The Grenville Phillips Column – The First Domino has Fallen

Grenville Phillips II, leader of Solutions Barbados

The Government has decided that after 3 years of sewage problems in Worthing, the solution was beyond the capabilities of the Barbados Water Authority.  This is not surprising.  The Government has been degrading Engineering posts for some time.

Barbados came to a crossroads over 40 years ago.  We could have continued with our highly professional civil service that others wanted to copy, or we could copy the example of failed states and politicise ours.  Our politicians chose to politicise it.  But it was the degrading of the engineering posts that was most harmful.
The Government started putting non-engineers in engineering posts.  When Engineers complained, our politicians permanently solved this problem by abolishing all engineering posts and creating a new post called Technical Officer.  This is a root cause of Barbados’ poorly designed and high maintenance infrastructure.  Barbados needs to care about the professional development of public sector Engineers, since their work affects us all.  They can demonstrate this care by facilitating their route to Chartership.

The Ministry of public works used to have 6 Chartered Engineers, who ensured the proper design and maintenance of our roads and drainage systems.  Barbados’ water authority used to have 3 Chartered Engineers, who ensured the proper design and maintenance of our water and wastewater systems.  By 2004, there was not a single Chartered Engineer in the entire public service of Barbados.

A modern Barbados needs highly qualified Engineers to ensure that our infrastructure is designed to be as low-maintenance as possible, economically constructed with no defects, and effectively maintained to avoid customer complaints.  Without this professional management, we can expect intolerable infrastructure maintenance problems as a natural result.  This brings us to the sewage problems that have been affecting Worthing for the past 3 years.

The Government had two good options for quickly identifying and proposing a solution to the sewage problems.  They could have invited Engineers, both from within and outside of Barbados to tender for the engineering work, or they could have invited the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers to participate in the problem-solving process.

The Government chose to engage the services of consultants.  However, the final insult was to disqualify all Barbadian Engineers from tendering for the work, and exclusively select foreign consultants to solve a very simple problem.

The Auditor General keeps complaining about the audited accounts not being completed.  These accounts can be completed by any member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados.   How would accountants feel if the Government disqualified all of them from tendering for this work, and then engaged the services of a foreign consultant to displace them?

I am sure that all professions in Barbados would reasonably expect the Government, who is supposed to represent our interests, to include local professionals in the tender for any tax-payer funded work.  The Government should never be handing out no-bid contracts exclusively to foreign consultants in 2017 – we are no longer a colony.

Are the foreign consultants who have unfairly displaced Barbadian Engineers in this no-bid service to blame?  Of course not.  They are simply engaged to perform a service, completely oblivious to the harmful consequences of their engagement.  Persons who care only about their fees and nothing else are called mercenaries.

Since the Government has now embraced this path, then all professionals, especially those not yet targeted, should be very concerned.  If they choose to keep silent now, then when they are inevitably targeted, they will be no one left to speak for them.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

55 comments

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    The shitbomb is spreading in more ways than one.

    Enuff…how is your close friend and bosom buddy Vivek doing?

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington

    An excellent summary of the acts which have brought us to this sorry state. But will we learn anything from them?

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim.

    The Bajan civil service is the employer of last resort. It is a perpetual welfare system with no means to ween the recipients off of the dole.

    If they were all paid to stay home they wouldn’t get in the way of the rest of us actually trying to move our businesses, lives and professions forward.

    Regardless of how we got here, that is the current reality.

    What is written above is an observation, it is not a solution. Typical of a technocrat.

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman at 8:47 AM

    Give Grenville his due, because as often as I am critical of what he writes, he is right in his wheelhouse here and knows whereof he speaks.

    As John Dewey pointed out, “a problem well put is half solved.”

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    A tourist is urging bajans to get up and let their voices be head, the tourist can see your government ministers are weak, incompetent and useless. …and they dont even know the half if it…

    “I would urge all Barbadians who are affected by the ongoing sewage problem to include in their New Year resolutions a promise to email the general manager at http://www.barbadoswaterauthority.com.

    Like

  • Has BAPE issued an official position on the leaking sewage on the South Coast?

    Like

  • Mind boggling, this could occur.

    Like

  • The Bajan civil service is the employer of last resort. It is a perpetual welfare system with no means to ween the recipients off of the dole.(quote)

    The civil service should have the pick of the best graduates every year. There should be an open competition for recruits, at every grade up to principal.
    Until the financial crisis, the Treasury used to be the favourite employer in the UK, followed by the foreign office, BBC and the Financial Times. These were the elite employers who the best graduates wanted to work for..
    Apart from the central bank, it seems as if young people either want to get out of the country or are simply glad to get a job.

    Like

  • “The Auditor General keeps complaining about the audited accounts not being completed. These accounts can be completed by any member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados.”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If an individual meets the minimum qualifying requirements to gain an entry level job in the Civil Service and is employed as a Clerical Officer, he/she is assigned to different departments.

    When I worked in the civil service during the late 1980s, many people with whom I came into contact that were working in the accounts sections of ministries, statutory corporations and departments were called Clerical Officers or Senior Clerk. They did not have any formal training in accounting and learned government accounting procedures “on the job” from other Clerical Officers or Senior Clerks that also learned “on the job” and were in the “system” for a long period of time.

    The Accountant was usually an individual who “came through the ranks,” from Clerical Officer to Senior Clerk and finally being promoted to Accountant.

    When I questioned methods used to record transactions, I was told “This is how I came and found it being done.” I worked with people who could not do a bank reconciliation and prepare a statement or did not know what was a trial balance.

    If the accountant does not prepare financial statements for the financial year, an auditor cannot perform an audit.

    The Audit General reports highlights many incidents of accounting errors, which essentially indicates that they are too many unqualified individuals holding accounting positions in the Civil Service.

    Like

  • Hal Austin December 21, 2017 at 1:21 PM #

    “The civil service should have the pick of the best graduates every year. There should be an open competition for recruits, at every grade up to principal.”

    “Apart from the central bank, it seems as if young people either want to get out of the country or are simply glad to get a job.”

    @ Hal Austin

    I agree with your above comments……… but the Civil Service employs many qualified individuals and over the years many public sector employees have been attending UWI.

    When I was in the service, the salary scale for Clerical Officer was Z33-Z24 and for Senior Clerk and Assistant Accountant was Z23-Z17.

    Image an individual with a BSc in Accounting is employed as an Assistant Accountant…….. and another individual, whose only claim for promotion is their number of years in the service, is promoted to Senior Clerk……both working for the same salary.

    This is one of the reasons why many people I know left the Civil Service to join the private sector or sought employment abroad. However, some were quite contented having a “secure government job and the salary is sure.”

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim.

    You can talk about qualifications as much as you like but the civil service’s biggest problem is lack of work ethics.

    Quite simply, they are none.

    You could be a Barbados Scholar who aspired to civil engineering your entire life but if you are unlucky or ill-advised enough to end up in a gov’t office you will soon be trained to get to work late, take long lunches, leave early and do as little as possible.

    There isn’t even any embarrassment in it. All over this island there are civil servants standing around doing nothing while taxpayers queue and fume helplessly across the counter.

    I was threatened with having my phone taken away recently in a gov’t office for taking pictures of the unemployables standing around doing what they do best – nothing. Unfortunately the threatener backed down or the afternoon could have been more entertainment rather than suffering.

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim. December 21, 2017 at 2:26 PM #

    If people think a job is beneath them, that there is no real future, apart from a monthly salary and a pension at the end of the day, then there will not be any commitment.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    I have to give the government some props for showing grit and balls, actual courage for not allowing trump to bully them…they voted against trump scam resolution to have Jerusalem as thiefing Israel’s capital…despite his threats against the Caribbean.

    The only three Caribbean islands with BALLS Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent…to give trump and his threats the finger.

    Now if the government can now show the same balls they showed trump and do something about their minority criminals on the island……

    Like

  • Hal Austin December 21, 2017 at 2:45 PM #
    Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim. December 21, 2017 at 2:26 PM #
    If people think a job is beneath them, that there is no real future, apart from a monthly salary and a pension at the end of the day, then there will not be any commitment.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    … or contentment!!

    Like

  • Government can’t keep at least one of the three cameras necessary to issue the plastic cards for drivers’ license renewals working.

    A few weeks ago I was with a friend getting a visitor’s driving permit (another scam to irritate visitors with our bureaucracy while milking them for another few dollars from their vacation budget) at the Oistins BRA office. Anyhow while waiting for my friend to complete her business, I overheard a discusson between the security guard at the door and an individual seeking to renew their driver’s license. “You have to go to the office at the Pine,” the guard explained, “our camera machine to print the license cards isn’t working.” I had heard previously that the machine in the northern BRA office had also been down for some time, and would-be patrons of that office had been redirected to the offices at Oistins or The Pine.

    Well that was some useful information for me, as my license was coming up for renewal and I had to attend to it before the end of the year. So bright and early yesterday morning with what was to be an overly optimistic attitude in my heart, off I went to the BRA office in The Pine, all the while congratulating myself that, thanks to a lucky coincidence, I had not wasted a fruitless hour or two by going to the more convenient Oistins office first.

    To my surprise the early morning lineup at The Pine was short and it was only a 10 minute or so wait to get to a cashier. I explained the nature of my business and proffered up my driver’s license to the cashier and was informed of the fee for renewal. It appeared as if it was going to be one of those, “Slam, bam, thank you Mam and the deal is done” type off affairs, all too rare when dealing with a Barbados government office, as within a few minutes she was passing me my receipt and the old license through the window – only then came the statement to reinforce the widely held concept that “efficiency” and “Barbados government” go together like oil and water: “Our camera isn’t working now, so you will have to come back some time in the new year to get a new picture and license card.”

    Like

  • Congratulations to Barbados,Guyana,St Vincent and the Grenadines,Dominica and Grenada for standing up and showing the middle finger to the effing bully Trump and rotten lying Netanyahu who is a Jew by conferment. Bahamas,Jamaica,Trinidad’n Tobago,Antigua,Hispaniola,Canada and Mexico played safe by abstaining.No goddam guts.Trump had for company dirty Netanyahu and Honduras in their 9 against the resolution so far.St Lucia and St Kitts don’t seem to have voted as yet.Of course the U.K. France and most of the EU showed Trump the finger.
    The past 24 hours has shown some positives in this negative place.Staurt got his ass beaten twice in the high courts of Barbados and Trump got his backside paddled 128 times.Gollop and Gale can talkmall they like about appealing.They trying to save face.Appeal all yuh like,wunna ass cut for now and until the next election we will see who and who going have their asses up before the judges…..leper ‘n low first up.Gaul bline wunna az oles.

    Liked by 1 person

  • GreenMonkey December 21, 2017 at 4:06 PM #

    Our national blight is no corruption, but incompetence – and arrogance. It is all around us.

    Like

  • LOL Gabriel china just pulled the string and barbados danced you aint bin gettin that china money for nuttin. You should have abstained but you guys couldnt help yourselves really believing that barbados is some economic powerhouse punching above your weight. Well when trump decides if and when your gonna get a paddling remember its your own fault.

    Like

  • Is the sewage issue an engineering problem or is it a maintenance problem? Were the foreign “consultants’ qualified in their field or not? Which company was awarded the contract to construct the south Coast sewage plant? Should we expect similar issues with the other sewage plants?

    Like

  • Lawson
    Barbados told Trumptown hive off since 1977 when Henry told them move the base from St Lucy and in ’84 Barrow told Reagan he was still a cowboy even if he was called president.We told them eff off in ’01 with shiprider.Ask Lynette Eastmond and David Simmons.We don’t make sport.Barbados don’t depend on any handouts from Uncle Sam.This ain’t Trinidad and Jamaica and Guyana that looking for a market for oil or bauxite and we don’t depend on them for de tourisses eider.Friends of all and satellites of none.That is we motto my man.

    Like

  • LOL learn mandarin it will come in handy

    Like

  • @Gabriel

    Was October 1983 an anomaly?

    Like

  • @ Sargeant wrote ,”Is the sewage issue an engineering problem or is it a maintenance problem?”

    It is a money, management and leadership problem.

    Barbados has the Engineers and workers who can fix the problem.

    Like

  • @Hants

    It is all the above.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    I missed those other three islands but they must be commended, you stand up to bullies and terrorists or regret it…in this case trump US and dirty murderous Isnotrael……

    “Congratulations to Barbados,Guyana,St Vincent and the Grenadines,Dominica and Grenada for standing up and showing the middle finger to the effing bully Trump and rotten lying Netanyahu who is a Jew by conferment.”

    Lawson…you could really hush…ya know yall are yellow belly ciwards already, you might be speaking Russian sooner than you think.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Lawson,,.., YELLOW BELLY COWARDS.

    Like

  • name another nation that does not have the right to name its capital, years of appeasement has led to nothing,the status quo isnt working lets make clermont the new capital of barbados instead of warrens.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Lawson…as I said I admired that the government has the balls to stand up to trump and his terrorist bullying…I also plainly alluded that if they can stand up to trump….they have stood up to the US on several occasions……..they can also stand up to and do something about their minority criminals on the island…

    And it goes wuthout saying that they will naturally beabke to stand up to UK and European bullies as well..

    But yall are still yellow belly cowards for playing it safe and abstaining., nothing can change that.

    Like

  • I understand Lawson covering for the maple leaf.I know Trudeau is between a rock and a hard place.Nafta is a reality.Mexico and Canada playing it safe.When in doubt shut you az and hope for the best.What kind of president would so expose his allies to this kind of stupidness.Only Donald Trump.Well he has Honduras and a few islands in the pacific supporting him.

    Like

  • Yawn… it takes a year for you guys to shut down a restaurant beside a shitpond, thats the mentality were dealing with.
    Your problem is you have trump syndrome…. recognizing Israels capital has been in the cards for years he is the one that had the guts to do it, he means what he says barbados’s card has been marked. This wasnt a vote against trump this was a vote against the US they fund 1/3 of the UN that may change over this . I think your ambassador probably makes more than you contribute to the UN

    Like

  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Hants December 21, 2017 at 6:10 PM
    “It is a money, management and leadership problem.
    Barbados has the Engineers and workers who can fix the problem.”

    It’s NOT a money problem!

    Was there also a money problem when it came to building a monument to Satan according to Bushie?

    What this administration is doing is poisoning slowly with sewage (shite) the only goose left laying the golden egg (forex). Wait until a widespread outbreak of food poisoning occurs and you will see what will happen to the visitors who feed the goose with gold dust.

    The problem with Barbados at this point in its history is that it is saddled with a low(e)-down, low(e) class bunch of incompetent corrupt wild boys in charge of its affairs and who want to bring down the country to the lowest commonest level on par with themselves.

    Barbados needs to get this pack of filthy monkeys of its back before the people are forced into behaving like sewer rats in the game of survival.

    Like

  • The UN vote is one instant of the US reversing the Teddy Roosevelt dictum of “talk softly and carry a big stick”. This vote wasn’t binding and would have been forgotten (as most UN votes concerning the ME are) by everyone before the week is out, instead Trump couldn’t help his big mouth and issued an empty threat. ME countries critical to the “peace process” e.g. Egypt, Jordan voted for the motion and other Muslim countries important to US interest e.g. Turkey also voted for the motion.

    Trump spoke loudly with no stick and in the eyes of many countries is one big bluffer.

    Like

  • Putin is already in Syria.Trump will drive the ME allies into Putin’s sphere of influence.

    Like

  • Jared will solve the ME problem, his father-in-law sez so

    Like

  • Trump is nothing but a mindless instrument of evil forces.
    He is simply bringing the spotlight on Jerusalem – which is set to become the focus of world-changing events shortly.
    The joker is no more aware of what he is doing, than Froon and company were, when they built the monument at the Garrison.
    The consequences for the ME will be just as chaotic as has been events in Barbados post-Froon’s-monument (PFM)

    @ David 12.22 pm
    Did Grenville not do exactly that…?

    Like

  • The UN vote is one instant
    S/B “instance”

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Lawson…shitpond not withstanding … that illegal trump move is already backfiring on the idiot because as with all things, he has no clue what he is doing until after the blowback, then he swears he did not know it would end so..

    Like

  • Let wunnah gloat………..when wunnah want help, see who wunnah would be getting it from. The UN is a useless body anyway!

    Like

  • WW hardly illegal Do you honestly think russia wants in on the middle east ,paying everyone knowing they will never get along, no they would rather agitate. America has gotten smarter quitting throwing good money after bad . The UN is a waste of time cuba venezuela arabia on the human rights panel lol

    Like

  • Grenville’s gripe about the Gov’t’s inability/refusal or downright indifference to the hiring of professionals in certain fields is understandable, however I don’t get agree with his assertion that any Gov’t should include local professionals in the tender for tax payer funded projects. In my opinion he should qualify his statement by including a caveat “provided he/she/they have the relevant experience”. Engineers like Doctors are Specialists in different fields and just as I would reject any GP acting as the principal surgeon on my body, similarly a Structural Engineer who has never been involved in the design, building or operating a tunnel to transport sewage wouldn’t be at the top of my list to complete that type of project
    When one takes into consideration the project is in a built-up area with residents, visitors, commercial properties and retail businesses with a low water table adjacent to the ocean and a swamp.

    Grenville is right about the domino theory, it was only a matter of time if Gov’t made an error in the initial hiring to complete this project.

    Like

  • What would an NCO know about the impact of having engineering professionals involved in a national bidding process?
    Grenville is talking about professionalism – which is more related to ethics than to specific technical details.

    He is not talking about a ‘GP acting as a surgeon’, he is talking about having someone who understands the issues, and who operates with professional ethics, taking a lead role in decision-making when it comes to spending national resources on complex projects.

    Of course he is right.

    Like

  • Richards took to social media last Saturday night after a racial experience by the doormen at

    Red Door Lounge on Saturday, when he was denied entry and immediately after

    three white men wearing shorts were given access,

    left a more than undesirable taste in his mouth.

    Like

  • Well well

    Why are you calling my name? Does the lack of chartership means incompetent?

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Lol….Enuff…ah see ya boy Vivek is a star, exposing FSC and Frank Alleyne if ya please, ah know how tight yall are so I was enquiring about his welfare, you see something wrong with that.

    Lawson…if anyone should know international law and whether the trump scam with Israel is illegal or not…is the UN….what the hell do you know about international law…ya still cant see that the idiot trump will annex Canada and give it to Putin, so carry on smartly…see ya in Barbados wading through the shitpond cause Putin kicked ya out.

    Red Door is a racist, slimy, drug infested nightclub that should be shut down, too many complaints about racism and violent beatings of Black men at the club…….racism on the island must be dismantled completely…

    …. that tiny group of halfassed, hungry, parasitic drug dealing racists are easy to eliminate, they are a bunch of nobodies, wannabe white supremacists, easy to rid the island of them in 2017.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Prodigal…different era, the days of sucking up, kowtowing to and cowering from bullies and terrorists like trump and Israel are over….when it’s over it’s over……when you give them leeway, work with them and support them in every evil they do, they eventually turn on you and destroy you, trump is scum and loyal to no one, israel is even worse…..the 1950s to 2000…..are over…..a brand new decade is not far off.

    Like

  • Here barbados chance, america wants to boot them out of their manhattan digs for the land offer up the hilton as a new home, Now you may have to put up with a bunch of loud mouth entitled people that feel they are the voice of the world, just think of it as having two parliaments.

    Like

  • @ Enuff
    Why are you calling my name? Does the lack of chartership means incompetent?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    You name easy to call….. 🙂

    ….and yes, to a large extent, the lack of chartership suggests incompetence – or at the very least, a lack of professionalism.
    Chartership calls for a certain ethical pride in the profession, such that one is FAR more likely to reject pressure from prime-motivated politicians to go along with shiite decisions.

    Just having a ‘lackie with a degree’ to ‘sign off’ on political scams may meet your legal minimum standards, but chartered professionals don’t usually stand for shiite.
    Were the engineering technocrats who signed off on the South Coast Project chartered?

    Like

  • “I am sure that all professions in Barbados would reasonably expect the Government, who is supposed to represent our interests, to include local professionals in the tender for any tax-payer funded work. The Government should never be handing out no-bid contracts exclusively to foreign consultants in 2017 – we are no longer a colony.” ……………………..

    Grenville…….. where did that conclusion come from???? ….. ya got to be a ‘colony’ to do dem tings??? Your reasoning puzzles me!! Seems we like to throw in words like ‘colony’ to get support on our side………….please stick to educated facts & conclusions in future.

    Like

  • Bushel
    Are you a chartered shiite talker?🤣🤣

    Like

  • LOL @ Enuff
    No
    A chartered shiite whacker..
    🙂

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    The same Grenville who is always talking about pimp-like knighthoods and a barrel of colonial, slave minded bullshit, did he not want to knight Owen…steuppppssss….a long one.

    Like

  • Bushie

    Chartership is more about getting paid. I am surprise that you are grasping on to “albino-centric” validation, when many from amongst them feel chartership is just a money making venture for the professional bodies.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    For ac Yardfowl and all the other equally stupid givernment yardfowls.

    CHealth threat’ to business
    JOHN SEALY/RACHELLE AGARD,

    Added 23 December 2017

    1 0 0 0Google +0Instagram0Print
    sewage-in-worthing-111317
    A motorist creating a splash through the sewage water spouting from a manhole in Worthing yesterday. (FILE)

    Government should resign over its handling of the problems plaguing the South Coast sewerage system, according to a former member of the Cabinet.

    And a community activist wants a leading supermarket in the affected area to close its operations.

    Former minister of transport and works Joseph Tudor, who commissioned the system while he was in office in the early 1990s, described the sewage overflow as a national disgrace.

    “My opinion is that the entire Government should resign; the Prime Minister should resign, and every single member of his Cabinet. It is clear that they do not understand how to prioritise . . . . The tourism industry is [what] we should be focused on,” said Tudor, a former Democratic Labour Party minister but now a member of the Barbados Labour Party, in Hastings.

    Community activist Adrian Donovan, who has been acting as spokesman for residents in Dover and surrounding areas, said he felt the situation was now a health threat to the nearby Massy Supermarket. (JS/RA)”

    Like

  • Grenville, I would like to hear your party’s position on the Cable & Wireless matter to help me decide on which party to support in the next general election.

    Like

  • A motorist creating a splash through the sewage water spouting from a manhole in Worthing yesterday. (FILE)

    Isn’t this a criminal offence?

    Like

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