“The Director Of The IDAAN Should Be Fired Immediately”

“The Director Of The IDAAN Should Be Fired Immediately”

Thursday, January 13 2011 @ 11:50 AM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 44
By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com – Received today via email: “Hi Don, I read your Panama Guide, today 01/13/2011, and see that the Panama Government may soon fire IDAAN’s Director and senior Staff for highly apparent poor performance doing their highly important to the Panama public jobs of providing extremely important drinking water to Panama City areas by way of the normal piping system to customers. This highly necessary action cannot happen soon enough!!!!! Based on earlier observations, many lower command chain employees of IDAAN may need replacement, as well, as getting timely and competent help from many IDAAN employees seems many times not possible and observations of alcohol on the breath of some IDAAN field working employees seems not uncommon. Of course there are some sober, timely and competent employees of IDAAN, its just that the bad employees need to be replaced with highly motivated employees that are sober, timely and competent. Have a good one, Don, Bill”
That’s Not What The Article Said: The article did not say that the Director of the IDAAN was going to be fired. It did say Ricardo Martinelli is going to create two new entities – one tasked with providing drinking water and the other tasked to manage the sewer system – and that both of them will be set up sort of like the same way that the current Panama Canal Administration is set up. Meaning – they will be part of the government but also at arm’s reach and out of the hands of the politicians. I think that’s a smart move. The IDAAN has been over tasked and under funded for a very long time. What’s more, simply firing the Director of the IDAAN will do nothing to fix the problem. Martinelli recognizes this. Mother Nature caused this problem, not any failure of the Director of IDAAN.

Firing Low Level Workers Fixes Nothing: If you think firing a bunch of long term IDAAN lower level employees is going to bring clean drinking water to the tap in your kitchen sink – I would submit that probably won’t help the problem at all, and in fact it might delay the fix. During a crisis is exactly when you want your most experienced employees on the job (warts and all) and it’s the leadership that has to stand up, get sweaty, and rally the troops to go the extra mile.

Inter Agency Commission Created: Recognizing that the IDAAN alone could not handle the response necessary for this level of crisis, the government created an Inter Agency Task Force with representatives from the IDAAN, Panama Canal, SINAPROC, Ministry of Health, and others – tasked with dealing with all of the problems that have been cropping up – from tanker truck distribution, cleaning sedimentation tanks, replacement parts from one water treatment plant to another, you name it. In short, the government has been responding to this crisis in the best way they know how. They have been overwhelmed by the situation somewhat, mostly because it’s a very hard job to deliver clean drinking water to a million people every day on an ad hoc basis when your primary water treatment plant is ineffective. However, they are doing what they can. They are working hard, spending money, coming up with creative fixes, and being responsive. They’re fighting a war, taking a few casualties along the way, but generally gaining the upper hand. Evidence – right in the middle of the water crisis a new poll came out that asked how they would rate the administration of Ricardo Martinelli. He dropped only two points – from 69% to 67% (which is more than he had in the election.)

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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