Corporate Governance Awry At Caves Of Barbados

Minister Denis Lowe (1) Peter Allard (r)

What has been exposed by the hair raising report prepared by Judicial Manager Deloitte is the light regard directors of CLICO companies viewed their fiduciary responsibility. Directors followed meekly the dictate of Parris which  speaks to a weak corporate governance system. It is only god’s mercy we have enjoyed a stable financial climate through the years. What other rotten situations are waiting in the wings to surprise Barbadians? A read of the Auditor General’s Report gives a hint at what happens in the public sector. BU is waiting patiently on the newly established Financial Services Commission (FSC) to demand insurance companies like CGI, Trident and others publish timely financials in the private sector.

If one can find reason to laugh at the current situation, it is the suggestion that the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) can easily run a campaign in the next general election on the need for improved corporate governance and transparency! The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has failed to deliver on transparency legislation although there is still time. Against the foregoing we are concerned at goings-on at the Caves of Barbados Limited.

Those who have visited the Caves since major repair work have been rightly impressed. It must be stated however that Barbadian taxpayers will have to repay a loan of 88 million dollars as a result. There is also a BNB 5 million dollar overdraft which the Caves of Barbados require to support its day to day operations.  In the circumstances the role of the board of directors at  Caves of Barbados is important to ensure taxpayers interest is safeguarded.

BU understands the Caves of Barbados board expires on Wednesday (29/02/2012) but it has been a stormy tenure. It is reported Haldene Dottin in protest resigned as Chairman some time ago. In the circumstances Deputy Chairman Wismar Greaves as required under the by-laws of the company has experienced difficulty in calling monthly board meetings. It appears Minister Denis Lowe, the minister responsible for the Caves of Barbados has issued ‘an order’ that board meetings should not be held until he introduces a new Chairman to replace Haldene Dottin. A copy of a letter sent by Deputy Chairman Greaves in October 2011 to CEO of the Caves Joanne Grant expresses the sorry state of affairs prevailing at the Caves of Barbados. A reminder that the Caves of Barbados is a limited liability company with government as the sole shareholder.

Why did Minister Denis Lowe believe he should prevent or frustrate the scheduling of board meetings as required under the by-laws of the Caves of Barbados? Why has the full board of directors not tender their resignations in protest?  What does CEO Grant of Harrison Cave and Minister Denis Lowe have in  common as employees of the crown? Why is the son of former politician Rommell Marshall still entitled to a Blackberry from the cash strapped Caves of Barbados with a high bill?

In the letter attached there is the notification that Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart authorized relevant parties at the Caves of Barbados to allow Deputy Chairman to call a meeting on the premises. How on earth does anyone anyone have the effrontery to go against the instruction of a Prime Minister?  This is not the first time we have have asked for the resignation of Minister Lowe. His relationship with Peter Allard has generated several unanswered questions. The fact that Prime Minister Stuart has to tolerate such weak performances from ministers to shore up his parliamentary support is regrettable.

124 thoughts on “Corporate Governance Awry At Caves Of Barbados

  1. millertheanunnaki(May2012)

    Indeed you dont have a clue.

    As the old people say “empty vessels make the most noise”, I guess they were thinking of you.

  2. @ Carson
    Had you given the late PM Thompson that at advice about living in a glass house and throwing stones he would have kept his mouth shut or told the masses at Haggatt Hall that he too accepted cheques–some FIVE times the one to OSA.

  3. @ Carson C. Cadogan | March 1, 2012 at 7:38 PM |
    “As the old people say “empty vessels make the most noise”, I guess they were thinking of you.”

    I don’t lie, cheat or steal. Sounds familiar? Except you can replace “I don’t” with “I will not” and you will get not only an empty vessel but a ‘silenced’ one sitting at the Devil’s left hand with a cup of molten lead awaiting your arrival.

  4. millertheanunnaki(May2012)

    What time the “show & tell” is at Haggat Hall?

    I dont want to miss it.

  5. “Browne was then asked to explain a sizeable political contribution made to “the Barbados Labour Party’s campaign in 2003 for which he said he was acting on a directive from head office.

    “Directions may not have been in writing but we had directions, so we did in fact make political contributions out of cash, out of profit, not any inter-company transactions,” he said.””

    enuff & millertheanunnaki(May2012)

    What say you?

    I hope the crooked Barbados Labour Party mention all of this tonight, I will be there if life is spared.

    This “show & Half-Tell” tonight is going to be more fun than Bud & Lou and Laurel & Hardy all roll into one!!!!!!!!

    One wonders how “sizeable” this contribution was. I am sure it was larger than $75,000.00!!!!!

  6. @ Carson C. Cadogan | March 4, 2012 at 2:10 PM |

    What’s new or revealing?
    Everybody knows that the BLP was in receipt of “suspect” contributions from CLICO when Mascoll was in charge of the DLP. David T made that abundantly clear in the 2008 campaign.

    What we want to hear and which you refuse to deal with are the alleged massive contributions to the 2008 DLP campaign by the turncoat Parris.
    Maybe you will get a glimpse of the extent and quantum of contributions to the DLP via the” Families First” avenue.

    But don’t hold your breath; A lot of these fellow from both sides are pals and lawyers and a lot to lose reputation wise: So expect obfuscation and parading. You know the saying: A thief stealing from a thief makes God laugh and the Devil cry.

  7. @?” weak corporate governance system”

    It is not so much a weak corporate governance weak PEOPLE who too easily accede to BULLIES…the bullying is learned at home and in the schoolyard…but it does not end there.

    Politicians and crooks…and sometimes they are the same people love WEAK PEOPLE.

  8. David you noted that ‘Caves’ is in the news. And indeed I read an article that left me a bit confused. Maybe you or one of the BU lawyers can clarify the following for me.

    1. The CEO (former) at the Cave was quoted as saying they incurred “legal cost of $17,000 plus VAT associated with the original loan agreement of $33.7 million”
    2. She also was quoted that subsequent legal work from another attorney to complete the loan process on a sum of $34M was invoiced at $666,820.65( + VAT) for net of $766,855.24.

    Finally they paid $487,817.40, VAT inclusive.

    Sounds like a lot of money to review and pass judgement on a loan agreement; regardless of the final sum.

    I can only presume that the 2nd attorney used a sliding scale fee structure whereas the first one used a fixed fee structure, as the discrepancy does not make sense otherwise.

    I could understand the high fees if the 2nd attorney was also acting as the investment consultant and had facilitated all aspects of the loan for the Authority, but that does not seem to be the case here.

    Why such different processes ?

    And why would the Board not clarify what the likely fees would be before contracting on the legal work.

    This seems rather lax and sloppy at best; negligent and criminal in a more vigilant environment.

    • @Dee Word

      The transaction stinks and you know it. Forget sliding scale.

      On Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 9:44 PM, Barbados Underground wrote:


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