Afra Raymond Gets CLICO Data – A Case of FOI Working?

The incumbent Barbados DLP government promised to introduce Freedom of Information ( FOI) in 2008, it is 2018 and clearly this will be an undeliverable ten years later.

The CLICO debacle which has affected several Caribbean countries continues to reverberate. The catastrophic event has changed (should) how pan-Caribbean companies are managed. Are we satisfied that learnings gleaned in the post-CLICO collapse are being documented and changes made to processes and regulations to mitigate against a recurrence?

David, Blogmaster

LAST week, nearly six years after he first requested the data under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Ministry of Finance sent Afra Raymond a compact disc with information on all individuals and institutions who received payments from the State for their investments in CLICO, the insurance company that collapsed in January 2009. The matter went to the Court of Appeal before the parties agreed on an out-of-court settlement with the ministry agreeing to most of Raymond’s demands.

For Raymond, an Express Business columnist, property expert and transparency campaigner, it has been a long but ultimately rewarding road, which began with the May 8, 2012 filing with the ministry. As to cost, he will receive 70 per cent of the cost of the litigation in the High Court.

He answers questions on the issue below:

Read full text HERE

14 thoughts on “Afra Raymond Gets CLICO Data – A Case of FOI Working?

  1. @ David BU

    Have you taken note of the praise heaped upon the GOB approach to the CLICO collapse? It is all about perspective,isn’t it?

    • @Bernard

      Yes, but his view was in a context:

      This bailout was done via the Central Bank and the CL Financial parent company which formally came under State control by virtue of the June 21, 2009 Shareholders’ Agreement. The State then created new laws to further inoculate the Central Bank from the oversight of the Courts via judicial review and so on. What is more, our Integrity Commission also seems to have lost its way in failing to recognise that CL Financial is a company under State control. As a result, the Commission has sought no Directors’ declarations from the largest of the State controlled companies. I tell you.

      Contrast T&T with the Bajan approach to the related 2009 collapse of CLICO in Barbados – The High Court there appointed Deloitte as Judicial Manager in April 2011 and a far more transparent process is taking place – see for an example of how we could have done it better.

  2. Afra Raymond is quite right

    People like Parris should have been arrested and in jail, while waiting for evidence of his crimes.

    The Thompsons as well, even if it required a disinterment.

    Barbados has always failed to send the same messages to the well off and protected elites that is sent every day to the poor and vulnerable.

  3. @ David at 7 : 56 PM

    I am in agreement with your position; hence my surprise that Raymond thought Barbados’ approach was superior.

  4. “We need a Regional Financial Regulator as the late Norman Girvan proposed in the wake of this fiasco…most importantly, the key players must be arrested and face the courts on serious charges…The State locks up ‘suspects’ in various lockdowns to then go look for the evidence and pay damages, after! All that is to send a message, we are watching you, we know who you are.

    The question is why won’t the State take the same firm action against the financial criminals? Until we see the State being very serious with white collar criminals, as is now happening in so many other countries, we are going to have more of this ‘Corbeaux Capitalism.’”

    Afra thought the Barbados approach more transparent, meaning less secrets, harder to cover up such a big theft in such a tiny island, there were more Clico thieves in Trinadad, more asses to cover, did one not migrate to Barbados to hide from authorities in Bermuda I think it was, no one knew she was on the island until she tried to sell a house..

    ..the only two main players who are accused of stealing many millions from Clico Barbados are Leroy the Leper and David Thompson…more TRANSPARENCY and big difference compared to the probably more than 100 trini crooks involved in Clico thefts….

    ..the Thompson estate should be seized and since Leroy Leper has not yet croaked, arrest him and the government ministers who are protecting him from theft charges.

    And Afra is correct, many involved should go to prison for theft, their carrion bird brand of capitalism and have all their stolen properties and accounts seized.

  5. @David

    “How could we have done it better”

    Reaction after the collapse is only a result, the real problem was corrupt mismanagement of the industry prior to the collapse. Barbados in particular had all the appropriate legislation and instilled powers enshrined, however corruption allowed the situation to escalate to collapse. I agree that several CLICO executives fans associates should be in jail along with a significant number of GOB ministers, administrators fans SOE executives. Failure to enforce the existing laws resulted in the CLICO collapse and still prevails in the CLICO resolutions.

    The new insurance company and disposition of CLICO assets is set-up for ultimate failure in the short term.

    • @Wily

      Curious why we have not heard a stink concerning the sending of leave of deputy Supervisor of insurance Brathwaite.

  6. Not only Ms Brathwaite but the COP Dottin.Brathwaite filed a court action against Clico and the COP was moving in on Clico and its 2 top crooks when Brathwaite and Dottin were removed from Authority.I am hopeful that it’s a case that ‘you haven’t heard the last of this Clico story yet’.Clico got big people in their hip pocket hence the secrecy.

    • Didn’t the Prime Minister promise to share the names on a Clico list while he was on his feet in our parliament a while ago?

  7. @David

    “Curious why we have not heard a stink concerning the sending of leave of deputy Supervisor of insurance Brathwaite.”

    Who is going to raise a stink other than maybe Dottin and Brathwaite. Mess with the top level of the corruption Empire in Barbados and you’ll be sent packing. As Tron has pointed out on numerous occasions the Barbados Justice system is CORRUPTION at its best.

    It’s well past time to CLEAN HOUSE, however many of us feel it’s now TOO LATE.

    • The official excuse is that the Supervisor of Insurance Office has been legislated out of existence with the establishment of the FSC.

  8. When a job post has been elimated to create a new one, whether it’s for downsizing, restructuring or whatever, purposes the employee is severed and given a package, severance package, that post cannot be given to anyone else, nor is the person ever sent on permanent leave with fullbpay for the last 8 years.., that sounds like hush money, at taxpayers expense no less,

    ….so what am I missing here…

    The lady is still available and on psyroll to testify in any criminal or civil trial against Leroy Leper, CLICO and all the thieves involved…….. if the DPP will do her job.

  9. Silence is GOLDEN, getting paid for its just icing on the cake. Makes no difference if it’s the BRIBER or BRIBEE, both equally guilty, however in Barbados no one is ever guilty or justice is ever served. Barbados has a rule for everything, enforcement of nothing.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.