New National Insurance Board Reads More of the Same

The following comments by Northern Observer were extracted from the NIS.Government Paper for Trash blog.

Comment 1
WHO is on the NIS Board? WHO replaces Carrington as head executive?

I rarely agree with T.Inniss, but what claims to Chairmanship or leadership of a body as complex and important as the NIS does Mr. G-E have? Being the BEC rep on the last Board is not a ringing endorsement. This has a very smelly political odour. This is a more important role than most Ministerial appointments. And this AP is showing up in too many significant roles, a little separation is a good thing, especially in Financial related roles.

The last Board was a monumental failure, largely I believe, because of persistent political interference. This new one, at least the reported lead directors, is set up for a similar potential failure.

Comment 2

Old Board

  • Dr. Justin Robinson, Chairman
  • Mr. Wismar Greaves, Deputy Chairman
  • Mr. Martin DaSilva, Member
  • Mr. Ian Gooding-Edghill, representative of the Barbados Employers’ Confederation
  • Mr. Colin Jordan, representative of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association
  • Mr. Victor Felix, Chief Labour Officer (Ag.)
  • Ms. Avonda Carrington, nominee of the Director of Finance and Economic Affairs
  • Ms. Roslyn Smith, General Secretary, National Union of Public Workers
  • Ms. Toni Moore, General Secretary, Barbados Workers’ Union

Sooooo, The former BHT rep Jordan, is now the Minister in Charge
The former BEC rep Gooding-Edehill, (successful BLP candidate in 2018 election) is now Chairman. Persaud replaces Greaves as Deputy, Lawyer Haynes replaces DaSilva as member.and we await the other 6 who are nominees as shown above.

Remind me….is this the Board of Barbados Hotel and Tourism or the NIS?

Shows the PM is clearly NOT SERIOUS about having the NIS as anything but a continued long arm of the MoF. Pure patronage. After 12 long years of NO Annual Reports and this is the best she can do?

Government’s restructure program requires holders of government debt to agree to new terms and brings into sharp focus the critical role of the National Insurance Scheme, and of interest, its investment policy executed under successive governments.

The NIS is the largest holder of government paper and was mandated by the last government to buy what has translated to be ‘high risk’ government paper. The mismanagement of the fund threatens first to disrupt the peace of mind of our senior citizens who have done what was asked of them in the productive years.

A badly managed NIS threatens the social stability of Barbados.

Has the NIS been true to its tagline- its your lifeline?

The blogmaster has posted many NIS related items in the last decade. Sadly, there has not been any improvement in the perception of the BU household regarding how the fund is managed. Such a position is supported by the most recent 15th NIS Actuarial Review of the National Insurance Fund, Published, AND, the inability of NIS Boards to lay up to date audited financials in parliament for over a decade.

Here is the real issue for the blogmaster.

Successive NIS Boards appointed by DLP and BLP governments will continue to influence investment decisions because it is seen as a ‘lender of last resort’. A new approach would have seen the Mia Mottley government implementing measures to ensure the NIS is ring-fenced from political interference.

The blogmaster has to agree with comments that question the composition of the current NIS Board. It is evident there is no cataclysmic shift in the government’s approach.

 

130 comments

  • @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    Your assistance please with my response to William and Hal, thank you

    Like

  • millertheanunnaki

    @Walter Blackman October 5, 2018 12:29 PM
    “Moral right or not, if the NIS is to be rescued and promised benefit levels maintained, then the government must find a way to get that $3.3 billion in a timely manner back into the coffers of the NIS. Government can therefore choose to solve the problem by raising NIS contribution rates, or raising taxes to repay its NIS debt.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Brilliant piece there, Walter!

    A most dystopian future financial picture painted for the BBBs (Bajan Baby Boomers; or to be more flowery in the style of our colleague Bush Tea’s lexicon, “Bajan Brass Bowls”).

    Are you not being a tad overly pessimistic in your support of the actuarial projections of a bleak winter for those enjoying the late summer of their working lives?

    Given the high incidence NCD’s among that same BBB cohort what is the probability attached to the possibility that many of those who were spoilt and spoon-fed from the EWB-made cradle and have grown into government-created dependants could just find a shorter route to their pension graves that is being projected?

    Is a 5 year disability allowance more costly to fund by ‘active’ contributors than a 10 year retirement pension horizon?

    How about pushing the pension entitlement finishing post to 70 (years) and promote the benefits of processed foods to disqualify a significant percentage of the pension runners?

    How about increasing the insurable limits to $10, 000 per month; devaluation or no devaluation?

    BTW, that $3.3 figure seems to be some recurring decimal that never ends just like the Leroy Greenverbs gratuity payment which, like a leprous item, still remains outside the assessable tax net of his well-connected friends in the MoF.

    How can you explain the sale of the shares in the BL&P?

    Pick sense from that. Don’t blame the NIS. Blame the corrupt politicians and their bureaucratic lackeys just there on the ‘Board’ for the free lunches and beers.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Miller at 1 :43 PM

    Your last paragraph sums it up precisely. Poor management and lack of testitudinal fortitude.

    Like

  • millertheanunnaki

    @ T.Inniss October 5, 2018 1:31 PM
    “Agree with DAVID/BU – that we need to quickly and seriously address the area of consumption – especially targeting those non essential consumer items purchases which use up the scarce foreign currency..”

    Is that the purpose for which your last administration implemented the NSRL (what a lovely long name for a simple consumption tax)?

    They should have been more honest with the people instead of tricking them into believing it was imposed to purchase garbage collecting trucks and equipment.

    But what can you expect from a deceitful lying party!
    Tweedle Bee has just easily taken over from Tweedle Dem and ‘round and ‘round you both go with the stupid electorate as piggy in the middle.

    Liked by 1 person

  • We anticipated the NIS cut and it is absolutely a national necessity, given the financial slaughter between 2008 and 2018. The clueless masses wanted it so.

    However, we read this and that how to cope with the cut.

    In my opinion the lawmaker should raise the pension age to 75.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Tron at 2:23PM

    And while you are about why not go the whole hog and raise the pension age to 100.

    Like

  • David October 5, 2018 12:53 PM

    “Thanks for lending your expertise to this matter Walter. Have you heard your professional colleague from Eckler on the matter? She highlighted all the issues we have exhausted in this forum including the lack of audited financials………”

    David,
    I have been following the two recent NIS blogs on BU, and yes, I also read the comments attributed to Ms.Lisa Wade, Principal and consulting actuary at Eckler.

    All of the issues at NIS boil down to a chronic state of poor governance, poor management, inefficient use of inefficient technology, and ignorance and incompetence flowing down from on high.
    Speaking of ignorance flowing down from on high, I was a guest on VOB’s “Tell it like it is” programme one evening around April 2009. A caller mentioned that NIS funds were being targeted to build offices in Warrens for government workers. Government, in turn, was promising to pay a handsome rent. The caller asked for my view on the matter.
    My view was that the NIS needed to keep its funds as far from government, or any government-related project, as possible. I informed the listening public that the actuary had recommended less government-related investment of NIS funds, not more. I knew for sure that all of the talk about handsome rents will eventually lead to the issuing of useless government paper in the long run.

    In the twinkling of an eye, Jepter Ince, Chairman of the NIS at the time, came on the line and blew over the airwaves of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean like a destructive hurricane.
    “You Walter Blackman are unprepared and have come on this program tonight trying to fool and mislead Barbadians. The NIS Fund is going to get a return of 6% or more on its investment in this project.You don’t know what you are talking about”, he bellowed.

    Just to indicate how dangerous (sometimes fatal) it is for a country when people hold important positions, but these people know not that they know not, listen to the actuary’s words on page 4 of the 15th actuarial review:

    “After falling behind on its contributions and rental payments, the Government of Barbados covered some of its arrears by issuing Treasury notes and debentures to the NIF.”

    Do you think that Jepter Ince gives two hoots about the useless government paper that goes into the NIF whilst cash is continuously taken out?

    Have all the nails needed for the NIS coffin been already hammered into place?

    Liked by 2 people

  • Jester Ince was the figure who told Barbadians two years ago that the Barbados Dollar has no value. So Jester made some good point despite the fact that he was Big Sinck´s bloody assistant.

    Like

  • More the reason the former ministers, senators etc should all be locked up for lying to, misleading the people AND stealing from the people, bunch of criminals.

    Mia can’t really believe that anyone is going to trust or believe any of them currently squatting in parliament given their histories..personalities, big stupid egos and their criminal behaviour to the population who pay their salaries..they would all have to be damn mad to believe anyone will listen to any of them ever again..outside of their airhead yardfowls, not after what they have ALL done to the people over the last 40 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Truth will set you Free

    @ Walter
    In the twinkling of an eye, Jepter Ince, Chairman of the NIS at the time, came on the line and blew over the airwaves of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean like a destructive hurricane.
    “You Walter Blackman are unprepared and have come on this program tonight trying to fool and mislead Barbadians. The NIS Fund is going to get a return of 6% or more on its investment in this project.You don’t know what you are talking about”, he bellowed.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Typical DLP and BLP Politicians spin in their efforts to discredit and malign anyone with knowledge and credibility to continue fooling and misleading the local Masses.

    Barbados’ goose is cooked.

    Liked by 2 people

  • @Walter

    What more can any commenter add to your comment whether Bee, Dee or other?

    Like

  • @ Piece

    I have never doubt that we have people who can rescue the country. However if they are to be found or exist in the BLPDLP it is a very closely guarded secret. I know at least one Barbadian, who functioning at a very high level , in a civil service “over and away” controlled a US 10 billion budget fifteen years ago. I know a friend, from the Lodge school, who is an internationally known academic, who lectures in a couple of languages.
    I am certain there is enough talent in all areas right here in Bim, that can get us on the right path. They just don’t belong to Roebuck or George Streets.
    Until true talent and not fluff reaches the top, its on to 2033 with the NIS broke. Ironically that is the year that we are told the IMF will have achieved the targets to save us all.
    Like I said the IMF is known to declare, the operation as successful while the patient is on the way to the cemetery.

    Like

  • Dishonest Bajans

    @ William Skinner
    Until true talent and not fluff reaches the top, its on to 2033 with the NIS broke.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Not a more truer assessment on this BU that summarises the extent of the problems on the island of Barbados.

    There should be a limit of no more than 2 lawyers in Cabinet the other members should be proven professionals in a wide array of fields both locally and abroad.

    I am not meaning proven professionals who are Lecturers at UWI who are experts in theoretical knowledge and good at regurgitating what is in a textbook written by someone else.

    Most Lawyers/Politicians in Barbados have never ran a Legal Practice with 50 staff and a US$10 million budget and they get to run a Ministry in most cases of over a thousand people and collectively over US$$4.5 Billion annually which is obviously a recipe for continuing disaster.

    Would you take any of these lawyers/Politicians to run Amazon or Apple?

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @VC
    Understood and agreed.
    You omitted the option of speaking out like DrW and getting fired.
    Possibly one option given the path the NIS has taken, is a reconstruction of the Board, and the introduction of an AGM.
    Measures to improve accountability, in all aspects of its operation.

    Like

  • I am NOT AN ECONOMIST NEITHER AM I AN ACCOUNTANT, as many of you commentators here, i am a “watcher of people”, so to speak heheheheheh

    Mine therefore is not a science but it requires some art and observation and patience.

    It would therefore seem to me that, SINCE SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS seem incapable of staying way from the “clutch po*ey” of the NIS, that the IMF should have, as a condition of its loan, prescribed what the government can and cannot do with this local piggy bank.

    I mean after all sometimes, even when de fadder warn you not to go back by de house to he daughter or not he going shoot you, you still try a ting out by the pear tree, by the gully, and she mudder, who is familiar with pear tree tracks on the back of legs, tell de fadder, who come and complain for you while you in Youth Fellowship and everybody in de church and de district find out and (sorry de ole man get carried away with that story)

    Anyway, wunna get the imagery of what “not being able to stay way from something because it is good.” by my dirty ole man mind

    It would seem to me, an amateur at these things NIS, that the existing NIS portfolio is junk bonds and investments in useless unrealised and unrealiseable income. Yet it is always being used for shady deals

    De bright son of a neighbour here, albeit that de boy a lil “sugary”, is part of his school’s gifted kids programme. Dat boy actually pun a programme called ***, i going get the link for it, but it is many of the schools here where they learn to invest with a virtual portfolio and things like that

    Why cant a pilot be established where as a preliminary sortie into the real world of finances that such a virtual investment be undertaken by a select team of the NIS in conjunction with someone from the Central Bank of Barbados?

    De ole remember that there was a Cherverning Scholar by the name of Kirk ?? who, 18 years ago, was such a whiz kid and he did so well with his mastery of the Virtual Stock Market that it afforded him a second degree all paid!!

    This is not rocket science and what is needed is people who understand how International Investments for sovereign entities need to be managed

    Like

  • Apart from the silliness that is BERT, what is the BLP government’s economic strategy to rescue the economy? Silence is no excuse.

    Like

  • Tron October 5, 2018 2:54 PM

    “Jester Ince was the figure who told Barbadians two years ago that the Barbados Dollar has no value. So Jester made some good point despite the fact that he was Big Sinck´s bloody assistant.”

    Tron,
    If “Jester Ince” said that “the Barbados Dollar has no value”, he was not making “some good point”, he was telling an outright lie.
    I am aware of the fact that many persons on BU believe that the Barbados Dollar is overvalued. However, just as many, or more, believe that the 2 to 1 exchange rate has served us well in the past, and so we should continue to use it.Not one of them asserted that the Barbados Dollar has no value.
    The real value of the Barbados Dollar lies in the way it snares corrupt politicians. The Barbados Dollar pales in comparison to the US Dollar and other international currencies. The politician who doesn’t want Barbadians to know their business, spends a lot of their working hours establishing international networks, and closing international deals.Ultimate kickbacks are measured in foreign currency and deposited in foreign accounts.
    This was the “international” business model used by errant politicians in the beginning. Somewhere along the way, the rules changed. Using the USA as an example, Barbadian laws, broken by Barbadian politicians, have now become the basis for laying money laundering charges in USA courts. All of the foreign currencies misappropriated from Barbadian taxpayers, and sitting in foreign jurisdictions are now at risk of confiscation. Uneasy now lies the head that knows of millions of stolen dollars lying exposed in foreign accounts!

    The corrupt politician who has to take whatever he/she can get from “local” sources, and then have these Barbadian Dollars deposited into a local bank account or credit union, still feels protected by the system up to this point. No charge, no trial, no jail time foreseen. When things change, these politicians will be on the hook for money laundering. The banks might be the first to bring them to the attention of the authorities. The central bank might be powerless to intervene and save any individual.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Many on BU weep for the pensioners. Not me.

    The pensioners wanted free bus fares and they got free bus fares. Remember the advert in 2013 and how they voted in 2013.

    The greedy pensioners must be reminded that Barbados is still no brothel. So they should not expect to get the invoice for insane voting BEFORE the bus drive. The free fares worked more like a broken marriage. After the Barbadian pensioners opted for 10 years insane fiscal policies, they receive now the fat invoice.

    Lesson to learn: There is no such thing like a free bus drive. There is only a bus drive where you are billed ten years later with 500 % interest.

    Like

  • @Tron

    Of the holders of government bonds how many are pensioners?

    Like

  • @ Walter Blackman October 5, 2018 6:54 PM

    Walter, It is always a pleasure to read your comments. I agree that Barbados needs a stable currency. My only concern is that the nominal value of the Barbados Dollar is above productivity.

    Many tourists tell me that Barbados is too expensive. Around 2000 the prices in Barbados were moderate. Now they are higher than Switzerland, but you do not get any added value for it. It is impossible to attract more tourists since only the top 1%-earners from abroad can afford a holiday in Bim.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ PUDRYR at 6 :16 PM

    Why is it, like slaves, we need some external force /power to do what we should do for our own welfare? We need no IMF to tell us we should not overload a segregated pension fund with GoB Treasury notes, debentures, loans to build GoB buildings under the BOLT system etc

    .NIS executives and directors have gone to International conferences where the experiences of countries that pursued this practice caused problems. So the consequences of such practices is in the living memory of the Institution.
    As i said we have the skills.It is not rocket science. One requires some advanced maths and statistics.But there are computerised packages that do the computations,.Some are black boxes. But as usual if the expert is foreign ,he is better. Local talent is undervalued. Too bad.

    Every economist knows the dangers of excessive quantitative easing and credit creation. Last time it took place BNB was the scape goat. This time around the NIS is the scape goat. These are areas taught in the economics program at UWI.

    So the bottom line:Keep the politicians away from making final decisions which are better left to the technocrats. Do we need to write that into the Constitution? And stop taking advice from persons not qualified to do so.

    Like

  • Every economist knows the dangers of excessive quantitative easing and credit creation. Last time it took place BNB was the scape goat. This time around the NIS is the scape goat. These are areas taught in the economics program at UWI(Quote)

    @Vincent,

    What are the dangers of excessive quantitative easing? If liquidity is the fear, and thus fuelling asset bubbles, that can easily be managed. When was there quantitative easing as a deliberate policy (as against a government simply mismanaging the economy) in Barbados? And what led to the demise of the BNB, apart from an awful miscalculation by Owen Arthur?
    Have you ever heard about a form of government called a democracy?

    Like

  • “.The politician who doesn’t want Barbadians to know their business, spends a lot of their working hours establishing international networks, and closing international deals. Ultimate kickbacks are measured in foreign currency and deposited in foreign accounts..”

    a la Donville du bracelet de cheville..

    Ah heard many ministers from the former administration who believed themselves invincible and untouchable are all deathly afraid of touching those million dollar bloated offshore accounts et chient des briques….as they damn well should…all those accounts should be frozen and the money returned to the people of Barbados.

    If Mia had just one functioning brain cell in her head that is what would have been done au cours des quatres derniers mois..

    ……return the money to the people, but no, she is telling herself she has some right to write off those thefts of millions of dollars, LIKE IF IT IS HER MONEY, but if it was, she would have made sure someone went to prison for stealing from her…so I don’t know what game she is playing….at the expense of the people, who now has a 290 million dollar debt to repay the IMF…tranche by tranche….

    ……that shit could never be fair when all she has to do is ask FBI for help to recover all the stolen money these ministers earned through crime and drag some of the other thieves who ripped off the NIS off the island, freeze their accounts and return the money..

    Like

  • @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    Your assistance please with an item here of useless value for little needed consumption thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  • By the way Jepter Ince qualifications are: BBA in Insurance and Risk Management, and an MBA in Finance. He fits TInniss’ idea of the requirements to chair the NIS Board. What are the the results of his tenure at NIS? One need not be a specialist in an organisation’s core activity to successfully manage its Board. This idea is entrenched in our myopic, outdated way of thinking, and it inhibits our national development. Time for me to take a break from BU, where some contributors are either experts in every sphere or only believe what they write when it does not apply to the person in the mirror. lol.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Enuff at 10:02 AM

    Is certification in a subject area the same as qualifications for a job?
    Earlier in this discussion Simple Simon made the point that a transcript from the Institution granting the diploma is more useful in assessing candidates for a job. We have for years asked for references from persons acquainted with the candidates ability. We also do face to face interviews. Even with all these indicators some misfits still slip through the selection process.
    One also need to ask what is the rating of the diploma- granting institution.
    My remarks have nothing to do with the gentleman under reference in your submission. They maybe too general for some bloggers but need to be considered.

    Like

  • @ Vincent Codrington,

    Still waiting for your answer to when was quantitative easing adopted as economic policy in Barbados?

    Like

  • @Enuff
    One need not be a specialist in an organisation’s core activity to successfully manage its Board. This idea is entrenched in our myopic, outdated way of thinking, and it inhibits our national development.
    ++++++++++++
    I’ve excerpted part of your post but essentially what you are hinting is that paper qualifications mean diddly squat when it comes to fulfilling certain obligations so showboating Harvard, Cornell etc. means that they were there for the beer.

    I do partially agree that one doesn’t have to be a guru in a particular field to successfully manage it but it depends on the field and the supporting cast. Here you have a body where the majority of the decision makers are there due to their positions within certain organisations and not for any skill or expertise that they can assist with the institution’s mandate and unless they can provide particular insight into the direction of the enterprise they may as well be passengers on a vessel on an uncharted journey.

    BTW I notice that the Chair is one of only 3 MPs without the preface Hon. attached to his name, one of the downsides of a 30-0 “redwash” is that some of the boys will be disappointed so there has to be an opening somewhere but one would think that a Cornell alumnus would surely have made the grade to one of the more prominent Cabinet positions.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    The main function of the chair is to guide the discussion,hear all views, and arrive at a consensus. He needs not be technically qualified in the subject but he needs to be perceptive and wise. The technical competence has to come from Management and Staff who prepare the Board papers.

    Like

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