NIA rejects claim it provided no value for money with US funding

Professor Trevor Munroe
The head of anti-corruption watchdog National Integrity Action is rejecting assertions by US Ambassador Donald Tapia that there was no value for money from NIA projects funded by the Americans.
Ambassador Tapia made the comments at a Rotary Club meeting earlier this month, and it was reported Thursday that he has announced that Washington will not renew its funding to the NIA.
Professor Trevor Munroe, Executive Director of NIA, said Ambassador Tapia's comments contradict excellent evaluations by the USAID which gave grant funding to the non-governmental organisation. 
He said the USAID evaluations note the value for money obtained from NIA initiatives, the success of the programme, the level of cooperation and partnerships forged, as well as the extent to which the leadership of the NIA has added substantial value to the success of the work amongst Jamaican people. 
Speaking on Radio Jamaica's call-in programme, Hotline, on Thursday, Professor Munroe said one person's opinion cannot form the basis of evaluation of a project.
He said the NIA's track record of advocacy has been endorsed by the public, pointing out that in a 2017 survey, 82 per cent of respondents said the work of the NIA was "very, very satisfactory or somewhat satisfactory."  
Professor Munroe further explained that the funding arrangement had been slated to come to an end next month.
He said the NIA first received grant funding from the USAID in 2012 for a programme which was expected to end in 2016.
The agreement was renewed to 2019 and then later extended for a year.
Never labelled gov't as corrupt
Professor Munroe has denied labelling the Andrew Holness-led administration as corrupt. 
"The record will establish that neither the NIA nor myself have ever, under the Holness administration or the administration before, branded (or) broad-brushed any Jamaican government as corrupt and I would not now begin to do so," he insisted.   
Ambassador Tapia is reported as telling the Rotary Club meeting that the NIA head had characterized the government as corrupt without any evidence.
In the meantime, Professor Munroe said the US government's decision not to renew funding to the NIA will impact the organisation's activities.
While he said funding uncertainty is not unusual for non-governmental organisations, he admitted the NIA will have to discuss how it will continue its work, including the possibility of staff cuts.

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