2018 Auditor General Report – A Tale of the Same Woes

The blogmaster feels an infinity for the Auditor General of Barbados. For many years we have regurgitated a similar message, the need for transparency to how we do business. Some ask what has Barbados Underground blog been able to achieve in its 12 years of existence? The blogmaster responds by saying what has the Auditor General been able to achieve in the decades of that office existence?

The blogmaster is motivated by doing what any civic minded citizen should be minded to do. If the result is that it makes a difference then he will smile, wider. The smile will always be there because a civic minded son or daughter of the soil will always smile when they commit unconditionally to“the cause that lacks assistance, the wrong that needs resistance, for the future in the distance, and the good that we can do”is realised.

Here is the 2018 Auditor General report for those who missed it., The message is the same as it was last year and the many years before. Here is what we also know, it mattered not that the Barbados Labour Party or the Democratic Labour Party were in office. It mattered not that Barbadians are considered a well educated people.

In the 2018 report the Auditor General rapped this new government on the knuckles about the lack of transparency surrounding the restructuring exercise. There is a note about unauthorized spending by the Barbados Police Force. The Central Bank of Barbados and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) were fingered for being behind in the preparation of audited financial statements. Congratulations to the Enterprise Growth Fund, Financial Services Commission, Grantley Adams International Airport and FAir Trading Commission for doing their jobs by declaring current audited financial statements.

Screenshot 2019-07-02 at 04.40.11

190 thoughts on “2018 Auditor General Report – A Tale of the Same Woes

  1. Have a great day Barbados

    It’s the 4th of July.

    One reason I like the USA is that despite the numerous problems that we have, there is the underlying belief that we will overcome them. Sometimes we go backward instead of forward, but I know that we will discover the error of our ways, correct them, recover lost ground, and move the baton closer to the finish line. God Bless, you America.

    God Bless, You Barbados. Have a great day Barbados.

  2. @Ogazerts

    That comment is based on what I like to refer to as “book smart vs street smart” not to mention a few holes in his argument.

    To say rates are low so invest, one may have noticed the fact that they were no suggestions made as to what to invest in, wonder why? So let’s help the gentleman.

    Real estate is off around 30 percent both in terms of sale price and rental income. To make things worst a 61% increase in Land tax on some did little to help the risk to return ratio. So let us cross that off the list.

    Government paper has slaughtered its owners turning many that could of been comfortable retirees into part time workers till the grave. So cross that one off too.

    I know insurance investments! Wait many loss money in Clico so confidence ain t strong there. Cross that off too then.

    I got it a small business! Now which of the many half empty and struggling malls should I open my shoe shop in? Cross that off the list too then.

    So we have established the conditions for investment are not there as we are in a recession with threats of further taxation looming, which could include the move to an Increase in vat to 20%. Lord the environment for investment piss poor so cross the shoe shop off the list too.

    Alright this is my last straw I going buy stock in the stock market and be the Bajan Warren Buffett! Wait hold on some days I hear that only trading like 400 shares at $4 so if I but who I going to sell to when I ready? Alas another X there too.

    Now should I take comfort in the fact the bossman say we got $1.2B in reserves? Wait we ain t pay a foreign creditor a cent for 13 months so if I deduct what owed how much I left with? No I going run and put my two cents on the bank!

    Oh hell I just forget that is where they was at the begging of my post so who idea it was again to make me take dem up?

    Street smart vs book smart. Theoretical finance based on fund availability and low interest without taking into account environment and potential for a decent ROI.


    Political statement made to instill confidence which when dissected is not worthy of reading.

  3. @ John A at 7:37 AM

    John A,
    How come Moody’s gave an upgrade and you give so many down grades? You seemed to have on the ground and Underground information. Most likely you did a fundamental analysis. Piece O Legend soon going to ban you.

  4. @Vincent.

    Moody looking out for the foreign people money and I looking out for mine! Lol

    Although if the bossman can identify a sector that showing growth in real terms and has not be caught up in the recession I ready to listen. 😁

  5. @ Vincent,

    Is this the same Moody’s that gave the SPVs triple A ratings in 2007/8, even as the whole shebang was collapsing?

  6. I was looking at the stock market but when I see some days only 4 hundred shares was trading at $4 I say even if I did make 10 percent after a year thay would be $160. But then I would have to subtract fees, the 4 bus fares at $3.50 each to get town plus lunch money, so I didn’t bother.

    You like a lot of foolish talk. Lol

  7. @ Hal.

    Now why you had to go and bring that up for! Them people book smart not like we humble plebs that only street smart and could add and subtract little bit .

  8. I think we should have a military parade on Nov 30 and the nation should salute the president.

  9. @ Hal at 9 : 39 AM

    Yes. You have the right group. No need to say more. But if we view these exercises as mind games ,we may retain our sanity.

  10. @ Vincent

    How the calypso coming and what is the topic about ? Hal say he good but if he faint prop him up in a chair to recharge. So not that I want to know you business but i curious as to the topic.

  11. John A

    I can count to ten – 20 if I take off my shoes and socks. I can’t subtract or multiply. Who do you think I am? Chris Sinckler?

  12. @ David.

    That depends on who you speaking to it appears.

    But in my humble opinion real growth is only present when all of society benefits in some way, either directly or indirectly. It should also be measured net of liabilities.

    For Instance to say we got ” growth in reserves to $1.2b” is true but does not take into account liabilities owed by not paying the foreign creditors a red cent for 13 months.

    I also heard Warren Buffet say that he likes to speak to ” net growth ” which is growth rate minus the rate of inflation over the said period.

    So they got many different ways of viewing it depending on if you are a politician or not it seems.

    • @John A

      Economic growth is a subject economists often disagree.

      Next question, given the state of the economy one year ago what is your expectation after little over one year?

  13. @ Hal

    Be carefully with that shoe thing cause I was told a past MOF went in a local shoe shop and ask for a pair of size 14s only to be told they were out of stock. To prove his master of maths he told the clerk to bring 2 pairs of 7s.

    To protect the ignorant no names have been used.

  14. @ John A at 9 :56 AM

    The calypso coming along fine.There is so much information emerging ,that I am suffering from material overload. I still looking for background singers that are immune to bottle throwing. Lol !!!

  15. @ David

    Based on the measures put In place continued contraction and an extended recession into 2020. This as no clear growth plan has been implemented to date.

    • @John A

      The information you are being encouraged to share is how can the government implement a growth plan under a program of austerity designed to stabilize.

  16. @ Vincent.

    I got that covered we going use the ” red neck bottle repellent system ” the fellows in the deep South use.

    We going erect 10 foot high chicken wire all around the stage so we will get soak in beer but not cut.

  17. @TheoG
    after the BHL sale, i was flush with cash. Of the limited choices, I selected sagicor shares and GEL shares. Why? IMO there were the ‘most likely’ to take their business offshore, and trade in another currency. Sagicor is obliging, GEL not so far.
    Barbadians must be able to invest elsewhere.
    For understandable reasons, many do not like Dr W. But go back and read what he has said recently. With a few tweeks, it can work.
    for decades, the Barbadian dream for those with money, has been to convert to a hard currency, and invest it offshore. It was not only a buffer against local circumstance, it provided much higher yields. And liquidity. It would take me months, maybe years, to offload my shares in Bim. If it were not for a ‘put through’, it would have taken equally long to acquire them. And the broker fees in Bim are so far beyond acceptable, they eat a huge portion of any yield.
    Friend of all, and satellite of all.

  18. @ David.

    If we accept what the last MOF said when he stated between BRA and Customs they were owed “just over $1B” then why didn’t we focus on collecting even half of that instead of austerity ? As Vincent likes to say the indirect tax system got more leaks than an old main. Why didn’t we address this matter and at least try to collect another $100m a year currently lost in leakage ?

    Instead the powers opted for a $400m austerity program. Had we of collected even $300m of receivables owed and plugged just $100m in annUal leakage, there was the $400m. That would of meant the $400m in New taxes could of been either done away with or considerable reduced. That liquidity if left in the system would of been enough to spur growth in the economy.

    But no it easier to tax we tail than get the 30 ministers to do their job l

    • @John A

      We need to improve tax collection however the questions asked about this matter remain unanswered. One senses there are other considerations you must factor. What percentage of tax outstanding is collectible. If it is collectible over what period etc.

  19. This form of vodoo economics that this govt has embarked is stale left over soup which has been tried over and over again by the IMF in these third world countries
    Proof of any significant economic growth emerging and brought about after austerity plans have been implemented is yet to be found
    Jamaica is a clear example of entering a IMF plan and reaping the sweets of an economic growth plan afterwards
    Just like barbados most of Jamaicas revenue is generated from tourist

  20. @ David Bu

    What are you stabilizing? Is what you doing stabilization or turning off the engines in full flight? Stabilization and growth are inseparable for aeroplanes and economies.

  21. David

    This nor no other government was ever good at collecting money so you don’t give them it to collect. After all you going Give the same people that let the receivables run up the money to collect?

    No we like English Companies so you contact some like LOVETT UK and say fellows we got $1b here in receivables come deal with it and take 20% and give us the rest. Or the other road which Hal likes, is sell the dam debt to a Vulture for say 40 cents on the dollar and let them fight up with collecting it.

    Don’t let no politician fool you bout its not that simple. Why they don’t tell you instead the truth which is ” listen some of dem that owe is party financers left dem lone.” Plus remember the last MOF said SOES and others from government had owe the Vat office over $200m alone. If you sell to the debt vultures they coming for that $200m too! So more tax in we tail to find it and pay them.

    You seeing why a politician would tell you well it ain’t that easy now?

  22. @ David

    I think the best way of simplifying it is to use the below summary.

    Every dollar lost in the leak of indirect taxation= another dollar in direct taxation on the backs of the populace.


    So inefficient bus service no problem left it so and increase bus fares

  23. The Auditor-General has done his duty in accordance with the Financial Administration and Audit Act. Examine and report to Parliament by the 31st ,December.If the report points to infelicities then it is up to those with the requiste responsibilities also provided for in the same Act to perfrom their duty. The duties of the Auditor-General do not include prosecution. At most, hemight becalled as a witness for the prosecution as ha happened in the past when charges arising out of his report reach the court.

  24. It took Jamaica 32 years within an IMF agreement ridfle with grueling austerity policies to reach a goal of 99%of its GDP
    Barbados for the most part has a smaller population which can least afford to be handed austerity measures for another 30 years with out govt having a growth plan
    IMF statement which adress a strategy of growth by govt says enought to the inquisitive mind that govt continual borrowing as a supplementary policy for keeping the reserves in good standing would be needing additional fiscal support in order for the reserves to be sustainable long term
    Govt needs to take the IMF hint as one withall seriousness for the good of the people and country
    After a year of borrowing govt should released itself from the coattails of the IMF and put barbados on an economic path absent of more austerity measures

  25. Mottley also indicate for the most part that govt would continue in austerity
    Which in itself is an eyeopener to the inquisitive mind that govt has no real-time initiatives for creating a growth strategy for the country
    Also Mottley did send a message of desperation to the IMF while agreeing in part that vat could be increased as a solution to help tackle the debt
    While the poor struggle govt glorious expectations are handed to the IMF behind closed doors
    One day coming soon the people would say no more

  26. @John A
    Economic growth is a subject economists often disagree. (Quote)

    Plse explain this genius observation. Can economists count more than zero?

  27. @ David

    They can postpone it but they will have no choice but to address it as the IMF will not let them getaway with not addressing it.

  28. @ Hal

    I not too sure what the author of that quote meant there. You will have to seek clarification from him as a result sir.

    All I can tell you is that growth got a + in front it and decline a – sign. Although I hear some in recent years talking about ” negative growth”. I feel that is only a polite word for decline though. Lol

    But as I said I could only add and subtract little bit.

  29. @ Charles Skeete

    Thanks for confirming. But the repeaters of the opposite position are not interested in truth nor facts. They are looking for answers that fit in with their view of reality, or an excuse for escaping their responsibilities. And some people thrive on chaos. They like it so.

  30. David BU

    Even if taxes are uncollectible for year -1 and year -2 , if the company or person exists in year 0 , what is the difficulty in doing so?

    • @Vincent

      Not defending tax defaulters, however, there is the consideration many companies owing are cash poor.

  31. @ Hal.

    On the Oppenheimer question we touched on before I checked but can’t find any information post 2014 for what return they were getting for the NIS net of their fees. So for the last 6 years your guess is as good as mine. The last figure we spoke on of 6% did not state whether that was net of fees or gross return either, so even when a report was given we not sure what it speaks to.

    Then again are we surprised?

  32. @ David

    Don’t mind if they cash poor we at VULTURES.COM will take up land, buildings, stock or any other assets not nailed down!

    • @John A

      You should investigate when you have time why WASA in Trinidad had to write of monies due by private sector companies.

  33. @ John A

    A lot of this is gross ignorance and incompetence, not corruption. We continue to appoint people on the basis of their degrees, not knowledge and experience. I know of a government job that was held up until a certain person graduated from a US university to take up the position.
    The vacancy was not advertised. What I do know is that the person who held the original position (she too was appointed right out of university to an unadvertised position) because she fell out with the minister.
    Rotating mediocrity is the name of the game. We have normalised this kind of behaviour.

  34. @ Hal

    We have and today we are paying the price for it. I remember hearing an old master saying once ” it takes experience to know where bones buried.”

    Back to book smart vs street smart.

  35. @ David BU at 1:33 PM

    The phrase may sound like a piece of wisdom; but taken out of its original context, it is nonsense when applied to the real world. I cannot imagine a company operating for a financial year and no cash flows through it. Did the customers pay with real assets? Did the company pay labour and suppliers of raw materials in quantities of its output? I bet you that same defaulter used cash to finance other activities not relevant to the company’s operations.

    • @Vincent

      You are aware during the long period of a poorly performing economy during the last decade private sector was asked by the government of the day to absorb the shock by keeping employees on payroll?

  36. @ David BU

    Did the private sector respond positively? If they did it was not reflected in the statistics published by BSS, nor the increase paid by the NIB for redundancies and unemployment benefits over that period. David there are several ways of verifying pronouncements by propagandist. One only has to cross reference figures. There are things that do not add up. Use them as red flags.
    Your auto-correct algorithm working over time again.

  37. @ Vincent

    Naughty, naughty. Government asked the private sector to become welfare organisations. The guy is amazing. Do you now see why I bash my head against the wall?

  38. David
    That is precisely the point I am making. They cannot be any connection between non payments of tax and keeping on surplus staff.

    • @Vincent

      There is and you know it. Many companies operate with marginal cash flow, they default on statutory obligations and eventually close down. This point has nothing to do with keeping on employees for longer than the P&l indicate they should.

  39. @ Vincent

    You just do not understand. Sit up and pay attention. Cash strapped companies keep unproductive workers on their books because government asked them to. Then out of loyalty, they go bankrupt. Wow!

  40. @ Mariposa July 4, 2019 12:34 PM

    Barbados cannot once again afford to be ruled by your DLP cavemen.

    The DLP stands for ministers with far substandard intelligence, the underclass, crime, drug trafficking, economic slavery and a rotten welfare state that plunders citizens through taxes.

    It is a fact that Barbados under the DLP has even fallen behind some African countries.

  41. Tron we shall see how much strength the populace can endure for the next five years under the IMF policies
    Maybe you ought to take off your rose color glasses and look among the crowd and waddled through the death and mayhem on the streets since this govt took office before u usher your nonsensical predictions

  42. Mariposa
    July 4, 2019 6:56 PM

    That you have the gall to come on here and talk about the IMF …who do you think caused this mess?

  43. @ Mariposa

    It looks like you are blaming the government for every death that occurs in Barbados.

    You implied that about the mother and son who lost their lives in a recent house fire.

    You were also making subtle, insensitive comments about the government and the couple who rented the jet ski and are lost at sea.

    Today, a 17 year old boy lost his life after he unfortunately fell into a well.

    Are you going to make another insensitive comment about this unfortunate incident and imply the government is responsible too?

  44. Crusoe
    Yes i do have the gall and the right to crticize the IMF austerity measures
    Just for good measure i invite you to take a walk amongst the populace and rub shoulders with the people and listen to their sad story of pain and suffering
    Bro it is not easy having no job govt only interest is paying off govt debt and refusing to give adequate monetary assistance to retrenched workers
    Bro it is not easy
    Now go ahead and spend the next five years telling me how ten years got barbados in this mess
    I all ears duffus

  45. Robert Goren
    Simply ignore my earlier comments
    I made up all of what i said
    Nothing of what i said happened in Barbados
    It was all a dream
    My bad
    My apologies

  46. Robert Goren
    Simply ignore what i said in my earlier comments
    Nothing of what i said happened in barbados
    I made the whole story up
    It was all a dream
    My bad
    My apologies
    Hope u feel better
    But let me warn u it aint going to get better
    The criminal horse has already bolted
    People backs are pushed against the wall

  47. @ Mariposa

    I can’t believe you’re trying to politicize the unfortunate deaths of five people, to support the interest of the DLP and discredit the government.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for as far as stooping to such a new all time low level of yard fowlism and gutter politics ever to be seen on BU.

    And what is more disturbing is that NO ONE on BU or even the blogmaster will call you out for this sick, insensitive act.

    • @Robert Goren She is right.

      She is spot on.

      She has four more years!

      Truth is the blogmaster to guard our sanity quickly scrolls pass some comments.

  48. Anybody remember Arch Cot the same principle applies in the death of that boy who fell in the well yesterday
    Bureaucracy gone wrong
    Waiting to see or hear if the PM would visit this family member
    Our people lives matter

  49. I don’t believe this current BLP administration is really interested in addressing the problem of corruption in government.

    I recall on August 14, 2018, while speaking in Parliament, Ronald Toppin questioned an invoice Michael Carrington submitted to BIDC, in the amount of $706,450 for providing legal services relative to sale of a BIDC building at Lot A1 Newton Business Park, Christ Church to Gildan Activewear Properties (BVI) Inc. in 2010.

    It was alleged Carrington wrote a letter to the BIDC in 2011, in which he indicated that at the time the sale transaction was completed, he was NOT REGISTERED with the VAT Division………and REQUESTED the BIDC to pay the VAT Division, ON HIS BEHALF, $92,146 of VAT incurred as a result of the sale and included in his legal fees.

    As a lawyer and Speaker of the House, Carrington had to be AWARE of the VAT laws, which, at that time in 2010, required businesses and individuals providing goods and services over the threshold of $60,000 per annum, to register with the VAT Division.

    Here we have a lawyer, who at the time was obviously earning more than $60,000 per annum, ADMITTING to a government agency he was NOT registered for VAT, but still CHARGED VAT………

    ………..and to “make matters worst,” he wanted that agency to USE $92,146 of its allocated funds……. “TAX-PAYERS’ MONEY”…… to PAY the VAT on his behalf.

    This is almost ONE (1) year since Ronald Toppin made his revelation in Parliament….. and we haven’t heard anything more on the matter.

  50. “Anybody remember Arch Cot the same principle applies in the death of that boy who fell in the well yesterday……”

    Would care to list the similarities between the Arch Cot tragedy and the incident that occurred in the Pine yesterday?

  51. Bureaucracy failed on both occasions
    People lost their lives
    Today the families are hurting because bureaucracy rather protect the haves and throw the have nots to the wolves

  52. How can a well be left exposed without having proper protection and govt officials after being called on numerous times does not do due diligence
    A young man lost his lived and now we have blp supporters pretending to be blind deaf and dumb at the cries of the young man family
    What a god damn shame
    The laws were not meant to protect the rich but also the poor
    In one year this gladiator govt has shown the poor how easy they can be manipulated over a glass of koolaid
    Mia said gimme de vote and watch muh
    Boy she not meking sport
    Nah word coming from her mout on the acceleration of crime and violence
    But rather wear a pretentious mask while rubbing shoukders with the rich ans famous
    What a thing doah

  53. “How can a well be left exposed without having proper protection and govt officials after being called on numerous times does not do due diligence…”

    If ministers are responsible for policy and heads of departments are responsible for administration, how does a well come under the remit of a minister or the prime minister?

    When tenants call NHC’s maintenance department about a housing issue, does maintenance calls management, which in turn calls the PM to tell her something want fixing?

    I’m sure you recall the NHC (Transfer of Terrace Units) Bill 2012, which was first read in Parliament on January 8, 2013 ……… the NHC (Transfer of Tenants) Act provided for the transfer of units owned by the NHC to tenants who have lived in and/or paid in those units for 20 years. How about if those tenants had been proactive?

    And while we’re at it, how about inviting Hammie Lah, Kellman and Stuart on the walk along?

    After all, “a young man lost his lived and now (it seems) we have DLP supporters pretending to be blind deaf and dumb at the cries of the young man’s family, as well,”………..

    ……….. because, rather than being SYMPATHETIC, their only INTEREST, according to another contributor, is POLITICIZING this unfortunate situation.

    A bunch of uncaring, insensitive, unsympathetic, sick bastards.

  54. Mia is not Minister of Tourism
    However she jumped fast into the issue of the two missing jet ski persons
    One would think she might also get herself with all enthusiasm into the well issue vocally asking head of the depts for answers
    After all a live is lost and due dilligence is the optimum word

  55. Well.well
    Govt excuse .they did not have the money to fix the Well
    However all should take nite that govr found or had the money to pay White Oaks and the loans borrowed from rhe IMF
    In barbados it seems as if itb always take tragedy to exposed govt side of the socio economic fence
    Here an innocent life gone and govt declares
    Sorry we did not have the money t0 fix the well
    However inquring minds want to know how and Where did govt find the money to pay White Oaks
    Maybe some blp yardfowl can give or have the answer

  56. Mariposa you are a sick, despicable human being.For even you to come on this blog and try to be political at this unfortunate death is beyond words.My advice, take a chill pill as you are doing the Dems a disservice and Bajans in general.

  57. Mariposa is your typical consummate, dye-in-the-wool politican/ political loyalist as they come. Believe you me, the world is full of people of that mindset. In fact they are dime a dozen. I have seen people with those political temperament even go so far as to blame the government of the day for ‘act of god’ tragedies. Therefore, If someone in BIM were to be fatally struck by lightening tomorrow, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Mariposa would probably indirectly blames the government for the unfortunate soul demise.

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