The George Brathwaite Column – Anti-corruption Mix and Fix

The worst disease in the world today is corruption. And there is a cure: transparency” – (Bono).

Over the last two years, this writer has consistently made the point that sound public administration must embrace the ideals and mechanisms that facilitate good administrative and business practices. In recent years, increased allegations of corruption and maladministration were levelled against the Barbados Government and agencies functioning under its purview. Surely, the last Barbados government would have attracted a ‘fair share’ of the accusations although claims of corruption have always lingered in the shadows of preceding administrations. It is without making any hypocritical twists, that Barbadians must ponder on the information being pedalled into popular discourse.

Prior to the last general elections, Barbadians were often critical of the Freundel Stuart-led administration’s silence on important issues. People were uneasy with non-forthcoming information, and the way contracts were entered upon while taxpayers’ monies were spent or wasted during times of belt-tightening by local workers and households. Amidst rumours and speculation of corruption, it became self-evident that the then administration was more willing to operate in silence than shower the media and the governed with information. Who would dare forget the refusal by Stuart’s administration to disclose critical aspects of the mysterious Cahill Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?

The Nation Newspaper’s editorial of 18 August 2015 iterated the popular sentiment that it was “hard to fathom the deafening silence of Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and the Government as a whole. It is as if they have determined that they will outlast objectors with their silence.” Withholding information from the public is a political tactic, but it does not encourage transparency. It is not conducive to reducing the risk of corruption. Indeed, lack of information or resorting to misinformation is indicative that things are not in reality what they are being made out to be. For example, a ludicrous statement made by Freundel Stuart in April 2017 asserted that Barbados remained “socially balanced, economically viable, environmentally sound” and is characterised by “good and transparent government.” That declaration was laughable given what was being hidden in plain sight – the shattered economy, society, and government.

It is inconceivable that going into the third decade of the 21st century, any responsible government would function stealthily when Barbados is already gripped in an age of openness. Naturally, the Government may try to control the flow of information; however, populations are demanding greater transparency and accountability. It is in this context that accurate and timely information can be the impetus for obtaining appreciative standards of good governance. Freedom of Information, Integrity in Public Life, and other legislative fixes inclusive of addressing procurement practices must be on the table. One anticipates that the Mottley-led administration will implement best practices, especially because Barbadians are vocal in their need to have corrected, the several wrongs that made daily living much harder during the final years of the last administration.

From the day to day running of government departments and statutory bodies, to the procurement of contractual services, Barbadians largely believed (and still do) that the provision of public services has been undermined by the corrupt practices of bribery and nepotism. The Auditor General identified gross discrepancies and the non-reporting of substantial sums of money. Also, and not for the first time, it was recommended that “audit issues, once presented, should be addressed in a timely manner, to ensure that such issues do not recur in subsequent years.” Generally, rumours suggested negligence or at worst, persons had a hand or two in the country’s cookie jar. Additionally, whisperings of injurious transactions costing the treasury millions appeared unrecoverable. Large sums remained untraceable without recourse to a forensic audit. Inside disclosures coupled with non-lodged leakages such as those emerging from the last Public Accounts Committee (PAC) all indicated the necessity for enhanced transparency and accountability. Barbadians were mesmerised that no public officer accepted responsibility nor was anyone sitting in ‘Dodds’ because of any misdeed.

Simple mistake, negligence, or mischiefs of the past reveal the urgency for which there must be the creation and implementation of new preventive and enforcement institutions. Anti-corruption measures inclusive of legislation, must be characterised by definitive strategies to scrutinise, prevent, expose, and prosecute those public officers involved in corruption. Barbadians are today pleading for a creature, formed with the requisite teeth, to safeguard the treasury. To put it differently, after the formal and informal reports of shenanigans through the Auditor General and the PAC, Barbadians are adamant about the need for a robust anti-corruption mix and fix, possessing the requisite teeth to safeguard the treasury.

All does not appear lost. The tenor and actions of the current Attorney General are encouraging. AG Marshall has succinctly stated that under the new administration, the authorities in carrying the fight against corruption in public office will “tear back the wall, tear back the vaults and look at the paperwork and see what was going wrong. It will take courage.” Certainly, this writer is pleased that the new administration is inclined to tear back the wall of secrecy while raising public awareness of the existence and deleterious consequences of corruption.

Surely, lingering ignorance in Barbados on corruption can easily empower the corrupt to become even more corruptible. It is to be noted that there is still the challenge of overcoming a deeply embedded culture of ‘harmless’ bribery and favour-granting niceties. Political Scientist Cynthia Barrow-Giles alluded to this phenomenon a few month ago in an article indicating that “acts of corruption perpetuated by ordinary citizens are equally mind boggling as the awarding of contracts and the many major political scandals that we read about.” Yet, in public glare, “bribery is just one form of corrupt behaviour perpetuated by ordinary citizens which is too often considered harmless.” Barrow-Giles concluded that “in one form or another most citizens can engage in ambivalent complicity in corruption.”

It is the previously concealed information about corruption and the malevolent practices that were not above board. The Attorney General has been forthright and relatively transparent in communicating prospects for implanting anti-corruption modes of operation in the rebuilding of Barbados’ reputation – economic and societal. AG Marshall insists that he intends “to strain every sinew … to the point of breaking,” while engaging “every agency of the Crown, either in Barbados or outside of Barbados … to bring the perpetrators of that dishonest activity to heel.” Chasing down corruption is necessary if the Barbados brand is to overcome the detriments and blacklisting that can occur, particularly with recent events that are

Barbados must be firm in its stance and resolute in its conviction for exposing the misdeeds of the past while formulating mechanisms that will help to prevent daily wastage, nepotism, and corruption. Therefore, the anti-corruption framework that is being shaped by the BLP, appears conducive to responding to the needs and expectations of citizens and residents in their capacities of individuals, interest groups and the society in general. Sharing accurate information, implementing whistle-blower legislation, and finding the best anti-corruption mix and fix can be effective for public administration and good governance in Barbados.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant and former lecturer in Political Science. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com).

49 comments

  • Good appraisal of the countries past and present ethical modus operante, however no definitive actions given to correct same. Typical Barbadian, TALK ABOUT IT AND IT’S DONE. You need to come up with a definitive detailed action plan for dealing with PAST transgression, present transgression and set the standard for all future operations. Implement severe financial and personal penalties to forcefully engrsin the new operating procedures into everyone from politician to Joe blow citizen.

    MORAL FIBRE OF THE COUNTRY IS IN NEED OF A SIGNIFICANT UPGRADE.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dentistry Whisperer (M. Pharm. D) LinkedIN

    Scared to talk about Inch Marlow and Mr. Bradshaw of St. Michael’s Row. Dirty linen. Before your time when Calle Mottley, Harry Thomas and Fred Parris. (Fred ???) … Son of Captain Parris (B’dos police band). cs33ca. (Haynes Darlington).                                               Bajan Queen (Canada)

    Like

  • Pity you quoted the blue-tinted twat Bonio, as he and his unwashed chum ‘Sir’ Bob Geldof are political whores of the worst kind, always ready with the plans to spend everyone else’s money for their own virtue-signalling self-aggrandisement, while keeping their own wallets full.

    Like

  • this article is a waste of time. there is nothing new here.

    Like

  • ” Barbados must be firm in its stance and resolute in its conviction for exposing the misdeeds of the past……………….”

    How far back are we going , Dr. Brathwaite ?

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington

    Why is it some think that transparency reduces corruption.?
    And what do we mean by transparency ?
    Is transparency public relations?
    Is it overloading the public with information most of which is irrelevant to the concerns of citizens ?
    How much of this information is misinformation? All tending to mislead and distract the public while corruption has a free path to flourish?

    Corruption can only be dealt with frontally….not like bashment.

    In days of yore ,the accounting officers of each ministry responded to the concerns of the Auditor General.
    In days of yore the rules, governing the award of contracts, were followed to the letter.

    There was lack of transparency ( currently now defined) but the Financial rules were followed and appointments were made by the appropriate bodies. Even if the appointee had party affiliations he performed his duties.
    All that is now being attempted is window dressing. And the Public is not amused.

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  • when the AG “wished him well” in reference to former minister Inniss and his US troubles, during his press briefing, that says it all. I can’t imagine myself “wishing well” a man that the police just charged with breaking into my house. All smoke and mirrors. No doubt our tax dollars through our embassy etc. are being used to defend Inniss, certainly none is being spent trying to prosecute him at home.

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  • Donville Inniss’case is coming up?

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  • Rightly famed as one of the world’s leading intellectuals, Dentistry Whisperer (M. Pharm. D) LinkedIN takes time out of his busy schedule to impart this gem of wisdom to members of the BU Family on August 21, 2018 at 7:28 a.m.

    “Scared to talk about Inch Marlow and Mr. Bradshaw of St. Michael’s Row. Dirty linen. Before your time when Calle Mottley, Harry Thomas and Fred Parris. (Fred ???) … Son of Captain Parris (B’dos police band). cs33ca. (Haynes Darlington).                                               Bajan Queen (Canada)”.

    Excellent. Just excellent.

    Like

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    @ David August 21, 2018 11:23 AM

    Donville Inniss’case is coming up?

    Hmmm exactly how quickly the wheel of justice can turn/spin. I wonder if any of our court official had any US justice system experiences, that name escapes me at the moment. lol

    I guess if only we can get our vehicle out P or N we might just get to our destination. Then again do we really want to get there?

    Like

  • If you go in front of a judge dont you have a case?

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  • @William Skinner August 21, 2018 9:36 AM “How far back are we going , Dr. Brathwaite ?”

    Nobody has asked me, but I suggest that we go as far back as 1627. Barbados was born in the iniquity of slavery. And Barbados is not anywhere near recovery yet.

    As long as there is money in it, people are still willing to exploit others.

    Like

  • A typical Caribbean opera with big words but without any substance. There is already too much legislation for a tiny, poor island in the Caribbean.

    We have already total transparency in Bim. Everybody knows that the system is 100 % corrupt, that lawyers are some kind of pest and that COW, Bizzy and Baloney are the true owners of the plantation called Bim. Even if there was transparency legislation it won´t be enforced. Remember, this is a non-developing country without rule of law.

    If you don´t believe me, just read how the local lawyers, QCs and men of the lodges aimed at Tron for raising doubts about the COP and DPP. I was told that under legal regime you need a formal “complaint” to do anything.

    You can be 100 % sure that there won´t be any trial against Inniss now, then and forever on Bimshire soil.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @BA August 21, 2018 10:56 AM “No doubt our tax dollars through our embassy etc. are being used to defend Inniss, certainly none is being spent trying to prosecute him at home.”

    NONE of our tax dollars should be spent defending Inniss. Although “yes” the consular official in New York should visit him (and all Bajans arrested) from time to time in order to ensure that his right/their rights under the U.S Constitution are being protected. The consular official can also provide him with a list of competent American attorneys, just as the U.S. Embassy in Barbados provides a list of competent Barbadian attorneys for U.S. citizens who are arrested or who otherwise need legal assistance while in Barbados: https://bb.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/attorneys/in Barbados

    But as for our tax dollars.

    NONE.

    Not one cent.

    We have to stop being a cuh dear economy…while the real-real taxpayers scrunt.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Dentistry Whisperer (M. Pharm. D) LinkedIN August 21, 2018 7:28 AM “…Fred Parris. (Fred ???)…Son of Captain Parris (B’dos police band).”

    Things did not work out too well for poor Fred:
    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/50344/cop-upbeat
    POLICE are close to making a breakthrough in the murder of Fred Parris, the 90-year-old man who was knifed at Brighton Beach, St Michael, last month. Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin told the SUNDAY SUN that investigators had made “significant progress” in that murder that took place four weeks ago. Family sources said that Parris, the brother of deceased Lady Husbands, was stabbed 29 times. Parris’ body was found about 5:30 a.m. lying in a small track leading to the popular beach. He was dressed in a short bathing pants and shirt. (Nation, January 10, 2011)

    Like

  • Talking Loud Saying Nothing

    Major news coming out from Malaysia. Beware of the foreign hand that feeds you today, as they may eat you tomorrow.

    ” ‘We Cannot Afford This’: Malaysia Pushes Back Against China’s Vision
    A country that once courted Chinese investment now fears becoming overly indebted for big projects that are neither viable nor necessary — except to China. ”

    Liked by 1 person

  • Anderson Worrell

    BA wonders on August 21, 2018 at 12:35 in de pee emm. Preach it BA!

    “If you go in front of a judge dont you have a case?

    Excellent. Just excellent

    Like

  • @sirFuzzy

    Thursday will be his date with destiny? Arraignment and entering a plea.

    Like

  • Another bunch of pure bred, inbred demons like what MoneyB was talking about., the earth is infested with these savage animals.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/windrush-government-deportations-british-citizens-uk-caribbean-home-office-rudd-javid-a8501076.html

    “More than 160 Windrush citizens could have been wrongfully deported from the UK or detained, Home Office figures have revealed.

    Home Secretary Sajid Javid released the figure in a letter to the chair of the home affairs select committee, Yvette Cooper, in which he also vowed to apologise to the families of 18 people “most likely to have suffered detriment because their right to be in the UK was not recognised”.

    Amnesty International criticised the decision to only apologise to 18 of the individuals involved, saying it was “worrying” and cast doubt on the government’s willingness to learn from the scandal.

    Labour said the apology was “nowhere near good enough” and condemned the government for not having a clearer idea about the number of Windrush citizens affected.”

    Like

  • Trying to talk a friend of mine into going into the District Court…lol

    Like

  • “the Programme for the Modernisation of Customs, Excise and VAT Areas in Barbados; the Barbados Competitiveness Programme and an IDB corporate procurement contract.”

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/188086/idb-bans-american-company

    Like

  • TheophiliusGazerts

    @TLSN
    This morning there was a different story about a second claiming that Chinese help/investments were more helpful to the Chinese than the country itself.

    Like

  • TheophiliusGazerts

    @Tron
    “We have already total transparency in Bim. Everybody knows that the system is 100 % corrupt, that lawyers are some kind of pest and that COW, Bizzy and Baloney are the true owners of the plantation called Bim.”

    Beautiful…

    Like

  • ” An American company involved in Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) projects in Barbados has been slapped with a four year ban by the financier.”

    Like

  • Mueller is the man..

    “President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Tuesday was found guilty of eight criminal counts, including five counts of tax fraud.

    Manafort was also found guilty of two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to file foreign bank account reports.

    In a note to U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis, the jurors said they had not reached a consensus on the 10 remaining counts in the bank fraud and tax crimes trial. Ellis, in turn, declared a mistrial on those 10 counts.

    The Alexandria, Virginia criminal trial was the first borne of charges lodged by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Manafort, 69, faces another federal trial in September in Washington, D.C., which also stems from the Russia probe.

    At the end of the 16-day trial, the jury’s verdict arrived at nearly the same moment that Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to tax fraud and making an excessive campaign contribution.”

    Like

  • Talking Loud Saying Nothing

    @ TheophiliusGazerts August 21, 2018 5:25 PM,

    I’m afraid that GEORGE BRATHWAITE’S COLUMN is hopelessly out of touch. It reads like an out of date academic article. One that would lose you marks if you were to cite it as it as a reference in your dissertation.

    I had told you boys sometime ago to look out for developments in Malaysia. A country which shares a history of corruption similar to Barbados. Malaysia had their general election eight weeks before Barbados. The Malaysian electorate took revenge on the the previous incumbent party and booted them out of power. Within one week of a new government being elected the previous Prime minister was arrested for fraud.

    Now the Malaysia government is questioning the role of China in Malaysia’s economic development recognising that they – the Chinese – actively supported the previous corrupt regime. MIa needs to address this relationship that we have with China. China is buying her way into the Caribbean and will consume the region by stealth. Is it not the job of our politicians and our journalists to explain to the Barbados public the end game of this one-sided relationship that we share with China.

    Liked by 1 person

  • TLSN,

    Perhaps she hired Charlie Jong to investigate the Chinese? it is all making sense now

    Like

  • The Fixer would take a bullet but not prison time, ah wonder if his dumb supporters are willing to do the time that is coming up, lol.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-news-michael-cohen-arrested-20180608-story.html#nt=oft-Single%20Chain~Flex%20Feature~center-chain~trumprally-145a~~2~no-art~curated~curatedpage

    Like

  • When crooks don’t love each other anymore..lol

    “Michael Cohen’s lawyer has said his client will refuse any pardon from Donald Trump, branding the US president a “criminal”.

    Lanny Davis, who was hired by Mr Cohen last month, told National Public Radio Mr Trump’s former attorney would “never” accept a pardon from “a man that he considers to be a corrupt and a dangerous person”.

    Like

  • So…which former ministers of DLP will be flying to NYC to lend Donville some moral support at the District Court tomorrow. .lol

    Like

  • Bushie has to agree with Talking Loud… @ 6.20 pm yesterday.

    Where is the high level analysis…?

    One would have thought than now the BLP is in power and facing such an uphill battle to save the Titanic, talents like George would be consumed with meetings, strategising and ACTIONS to stem the water coming into the lower decks….

    Hard to believe that George has time to write petty shiite…
    Unless of course the BLP hierarchy has come to certain conclusions about the usefulness of that doctorate….

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bernard Codrington

    WARU at 8 :45 AM

    I volunteer Well Well. I will pay her airfare.

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  • Bernard…ya should pay airfare for all of the exministers, save the US taxpayer’s some money in case they have no choice but to extradite, if it reaches to that..

    Mia has to watch her back from attempts to destabilize and compromise her government, all the pretty talk will not change the fact that she got enemies within and outside her government…and should use the powers available to her, within reason….to send a memorable message to all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  • George Brathwaite watch what people are talking about on social media about AG the watch keeper. Of integrity legislation

    Like

  • It was just a matter of time before all of that got worldwide exposure….the CCJ already knew, hence no Bajan judge can make it to CCJ yet, until that corruption, bribery, thefts from the elderly, lowlifes like Carrongton thiefer of the house robbing BIDC, robbing his own client a senior citizen in a wheeler, overcharging companies for legal work…all while being a government ministers…until all that thiefing from old black women to sell or give away or to give work to Cow and his repulsive ilk ends, they will all continue to be on the world stage…no one will trust them…hell, I don’t trust any of them, wouod not let any of them hold a piece of toilet paper belonging to me…

    Ya made ya beds, now get comfortable.

    Like

  • Correct WW&C
    The whole legal mess in Barbados is like a camel awaiting that last straw…
    When that straw is uploaded, the camel’s back will be broken and the whole load of jobby exposed for the world to see…

    If and when ANY of these big shot lawyers are investigated by REAL law enforcement officers (not jokers who need to wait to be invited) the interconnected jobby will interact with a big big fan….

    Exposing…
    People who have been robbing and stealing with gay abandon…
    People who have been using client funds as private piggy banks and mortgage funds…
    People who have been robbing old folks of land and other property almost as if it was their RIGHT..
    people who have been hiding up criminal activity for their lodge brothers by frustrating the court system
    people who have hijacked the political system to rob our treasury

    Carrington was a small bit player in the game….
    Wunna don’t know what “cat piss and pepper” is … until THAT straw is thrown onto the camel…

    Like

  • Waru,

    ore mi, there you go again, off the rails once more. corruption in Bim has nothing on the level of malfeasance i have seen in the islands that the CCJ justices come from.

    Like

  • Greene…check out the qualifications of the CCJ judges, then check out their reputations, not one insurance company CEO/criminal/minority criminal can say they bribed any of them, ya know why…because CCJ does due diligence background checks just for that.

    It seems like you are the clueless one, I know exactly what I am speaking about, when ya find a lawyer/judge that has not been compromised in one way or another in Barbados…give the CCJ a shout.

    Like

  • Bushman…leave them, they all got it covered, like Dumbville did.

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  • @WARU August 22, 2018 8:46 AM “So…which former ministers of DLP will be flying to NYC to lend Donville some moral support at the District Court tomorrow. .lol”

    Good idea.

    If he had been my cabinet colleague, i would certainly go to offer him support, but I have never been his colleague, nor his constituent, and I have no money to fly to New York, and no U.S. visa either.

    Like

  • Simple Simon.
    ,

    Do Americans need visas to visit Barbados?

    Like

  • Simple…Donville is so screwed..lol

    Some bajans plan to turn up though so he should see a friendly face or two in Brooklyn..

    Liked by 1 person

  • Donville needs to hire you as his counsel. surely only you get get him off

    Liked by 1 person

  • Now why would I want to do that, I think Donville has done more than enough damage on the island and for the majority population’s sake, he is much better off where he is for some years.

    Like

  • Greene…dont expect any sympathy from me if the former ministers and all their bribers/accomplices/conspirators, particularly the criminal minded insurance executives and private sector business people get hauled off the island for various crimes, they are criminals and will only be getting what they deserved and worked hard to accomplish for decades. …I won’t lose 5 seconds of sleep over any of them, my time is too precious…

    Like

  • It appears to be the Nicholas Mackie led Courtesy Garage that shadowed the government officials in Europe to source garbage trucks.

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  • It appears from all reports Donville is singing. Implied is that he is guilty of something?

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  • @David

    There was a minor Earth tremor recently, are we looking at major seismic activity in the political world?

    Like

  • @Sargeant

    The tea leaves seem to be about to tell a story to those with ears to hear. As occurred post 911, Barbados will never be the same.

    Like

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