Another IDB Project worth looking into: Government waste, ineffective policy and programs, and unethical behavior at Citizen Security Project…
IDB Projects canceled as government projects continue to underperform with deadlines missed! The IDB funded CSJP is just another example…
NASSAU| The social services RISE project is not the only IDB project that was canceled recently. Many of the IDB projects like the PFM/PMR project have been missing deadlines and underperforming. However, there is one project that is underperforming nearly as badly as the Rise Social Service Project.
The Citizen Security & Justice Programme (CSJP) is a 5-year program launched in 2016 to supposedly lower crime rates by tackling community development, at-risk youth joblessness, criminal justice reform, and create a rehabilitative model for the prison.
Despite coming to an end in February of 2021, over 50% of the money hasn’t been spent. And of the money that has been spent, very little of it has gone into systemic change. For example, none of the community centers are operational as community centers with regular programming (just empty shells of buildings) with the exception of the Fox Hill community center, which has been paying for its own operation due to a disagreement with the government.
There have been two at-risk youth training “pilot programs” launched, both of those have failed and less than 40% of the targeted number of youth have been trained despite the program being in its final 13 months of operation.
The programme was taking so long to perform its promised reforms to the court system that the AG’s office went ahead and made the changes itself, seeking a reimbursement afterwards that never came.
The prison reform has never gotten off the ground aside from the one-off BTVI training – none of the promised programs have been launched.
The project has missed its spending targets every year, missed its outcome and deliverable targets every year, and all spending was put on pause by the IDB because of a lack of a strategic plan, as well as a lack of a procurement plan.
The performance of the project has been so bad that two IDB team leads have been sent to other countries since its launch because they were not successfully leading the project.
For nearly a year after the election in 2017, the project was on “pause” and being reviewed by the government – making a bad situation even worse.
Worse than the underperformance and waste of government funds on underutilized investments has been the project’s track record of mistreatment, abuse, and unethical targeting of Bahamians.
In November, workers who had reported to work at the Fox Hill Community Center for a year on a promise by the government that they would eventually be paid when the dispute was cleared up with the board of the center were informed that there was no way they would be given back-pay because the Ministry had no money after hurricane Dorian. The government told the board members that one of the terms of a renewed agreement with the center would be their acceptance of this non-payment. This was communicated in a meeting by Ministry officials (the Project manager of CSJP and the PS of National Security). People have lost their homes, children have been put out of schools, and people have been evicted by landlords and made homeless as a result of the ongoing payment issues.
The project is currently being sued for breach of contract and alleged abuse/unfair targeting by two former consultants who allege a history of abusive and unethical behavior by the project manager, government officials and IDB officials that include very shocking communications sent to them by officials. Both of these matters are active lawsuits in the Supreme Court (you can verify this at the civil registry) and have also made their way to the Office of Institutional Integrity at the IDB.
A third and fourth lawsuit are currently being processed. One is by a former Department of Corrections consultant, and another by a former procurement officer who recently left her role with the Ministry after what she described as very abusive conduct by Ministry officials, including very disrespectful, sexist conduct displayed by a high ranking official within National Security.
Other former team members, such as the first procurement officer, a former financial officer, two former communications officers, and a number of other project team members have either fled the project, refused to renew their contracts, and/or have stories of threats, abuse, and unethical behavior.
The current project team is miserable, abused and overworked despite the fact that the project is not achieving anything of significance and many of us would anonymously verify much of this information – many of us are also planning our exits.
There have also been a number of political hires. Hiring processes are reverse engineered from the favored candidates’ resumes to ensure that they are hired or the process is completely overlooked. In one instance, for the communications specialist role, the current Minister of National Security submitted a personal friend and manager of his campaign headquarters to take on the role, despite having no experience. The IDB team lead, who has been accused of much abusive behavior, gave the order for the consultant to be selected despite receiving a score of 15/100 in the selection process – well below the usual threshold of 70/100. Other Submitted applicants scored over 90/100 and the team was ordered to throw their resumes out of the process, as well as others who had scored above the 70/100 threshold and instead include “the worst” resumes submitted to ensure that the politically selected candidate got the job – this directive came directly from the Minister himself.
The Minister of National Security has been making a concerted effort to cover up the abusive and unethical conduct, as well as the missed targets and underperformance rather than address the situation. We also believe the Minister cannot deal with these concerns as some suggest he has also been behind many of the wicked decisions.
We report yinner decide!