BWA Facing Water Challenges: Special Audit of the Barbados Water Authority EXPOSED

Submitted by John Dillinger

Ionics plant was never run at full capacity according to Auditor General report

See link to Report by the Auditor General of the Special Audit into the BWA commissioned by Minister of Finance.

What is the role of the former Prime Minister David Thompson appointing Executive Chairman, Arni Walters in all these infelicities highlighted by the Special Audit?

Where is Mr. Walters now? Why has he so quietly disappeared from the frontline of the DLP Administration?

Can charges be laid for these infelicities in the procurement process at the BWA?

Why was this special audit commissioned by Minister Sinckler to cover the post-2008 period of administration at the BWA? Who was the minister with responsibility for the BWA at that time?

More questions than answers……

In similar vein, last year Minister Sinckler announced at a hastily called Press Conference at Almond Bay one Sunday afternoon that he would commission a Special Audit of the UWI with regards to claims by the UWI of funds owing to that institution by the Government of Barbados. Was that audit ever done?

On a related note:

There was the Barbados Advocate  headline ” BWA facing water service challenges

The article says that Dr. John Mwansa, Engineering Manager at the BWA was delivering a presentation called “Barbados’ Water Service Challenges” where it is reported that he said limited access to finance, an ageing infrastructure in need of replacement and unaccounted for water levels or non-revenue water are amongst the challenges to maintaining good water quality in Barbados.

Dr Mwansa went on to say that “we have very limited access to finance, so in terms of the solutions that we have to implement, we have to look for the options that will give us the best bang for our money”

He continued “We have an ageing infrastructure in need of replacement and in case you didn’t know, water utilities are the most capital intensive of all the utilities. Unfortunately, most of our infrastructure is below ground, so people don’t see the extent of the infrastructure that we have and what you are paying for”

Dr. Mwansa also revealed that the level of water unaccounted for is relatively high and is now estimated at around 49%. The rates charged for water are also not adequate to cover all the operating expenses and capital investment requirements, he suggested.

Reading this article made me VERY angry as a subscriber to BWA’s “services”. Am not really certain if we can describe what they provide as service. But I digress. Can someone please explain why in times of immense hardship,  Barbadians were made to suffer the imposition of a 60% increase in water rates by way of a Budget from the former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance by way of his dictate in his 2009 Budget presentation? Why are we Barbadians being asked to compensate for water that is being lost to the tune of 49%. That’s literally half of all water produced and pumped by the BWA being “lost” and cannot realize revenues for the BWA. Why has not the BWA been brought under the rate application and hearing mechanism of the Fair Trading Commission as has been the Barbados Light & Power Company and Cable & Wireless trading as LIME? Why is the BWA’s Engineering manager Dr John Mwansa complaining about a lack of finance to implement solutions? So exactly where did the 60% increase water rates go since July 2009.

The Prime Minster in his 2009 Budget presentation stated that revenues generated from the then existing water rates were insufficient to cover the costs of providing water and wastewater services. He added that it was not enough to maintain the then existing level of service and it had become necessary to increase water rates.

In his previous Budget speech in 2008, he stated that within the next 2 years, the BWA would prepare itself to come under the rigours of accountability under the FTC so that water and sewerage charges may be determined at levels that are fair to consumers and the BWA alike and remove the large burden that Government now carries in subsidizing water and sewerage rates for all persons in society.

Fast forward to some 4 years hence in 2012. Where are the improvements we were promised in service from the BWA from incurring the 60% increase in water rates? Where is the transparency in setting of water rates by having the BWA face the FTC for setting its water rates? Fellow Barbadians, someone needs to account to us for this deception which was brought down on us for which we are forced to pay for. Is it a case that we as consumers are being forced to pay for inefficiencies in the procurement process at the BWA which has been subject to questionable practices?

144 thoughts on “BWA Facing Water Challenges: Special Audit of the Barbados Water Authority EXPOSED

  1. @millertheanunnaki: “A removal of one defective and potentially destructive part to the whole system will not detract from the integrity of the whole. Zero or naught from one leaves one: 1- 0 = 1.

    A typical response from someone who doesn’t understand mathematics. Or the law.

    Yes, 1-0 == 1. And 1-1 == 0.

    And -1-1 == -2.

    And 1+1 == 2.

    I suspect it will take you a little while to think about how 1+1 == 2.

    But it can happen….

  2. @ Chris
    …are you OK? LOL

    @ Enuff
    Where did Bushie ever claim to be apolitical? Bushie is a BBE yardfowl

    @ Miller
    Bushie leaving you in CH’s hands. He will sort you out 🙂

  3. @ Bush Tea | September 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM |

    I have already sorted out Chris. He is looking after the readymade jacket I gave him a few days ago. He will make a very good stepfather capable of teaching his adopted piccaninny pure and applied mathematics. (LOL!!).

    • Is it amazing that in all the years we have practiced parliamentary democracy under both political parties we find ourselves in the same place every 5-years? Interesting indeed.

  4. “however i was also satisfied that the govt did not seek to hide these wrongdoings or cover up as a way of making itself unaccountable or look good i don,t think in OSA administration one would have seen the straightforwardness in such a report knowing it would have been negative fallout”
    i am entering the discussion with much reluctance for fear of the accusation of bias towards the BLP but i must remind AC that her friend OSA commisioned the Special Audit of the Urban DEvelopment Commission, the report of which is used with gay abandon by the DLP to his discredit while not giving him accolades for not seeking to hide or cover up the wrongdoings of an institution in his term of office.

  5. @ David

    Where is the Prime Minister traveling to this weekend and why is Richard Sealy NOT going to be acting as Prime Minister in his absence?

    I am hearing its going to be Sinckler, Inniss or Estwick. Please can you sniff out the facts?

  6. @ David

    My souces confirm that Dr. Hon. David Estwick M.P. it to be sworn in this morning as acting Prime Minister for the duration when PM Staurt is off the island.

    I am also advised that construction work at the Villages @ Coverley and Port Ferdinand Marina has stopped. What are you hearing on this, any truth?

  7. @ Heavy Duty Change | September 7, 2012 at 6:25 AM |

    One wishes that his stay overseas would be extended by the hand of Fate.
    Long enough that Dr. David would administer some much needed medicine to the sick patient called the Barbados economy. He would first have to sideline the current quack and return him where he really belongs– to the Foreign Affairs to let his mouth run ad nauseam.
    The Barbados economy is too fragile and vulnerable to be left in the hands of a child like Chris and his gnome like sycophant of a governor.
    With David in charge we will now see some progress with the CLICO forensic audit report with a swift flight overseas from justice by a certain Leroy. David will not tolerate that man and would do his utmost to see justice prevails.
    Freundel is grasping at straws and has come to Christian understanding that David is the only one in his Cabinet capable of at least attacking the economic ills that beset our once fair land. By bringing David in from the cold he would be honouring his pledge to a dead brother and allow merit and commonsense to prevail over wickedness and spite by the dead. Chris has had his chance and has blown it. Time to step aside, Chris and let a more capable, astute and “anti-bullshit” man take over where he belongs.
    David, as your ma said to you “time longer than twine”. Your star is on the ascendancy and the planet you stand on is about to be at its perihelion. Good luck, my friend. TC will now RIP.

  8. @ Miller

    On point Brother, on point.

    Does this mean that Dr. Estwick is about to be named Deputy Prime Minister as the DLP prepares its party machinery for the Mother of All Battles?

    If yes, the Dr. Estwick can be a deliverer of vicious and piercing attacks on Owen, Mia and Mascoll.

    • If there is one lesson the Sandiford era thought us is that the local private sector has to be onside with the political directorate. Would an Estwick have the private sector on his side?

  9. @ Biomus Pirate | September 7, 2012 at 9:21 AM |

    So be it! That’s what our two-party adversarial type of politics is all about.
    At least he will be doing it with clean hands even if on the trigger of a political gun.
    One man that would feel the full impact of any political bullet would be darcy the quisling deserving of a watery burial in the No. 53 grave in the fictitious marina would be most appropriate.

  10. Auditing at the Barbados Water Authority should be continuous and random. Auditors should audit the Barbados Water Authority entirely but certainly purchasing officers in the purchasing department. One of them, Winston Roach travels quite extinsively in the United States, specifically the Brooklyn, New York area and Canada, specifically, the Montreal Quebec area.

  11. @ David

    How exactly did the Sandi era establish that lesson?

    The local private sector likes politicians who are intelligent, sensible to the commercial realities and can make decisions rather than pontificate about what policy to implement and how to do so.

    Trust me the local private sector would have absolutely no problem with Dr. Estwick either as Minister of Finance, deputy Prime Minister, acting Prime Minister or actual Prime Minister.

    • @Earnest Jones

      BU wishes Minister David Estwick all the best, we do not always agree with his methods but he seems to be someone who is not afraid to make decisions. The point remains that he will achieve only if he has the support of private sector. Also it is interesting that his national profile remains low manufactured or not.

      Congrats to him on his appointment. Election gearing?

  12. Recall during the Sandiford misgovernance of Buhbaydus that the private sector had threatened to withhold the payment of current taxes and a certain known dlp operative went to press to deny that such a decision was taken by the biggest conglomerate on island.What followed was that key political decision makers got the message and the rest is history.

  13. @ David

    Agreed, his National profile has remained low but at the same time his intelligence, experience and ability to make decisions (tough or otherwise)remains high.

    Sinckler knows only too well now, those who push up their head usually achieve only the swift removal of it. You don’t see every week now it seems that Peter Wickham begging to keep Sinckler relevant in the context of Barbadian politics?

    The question now is who was the smart ass one that taped the meeting of the EAGER 11 at Sapphire Beach where and when Richard Sealy had alot (understatement of the year) to say about FS and his lack of management and political skills?

  14. For the past two days the BWA has been running a public service announcement , re the burnt out pump at Hampton Pumping Station, which has affected supply to much of the central and southern parishes.
    The announcement ended with the assurance that water tankers will be coming around , as usual, to service the affected areas.
    For the past two days I’ve yet to see a BWA water tanker at any of the affected areas.
    Perhaps the goodly Doctor Mr Lowe can enlightened us smelly and thirsty residents why he is feeding us a mirage.
    Where have our tax dollars gone in relation to transport in the departments that this guy is responsible for ? No water tankers and Sanitation refuse pickups, few and far between.
    Perhaps the Knight of Foursquare should be running an advert, “Can’t get drinking water! Drink Heineken, we have warehouses full of.”

  15. FREUNDEL is a real slow -ass slug-a -like
    Look how the man never reshuffle the Cabinet though
    Look how the man aint call election when he shoulda have called it.
    What kinda Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is though ???

  16. @David

    I read some aspect of the Auditor’s report, and I am amazed that the then Minister of Finance who is supposed to be an economist would allow and give approval for such a project. Was an evluation of the project done and who did it? Why would a utility be guaranteed a return of 18%? What is the BLP guaranteed rate?

    Is this how taxpayers money is to be used? Is the Director of Public Prosecution going to be asked to lay charges against those guilty of breaching the Financial rules, or this is how business is done in barbados? I wonder which Barbadians have interest in the company/companies that are/were involved or supposed to be involved in supplying goods to BWA?

  17. Why would a utility be guaranteed a return of 18%?

    Because clean water is essential to our existence.You can’t live without water.

    simplistic reasoning.

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