The Grenville Phillips Column – Do Your Job, Please

Grenville Phillips II, Leader of Solutions Barbados

I have been reading newspapers since I was about 14 years old.  Over the past 40 years I have read one constant complaint in the court pages, the issue of lost files.   I do not know what file storage and retrieval equipment was available to the prosecutor’s office 40 years ago, but how is it possible that in 2018, files can still go missing?

Why can’t the files be stored on a computer, or on an external hard-drive if security is a concern.  Why can’t they be updated as necessary as the case is investigated, and then simply printed when needed by the court.  How can files go missing in 2018?

The real question is: why is the prosecutor’s office so badly managed that files can go missing in 2018.  Even if the police reports are handwritten, and photographs are developed on photographic paper, these documents can easily be scanned into a computer.  If the prosecutor’s office does not have a scanner, then there are cheap scan apps on smartphones that can do an acceptable job.  I do not understand how files can go missing in 2018.  It simply makes no rational sense.

Even if the physical file was misplaced, or removed, the digital copy on the computer, or stored on the Internet, can be accessed, printed and taken to court.  How can any prosecutor stand up in court in 2018, and give the inexcusable excuse that the file is missing?  It takes significantly more effort to actually lose a file, than to store it on a computer and print it when it is needed.  How is this excuse even tolerated in our courts?

Since the obvious problem is one of poor management, the prosecutor’s office needs to implement the international customer-focused management standard, ISO 9001, with dispatch.  The customers of the court may be languishing at HMP Dodds Prison on remand for years, while perhaps the simplest of all court problems remains unsolvable by those responsible for solving crimes.

The implementation of the ISO 9001 quality management standard across all government services, will signal the end of the: lost documents, long time-wasting lines, wasted supplies, unproductivity, inefficiency, and the high cost of doing business with the Government of Barbados.  A Solutions Barbados administration is committed to implementing this customer-focused management system immediately upon taking office, for the benefit of us all.

Clearly, losing files for at least 40 years, when the solution is so easily affordable and within easy reach, with almost no effort required to effectively address this simple matter, has to rank as one of the highest forms of mismanagement imaginable.  Can somebody please do their job?


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

12 thoughts on “The Grenville Phillips Column – Do Your Job, Please

  1. @Grenville

    “Stored on computer” – whats a computer, massa did not use these so we Barbadians do not need these.

    “I’ve been reading newspapers since I was 14” – indoctrinated since 14 by local political propaganda.

    “management” – Perhaps your favourite topic ISO9001 would be of some use here.

    “No rational sense” – Bajan basic life requirement.

    Shall Wily go on showing the authors failing understanding of ISO’s 9001 Quality Assurance implementation philology. Author has an extremely limited point of view as all his articles focus solely on ISO 9001 and he’s proposing “SOLUTION BARBADOS”. Defenetly showing Bajan political qualifications, or more precisely the lack of.

  2. While I acknowledge the merits of ISO 9001, Mr Philips presents it as a panacea for Barbados’ problems…….it is not!

    Anyone who has worked with quality management systems knows it is not supposed to be a solution but rather a guide for good management.

    From his contributions it seems that Mr. Philips has concluded that Barbados suffers from one problem, poor management; this in my opinion is a gross oversimplification.

    I like to think I understand the engineer mind, having many who are close to me; they are solution focused, no nonsense and deadline driven, all qualities Mr. Philips has shown he possesses. Engineers would make excellent permanent secretaries. But as Mr. Philips has stated on many occasions, there are no chartered engineers working for government anymore.

    Instead we have people who have used what I like to call one of the four F’s to get their position (Family, Fraternity, Friend, F$%^).

    Poor management in Barbados’ case is not due to a poor management system but poor managers who are ill-equipped, unsuited, unqualified and who owe their allegiance not to their profession, their country, or their ministry but to their benefactor(s)

    Mr. Philips ISO 9001 is the icing, you have to bake the cake first with the right ingredients. Marzipan icing on a cake that is made with the wrong ingredients will not make it taste better.

  3. The continuous repeating of ISO 9001 as the solution to all of Barbados problem is tuning out/ turning off some of the voting public.

  4. Grenville is dancing around the root cause of disappearing files, not even he is that naive not to know that bribery is the main determining factor in files disappearing…

    , pay a bribe, file disappears, a daily occurrence at the supreme court, before cameras were installed at the vault by the current CJ catching the culprits.

    no amount of ISO can stop that unless you put up cameras to monitor employees, what ISO

    just imagine an employee with a memory stick that does not look like a memory stick, taking a few minutes to download a file and then wipe every trace of that file from the courts database

  5. john2 March 8, 2018 at 9:58 AM #

    When Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto they thought history had come to an end. When Francis Fukuyama wrote his magnum opus of that title, just as the Berlin Wall collapsed, he too thought it was the end of history.
    Solutions Barbados is convinced that it has the solutions to the problems of Barbados. But that too is repeating the history that Lenin and the Bolsheviks proclaimed when they grabbed power in Russia, soon to become the USSR.
    We now know that too was a huge mistake. Solutions Barbados is convinced that ISO 9001 is the blueprint for a civilised society. What it does not say is how it would enforce this solution on the private sector (or individuals) and what would be the penalty for those who refuse this diktat from on high.
    Solutions Barbados badly need other spokespeople than the Great Leader.

  6. We should be mindful that because a person is an excellent scientist they are not necessarily an excellent politician or administrator, as Ben Carson, world famous brain surgeon has discovered:
    Washington (CNN)Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is acknowledging the challenges of his role in the Trump administration, telling The New York Times that being responsible for the agency is a complicated undertaking. are more complexities here than in brain surgery,” he told the Times in an interview last week. “Doing this job is going to be a very intricate process.”

    When Carson was doing his brain surgery the patient could not get up and defy him, could not argue with him, could not refuse to cooperate. During surgery obedience is enforced on the patient.

    Granville too will discover how unruly human beings are. We the people are capable of great good, but we are also capable of great evil, and of everything in between.

    Grenville should be mindful.

    Politics ain’t brain surgery.

    It ain’t engineering either.


  7. Which is one of the reasons military governments invaribly fail, because once you have finished “cracking heads and shooting people” what then?

  8. DR. Simple Simon at 10 :39 AM & 11:03 AM

    I agree with your analysis in these submissions. The world and human beings are a lot more complex and unpredictable than what is here proffered. All the more reason to be apprenticed to an older established party first. At least one learns that the world is a lot more messy than a mathematical construct.

  9. Why is it that every time this gentleman presents a solution to the many ills of Barbados there are those who attack him? The fact that files go missing and certain people evade justice is more important here. This file missing shit has been going on since I was a boy living here, some people are denied justice and some walk free because they can’t find the files. Whether his ISO 9001 can solve the problem or not, its enough that he has made it a campaign issue and has brought an open secret to the fore. Now, for phuck sake, see the Rass hole forest and leave the trees alone.

  10. you missing the forest and the trees though….commonsense works better than ISO…which cannot be applied to everything, not even in management environments, for which ISO was intended.

    there are very few sheeple on BU…when Grenville gets his critique, he should see the flaws in his reasoning and fix them, or be ignored and critiqued.

  11. whiteHill

    Public Sector Reform includes addressing missing files across the WHOLE public sector, and has been part of every political party’s platform for years. Therefore Solutions has not “made it a campaign issue and has brought an open secret to the fore”. Solutions swear ISO9001 is the panacea for everything. Ellis asked him about reforming the POLITICAL SYSTEM, and the man said ISO9001.

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