Four Seasons Project – Story of Failure
The most recent Auditor General Report – see 2020 Auditor General Report – Time to Fire Senior Public Servants – continues to generate the usual concerns engaged annually by the general public. Although it must be said there is more impatience being exercised this time around if the blogmaster has tested the temperature of debate correctly. Is it because of the unprecedented mandate given to the Mottley led government in 2018? The promises made during the last general election platform certified by hints of documents secreted in the Red Bag that officials known to have engaged in criminal acts and flouting of government’s financial rules will be held accountable? members of the public rightly (or wrongly) have set high expectation that Mottley will turn the table and tackle malfeasance in the public sector once and for all. Knowing that it takes two hands to clap one can reasonably expect private sector players will be in the frame as well were she to lead Project Corruption Clean Up.
Three years later and it is business as usual on the rock with Minister in the ministry of finance Ryan Straughn still promising that the government is probing malfeasance highlighted by the Auditor General’s recent report.
Two issues caught the attention of the blogmaster yesterday (7 Jun 2021). Minister Straughn admitted the Clearwater Bay Limited (Four Seasons) file has not been digitized and therefore he would have to review said file to be able to respond to a question about the total of the project-to-date lending by government. The other is the alleged $124 million reportedly written off by government.
BU commenter Artax offered the following comment on another blog to explain the $124 million.
Therefore, the people of Barbados have a right to know where the money has gone? And why was this investment valued at $124 million written off.Verla De Peiza – Leader of the Democratic Labour Party
It’s either Verla De Peiza has conveniently lost her memory or opposing just for the sake of opposing.
Paradise Beach Ltd. secured an 18 month, US$60M (BD$120,000,000) loan from ANSA Merchant Bank, at an interest rate of 6.75%, for the purpose of ‘restarting’ construction of Four Seasons Resort.
The former DLP administration agreed to guarantee the loan in return for a 20% stake in the project.
Paradise Beach Ltd. defaulted on the loan and ‘government,’ as guarantor, had to repay the outstanding amount and interest in the amount of $124,329,766.
Verla was a GOVERNMENT SENATOR when the ARRANGEMENTS were made between the former DLP administration, Paradise Beach Ltd. and ANSA Merchant Bank.
Why is Verla De Peiza saying “the people of Barbados have a right to know where the money has gone,” when, according to Chapter 2, pages 25-26 of the 2016 Auditor General’s report:
This amount ($124,329,766) was subsequently brought to book in the accounts of the Treasury as an account receivable. There has been no movement on this receivable account for the past four (4) years.” [2.49]
There is NO information available on whether there might be a need to write down this receivable or WHEN or HOW THIS AMOUNT will be REPAID. [2.49]2020 Auditor General Report
Did the former administration use tax payers’ money to guarantee a loan for Paradise Beach Ltd., without negotiating the necessary arrangements to recover the funds, if the company reneged on its commitment to repay?
From whom or what company would the former or current administration recover the outstanding debt, especially if Paradise Beach Ltd. is defunct?