22 thoughts on “Integrity Threat – Part 4

  1. “What is wrong with this country? people I have come across on a daily basis are just fed up with the state of status quo. Mr Raymond continue what you are doing an answer to this problem( corruption) will arise someday. I pray to god every day that the Middle east solution to to their problem does not come into fruition. Since the cost to the country will be high. My question are how can teach people to be honest?,How can we punish the gate keepers of our institutions who sell out the country for a money and status?. Ask your self this. where are the guns coming from, the drugs, illegal immigrants?, how is it that a stolen car can be registered in the license office? pressure needs to be placed at the top, but we face the the problem the mighty Spoiler sang about the Magistrate trying himself.”


  2. Prosecutors in Gabon say they have discovered evidence of 3,000 fake civil servants, each receiving monthly salaries despite holding no official positions.

    A corruption investigation in the central African nation – one of the continent’s largest oil producers – has uncovered what is being described as a mafia-like network with a wide reach across the country.

    “The beneficiaries regularly received monthly salaries, despite not belonging to any ministry,” state prosecutor Sidonie Flore Ouwe told Reuters. “We have seized some of them with counterfeit diplomas and fake assignments,” she said, adding that some suspects had been arrested and that those involved in the scam would be prosecuted.

    Gabon is known for its bloated civil service – with 70,000 members in the tiny country of just 1.5 million people.

    “About 10 years ago there were 33,000 civil servants,” said Gregory Mintsa, a former civil servant who works with global anti-corruption coalition Transparency International. “How it’s possible to go from that number to 70,000 in such a short period of time, I don’t know.”

    Minsta, who in 2010 won Transparency International’s Integrity award, says he lost his job as a civil servant when he began campaigning against corruption in Gabon.

    “I was working at the ministry of culture. They put me in jail, they cut my salary,” he added. “Now I am considered a ghost civil servant – it’s impossible to know whether my salary is still being paid, and someone else is taking it. But for 56 months I have not been paid. In Gabon, public money is used to eliminate political opponents and to patronise supporters of the government.”

    Transparency International ranks Gabon joint 102nd of 174 countries in its 2012 annual corruption index, and says the country scores particularly poorly in perceptions of public sector corruption.

    “Gabon scored 35 out of 100 in the 2012 corruption perceptions index, which measures perceptions of public sector corruption in a country. This indicates that it has a serious problem with corruption,” said Chantal Uwimana, regional director, Sub-Sahara Africa for Transparency International.

    But the government says it is taking measures to reform the sector. In 2009, Gabon launched an overhaul of the civil service, firing 800 employees. Last year, President Ali Bongo Ondimba used a trip to London to announce new performance contracts for civil servants, in a further effort to trim the sector.

    Gabon estimates there are up to 10,000 fraudulent state employees remaining on the books, costing the nation about $50m every year.

    But critics say the public sector is still characterised by nepotism and corruption.

    “It is very difficult to become a civil servant in Gabon – it’s a long process and if you don’t have a relationship through a family member or a parent, you can’t get in,” said Mintsa. “Many other people like me have had their salaries cut for being associated with the political opposition, and the police and army are used to repress dissent. Things in Gabon are getting worse, not better.”

  3. Gabon is known for its bloated civil service – with 70,000 members in the tiny country of just 1.5 million people.

    How many civil servants are there in the tiny island of 290,000 people?

  4. @ David and BU

    Senator Maxine McClean in addressing the UN stated that: “The policies implemented by Barbados since its independence have been predicated on the conviction that our people are our greatest resource. Decades of investment in free health care and free education, have resulted in a high level of human development [that is] recognised internationally. Barbados is working assiduously on a broader national agenda, particularly in the areas of inclusion and empowerment. Barbados will make its best effort to ensure that no person with disabilities is left behind.”
    On the surface I have no problem with the statement, indeed I concur. However, and given the arguments mooted by the Minister of Education and others who want to defend the stance of introducing tuition fees at the UWI while distancing the current DLP from its socialist mooring established by the Right Excellent Errol Barrow, one can only wonder on the contradictions. One message for locals and another message to the international. It is high time these ‘deceitful’ DEMS pack up and leave Bay Street.

  5. @ David

    I DISAGREE with you. Circumstances and events may change; but the philosophy remains grounded and indeed its genesis may be quite aesthetic, metaphysical but it nonetheless while accepting life’s dynamics at the core is sufficiently sturdy to cope with external changes.

  6. Don’t be simple George.

    It is OBVIOUS that any philosophy must be grounded in a period. Deep high-level philosophy may be grounded in extended periods – centuries etc, but EWB’s welfare philisophy of free education, free housing schemes, free school meals could only be relevant for a particular post -slavery period (unless of course you see such a person in centuries too)

    Young people have particular philosophical stances that are guided by their youth, energy and carefree attitudes….and which will change drastically once they grow up. Change does have an impact…

    What you really want to say is that a really solid philosophy is one that can withstand the test of time and circumstances because of its all-encompassing epistemological grounding….. 🙂

  7. @ Vincent Haynes | October 2, 2013 at 4:34 PM |

    The notion of right and wrong is grounded in the social framework called Law. The mores and cultural habits of any people change overtime and the rules that govern the playing field on which these cultural habits are expressed are codified in the list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ called the law backed by ‘vi et armis’ of a sovereign head aka the State.

    Take for example the ‘Ten Commandments’ with which you are quite familiar either in their adherence or in breach. These are a summary or abridged version of the much earlier Code of Hammurabi adopted and modified by a Canaanite tribe to fit their nomadic lifestyle similar to travellers or gypsies of the time.

    Same thing for slavery which was once socially accepted (even by the Church) and legally enforced in Barbados of previous times.

    Is slavery right or wrong? It all depends on “O tempora, o mores!”

  8. “Sir Hilary Beckles to head Caricom Reparations Committee.”

    This man would sell you guys out for a mess of pottage.
    We hope he takes up the position of demanding Britain fund the full cost of education at the UWI for African-Caribbean students up to post graduate level.
    This might help save his crumbling empire on the Hill which he hopes would be renamed in his honour and memory as the Hilary Beckles College of the UWI similar to The Queen’s College or Trinity College at Oxford University.

  9. During the course of the CBC investigation, Lynn Garner, a vice-president with DGM, a private Barbados bank, was also among those tested.

    Garner worked as an executive at several money management firms and banks and as the trust manager for the Royal Bank of Canada in Barbados.

    At first, Garner was adamant that her bank would never get involved with someone like CBC’s undercover businessman.

    “We don’t take clients who aren’t reporting,” she was recorded on hidden cameras saying. “So we don’t — you know, our book is clean.”

    But then she went on to tell the undercover businessman how he could hide cash offshore, by setting up an anonymous paper company, moving the cash offshore and opening an account at her bank to hold the cash. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ex-revenue-canada-lawyer-advised-how-to-hide-money-offshore-1.1875481

  10. How much is the 30,000 or more square feet upstairs Trimart Complex Haggatt Hall costing the Government Stephen Lashley? How much de Carpark at LESC cost and was the $30million the final figure? How much did the Everson Elcock Power Plant supplied by the QEH cost and was the $18 million justified up from $8million? Just asking!

  11. Who are the government minister and officials on the take in Barbados? Perhaps the estimable Prime Minister who could care less would have to moral and ethical courage to ensure the GG places his signature on the ITAL passed by his parliament.

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