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.