save if these simple things are properly planned.

This all seems so basic, but for some reason those in charge can’t seem to get this through their skulls.

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Take for example the fact that it took the Ministry of National Security 11 months to create an online exemption form for nationals trapped outside of the country due to border closures.

How could this have taken almost a year?

The day it was decided to close borders the ministry should have pulled up its IT team or whatever agency they use and had them immediately develop a streamlined online process for exemption.

Instead locals trapped outside of the country had to write various emails and visit some rather overwhelmed embassies. A waste of time, money and effort. And they now have to submit again their applications for exemptions.

Had the Government come up with a properly planned exemption system from the start, they would have avoided a series of very costly lawsuits coming their way.

Minister of National Security Stuart Young would have saved money on all the Panadol he has been forced to buy in efforts to soothe what must be an exceptionally seething headache.

Deep sigh!

I recommend those in charge take a long trip down memory lane and in the recesses of their brain dig up that old Sesame Street song with the lyrics “Cooperation makes it happen, cooperation working together!”

I mean my four and six year olds know if they work in tandem cleaning up it gets done faster and more efficiently.

So I urge those in charge to consider giving their fellow state agencies a call. Hang out sometime. Get to know one another and learn to work together.

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