Opinion: Government building

POSTED: 10/23/12 3:01 PM

This report ought to be easy to check: the prime minister has approved fire safety requirement works for the new government building on Pond Island.
When we read the press release carefully we got this uneasy feeling that often befalls us when news comes out about this building.
The press release states two remarkable things: that the work will take six months to complete and that the Council of Ministers “several weeks ago” agreed to seek financing for the completion and furnishing of the building and for the parking lot. Note that it did not say when the work on the fire safety requirement works will begin.
But the most remarkable statement is of course about the financing needed to finish the building. Last week, the prime minister said that she had signed the advice for this work a year ago. This means that the money was available a year ago – otherwise such an advice cannot or at least should not be signed for approval.
In spite of that approval, work on the building never started.
And now the Council of Ministers has approved the idea of seeking financing?
What happened?
We’ll be forgiven that we’re feeling a bit lost by all these contradicting statements.
One thing is for sure: the building is not getting any better, and developer RGM is meeting the government in court on Tuesday in an effort to force it to finish the building and to occupy it. That would be an occupy-movement of a different nature.
We already foresee that the argument in court next week will be that the Council of Ministers has agreed to seek financing. This way the government is able to tell the court: you see – we’re working on it.
We remember with glee that more than a year ago Justice Minister Duncan told the court something similar related to the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty. He was working on a new policy. But to date, that policy has not seen the light of day.
We sincerely wish (we’re not into hoping – since hope does not exist) that this time around things will turn out differently for the government administration building. Since results don’t lie, we’re bound to find out sooner or later what’s what.

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