Afra Raymond Analyzes Sandals MOU

Disclaimer, do not read this blog if you are a navel gazer. Congratulations to Afra and his team for forcing this matter – David, blogmaster

29th November 2018 was the first hearing of my Judicial Review of the refusal of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to provide a copy of the Tobago Sandals Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which I had requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) since 27th February 2018. At that hearing, the OPM agreed to provide the MoU and pay my costs, so my lawsuit was withdrawn.

This Tobago Sandals MoU was signed on 10th October 2017 and should have been disclosed long ago, without any necessity for legal action on my part. The PM and Minister Stuart Young repeatedly told the public that these details could not be published as that would undermine these important negotiations and so on and so forth.

Nine months of delays and obfuscation verging on an abuse of process, but that is just my opinion, as the OPM was advised by eminent Senior Counsel, Deborah Peake.

When the MoU was released at a press conference the evening before, Minister Stuart Young was emphatic that the decision to publish had nothing to do with me or my litigation. One has to wonder at the quality of advice being taken by the Cabinet.

We had to endure expensive time-wasting and elaborate waffle, dripping with disdain, about ‘sophisticated investors‘ and ‘how government business really runs‘. Well this is a good time to examine the actual Tobago Sandals MoU and see how sophisticated investors really work and learn how government business really runs. This is a serious teaching moment.

There were many positive features in the MoU (embedded below) in favour of Sandals. In fact, the MoU is so protective of Sandals’ interests that one can scarcely imagine how on earth we the public will ever profit from this immense investment. This article details my concerns on the decisive provisions of the MoU.

Read Afra’s full analysishttps://afraraymond.net/2018/12/05/property-matters-tobago-sandals-mou/

43 comments

  • Dentistry Whisperer (M. Pharm. D) LinkedIN

    To Blog master David – denial to respond to the already devalued $BDS maybe a vulnerable strategic tactic. There are other equally effective tools at one’s click to show your political underwear. You have been warned. Well known and highly respective contacts, can put you into tail spin without enough height to correct a stall. See attachment.RegardsHaynes Darlington.  

    Like

  • All Caribbean governments seem to make the same mistakes, they are very weak negotiators and always seem to forget that their negotiations with these contracts should equally benefit the whole population just as much as they bend over backwards to give away everything to the business people who only offer mostly mediocre jobs and low paying starvation wages in return….along with nasty attitudes and mistreatment of the local populi…

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  • Congratulations are due to you Afra Raymond for your persistence in the face of this faceless beast called government which renown for its ability to hide and obscurate anything that seeks to expose their shennanigans.

    Well done

    Like

  • Barbados Underground Whistleblower

    @ WARU

    You are misguided to think that mainly Caribbean Politicians sell out their people for corrupted wealth.

    This is a world wide phenomena and speaks to human greed, POWER, deception and lack of empathy for the masses.

    This is the glue that bind Politicians GLOBALLY.

    Like

  • Maybe a copy of the Barbados Sandals MOU which was dusted off and handed to the govt of T&T.

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  • Now what????

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  • Whistle Blower…if we keep focusing on what happens globally and don’t clean up the shit in the small island states…since we already know that the shitheads for ministers/politicians/lawyers love to MIMIC and PARROT every lowlife thing the criminal leaders in the larger countries DO AND SAY…because they are so bankrupt and bereft of everything from original ideas to original thought…. it will not help Caribbean people because small island states like Barbados and others HAVE NO CUSHION…unlike the as*holes in the big countries they mimic and parrot..

    So maybe it’s time to look inward to stat cleansing and stop justifying the crimes these jokers commit against their own people by continually saying it happens everywhere, that only gives them the strength they need to continue.

    Like

  • Barbados Underground Whistleblower

    As George Porgie says who is the WE that’s going to clean up.

    Barbados Corrupt Police, Immigration, Customs, Bankers, Politicians, Indian Community, White Community, Criminal Deportees and many “legal’ business men and women on the island from top to bottom.

    Who is the WE I repeat going clean up with corruption and COLLUSION rampant.

    This is the real world not the daily shite talk.

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  • As we know..the WE may very well be outside agencies…do they not have DONVILLE ALREADY…???

    …yall memories are WAY too short…I keep saying over and over…no large country is going to have Barbados on their international welfare rolls for financial AID…a population of over 265,000 vulnerable people… when the island sinks further and FURTHER into POVERTY…BECAUSE OF CORRUPT MINISTERS AND LAWYERS…in the Mia Borrows government ….who love to TIEF and take BRIBES…and COLLUDE with tiefing minorities to rip off the treasury and pension fund.

    …..ah cannot say this ENUFF…but ah see ah will have to keep repeating it for the next 4 years 5 months anyway….because of the short memories syndrome.

    ….name me just ONE country which will tolerate that..just one…be it US, UK or Canada…..or whomever.

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  • A perfect EXAMPLE of how the corruption and bribery are perpetated against taxpayers and pensioners by ministers/lawyers and the SCUM in the business community..

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2018/12/05/meddling-ministers/

    “This issue was raised in the report with reference to an example where Preconco entered into an agreement to build 76 high-rise housing units at The Grotto, Beckles Road, St Michael at a cost of $18 million but on October 9, 2012, submitted a revised proposal for the construction of 80 units for a total of $27.8 million.”

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  • And just to add insult to the INJURY and BLATANT DISRESPECT this government keeps showing the majority population who elected them,,,,..Mia takes the crook from the CLICO scam Leslie Haynes and put him on the NIS Pension Fund board to rip off vulnerable people who pay into the NIS fund ..even more..it will NOT end well….it CANNOT end well..

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2018/12/05/nis-rush/

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  • Who is the WE I repeat going clean up with corruption and COLLUSION rampant.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The ONLY boy who showed ANY gumption or balls to do that job was Caswell…
    But he would have needed to BUP……

    Like

  • And I say it again – now what?????

    Mow we know, what do we do?

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  • Now we know

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  • Wily has a SERIOUS QUESTION, where is Barbados’s Afra Raymond ?

    Where is Barbados MOU with Sandals ?

    As usual Wily has many questions and KNOWS he will not recieve any definitive and truthful answers, welcome to the CORRUPT FAILED STATE.

    What serious competent government takes six plus years attempting and FAILING to resolve a simple sewage issue!

    Questions, questions and more questions, NEVER ANY TRUTHFUL ANSWERS.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Now we know what do we do?”

    We continue to EXPOSE IT ALL..at all times ……from the moment we ease up they will have NO PROBLEM..REVERTING to corruption and ripping off the taxpayers and pensioners with the help of their parasitic masters the Cows and Bizzys and whichever lowlife will help them rob their OWN people

    …..don’t expect any changes any time soon, they have been criminal thieves for DECADES……that is all they KNOW…they will CONTINUE to look for any AND EVERY opening available to them to commit their crimes against the people and violate their human rights…all in an effort to ENRICH THEMSELVES..and the minority crooks who own them..

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  • @Wily

    What serious competent government takes six plus years attempting and FAILING to resolve a simple sewage issue!(Quote)

    One that is narcissistic, self-obsessed, has an inflated impression of its own abilities and intelligence and one that is not prepared to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I was willing to give Mia space to see if her pretence at being intelligent is genuine…so far she has FAILED…let’s hope she REVERSES her current direction post haste…because if as she is indicating her intelligence is a sham and smoke scene……she CANNOT see what is ahead.

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  • @Hal A
    i see in one of the news articles….”Acting Director of the National Insurance Office, Jennifer Hunte”
    the name rang a bell…..she is a director at ICBL, the same entity involved with payments to Donville Innis. This from ICBL

    “Mrs. Jennifer Hunte is the acting Deputy Director of the National Insurance Department. She began her career in the private sector in Banking and Audit. In 1992, she entered the Civil Service where she has held the posts of Co-operatives Officer – Co-operatives Department, Chief Accountant – Ministry of Finance, and Financial Controller – National Insurance Department. She has also acted as the Director of the National Insurance Department.

    Mrs. Hunte is a member of the Human Resources Committee and Chairperson of the Audit, Compliance and Corporate Risk Management Committee. Mrs. Hunte holds a BSc. Accounting from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Canada (FCIS) and a recipient of the Certified General Accountants Fellowship Award (FCGA). She has completed the Directors’ Education and Accreditation Program and has been awarded the designation Acc. Dir. Accredited Director. She has served on the Boards of Public Companies in which the National Insurance Board has an investment interest. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados and of the Certified General Accountants Association of the Caribbean.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Northern Observer,

    This says it all, a former ICBL executive – and a qualified accountant – being appointed acting director of the NIS. Pray tell me, what has an accountant got to do with running an insurance company, apart from keeping the books? What we urgently need is an up-to-data e audit of the NIS and a clear investment programme. In fact, we need a new long-term saving policy, which is not even on this government’s to do list.
    Our key institutions have failed. Barbados is a failed state.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @HA
    my reading is she is a long time civil servant….since 1992, in both the MoF and the NIS….she is a director at ICBL, not an executive.
    That said, interesting that for a body (NIS) which has FAILED to produce public audited financial statement for 13 years, the leadership roles are falling to the internal accounting heads. There has to be a monumental lack of personnel depth within the organization.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal at 11: 58 AM

    Mrs. Hunte as far as I am aware was never an executive at ICBL. She was /is a board member. That post is non-executive.
    The modern qualified accountants learn and do more than book keeping. The electives are very wide and do include many courses in finance. The NIS is a financial institution.

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  • @Northern Observer,

    A director is an executive. But that is unimportant. The real issue is that the person in charge should have the technical skills and training to run an insurance company. To my mind, neither her experience at ICBL, nor her accountancy qualifications, qualify her to be acting director of the national insurance scheme. We need someone with actuarial skills. Insurance is not book-keeping.

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  • @Vincent,

    A non-executive is not an executive. Which is a non-exec or was? Which committees does she sit on? Back to the point, a few electives on a course do not make her an actuary.
    We need open competition for all our public sector executive positions. An accountant is not an actuary and a few lectures on the responsibilities of an actuary does not make her one. It is one reason why our key institutions fail.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ NO at 12 :05 PM

    I share your concerns about the failure of the NIB to produce externally audited Financial Statements.
    The reasons for the failure to do so I do not know. I know that the management accounts that are mandatory for monthly BOD meetings were always prepared and presented under her leadership.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal at 12 :14 PM

    The requirement for CEO of the NIS or any other pension and insurance institution is not Actuarial Science. I believe that Insurance and Pension Institutions do have on their staff actuaries or access the inputs from actuarial firms.

    Like

  • @Vincent,

    Her new position is not as management accountant; she is acting director.

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  • @Vincent,

    It is strange that ten years after the global financial crisis the lessons that should have been earnt have been forgotten. The basic lesson was having CEOs of financial institutions, banks and insurance companies, who did not understand the investment vehicles they were offering to the public.
    Not a single financial director of any of the failed global financial institutions had a CFA qualification; mot had MBAs, many from Harvard, and most specialised in marketing. It was an in joke in my office.
    As director, when the actuarial report hits your desk, you should be in a position to interrogate those figures and assumptions. If you cannot, you will be duped. The director reports to the board and, along with the chairman, to the minister. The minister in charge is a lawyer by training. A fish rots from the top.
    Is the NIS part of the overall BERT masterplan?

    Like

  • Barbados Underground Whistleblower

    Some people come on BU daily many times over and regurgitate the same raw sewage REPEATABLY as if to think the more they repeat the more important they seem to become.

    Major corruption in B and DLP have been going on for at least 50 years and Donville Inniss is the only one snared in the nest.

    The US Embassy has been in Barbados for many years and have intelligence on the ground over all the years and knows all the corrupt major players yet one arrest.

    Donville has been charged for more than 6 months only because he was in Miami.

    Idiots who talk shite sometimes need to take a step back. There is epidemic corruption in the USA among Politicians across the country many have long careers evading the law while engaging in criminal enterprises.

    Not excusing the criminals locally posing as lawyers but the island is too far gone to recover.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal at 12:29 PM

    I do know that the CFA is a recent certification body. Financial Institutions were around long before there was a AMIR/CFA. The level at which CFA programme is set is equivalent to a first degree. An MBA specializing in finance exceeds the requirements of the CFA.

    Like

  • Barbados Underground Whistleblower

    President of the Prison Officers Association Trevor Browne has been formally charged with inciting mutiny at HMP Dodds.

    He will appear at the St Matthias Magistrate’s Court this morning.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc

    I then read a comment from Caswell Franklyn which now appears to be removed by Barbados Today saying that two of the Prison officers who made statements to the Police in this matter one has a criminal charge against him and the other prison officer is married to a former prisoner where she works during the time of incarceration.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2018/12/06/update-president-of-the-prison-officers-association-to-appear-in-court/

    Barbados is a failed island way too rife with dishonesty, corruption and sleaze.

    Like

  • @Vincent,

    I am not sure if you are indulging in the BU custom of talking rubbish or not. But as a self-identified financial analyst I like to take you seriously. The CFA is a post-war qualification and yes, financial institutions have been around before that. What is the point you are making?
    Sometimes you talk such rubbish I think you must have been drinking. I am talking about the appropriate qualifications for a position. And the director of the institution – the band master, if you like – does not have to be a keen instrumentalist, but s/he must keep the harmony going.
    You show your ignorance by saying that an MBA surpasses the CFA diploma for financial specialists: discuss. What saddens me is that there are thousands of people in Barbados who will go along with this financial illiteracy.
    I remember a young man from Barbados in Britain to study for an MBA; he came to see me at the FT and asked my advice, I suggested he should do the CFA and abandon the MBA. I have not heard from him since. I am sure he reads BU.
    In the real financial world (that outside Barbados) the CFA qualification is the superior qualification for finance. There is a CFA society, talk to the members – especially those who have done an MBA.

    Like

  • Caswell should know better than to post that to Barbadostoday….he won’t hear at all or he just doesn’t know, either way, Caswell be careful.

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  • The Browne story did not begin today.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2018/10/12/supersession/

    Reasons…

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  • Oh oh! Have I got the wrong Trevor Browne? Apparently there are two of them.

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  • This is the same Trevor Browne. Straight up guy with a big mouth.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2016/11/03/ag-rattled/

    And pray tell, how do the prison officers get their matters addressed??????

    Like

  • Tried to post this video some time back, what Stewart did to Antiguans was beyond criminal…

    Stewart and Sandals are a threat to Caribbean people..he is too vicious, arrogant, uppity and greedy..

    ..Caribbean governments should STOP THE RELIANCE ON THESE TYPES OF GREEDY HOTELIERS.

    Will never forget how he thought he could shove his nasty mouth in what he thinks bajans should get in welfare help in their own county from their own tax dollars…as though he is suddenly the ruler of Barbados, while he is exploiting bajan workers, has 40 years of concessions because of corrupt government ministers and got the nerve to think he is some slave master in the Caribbean…….he is dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Not excusing the criminals locally posing as lawyers but the island is too far gone to recover.”

    Whistleblower…that comment is the rubbish you are speaking about…and patently FALSE..

    There were countries much bigger than Barbados and the corruption got cleaned up…coming on the blog every day repeating that falsehood will not make it true.

    Like

  • Still very much applies today..

    Like

  • A real eye opener by Jacob “killer” Miller…pity the nuisances can’t get to watch the video and listen to the rhythm.

    Like

  • Sandals MOU: A Road-Map to Economic Ruin

    By Vanus James December 10, 2018

    People have been asking me two questions about the Sandals MOU, released on November 28, 2018 by the government, thanks to the efforts of Valuator, Afra Raymond. His legal action for Freedom of Information, forced the government to disclose its contents hours before the San Fernando, High Court hearing that also ordered the GOTT to pay costs.

    Does this MOU reflect the best deal the country could have negotiated with other international brands? Is it reasonable for Tobago to expect high profit and sustainable growth from the investment? In other words, could Tobago get a better trade-off for piping its gas to Trinidad to sustain its gas-based industrialisation process?

    Let us look at the claims promised by the Sandals project in the MOU. Adding 820 rooms with a Sandals brand will create a flagship tourism product and improve the tourism profile, increase airlift, and bring important benefits to the economy. The plant itself is intended to create 1750 good direct jobs, and feature an occupancy rate of 80%, to generate spin-off employment and demand for other domestic industries, and to cause sustainable high economic growth.

    Was Sandals the best deal possible for Tobago? The first thing that strikes an unbiased reader of the MOU is that the Sandals management was not procured in a manner that allowed the government to secure a better deal from other international brands.

    The government did not invite open bids for private international partners to implement its development intent. Sandals was picked out of the proverbial thin air. Jamaica, the origin of the Sandals brand, also relies on other international brands like Iberostar, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Wyndham, and so on. None of these were able to participate in a bid round. In Jamaica, many of them bring in private foreign capital. In the deal documented in the MOU, Sandals brings in no foreign exchange to be invested. Government is the only investor. An open bid might have resulted in other international brands proposing to put their own capital at risk, and so bring in foreign exchange as part of the investment process. Without an open bid, one cannot be confident that this was the best deal for Tobago. This is the potential cost of sole-sourcing enabled by poor governance.

    Will the Sandals-managed plant generate high profits and catalyse long-term sustainable growth for Tobago? The growth generated will be sustainable if it is part of a process that continually raises the productivity of the investment undertaken. For this to happen, the growth rate achieved must exceed the rate of interest on the invested funds. Given the current cost of funds, the investment must be part of a pool that stimulates growth of at least 5% annually.

    There are two mechanisms by which any investment will catalyse long-term sustainable growth. One is by raising the productivity of labour in Tobago and increasing profits and savings. However, the MOU provides no hint that Sandals will be motivated by pressures to run the plant profitably. In fact, the idea of profit and profit-sharing does not appear anywhere in the MOU. Government will do all the investment in plant and pay Sandals a management fee to brand and run it, claiming the surplus for itself. Sandals’ profit motive is bound up in the management fees it will obtain, not in a share of the surplus it could generate after meeting management costs. There is no basis for Tobagonians to be confident that Sandals will stimulate high productivity growth, profits and savings.

    The second mechanism for sustainable high long-run growth is creation of demand for the output of other industries in Tobago or Trinidad – food and beverages, education and skills, healthcare, transport.

    There are two sets of issues here. First, the existing Tobago agriculture and agro-processing sector have no significant capacity to compete with imports to supply the wide-ranging Sandals demand for food and other inputs. Second, the lesson of the rest of the Caribbean where Sandals-operated plants abound, is that growth has been persistently low. Indeed, the Sandalised economies are among the worst growth performers in the region. Jamaica, where the brand was invented, barely managed 0.7% real growth in 2017, not far from its long-term trend over the last three decades. Real output declined by 0.2% in Barbados in 2017 and is expected to grow at 0.8% in 2018 through 2020. In the Bahamas, where Sandals has a major footprint, real output grew at 1.4% in 2017 and is trending down. Similarly, St Lucia achieved 1.6% real growth in 2017, also trending downwards. Over the years all of these Sandalised economies have failed to achieve the 5% annual growth needed to generate good jobs and slow brain drain.

    The reason for this poor growth performance is the type of tourism produced – primary tourism at the low end of the value-chain. They all rely mainly on sea, sun and sand plus imported inputs. This primary tourism is the promise of the Sandals MOU. So there is no basis for expecting Tobago to buck the low growth trend.

    The Sandals tourism project can only generate and sustain high growth if it is part of a different type of tourism – an industrialised tourism – that is not evident in the documents accompanying the MOU, including the national Vision 2030.

    In the region, the closest model is in Grenada, which produced real growth of 2.5% in 2017. Grenada has diversified the reasons for people to visit the country – moving up the value-chain to visits for tertiary medical education. This is similar to Australia where US$28 billion of tertiary education annually is the third largest export of the economy. Industrialised tourism has long been practiced in North America and Europe, with customers coming to the country for extended periods to purchase high-quality tertiary education, tertiary healthcare, creative music and entertainment, creative fashions and related shopping experiences. Then, their relatives and well-wishers also come to visit them and enjoy the related pleasures.

    This industrialisation of tourism is not evident even in Jamaica where reggae has become an international treasure. Reggae-events have not been organically integrated into the tourism experience, although the Tourism Minister recently spoke of diversifying into music tourism.

    Unfortunately, there is no Tobago tourism industrialisation plan associated with the Sandals MOU. So, the best Tobagonians could expect is low growth performance similar to that in the other Caribbean islands that have Sandalised their tourism. By itself, Sandals is not a good trade-off for Tobago’s gas. We could do better than that.

    Like

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