REPORT #446 November 2001

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

An interesting comment from Peter quoting Musa the Prime Minister as saying that foreign loan borrowing would drop from 67% to 1% of GDP.

Let's see if the PUP can learn to govern in their last two years? ( What have they been doing? Just repeating colonial exploitation politics!)

Let us start with some University of Belize organized seminars for Elected Political Representatives, different Department Heads and some Village Councillors.

Might as well start with the most difficult villages to reach. How about Jalacte, Machage and Pueblo Viejo? Three people from each, Village Council! Three from each government department senior people and ALL the ELECTED political representatives.

Premise of the seminars:
a) How do you bring Government Departmental Services to each of these villages? So that the government brings the service to the village and not the villagers travelling at great expense to the government?
b) How could you register a land title in each of these villages?
c) How could you get any of the Social Services in each of these villages?
d) What role would the Labor Department have in these villages? How would this department bring the Labor services to the village?

We could go on, but you get the idea. Bring government services to the village level. When you solve these three villages, then you can just duplicate with all the other 285 villages in the country.

There are a number of solutions, but can the people at these seminars find any that will work?

For instance, we have talked many times about local governments doing these things. A Village Council secretary providing such services for Belmopan government Departments, "ON THE SPOT within the village, without any travel necessary".

Another solution offered, was that a commission of a few dollars be charged for a private entrepreneur duly bonded, like they do in the USA, give the different Department Services as an agent.

Another solution would be a computer, fax, cam corder, microphone, speakers and or use INSTANT MESSENGER to communicate from each Village Secretary with the appropriate department in Belmopan on a regular 8 hour work day basis, five days a week. Instant service for any villager, with the Village Secretary authorized to seal the deal on any information or service, like registering a land title, or getting a drivers license, passport, etc.

I'm sure University Seminar organizers can come up with more solutions. But use these three villages and when you have solved the working problems of bringing each and every department services to that village, then simply expand to include all 285 villages in the country.

I can see one "FLY IN THE OINTMENT" already. Can you? That is the concentration of power by "Ministers Discretion" in a Political Minister, who does not sit in the office for 8 hours during a 5 day work week. So, decisions are going to have to be taken away from the political Ministers who are holding up development and governing and delegated through LAWS, to the Department Heads.

You should be able to resolve all Government Departmental problems within one working day. That means rule by LAW and not by "Ministers Discretion". This business of ad-hoc committees and absentee travelling Ministers holding up Department services has to stop.

The problem in Belize and most of Latin America is not FINANCIAL, but POLITICAL! This is as good an example as any.


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