IMF Gives Green Light to BERT BUT…

The blogmaster must be honest and admit that the reform and structural changes required to transform the Barbados economy and society will have its negative impact. No austerity program can be rolled out without negatively affecting people. Unless one is rabidly partisan or dishonest it is obvious the work rate of the BLP government is much higher than that of the Stuart led government.  The IMF has given the thumbs up to targets met under the BERT plan. We look forward to the plans to encourage investment to fuel growth.

What the blogmaster will not ignore are decisions that expose the government as engaging in more of the same. A comment posted on another blog by SSS sums it up beautifully.

We know the IMF calling the shots. I have no problem with her BERT plan or the fact that restructuring is necessary. I got a serious issue with her laying off people, and hiring her people; ensuring that her father gets a special gift from her in the form of a Knighthood so he can strut his stuff through immigration officials without check because he is no longer to function as an ordinary citizen;how she did not do enough to ensure the layoff process was fair; how she proposing wire tapping and ensuring that another one of her loyals, Dottin, is not too far from her side when she brings it into fruition. I got a serious problem with the transparency she has shown in writing off tax defaulters millions owed. I want her to publish the names because if you forgiving them and they already sleeping better, you should not have a problem publish names of those who benefited under her tax amnesty – Sunshine Sunny Sunshine (SSS)


IMF Staff Concludes Visit to Barbados

February 12, 2019

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. This mission will not result in a Board meeting.
  • Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.
  • All indicative targets for end-December under the EFF have been met.
  • Two key pieces of legislation—the Public Financial Management Act, and the Town and Country Planning Act—were adopted in early 2019.

At the request of the Government of Barbados, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Bert van Selm visited Bridgetown from February 5–8, to discuss implementation of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, supported by the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). A concluding meeting was held with Prime Minister Mottley in Washington D.C on February 11, 2019. To summarize the mission’s findings, Mr. van Selm made the following statement:

 

“Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.

“All indicative targets for end-December under the EFF have been met. The program target for Net International Reserves was met by a wide margin, as was the target for the Central Bank of Barbados’ Net Domestic Assets (NDA). The target for the primary surplus for end-December 2018 was also met by a wide margin.

“Good progress has been made in implementing end-December 2018 structural benchmarks under the EFF. Two key pieces of legislation—the Public Financial Management Act, and the Town and Country Planning Act—were adopted in early 2019.

“Preparation of the budget for FY2019/20 targeting a primary surplus of 6 percent of GDP is well underway. Full year effects of reforms set in motion during the current (2018/19) fiscal year, including the introduction of several new taxes and ongoing streamlining of public sector work force at state-owned enterprises, should help achieve this target. A detailed assessment of the budget will be made when it is finalized.

“Progress being made by the authorities in furthering good-faith discussions with external creditors is welcome. Continuing open dialogue and sharing of information will remain important in concluding an orderly debt restructuring process.

“The team is looking forward to return to Barbados in May to conduct the discussions for the first review under the EFF and would like to thank the authorities and the technical team for their openness and candid discussions.”

IMF Communications Department
MEDIA RELATIONS

PRESS OFFICER: Randa Elnagar

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org

243 comments

  • Yesterday, Saturday November 16, 2019, two companies owned by the Ram Merchandani family, Furniture Limited and Tiny Tots Limited, took the Government to court seeking an urgent application to prevent the Government from taking possession of the building on Bay Street occupied by the Liquidation Centre.
    This property was acquired by Government through the compulsory acquisition process of Parliament, with the notice to acquire having been served on the owners since March this year. This property forms part of the tourism footprint identified by the Mia Mottley Administration for a number of hotel developments, including the new Hyatt.
    While Government now effectively owns the property, the process of compensation has not been completed. However, discussions have been on-going between the Government and the previous owners, with a commitment to pay as soon as agreement has been reached.
    In the meanwhile, the November 4, 2019 deadline to turn over possession of the property to the Government had not been met, but the company wrote Government asking for an extension of occupation until January 2020, which Government rejected, on the grounds that the company had been given more than enough time to complete its relocation.
    On Friday November 15, 2019 the operators of the Liquidation Centre were instructed to immediately vacate the property, and informed that if they failed to, on Monday November 18, 2019 Government would take active possession and remove to storage all items still inside the building.

    In response, the owners sought injunctive relief through the High Court, which dismissed the application on the basis that there was no serious issue to be tried. The company then sought a stay of execution, which the court also rejected.
    This means that barring any further instructions from the court, tomorrow morning, (November 18, 2019) personnel from the Ministry of Housing and Lands, with the assistance of the Royal Barbados Police Force, will take possession of the Liquidation Centre building and begin the process of removing and storing all materials within.(Quote)

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  • LOL….so they get free warehousing and removal of goods by challenging? In many places they would hold an auction on Nov 18, and the funds would go into the Treasury; the goods to the highest bidder who would responsible for their removal within a specific time period.

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  • This property forms part of the tourism footprint identified by the Mia Mottley Administration for a number of hotel developments, including the new Hyatt.
    +++++++++++++++
    Interesting choice of words by the Atty General “Mia Mottley Administration” I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Gov’t Minister refer to the Gov’t as a personal fiefdom of the PM. I know it’s customary for the US to refer to the US Gov’t as e.g “Trump/Obama Administration”, we have come a long way.

    Not a fan of Ms. Ram but what mechanism exists for a meeting of the minds re the value of the property? Does Gov’t get to say “this is our offer take it or leave it”

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  • Who is going to own the freehold of the property? If Hyatt is having it on a lease, how long is the lease for? If they are given/sold the freehold, then the decision should be challenged in court.

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  • @HA
    Hyatt doesn’t buy land. Like Marriott they are “asset light”. They operate. Whomever the development group is will own the land. May be the GoB is a “joint developer”. The key is what did they pay for the land, and how much did they sell the land for. But if we take recent past scenarios, Four Seasons, Cahill WTE, etc etc, Ladbrokes may give you 1000-1 on finding out

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  • @ Northern Observer,

    I am not speculating, someone MUST own the freehold. Who is that individual, institution or corporate? Even if Hyatt has a management agreement, there must be ownership of the physical enterprise, who is that?
    All this should have been public knowledge, since the Town and Country planning application should have been a public record; in fact, any such hearing should have been in public so that neighbours and interested parties could offer an opinion on the proposals. The prime minister is the responsible minister. She has a responsibility to inform the public.
    And, of course, all of it should have been fully reported in our media.

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  • Is it a secret that Vision Development owned by Mark Maloney is the developer?

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  • Under eminent domain does govt have a right to seize property for the sole use for private ownership purpose
    Under the law of emminent domain which gives govt the right to seize or purchase personnel.property there are laws which gives govt special rights such as infrastructure. military. Transportation public parks hospitals govt offices or those projects necessary and determined to be for the safety of state and people and interest
    I am of the opinion that purchasing or seizing personnel property for private ownership investment does not fall under such categories

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  • @ Mariposa

    You are again right. Under the doctrine of compulsory purchase, or emiment domain, it is abuse of process for the state to compulsorily purchase land to then hand it over to private ownership. This seems like oligarchic capitalism of the Russian kind. Compulsory purchase is only legitimate if the land is then used in the wider public interest.
    It is my case that a commercial hotel does not meet this objective. The case should be taken to the CCJ, unless the government can put forward a more powerful justification than just a need to fulfil a narrow government wish for a so-called hotel corridor. That does not meet any of the principles of public interest.
    Let us pretend that it is job creation: has there been an impact analysis? How many jobs? What types of jobs? And how would those jobs benefit ordinary Barbadians? As for tourism, Barbados already has too many hotel beds so how would Hyatt reduce these numbers?
    This is bad politics, bad public policy and, although I am not a lawyer, it seems like bad law.

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  • This is Barbados govt knows that the people are as dumb as nails and would complain for a few days and say not
    If any one is in doubt as to what rights govt have in seizing they can give a read of the following article

    https://www.justice.gov/enrd/history-federal-use-eminent-domain

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  • This govt is becoming more and more like terrorist
    People eyes are closed so govt is doing whatever it dam pleases

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  • Hasn’t this topic been discussed before? It sets an awful precedent. Two landowners cannot reach an agreement so the government steps in, to forcefully, take a side. Mirchandani is correct to challenge. Exactly how the courts could conclude there was ‘no serious basis’ for a challenge, is beyond my understanding. Clearly the courts are biased. Another reason why potential investors need to take stock of the possibilities which exist.

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  • Really how is this possible that a opposition led by Atherley who wants to be one day Guardian of this fair land has mouth closed to this dastardly act of govt ignoring the Constitution and trampling over peoples right
    What a blantant bastardization of the peoples right
    Unbelivable

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  • @ Northern Observer

    Yes. But we can say the same about almost every subject discussed on BU. Do you remember how it finished? Thought not. Also look out for the fabrications, people claiming you have said things you have not on the issue.

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  • This issue was ruled on my the Barbados Courts, are we to blame the government?

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  • The issue is, how can the Court decide, there is NO SERIOUS ISSUE to be heard? The government only comes into play because they were the acquirers, and a politician, Dale Marshall, spoke to the matter.
    When this story broke in March, I fully expected a court challenge. The news it has been declined is beyond belief. It is one thing to hear the case and have a result, another entirely to find “no serious issue to be tried”.

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  • @NO

    Agree with you. Why did Ms. Ram wait until the eleventh hour to seek injunctive relief? Something is not adding up.

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  • When was she told her case had no merit and would not be heard?

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  • We can only go by what is contained in the AG’s statement.

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  • The courts’ job is to enforce (interpret) the law, but the government has abused the process. We badly need public policy lawyers. We need to discuss policy and we need the rule of law.
    There is no legitimate government argument about the creation of jobs, of additional tax revenue, or a wider one of a hotel corridor being in the benefit of the nation.
    This appears to be a straight transfer of ownership from private owner to private owner, using the weapon of compulsory purchase or eminent domain to facilitate a perverse policy. This is one for the CCJ. Local courts appear biased.
    The prime minister, as planning minister, needs to explain this decision to the public. Is there a DLP view?

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  • The DLP has a poor communications apparatus. The president issued a statement that was carried on the news concerning Miss Ram matter, a check of the DLP Facebook page or her Facebook wall, nothing.

    Should the DLP subcontract Jong?

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  • A challenge should be sent out to the opposition to clarify what happened to the liquidation centre aaking questions that go deep into govt actions against property ownership and their legal right under the Constitution

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  • Yes the courts should be blamed as blatant co conspirators ruling in favour with govt demand against the rule of law known as the Constitution

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  • The challenge should come from the Bar Association why the matter was rejected by the Court. What were the points argued and why they failed.

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  • A blatant miscarriage of justice
    Even a blind man on a trotting horse can see

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  • The DLP have nothing to do with this. Forget the %^&* lawyers and their association, which we already known to be a group of eunuchs. Where is the BPSA? At least one of the two parties must be a member of one of the bodies for which the BPSA acts as the umbrella. The precedent is such, they MUST SPEAK. What member will be next to bear the brunt of compulsory acquisition for nebulous reasons. If this was lands from Sagicor’s B’dos Farms or Kensington from GEL for private commercial development, we would hear from BPSA, pronto.

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  • @NO

    The DLP has a power base in the Barbados landscape that can serve to add weight to the lobby. In that context.

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  • I appreciate that. However, whatever comes from DLP statements is seen as partisan. Expected, as most of it is. Ditto for BLP statements.The issue at hand is not a partisan issue. Ultimately, this is an issue between two private companies, where the GoB has stepped in. Hence the BPSA is the appropriate mouth piece. I can accept, if they, like myself, assumed this matter would end up in Court. Now it hasn’t, they need to be VERY LOUD.

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  • Agree with you but change will come with a strong lobby from all stakeholders.

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  • As a matter of fact what influence does the dlp have in making change in Parliament
    The people gave them the boot
    Why is not a called ask of from the opposition in parliament on this issue
    The opposition lead by Atherley can only lead a charge no one else
    The voices on the outside looking in has made plenty in put in the last 24hrs now it is time for the opposition to speak out and show Mottley and her crew what metal they are made of
    The Constitution is the only sword of arms that is legitimate and legally binding to protect the people and upon those grounds Atherley ought to say something in the protection of the peoples rights

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  • Is the issue parliament or why the Barbados Courts theee our the matter.

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  • This legal matter has not entered the political arena
    Therefore it is incumbent that those ministers on the opposite side of govt who vowed to protect country and people take a stance and speak out openly and with clarity about govt actions done to a citizen of this country for those actions are dammning precedent being set by govt

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  • This legal matter has now entered the political arena
    Therefore it is incumbent that those ministers on the opposite side of govt who vowed to protect country and people take a stance and speak out openly and with clarity about govt actions done to a citizen of this country for those actions are dammning precedent being set by govt

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  • Pingback: Miss Ram and Karma Meet | Barbados Underground

  • When I say the President has no time for details, that she has no vision, I am often ridiculed. Below is what she thinks passes as a long-term vkision for Barbados, nonsense about being bilingual, ablle to swim not afraid to take on bujsiness risks.
    Maybe someone should tell her that if bys and girls entering the school system when she was minister of education that entire generation would already be bi-lingual. And what does she mean by blingualism: seaking Mandarin? Or Spanish? Or French? Or Gujerati?
    And when can’t school children be taught to swim now? Why do they have to wait until 2030? As to business, that should have been part of the current government’s programme; what about reforming t he educational system NOW and not wait for the future? And what is she doing now, to make these things happen by 2030?
    It is all smoke and mirrors, waffle, proselytising, hand-waving, evangelical humbug.

    As the Government prepares to unveil its Vision 2020, Prime Minister Mia Mottley revealed a personal vision for a Barbados in the 2030s where all young people are full of confidence, bilingual, able to swim, unafraid to take business risks and are taking part in a sport or the arts.

    And she suggested that if this vision was made possible there would be less feeling of alienation among the youth and less likely to get involved in antisocial behaviour.
    Mottley also suggested that it would result in a lower chance of young people “risking life and limb to do ignorance either on the road or to themselves”, and instead, they would be more confident to “take on the world”.

    Prime Minister Mia Mottley
    “That is the kind of Barbados that we want,” said the Prime Minister . “One that is defined collectively by the kind of young Barbadians we want to build and nurture and foster such that they will speak with purpose and passion… from wherever they are in this nation.”
    But her message fell on the ears of a modest gathering of mostly elderly people at the St Mary’s Church in The City on Wednesday, as she inaugurated a series of monthly Barbados 2019 and Beyond lectures.
    Declaring that it was her mission to help “build the kind of society that has a large middle-class”, Mottley said it was for this reason that her administration was committed to the deconstruction and reconstruction of the educational system, which she wants to “unleash more creative and passionate citizens”.

    “That is why we reintroduced free tertiary education last year even while being in the middle of an [International Monetary Fund] programme,” she said.
    Mottley argued that the current education system was constructed to focus on a minority while “carrying along the rest to be orderly and capable of taking instructions”.
    But the Prime Minister insisted that every child should be given the opportunity to be the best they could be, adding that “deconstructing our educational system has taken far longer than we had hoped for”.
    She said: “Our educational system cannot be about training lawyers and doctors, priests and teachers, but it has to be about unleashing a purposeful, compassionate, passionate, disciplined and creative citizens.
    “We have said that by 2030 every child under the age of 18 must be prepared for the lives that they can live in order to help unleash this country’s greatest potential.”
    Mottley also hinted at an ambivalent position on corporal punishment in schools. She said: “I am not going to tell you that some level of a lash or two is bad because people respond in different ways to different things.

    “What I think we have to be clear about is that corporal punishment in the form of abuse is completely unacceptable, but a lash never hurt anybody with a ruler or a belt.”
    She also pointed to the need for parental education, saying that there were many “children raising children” and they needed guidance, something Mottley said she already mentioned to Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw.
    Describing her vision for the country as a “mission-critical activity that has to be nationwide”, Mottley called on the church, community organizations and other civil society groups to come out of their comfort zones and work closely with Government to help young people who need help.
    She said: “My government has set out some very simple objectives for our period in office in this country.
    “We believe that we can build a better and stronger Barbados but we believe that stronger and better Barbados is the sum total of the actions of our people, and that it is our duty, if the people of this country allow us, over the course of the next decade to lay the foundation that will secure the next 50 years of our nation as an independent country and the way we do it is by unleashing the purpose and passion in our people.” (Quote)

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  • The end of austerity……..

                Governments need to take “urgent” action to improve the medium-term prospects for their economies, the OECD said on Thursday, as it forecast that weak global growth will continue for the next two years. The Paris-based international organisation recommended that advanced economies should kick-start private investment in new energy technologies and digitalisation with “bold public investment”. The OECD said that stimulus efforts, along with greater international co-operation on trade and taxation and more active demand management, could boost the growth performance of the G20 group of major economies by more than 1 per cent over three years.(Quote)
    

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  • Governments need to take “urgent” action to improve the medium-term prospects for their economies, the OECD said on Thursday, as it forecast that weak global growth will continue for the next two years. The Paris-based international organisation recommended that advanced economies should kick-start private investment in new energy technologies and digitalisation with “bold public investment”. The OECD said that stimulus efforts, along with greater international co-operation on trade and taxation and more active demand management, could boost the growth performance of the G20 group of major economies by more than 1 per cent over three years.

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  • @HA
    OECD? Is this the same body which dictates via “black-grey listing” countries which do not comply with THEIR version of how a tax system should work, now talking about “greater international co-operation on trade and taxation”. Or am I confusing organizations?

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  • @northern Observer

    The rich countries club. They make the rules.

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  • Can someone plse help in solving this Barbadian Puzzle? On coming to power in May last year, the Mottley government defaulted on its sovereign debt, sacked hundreds of public sectors workers and instituted a programme of tough austerity.
    The government leading economic adviser is Prof Avinash Persaud so, it can be assumed, that government acted on advice given by the professor, or, which is unlikely, ignored his advice and took its own course.
    I say unlikely since if that were the case the professor would most certainly have resigned or the prime minister would have sacked him for giving bad advice.
    Now the name Avinash Persaud has turned up on a list o UK economists who have signed a letter to a national newspaper caller for more public sector spending as advocated by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
    Now the professor has got to come clean: is he in support of austerity, as practised by the Mottley government, or a massive infrastructure spending programme, as proposed by Jeremy Corbyn.
    Will our dynamic media unearth the truth behind these conflicting positions?

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  • “You have a further restructuring exercise that will take place over the course of the next couple months. We had started the restructuring process last year with a view to reducing the staff complement because the reality is that even when you compare current staff complement to some of the major broadcasting entities overseas, we are still in a situation where the staff complement of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation is significantly higher than any organisation or operation whether similar or even larger. Technology has allowed us to reduce the number employed,” Bradshaw said.(Quote)

    What nonsense. And I thought she was one of few sensible people in the government. CBC does not need fewer staff, they need BETTER staff.

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  • Robyn Rihanna Fenty has surpassed many people’s expectations throughout her career, and she’s got the receipts to prove it. She has been certified by Forbes as the wealthiest female musician in the world.

    Rihanna is reportedly worth $600 million. That’s $30 million more than the Material Girl, Madonna; $150 million more than Celine Dion; and $200 million more than the Queen Bee, Beyoncé. Those numbers are even more impressive considering her career isn’t as long as the three aforementioned women.
    Earlier this year, the Bajan beauty officially launched her luxury fashion label in partnership with French luxury goods company LVMH, becoming the first woman of color to be in the lead position for a LVMH business. She has sold more than 60 million albums and 215 million digital tracks, securing her place as the second-best-selling digital artist of all time.
    Forbes predicts that Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty make-up brand “could swell to more than $200 billion in sales by 2025.” Fenty Beauty, reportedly earned $100 million in sales in just its first few weeks and $570 million last year. Rihanna owns about 15% of its $3 billion worth. Fenty Beauty launched with a bang by releasing 40 shades of foundation, separating itself from the competition and changing the cosmetics industry in the process.
    Last year, Rihanna launched Savage X Fenty, an online-based lingerie company. The line recently received money from Jay-Z and his venture firm, Marcy Venture Partners L.L.C., as well as funding from Avenir Growth Capital. The latest round of financing brought the total amount to $70 million from investors, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    On Sept. 20, Amazon Prime Video will stream the premiere of Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show from New York Fashion Week featuring her new Fall/Winter 2019 lingerie collection. The collection will also also be sold on Amazon.
    In 2012, the superstar founded her own charity organization, the Clara Lionel Foundation, which supports health and education efforts in impoverished communities around the world, which led to Harvard University naming her humanitarian of the year in February 2017(Quote)

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  • Government is planning to increase training and recruit more internal auditors as it introduces a rigorous independent oversight of financial management in the public sector.

    Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn says he hopes the effort will improve operational efficiency and reduce the “salacious” issues frequently flagged by the Auditor General.
    Straughn said while the new Internal Audit Office in the Ministry of Finance would not be fully implemented until September 2021, steps were already being taken to improve Government’s internal operations.
    He was speaking yesterday at the Institute of Internal Auditors Barbados Chapter’s 20th anniversary celebrations and seminar at Radisson Aquatica Resort. (Quote)

    Another example of the creeping hand of government. Internal auditors Internal auditors should be independent o political control, reporting to the auditor general. We must not only avoid cooking the books, but we must be seen not to cook the books.

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