Local public servants have been lauded for their management of monies this country received under the Hurricane Tomas recovery initiative.
“All of us make criticisms of public servants and of one another. But we have a lot of hardworking public servants who pull out stops and do so particularly when the country needs it and demands it, and I want to thank them,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a press briefing on Monday.
Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, said his government has spent almost every cent” of the money it received from the World Bank after the passage of Hurricane Tomas in 2010.
“… and we have spent the money well; and we have received a highly satisfactory report from the World Bank, in relation to our expenditure, which has put us in good stead for us to be able to access more monies…” he told a press conference this week.
Gonsalves said that the relevant state agencies were able to supply baseline data about physical facilities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and this enabled the government to make the case better for resources.
He explained, saying that a country goes to a donor and says that a bridge is going to cost, say $2 million to reconstruct, the donor would question whether the bridge was not on its “last leg” and valued $200,000 rather than $2 million.
“We had the baseline data as to where we were before the storm, so that we were able to say this is what we had. And sometimes, people would see staff going around and question why the examination rather than actual work.
“Well, examining these things is actual work, because you have to know how you have to approach those to whom you are appealing for money or negotiating [with] for money. That’s very important,” he said.