The Grenville Phillips Column – South Coast Sewage Solution
It has been reported that the sewage problem in Worthing is beyond the technical capabilities of the Barbados Water Authority. The evidence suggests that that may be so. However, it is not beyond the technical capability of Barbados. The reason why the problem is allowed to exist is essentially a management problem, and therein lies the solution.
Seeking outside assistance is the responsible thing to do, but only after properly managing the local expertise on this matter. The problem is not a lack of technical knowledge. But rather, the management of this knowledge. Let me explain.
The Auditor General regularly complains about the poor management of statutory corporations, especially in their continual failure to provide audited accounts. Can members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados complete the accounts? Of course they can. The main problem is that Barbados’ resources are being poorly managed. Is the solution to deem all local accountants not sufficiently competent and invite accounting companies from the US and China to perform the audits? Of course not.
The Caribbean Court of Justice regularly complains about the poor management of Barbados’ court system. Can members of the Bar Association and management consultants improve the system? Of course they can. But our national resources are being very poorly managed. How would members of the local Bar Association feel if the Government invited lawyers from the US and China to displace them, and show them how it should be done?
The sewage in the streets of Worthing is evidence enough of bad management. Can Environmental Engineers in the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers solve this problem? Of course they can, but our national resources are being very poorly managed. The management of our public services is so far beyond redemption that not even raw sewage regularly flowing along the streets of Worthing, for over one year, can get them to improve.
In order to provide quick relief, we offered to train all Board members and Chief Executive Officers of our statutory corporations in the customer-focused ISO 9001 quality management system. We promised them that after 2 hours of free training, they would have both the knowledge and confidence to implement the system in their organisation the following day.
Their sacrifice of 2 hours being trained was to provide almost immediate relief to their frustrated employees and the long-suffering public. To their utter shame, not one board member or CEO attended. Therefore, relief from sub-standard public services must be tolerated a bit more until a Solutions Barbados administration.