Corporate Governance Failure – The Barbados Probation Department

Alison Weekes, Fifs, Msc, Int.Dip.Comp

If the claims of the aggrieved staff are a correct reflection of the internal situation within the Barbados Probation Department it gives rise to concerns in relation to the standard of the Governance framework within this critical branch of the criminal justice system within Barbados.

The fundamental need for good corporate governance was highlighted during the 2007 – 2008/9 international financial crisis. In the aftermath of these events it is important that time is spent to understand the various themes that eliminate from these events and where appropriate apply the lessons learnt from these events in the strengthening of frameworks whether it is Government, Regulator, bank, financial institution or entrepreneur.

The need for effective governance and compliance frameworks is by no means limited to the financial sector of the economy. It is an essential requirement that is needed in all socio-economic spheres of the country. A positive approach to governance will assist in the prudent management of the entity and by extension contributes towards the maintenance of social and economic order and stability within Barbados and enhance its Brand.

One could, however, in pursuit of the appropriate governance structure miss the fundamental ingredient, Our people. Human capital is the most important asset of a firm the authorities therefore should be committed to ensuring that there are robust mechanisms in place to manage the selection, recruitment, induction and ongoing assessment of competence. It is also vital that these processes are transparent and without bias.

Further consideration of the grievances aired by the Probation department staff causes one to wonder what oversight and control structures are in place within this department and how can the accountable person(s) justify staff having no appraisals for 11 years.? How were the strategic objectives cascaded and monitored? With apparent failures in this process how can they now transparently evidence the process by which they are making the new staffing decisions?

Without effective corporate governance in the Barbados Probation Department how can Government gain assurance that this critical branch of the criminal justice system remains fit for purpose?

18 thoughts on “Corporate Governance Failure – The Barbados Probation Department

  1. I was informed that in the civil service, promotions are not based on seniority but by a system of who got to the highest salary first. That could also be interpreted as the person who got the highest qualifications first. Is this the case at the Probation office?

    If that is the case there is no wonder why there are so many unproductive people in the civil service.

  2. Does this arm of the Barbados Government make foreign exchange for Barbados? Guess not. Sorry, no interest here. Cut costs by sending home as many seniors as possible … De Guv’ment ain’ got nah money!

  3. The matter of a lack of a performance management system in the public sector has been raised on BU. Who to blame? Not only government but the union should be concerned about implementing systems which spur productivity.

  4. Zack you idiot, do you not think therefore that the nincompoops who were responsible for introducing and enforcing the building should be charged with murder? How about the fire officers who did only enough to ensure that the fire was contained and whose lack of action ensured the girls deaths? Are you saying the these boys went to the premises with the intent of killing these people? And so on, and so on…

  5. that is what u call public sector reform, oh bye de day me and me old friend bud was down by de river . talkin and he warn me bout takin me car or de transmission. to ah fellow in st george near de market, he does ripp of people give u one price and when de job done give ur another price, if u go by e. place u will see nuff car there some ppl can pay,so becare cause it happen to a lady friend of mine …….as i alway say i am just an old man……..

  6. ole man riva
    tanks fa dah useful infamashun. but how cum nabody in off set he yet wid a collins? he in frig-up de rite body yet? i gun cah my car up day dis weeken fa bare spite. i gun be de fuss ta chop he wid a ‘lins. na joke.

    de laws in need na changin. we need ta tek a vigilante approach ta dese mattas. ‘you kill my dog, i killin you fcukin kat’. end a story.

    you jess luv ta stir up troubl nah? ya instigata. why dem would thra a bomb or wah evva de shite um is dat bun de place in de fuss place?
    de two a dem want hingin by dem ‘ballzzzzzzzzz’. fa rale.
    doan blame nabody else fa dem two criminals a’tall. dem want hingin by dah ballzzzzzzzz. fa rale.
    de two a dem bun down de chicken place out Bank Hall it is alleged. dah place had mo dhan one exit. who ya gun blame now? dem want hingin by dem ballzzzzzzzz. fa rale.

  7. Clone
    de public n private secta full a ‘square pegs in roun holes’. you kno dah too. promotion is based on seniority whetha de person is a klown or a clown. you kno dah too. tek fa instance, i own a bizniss n Jack has bin a loyal worker fa 15 long years but when um cum ta administration, he is very lackin. Now why should I ova- look John who has bin a loyal worker fa ’bout 10 longs years n also got de bizniss acumen? tell de trute, doan be dangrus Clone? Sumtimes seniority is just dat, seniority n shun play na maja role in promotin a fella dat kno de job. I rite or i rong? I cud be rong. Enlighten ma.

  8. Dear Aunt Peppe… I took the liberty of translating your above.

    Please correct me if I’ve gotten anything wrong…

    “Clone, the public and private sector fullfill a ‘square pegs in round holes’.

    You know that too.

    Promotion is based on senority wheither that person is a clone or a clown.

    You know that too.

    Take for instance, I own a business and Jack has been a loyal worker for fifteen long years but when he came to the administration, he is very lacking.

    Now why should I over-look John who has been a loyal worker for about ten long years and also has the business degrees?

    To tell the thruth, don’t be dangerous Clone.(?)

    Sometimes senority is just that.

    Senority shouldn’t play a major role in promoting a person that knows the job.

    Am I correct, or am I wrong?

    I could be wrong.

    Enighten me.

  9. @BAF
    I will only ask you one question. If those didn’t intentionally start that fire, would those six women have died on that day inside that building? I would agree with you that those other things contributed after the fact, but it was the actions those two boys that caused those six deaths. And who the hell can say that those guys weren’t aware that they could potentially cause deaths, and just didn’t give a f#@k? I think Sharia law would be very fitting in this case.

  10. What is going on at the Probation Department? The Attorney General claims he has been misunderstood by the employees who he addressed as a group in the presence of a PS and others. Why would the end result be a misinterpretation of what he said which resulted in a walk out by the employees of the probation department?

  11. Promotion by seniority? A joke!! Some employees may want a promotion for the increase in pay but do not want the responsibility that goes with it.

    If promotion by seniority bore any weight, then why is an applicant hired off the street to take a manager’s role in an office when there is an employee in that office or another department with the most service.

  12. Bonny
    I am not supporting seniority for promotion at all. I am just saying what I was told is the criteria for promotion in the Civil service
    The problem Bonny is when John gets the job and Jack has to show him what to do. He is not shown or shown all kinds of scenarios that lead John into trouble.
    That is what is happening in the civil service.
    For example the lady in charge of traffic at Transport and works is a well qualified person but traffic management was way better before she took over.
    Don’t you see that nearly every government department is now led by a qualified woman and the services has deteriorated

  13. Clone
    I don’t mean ‘you’ per se but ‘you’ plural when I was commenting about appointing persons based solely on seniority. No offence Hun.

    If I am to take you seriously on another note, are you saying that these qualified women who are at the helm of these governmental departments are mere jokers? I am inclined to differ. Can’t support you in belittling my gender. (even if it’s true)
    But you and I know that Public Transport is a headache for either gender. It has been proven time n time again. Just like the Min. Of Health, it is not a Sunday walk in the Park.

    In my analogy with Jack n John. They both know the job well but John is more capable of managing things successfully. He needs no guidance from Jack. LOLL


    A creepy piece of news.

    Gucci lawyer to $oak Rihanna because she’s ‘Caribbean’:Suit
    A tax lawyer working for Gucci tried to soak Rihanna for 30 percent of a lucrative endorsement deal after learning the pop star was from Barbados, according to an explosive discrimination suit.

    Plaintiff Josephine Robinson says she was working on Rihanna’s contract with the Italian fashion house in 2008 when she got the shocking directive from her boss, international tax counsel Stan Sherwood.

    “When Sherwood discovered that Rihanna was from a Caribbean island, he told Robinson to ‘tax the hell out of her’ and find a way to allow Gucci to withhold 30 percent of her fee,” according to Robinson’s suit.

    Read more:

  15. To all

    Promotion in the Public Service at the lower level; clerical officers, or perons up to z17 in the service are usually appointed by seniority.

    With the new Public Service Act persons must apply for jobs advertised to be promoted and be appointed. A number of factors are to be considered; has the persons got the years stipulater at the lower grade to be considered for appointment, has the person got the academic qualification, in addition a performance reports must be submitted and the said report must be seen and signed. Thereafter interviews are conducted and those factors are suppose d to be considered in the making of appointments.

    I notice that the General Secreatry of the NUPW keeping noise about people by passing people for promotion and he is trying to bypass the three most senior people in the office and promote someone to the Deputy GS. That person is the scond most junior of the IROs. I watching how that plays out. He was asked to put his request in writing and the rationale for same

  16. Off topic somewhat but still touching governance, here is a quote we picked up from Tony Hoyos from his Facebook page:



    Tony Hoyos

    Bds Light & Power knew early Fri am that due to equip failure they would be load shedding by district til the prob was fixed. Surely the shedding wasn’t random – They must have planned which districts would be cut off and for how long. So why couldn’t they notify us in advance when they planned to shed each district and for how long?

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