Politicians Laughing at WE – NIS Funds, Transport Board, a Matter of Integrity

Submitted by Hamilton Hill

Pedro Stanford, Chairman of the Transport Board and Sandra Forde, GM

While listening to Sagicor’s Early Business Report on VOB some morning this past week I was startled by the news that the authorities in Jamaica had brought charges against three persons in that country for corruption. A business man, a police officer and a member of parliament–yes a sitting MP. According to the report this all came about through a traffic ticket, and a subsequent attempt to have it disappear. BARBADOS ARE YOU TAKING NOTE? This is what integrity legislation when enforced can do.

In an effort to breathe life into a transportation system that has long been a victim of political cronyism on both sides of the fence, government has again turned to its perennial cash cow better known as the NIS, and we who could very well end up on the short end of this deal have no voice as to whether or not it should be done. Why don’t we? The planks of protection embedded in Integrity Legislation are not in place. If there were this board would not have been made to operate in a climate where its failure is and has always been a foregone conclusion—where it pandered to its competition by way of the sale of its more lucrative routes, often times to friends and even family members of those in control of its very purse strings. Surely we can all remember the mini busses that covered the St.George area. Day and night they were packed to capacity, while the transport board’s were empty. For the most part they were owned by one person. One well connected person.

Through your mind’s eye take a look back into the past and see how both the Dems and the Bees used this board for political convenience. Superfluous positions were created just like they are at MTW and at NHC, without regard to their financial implications, and given to persons who saw themselves as untouchable based on their lineage; politically or otherwise.

Successive governments have been unable to stem the rising deficit – Source: 2006/2007 Financials

As cash strapped as this country is we are about to throw thirty million dollars to an institution that as presently constituted can find no way to make restitution, and there is not a damn thing we can do about it. No one cares for here is where some get to collect a salary for doing absolutely nothing. Here is where conflict of interest means having an outside woman along with a wife. The steering of a contract to a business to which you or wifey is connected goes by another name. “We Turn Now.” Here is where everyone knows that by its design, deficit is this board’s destiny, and the public is certainly not the beneficiary of what little it may offer. Here is where anything goes, for nothing happens. In Jamaica a traffic ticket can bring you down. Here is where if you screw us, we lift you up.

  • The Auditor General’s Report advised that 2009 financials of the TB is being finalized:

    Transport Board
    4.83 The Transport Board’s principal activity is the provision of transportation to the general public. The Board has indicated that the audit for the financial year ended March 31, 2009 is being finalized. The Board has reported that it has had some challenges with its accounting system, the confirmation of balances owed to a number of state agencies, and verification of certain capital assets.

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  • what do u exspect, who is the Manager of the Transport?What experience has she got in Governance. Is it time for transportation to be fulluy privatized and govt concentrate solely on policy and regulation of the industry>

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  • “what do u exspect, who is the Manager of the Transport?What experience has she got in Governance. Is it time for transportation to be fulluy privatized and govt concentrate solely on policy and regulation of the industry”
    The last feeble attempt to privatize during the Adams era ended in sadding the public of Barbados with a do as you like system of transport where disorder in the transportation system reared its ugly head and continues to this day as a result of cronyism; an instance of which is definitively pointed out in Mr Hill’s remarks.What gurantees do i have that further privatisation would not go the same the same route with the spoils system so entrenched?

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  • Hamilton Hill;
    An excellent article. You have beautifully analysed the situation at the Transport Board and may I say many of the other statutory organizations as well.

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  • ….”The day transport becomes fully privatize”…hmm to who Mr. Lee-ward? Why if we can’t control them with the lil pot they got …could we be so stupid to put the whole hog in their “wild west’ hands.Don’t be silly. Let’s see if “When Ya Cumin” can once more come to our rescue, cuz there is good money (as with others) to be given away again.

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  • Now, Give us the figures for 2008 to 2011.

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  • John King ‘I want a plantations…at any cost’..wunnah ent listen tuh de man?

    Talking about statutory corporations…should directors have companies that deal directly with such entities?

    Hahaha!

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  • There have been many calls for the Government to carry out its promise and bring integrity legislation. Frankly speaking, I have no confidence that any such legislation would make a difference the way things go in Barbados. All the politicians would do is appoint their cronies to the board, and the board would do everything in their power to protect their political masters.

    The service commissions are supposed to be independent according to the Constitution but in the case of the police and public service commissions, the Prime Minister recommends the appointment of the members. The last two chairmen of the Public Service Commission were Besley Maycock and David Bowen. Every Friday while being chairman, Besley could be seen at George Street Auditorium assisting with the DLP afternoon lecture. The current chairman is David Bowen, a former minister in the Sandiford administration. That alone does not inspire confidence in the system. Now you can see why the politically align more often than not end up with public service appointments despite being inexperienced. If the legislation is passed, don’t hold your breath waiting for anything to be done. Even without integrity legislation it is still criminal to misappropriate Government funds or spend then for unintended purposes but have you seen the DPP take anybody of substance to court yet.

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  • @ Crusoe…funny that you made mention of that Jonny Ma Boy/Tony Waldron classic.I went back to that song to capture the line “de govment road i will still extend.”Word is that it has happened again but since those facts are not clear to me I deleted that piece from the conflict of interest part of the article.

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  • Yuh need Integrity legislation to charge a politician and policeman on bribery charges that had nothing to do with government contracts?
    Furthermore, I never knew that the TBoard routes were “sold”. The truth is they should start selling routes, and the most lucrative too, since they would be more attractive to private sector interests. By so doing, the revenue from the sale of these routes would subsidise the operation of TB or private buses on the less attractive ones and the provision of free travel for pensioners and genuine welfare cases.
    Where’s 2008 to 2011, and what impact free bus fares for school children and dubious maintenance/repairs decisions have had on the increasing deficit since 2008?

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  • Square pegs in round holes. Make them fit by bashing in with a sledge hammer. Just a few months ago the Minister of the Environment, Dr Lowe was bragging about the specially selected new fleet of trucks that Sanitation Service Authority would be having .Todau we are told that only 10 trucks out of a fleet of 60 are in working order/

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  • @enuff

    It is know in Barbados that successive ministers ‘approved’ permits for friends and those with deep pockets under questionable circumstances.

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  • @ David

    Can you or anyone help with any information whatsoever regarding a citizen of Barbados named Douglas Henderson Forde and who is or was a lawful permentant resident of USA. Mr. Forde is or was a Certified Public Accountant and was convicted and jailed for a number of years in the late 80’s in New York for stealing client funds (charged grand larceny 2nd degree). Mr. Forde appears to have had his legal status in the USA revoked and then deported to Barbados.

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  • @ David
    Oh you mean the Minister as opposed to the Transport Board. However given the lack of capacity at the TB it would appear the manner rather than the idea is questionable.

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  • @Very Private Eye

    Sorry, can’t help you.

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  • But David surely someone on BU must know David Henderson Forde

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  • Simple Simon | August 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM |

    But David surely someone on BU must know David Henderson Forde
    ———————————————————–
    Ask onion or balance methinks DH Forde has BLP connections. Caswell claim he is a big maguffy investigatior he may know.

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  • Very Private Eye

    @ David

    Thanks tho. If anyone knows this Douglas Henderson Forde CPA please let me know. I think he had or had a brother by the name of Lionel Forde.

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  • Very Private Eye

    I believe there is something called a deed poll… If there is well your friend may have opted for a sensible option.

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  • Can anyone say what is the role of Patrick Gollop at the Transport Board?

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  • whats good for the goose

    PG role same as blp yardfowls>>
    Carol Roberts
    Lynette Eastmond
    Victor Hinckson
    Henderson Bovell
    Stedson Babb
    Ian Bourne
    Dale Miller
    Keith Goddard
    Al Gilkes

    at least Patrick is a professional broadcaster

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  • But wait, Carole Roberts in professional too …?

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  • “.Todau we are told that only 10 trucks out of a fleet of 60 are in working order”
    Research te issue and you will observe that sch a situation occurs every seven years when the life of the trucks bought ove the last seven year period begins to deteriorate. The last set of trucks were plagued with problems from the date of purchase because of bad board decision making. in addition to this, until the Government finds sufficient money to purchase an adequate fleet of vehicles to allow for rest time to allow recommended maintenace to be performed, then overworked trucks will continue to breakdown before the expected time.

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  • ‘Ask onion or balance methinks DH Forde has BLP connections. Caswell claim he is a big maguffy investigatior he may know”
    The only Lionel Forde i knew lived in Chepstow Street off Beckwith Street and used to work in the Ministry of Hghways and Transport. He usedto be resonsible for decorating public buildings on official occasions; because he wore an earring inhis er long befor it was fashionable, we used to say he was a buller but there was no evidnce to substantiate such. He 2was cosidered to bge a respectable married man up to the time of his entombment in Bethel’s churchyard 13 years ago. I hope that i have been ofhelp.

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  • YES, MR HILL GIVE US 2008-2011.

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  • Please note that BU inserted the table which was extracted from the financials available. The current debate speaks to a deficit of 50 million. We don’t have to be pedantic about this matter.

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  • @ balance..the attached table gives validity to my argument.The period that tweets your attention,and everyone knows the basis of your motivation,will show the same results. Like Old Onion Bags tunnel vision has become your affliction.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ David | August 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM |

    David, do you know what penalties are provided in the Act governing the Transport Board for the late or no-submission of financials by the specified date after the closing date of each financial year?
    Shouldn’t both the Chairman and GM be dismissed for this awful state of affairs? Yet we have a government preaching about competence and integrity with a new way of conducting business?
    One supposes its easier to charge a young man for having a spliff and ‘blacken’ his character with a criminal record than to send home an incompetent GM or fire a nincompoop political yardfowl called a chairman.

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  • @Miller

    Are you serious? Do you not read the Auditor General reports over several years? Late completion of financials by government agencies is an affliction. Are the financial rules of government complied with under both parties in government? Will anything come of the recent Special Audit of the BWA? By the way the link is broken o the AG”s website.

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  • Politicians treat the Transport Board as another patronage plum to be handed over to their bosom buddies. You have what is the equivalent of a large company with an equally large budget employing hundreds of workers and you put a neophyte in charge of the operation. I am in favour of public transit, there is no public transit system in the world that makes money, the question is how can we make the best of our resources at minimal cost.

    Against a backdrop of increasing operating losses Ms. Forde is appointed General Mgr. What was her mandate? Did they ask her to keep costs down? Did they ask her to improve the service? Did they ask her to improve morale among employees? Or did they tell her to rubber stamp decisions made by the professional core? What kind of expertise did she bring to the table? Ms. Forde was a former Bank Manager who probably was responsible for a maximum of 20 people at the height of her career.

    Bank managers in Barbados (and elsewhere) operate within an established set of parameters with dedicated guidelines and delegated authority with respect to all duties. All decisions outside those guidelines have to be authorized by Regional/Head office, go beyond those rules and Head Office descends on them like flies pon excrement. (That in essence sums up the GM’s business experience).

    Did she stop the bleeding? What percentage of the costs go to salaries/administration ? Is maintenance blowing a hole in the budget? Are the technicians factory trained to ensure that they know how to repair the fleet in a timely manner or are they in a fix or repair daily mode? What responsibility does the manufacturer have post sale of vehicles? (This issue may not be of the GM’s making) Did the GM look at other ways of saving money e.g. part time staff for rush hours instead of a complement of full time employees ? How about weekly/monthly passes for patrons?

    Now we hear about a potential deficit of 50 million. Lawd have mercy

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  • Hamilton hill | August 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM |

    “@ balance..the attached table gives validity to my argument.The period that tweets your attention,and everyone knows the basis of your motivation,will show the same results. Like Old Onion Bags tunnel vision has become your affliction.”
    Sr, i might not be too bright because i en went to Cawmee but show me where the table gives validity to your argument notwitstanding that i supported your remarks in the context they were made initially. i canot fathom the reason for Bu inserting the table of deficits which had no bearing in my view on your post; because an organisation runs a deficit does not mean that they are engaging infelicities or even bad management practices..

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Hamilton hill | August 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM |
    “@ balance..the attached table gives validity to my argument.The period that tweets your attention,and everyone knows the basis of your motivation,will show the same results.”

    You seem to be a man in the know and might be close to the inner workings of the Transport Board like your namesake who managed that business with total aplomb and competence.

    Do you know for which period the government just guaranteed a loan for the Board from the NIS cash cow? Was the $30 million loan to pay for the outstanding costs of operations up to the period March 31, 2011 or March 31, 2012?
    Please help us so that a ‘balanced’ assessment could be made of this millstone around the taxpayers’ neck; the burden of which is now being shared by the NIS captive suckers.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ David | August 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM |

    So there is no accountability? Yet we have a man of integrity on the top of the pile of incompetents in the best public service in the Caribbean?
    More like the ripest of the bunch of banana republics!

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  • @Hamilton

    To some of us it is easy to extrapolate and apply a trend-line which at the moment goes up and up.

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  • @miller

    Please refer to the title f this submission which was applied by BU. It did not say D or B, the generic term politician was used.

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  • @Sargeant

    Have to agree with your last comment. The TB is a statutory body which is soaking up substantial government subsidies. We need to have people running this body who are professionals.

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  • @ balance.. please accept my apology for the remark about tunnel vision.That was intended for Enuff in resopnse to a post dated aug.25th.08:48am.@ miller…I am no more in the know than anyone else.Should Starcom report it I will repeat it.

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  • Road Transport Engineer (UK)

    balance | August 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM |

    Research te issue and you will observe that sch a situation occurs every seven years when the life of the trucks bought ove the last seven year period begins to deteriorate. The last set of trucks were plagued with problems from the date of purchase because of bad board decision making. in addition to this, until the Government finds sufficient money to purchase an adequate fleet of vehicles to allow for rest time to allow recommended maintenace to be performed, then overworked trucks will continue to breakdown before the expected time.
    ……………………………………………………………………………..
    Seven years is a relatively short time for the life of a truck. When I look around at the islands transport system,I see some companies with trucks 15 /20/25 years old. Age alone is not an overriding factor in the replacement of a vehicle. The Cost of Maintenance and Mileage must be considered in conjunction with age.
    Transport Board has had 25 years service out of their Tiger Cubs . Many of the old concessionaire buses, started out their lives as plantation trucks,yet were able to give some 15 /20 years further service.
    The Transport Board, had a preventive maintenance programme that was quite enviable. Many government entities do not give a hoop about preventive maintenance,and why should they? when they are able to extend a demanding hand to the taxpayers every couple of years to replace their “ageing” new fleet.
    The SSA last fleet of trucks are Freightliners, made under the Mercedes brand, and are considered the most reliable medium duty truck in the United States. That was a good selection ,but why are they not standing up when other Freightliner operators in Barbados are quite pleased with the performance of these vehicles. The answer lies in Preventive Maintenance, and the ease in which these government department are able to access taxpayers money.
    In the Far East, there are Dodges, Chevroletes, Bedfords,and Fords of 1940 something vintage still operating daily as buses.
    Very few of the transport managers in the Public Sector are professionally trained as such, but in many instances are mechanics or clerks who have been promoted. We will forever find ourselves in this rut.

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  • Another thing we do well is when a new minister takes over at MTW he makes a beeline to Brazil to checkout the factory. Now why does a minister have to get involved in visiting a bus assemble factory?

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  • I am hoping that, some time before I leave this mortal earth, I will see some solid, balanced, and unbiased journalistic genius from Mr. Albert Brandford. I continue to be amazed that he writes what appears to be a BLP article and manages to get away with it year after year. What is more annoying is that he seems to just dredge up and regurgitate any fiction, facts or rumour which debase the DLP without adding any significant journalistic value. Each time that I read one of these articles I find myself scouring through other online papers to see what other journalists are doing. You can pre-determineMr. brandford’s colunm you know it will be anti DLP without any semblance of counter views or professional ethics. Is he permanently drunk. How could the “leading newspaper” countenance such unchecked bias?

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  • “I am hoping that, some time before I leave this mortal earth, I will see some solid, balanced, and unbiased journalistic genius from Mr. Albert Brandford”
    just an observation but the media always give latitude to journalists and/ or columnists to vent their views in support of one party or the other. once upon a time, there was Mr Glyne Murray, Mr Reudon eversley, Mrs Irene Sandiford-Garneretc, etc. This will always continue in our huvavnaa,bummuhna, baby squeeze system of politics.

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  • Mr Road transport Engineer, your article is quite relevant and does indeed have much erit but my first hand knowledge of the problems which plague garbage collection in this country every seven years stems from an inadequate fleet which does not provide for the appropriate rest time to allow for the requisite preventative maintenance to be performed when a vehicle has done its mandated tour of duty. The SSA has the required preventative maintenance systems in place but their effectiveness is compromised by inadequacy of rolling stock among other things.

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  • Frustrated businessman

    The issue of privatisation of the TB needs to be explored more. If the routes were put out to public tender every three years on a staggered basis (33% each year), what’s to say an operator couldn’t tender a negative amount (i.e. a subsidy) for operating non-profitable routes? This really isn’t rocket science, the only way to slow down the teefin’ is to disband the statutory corporations. At the current rate the TB and SSA is dragging this country down it would be cheaper for taxpayers to give the drivers the vehicles and pay them by the passenger/pound to provide the service.

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  • @Frustrated Business

    You guys don’t get do you? Inefficiently run Statuary Corporations like TB is/has been a trough for both political parties. The issue now is that we have run out of money, the sea has receded and all the swimmers have been exposed as naked. Had to smile at the Mia Mottley report accusing the government of wastage at the BWA. Doesn’t it make us smile? Musical chairs we continue to play.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Frustrated businessman | August 27, 2012 at 8:26 AM |

    I agree with you, in principle, that privatization of this moribund business is the only route open to the country given what is ahead of us. We either do it ourselves with adequate social provisions or it will be done for us.
    However, what I don’t share with you is the model you are proposing. Mass transit or more locally known as public transportation can only be sustained on an “economies of scale” basis. Dividing up the business into privatized segments or even chunks would not work given the limited public user or travelling profile both in numbers and frequency of travelers.

    In my view, what is required is a consortium of private sector interests including the ZR owners and the various credit unions especially those with labour union affiliations. This consortium would own and manage the business. Bus fares would increase but not to the full economic cost of an ‘average’ journey. Public transportation is after all an indirect ‘public good’ and any policy regime on fare setting or route servicing must take this primarily into consideration.
    The introduction of a transport levy specifically earmarked as a subsidy to the new Public Transport Corporation (PTC) would be collected through the NIS payroll system.
    A statutorily established regulatory body already exists. Let it do its job of regulating this proposed corporation. The merger of the Licensing Authority and the Transport Authority is ripe for picking. Some of the road tax and other charges collected would be used to fund the regulatory operations and administrative services of this merged regulatory and fees collection body. The balance, say 50 %, could go to the central revenue for the maintenance of the roads and highways.

    Your thoughts please, once frustrated now enlightened businessman (lol!!)

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  • Wasn’t the PTA suppose to solve our woes? What is its report card?

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @David | August 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM |

    What are your views on the suggestion by Owen Arthur that the government should borrow money to resolve the CLICO issue with the backing of the BLP.

    I have my take on this one which might be at odds with what OSA is proposing. But he does have a point that this CLICO scandal is a financial scourge and blot on the image of Barbados locally, regionally and internationally. The local investment climate is now sullied and the waters need cleaning up with utmost haste. Money is the lifeblood of any economy and right now we have a growing clot in the form of CLICO that has to be operated on before the financial circulatory system and entire body politic are deprived of oxygen called investor confidence.

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  • @miller

    A politician can say what he wants but isn’t the matter under JM?

    What is the implication of a political solution given current state?

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  • millertheanunnaki

    David | August 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM |
    “A politician can say what he wants but isn’t the matter under JM? ”

    Which type of politician? A politician in opposition or in the Cabinet?

    Aren’t the JMs awaiting a response from the various governments, with Barbados at the helm, on CLICO resolution options submitted for their (the governments) consideration?
    Aren’t they also awaiting the go ahead to do a more “comprehensive” forensic audit that could establish further evidence to justify criminal investigations? Pity the poor policyholders who have been deprived of approx $15 million already. $30 million seem to be the targeted revenue for the JM.

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  • If one reads the news and Sinckler’s public position on this matter Barbados seems to be onside with the JMs proposal to the PMs of the EC. Spencer (believe it is him) has come public suggesting it warrants careful study. It is not a slam dunk! We need to separate the polictics from the process currently at play. It is also important our leaders speak correctly but this is too much to ask. Solution we kick out the DEMS and move to BLP. Why bother?

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  • millertheanunnaki

    David | August 27, 2012 at 10:31 AM |
    “We need to separate the politics from the process currently at play.”

    Now how do we do that? Isn’t Spencer’s position a political one similar to his country’s position on the funding of LIAT? We don’t mind having the benefits but don’t expect money from the financially embarrassed Antiguan government. Presumably the Stanford fallout has left bitter memories which he would like to see the others experienced in a CLICO Caribbean style.

    Who then should push the process further to resolve this financial embarrassment, if not the political leaders whose hands are dirty by association and illegal benefaction? The aggrieved policyholders through a judicial system operating in a quagmire of inertia, incompetence and incestuous political dealings?

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  • David | August 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM |

    Another thing we do well is when a new minister takes over at MTW he makes a beeline to Brazil to checkout the factory. Now why does a minister have to get involved in visiting a bus assemble factory?
    …………………………………………………………………………………….
    And to be quite honest they haven’t got a clue what they are looking for or at,making it easy for the sales people to pull the wool over their eyes like, the King and the invisible suit.
    But having visited Copacabana and Ipanema, the minister’s visit is more likely to check out the bust assemblies there.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………
    @Miller………
    “the time is right to merge the Licensing Authority with the Transport Authority”.
    I hate harping back to the past, but I can recall in the 1960’s early 1970’s when MTW had a staff of Public Service Vehicle Inspectors,who were stationed in the Fairchild Street bus stand, and oversaw the operations of all buses in the terminal. These inspectors could also be seen occasionally out on the various routes. And I am not referring to Bus Inspectors (Spies) employed by the various bus companies.
    The Transport Authority should never have been allowed to come into existence .An abortion now ,would not be too late.

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  • After reading Barbados Today, I am convinced that PM Stuart displays a strong naivete and absurdities that are truly the hallmarks of a man bent on supervision and not leadership. For some strange reason, Stuart’s chorus is riddled with unconcern, no interest, did not see, have not read, will not comment, silence, and all other lyrical content that speaks to procrastination and vision-less caution. PM Stuart, I am a strong critic of yours because you made it that way, not because I am a member of the main opposing party. Your behaviour to my mind is a dereliction of duty and I am sure that Barbadians will make you pay for your incapacity to lead.

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  • Frustrated businessman

    At Miller; I understand economies of scale very well and I agree with you in theory; I have visited Korea and seen what a bus system should be. However, Caribbean people are a different breed and we have proven our ineptitude at operating in packs. The consortium you suggest might work somewhere else but not here. The private minibus owners have proven efficient, even though our policing of them could be much better. At the end of the day the purpose of gov’t is to legislate, regulate, facilitate; not operate. Put the routes out to tender and disband the board, it would be the beginning of a waterfall of privatisation. Could we even give away CBC?

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Frustrated businessman | August 28, 2012 at 9:01 AM |

    Your point is well taken. It’s a pity that the culture of indiscipline on our roads would disappointingly militate against this golden opportunity of giving the so-called small black man the chance to be ‘entrepreneurs’ and be self -employed instead of relying on the government.

    Don’t worry, that financial quicksand known as the “Culturally Bastardized Corporation aka CBC is ripe for the taking and is high on the list of State divestments even if it has to been snatched away like a child’s toy from the crying hands of the petty-minded narcissistic politicians.

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  • miller; Don’t worry, that financial quicksand known as the “Culturally Bastardized Corporation aka CBC is ripe for the taking and is high on the list of State divestments even if it has to been snatched away like a child’s toy from the crying hands of the petty-minded narcissistic politicians.

    ac
    not going to happen this “bastatardized corporation” is the only propaganda machnine government have in times of peace or in times of war.

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  • @Frustrated businessman | August 28, 2012 at 9:01 AM | ”Put the routes out to tender and disband the board, it would be the beginning of a waterfall of privatisation. Could we even give away CBC?”

    ————-

    Well said, I have come to the conclusion that is the only way to go also.

    As for CBC, we Barbados could earn useful tax dollars (x percent of revenues) from licseing by selling the corporation. However, our politicians are obviously afraid of losing control of the state media.

    I ask, is this Siberia or a ‘free democracy’, that they are so afraid of giving out television licenses?

    Free market, if it works, it will survive.

    That said, they should allow multiple licenses. Else we will have a situation akin to the Cable & Wireless / Digicel strangehold on the airwaves also.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ ac | August 29, 2012 at 5:34 AM |
    “not going to happen this “bastatardized corporation” is the only propaganda machine government have in times of peace or in times of war.”

    Which war is this? War of words between DLP & BLP politicians over the control of naive minds of people like you?
    Well, ac, we have news for you. Either give up the expensive propaganda mouth organ or it will be taken away by the IMF Pied piper whose word is his bond. Either stop the taxpayers’ haemorrhage called CBC or pay more for your garbage collection services and medication. It’s your choice. Either cultural penetration by American crappy entertainment or run the risks to people’s health- both public and private.

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  • Wuh miller seems like you out of de loop on this one wasn,t it a few weeks ago that some of the natives was talking about civil disobedience among the disgruntled masses.thatwas quelch but the possibilty of such happening is real is no government is going to abandon its ony source to feed its propaganda in favour of nothing

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  • A.M. Best Places Ratings of Sagicor Financial Corp. & Its Subsidiaries Under Review; Downgrades Ratings of Sagicor Life Jamaica

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best Co. has placed under review with negative implications the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of Sagicor Life Inc., Sagicor Capital Life Insurance Company Limited (both domiciled in St. Michael, Barbados), Sagicor General Insurance Inc. (Sagicor General) (Bridgetown, Barbados) and Sagicor Life Insurance Company (Sagicor Life USA) (Austin, TX). Additionally, A.M. Best has downgraded the FSR to B+ (Good) from B++ (Good) and ICR to “bbb-” from “bbb” of Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited (SLJ) (Kingston, Jamaica) and placed the ratings under review with negative implications.

    Concurrently, A.M. Best has placed under review with negative implications the ICR of “bbb-” and debt rating of “bbb” on $150 million, 7.5% senior unsecured notes due 2016 of the ultimate parent, Sagicor Financial Corporation (SFC) (Barbados). SFC is publicly traded on Barbados, Trinidad and London stock exchanges.

    The under review status follows the announcement of a debt exchange program by the Government of Jamaica, which A.M. Best notes is the second such program in three years. Under the program, eligible investors would receive new notes that have lower coupons and longer maturities. Given SFC’s exposure to the business and financial risks of Jamaica through its controlling interest in SLJ, the ratings of SFC and its subsidiaries have been placed under review with negative implications.

    The downgrading of the ratings of SLJ reflects its sizeable exposure to the Jamaican government securities, as well as the ongoing pressures of the weak Jamaican economy. A.M. Best expects that the bond exchange will have a negative impact on SLJ’s risk-adjusted capital and earnings position.

    BARBADIANS WITH EXCESSIVE FUNDS IN SAGICOR NEED TO TAKE NOTE BEFORE IT BECOMES ANOTHER CLICO, AS WE TEND TO IGNORE WARNING SIGNALS. WORD IS THERE MAY BE CASH FLOW IISSUES AT THE LOCAL COMPANY REQUIRING MANAGEMENT TO TAKE DRASTIC ACTION TO RESOLVE.

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