NIS Town Hall – The Golden Chip

Today is the scheduled NIS Town Hall for a concerned public to share feedback to the revelation our National Insurance Fund (NIF) needs another lifeline. In recent days the buzz is a concern the eligibility age for NIS pension will be extended to 72 years old.

The blogmaster is willing to bet Prime Minister Mottley being the political animal she is anticipated that NIS reform currently being contemplated will significantly deflate her popularity, she needs the time to implement reform and win back favour BEFORE the next general election, the perfect political gamble. Especially if she is serious about demitting office at that time. Therefore one of the reasons for an early general election call.

Follow the NIS town hall at Combermere School, Waterford at 6PM.

413 thoughts on “NIS Town Hall – The Golden Chip

  1. “Off message. Check out the music from this product of the plantation system from Martinique. I enjoy classical music, yet I have never heard of this guy.”

    I’m also a lover of classical music and I’ve heard about ‘Chevalier de Saint-Georges.’
    He was born in Guadeloupe…… not Martinique.

    I mentioned him in a contribution to the “2020 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION” blog, in response to a regular contributor who criticised Dr. GP and I for discussing classical music, which he described as ‘white people music.’

    Artax November 6, 2020 11:08 AM


    Dr. GP

    That was a list of my favourite composers and not all of them were from the Baroque period. There are other composers, such as JOSEPH BOLOGNE (Chevalier de Saint-Georges or Knight of St. George), Blind Tom Wiggins and William Mercer (Marion) Cook, whose music are not as popular as the others mentioned, but they are worth listening to and you’ll be surprised to know who they were.

  2. Reply to report coming

    GOVERNMENT WILL BE laying a response to the Auditor General’s damning report in Parliament either today or tomorrow.
    This was made clear by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley during a press conference at Ilaro court yesterday evening.
    Responding to public demands that Government speak on the report, Mottley reminded that Ryan Straughn, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, had indicated Government would speak on the matter.
    She said the necessary research on the various issues highlighted in the report had to be undertaken.
    “Minister Ryan Straughn told the country that the Government would be responding to that report and, clearly, if you are going to respond to a report that is substantive like that, you can’t do so from the top of your head,” she said, pointing out that the Director of Finance, who was the person to respond, was on leave.
    However, the Prime Minister added: “Suffice it to say he has been able to garner all the responses from the various departments and with a covering letter. I would anticipate that that letter and those
    responses would go down to be laid digitally in Parliament sometime between tomorrow and Wednesday.”
    In his report, Auditor General Leigh Trotman pointed to a number of deficiencies in financial accounting management, the lack of proper internal controls at many state entities, and the need for greater accountability on the part of public sector officers charged with managing public funds.
    He expressed concern that Government ministries and departments were being delinquent in providing timely financial information to his office and wanted “credible sanctions” introduced to improve the situation.
    Trotman also revealed that Government had been paying millions of dollars in pension to some of its former workers even though they were dead – some for more than ten years.
    The Prime Minister said the deficiencies in the report were not because of “corruption”.
    “I want to also reinforce in people’s minds and to give the public and the wider public outside of Barbados who may feel that we are doing things that are the subject to corruption or improperly, that that is not the case,” she said.
    Mottley laid part of the blame on Government’s accrual system of accounting, arguing that the transition from cash-based to accrual had never really been made.
    “That has been at the source of a lot of the difficulties that you see and a lot of commentary that you also see in the Auditor General’s Report. Is that the only thing that is wrong?
    No, it isn’t, but that is responsible for the large problems that we have.”
    In terms of the much talked about National Insurance Scheme, the Prime Minister also urged Barbadians to attend the town hall meetings which started last night and make suggestions on the way forward with the scheme.
    Meanwhile, when asked about the noticeable reductions in press conferences relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mottley said she no longer felt that giving updates on a regular basis was necessary.
    “I am not so sure that there is any merit in a daily update anymore on COVID when the whole world has gone beyond that,” she said. (MB)

    Source: Nation

  3. *glad they ALL REVEALED THEMSELVES finally…the weight of DECEPTION must have gotten way TOO heavy to carry..

  4. @Dullard
    Isn’t the objective to counter what the persons you named are doing?
    Keep up Mr.Advisor!

    No! Not at all.

    The objective is for you to fly kites and run interference on behalf of your paymasters.

    • @Dullard

      The blogmaster has been accused of worse so you are not in the worst company it must be said.

  5. @ Dullard
    Take it easy.
    David has always been a provocateur extraordinaire.
    If he wanted to ‘run interference for Mugabe’ he needed only shut down the blog….

    …Unless of course you are suggesting that BU has been highjacked by nefarious forces, and that a new ‘David’ has been installed in order to subtly steer the Blog in the direction of GIS and the other HOARDS of associated BLP Propaganda organs, to hail the supreme leader and her minions such as Enuff and Lorenzo….

    However, when that recent mysterious one-week BU ‘lull’ is explained to the bushman’s satisfaction, any such theories being held by you and others, will be summarily dismissed by the bushman… LOL

  6. Trotman also revealed that Government had been paying millions of dollars in pension to some of its former workers even though they were dead – some for more than ten years
    What am I missing? I thought it was SOP that
    1) when people die that their National ID cards were turned over to the funeral homes for onward transmission to the Govt so their benefits can be terminated.
    2) Were the pension cheques mailed or were they paid as direct deposits? If they were mailed who is cashing the cheques? If they were direct deposits (and this is a big if) and the banks was notified that the beneficiary is deceased, why did they not return the payments?
    3) Doesn’t the Gov’t routinely send out notices to recipients of pensions requesting confirmation that the individual is still above ground?

    There are gross inefficiencies in a system where pension is still being paid after a person has been dead for ten years.

    • @Sargeant

      The NIS needs to be a little more efficient. The CEO of NIS explained that cheques are mailed in advance therefore there is the possibility of a dead person receiving a cheque in the short term. The bigger problem seems to be syncing information between relevant government departments about recent deaths. Seems manual, nothing that a easy process of exchanging an electronic file between the departments shouldn’t fix but how long will it take to do so is the question.

  7. @Sargeant August 16, 2022 8:55 AM “1) when people die that their National ID cards were turned over to the funeral homes for onward transmission to the Govt so their benefits can be terminated.”

    Ooops!! Looks like I may have broken the law. I still have the ID cards for both of my dead parents. But I did take the death certificates to NIS and NIS terminated the pensions. Paid the undertaker (a cousin) cash before he interred the parents. The way I look at it if the parents raised nearly a dozen of us there was no point making the undertaker wait for his money, so I advised [ordered really, lol!] siblings to “walk” wid ya money when ya show up to the funerals so the undertaker was paid in full the day BEFORE the funerals.

  8. @David August 16, 2022 9:01 AM “Seems manual, nothing that a easy process of exchanging an electronic file between the departments shouldn’t fix.”

    Dear David: Barbados does not have a population of billions. In our small population about 10 people die everyday, Ten David. 10. How difficult can it be for the most junior clerk to go to the Registry every Monday morning and pull the 70 death certificates, which nowadays include the national ID number and include that information in the NIS system? I have training and years of experience in records management. A competent clerk can do this work in about 4 hours each week. I could even volunteer to do it for the government FREE.

    Coming soon some smart man [ALWAYS a MAN] selling the government a “sophisticated” computerized system, likely designed for a population the size on India’s to do the work that a competent clerk can do manually in half a day.

    Why do we like to make easy things difficult?

    Lord come fah ya world!!!

    • What about other public and private agencies that would find the information useful if it is automatically generated from source and made available? Think big.

  9. I take it only few people are dumb enuff to offer suggestions so that CROOKS can keep a slave society intact to benefit them and their CRIMINAL PARTNERS…

  10. Capture those not paying!


    TARGET THE HANDYMEN, VENDORS, attorneys and doctors who currently do not contribute to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
    And while you’re at it, do more to ensure Government officials cannot use the fund at their will.
    Those were some of the recommendations put forward by actuary Derek Osborne and the public during a robust town hall meeting last night at Combermere School’s Major Moot Hall, in Waterford, St Michael.
    NIS chairman Leslie Haynes, his deputy Rawdon Adams and director Kim Tudor were also present.
    During his presentation, Osborne stressed that the NIS was unsustainable because it was still designed as when it began over 55 years ago.
    He suggested therefore that a larger economy and better governance were some of the ways to prevent a collapse.
    “We have to find a balance between the adequacy of benefits, the affordability of contributions and long term sustainability. We want a bigger economy; whether that is due to migration, a higher birth rate, higher productivity or employees working smarter, more investment from the diaspora, or foreign investment “However, we have to find a way to catch vendors, plumbers, carpenters, lawyers, doctors, whoever they are that are working on an informal basis, to pay contributions and contribute to the state in general,” Osborne said.
    He also suggested that pensions of those not yet in the system could be reduced and that the pensionable ages could be increased.
    “We can look at the new pensions people get and reduce that slightly so that going forward you can reduce long term costs.
    “Currently 60 is the earliest age to receive a reduced pension, 67 is the age for full pension. We could move from 60 to 62 or 65, or move from 67 to 68, 69 or 70. All of these are options. However, nothing is off the table and everything is up for discussion,” he said.
    His comments came after Government announced last week that if changes were not made, the $4 billion fund would be in jeopardy by 2034.
    Several members of the public present last night voiced their concerns.
    Sandra Squires said more should be done about non-contributors.
    “I don’t think we are aggressive enough in going after persons who should be paying. That is an area we should be paying more attention to,” she said.
    One woman who did not identify herself chastised governments’ use of the fund over the years and called for more accountability.
    “We didn’t tell you to dip and no one asked, but now we are here and you are asking us for solutions to a problem you guys created.
    “We are law-abiding citizens who sat and contributed faithfully to a scheme thinking that when we get 65 and then 67, we were assured a pension. It’s not fair,” she lamented.
    “So the first thing you need to do is stop governments from dipping into our money,” she said as the audience applauded.
    In response, Osborne said the policy was already in place but agreed that NIS board members may have to be strong-willed
    to prevent excessive usage of the funds.
    He said: “For the last ten to 15 years, they’ve exceeded the maximum limit in the investment policy, which means that even though the policy existed, boards still allowed further investments to be made in the Government and that is where I think the weakness lies.
    “So if a board is resolute that we are not investing anymore in the Government, a phone call can’t change that unless there is a directive from the minister in writing . . . . So hopefully board members of the future can be strong enough to say, ‘The agreement policy we have in writing and we are not going to change from this policy and say no to investments, whether public or private, does not meet the investment policy,” he added.
    Haynes said the current board was solid and workers were vigorously represented. He added it was made up of representatives from the National Union of Public Workers, Barbados Workers’ Union, Barbados Employers’ Confederation and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association as stipulated by law.
    He also pointed out that funds were used for public goods.
    Audience member Cassandra Bowen said a holistic approach was needed to address the issues facing the country.
    She, however, questioned why the public was unable to see audited financial statements.
    “I have a concern that money was borrowed from the NIS and not paid back and I feel that somebody should be held responsible for that. Plus, if we have all of these top people inside here and we cannot get audited reports on a regular basis, then somebody should get fired,” Bowen said.
    In response, Adams said they were aiming to settle accounts from 2012-2017 by the end of this year.
    Similarly, Tudor offered an apology and said they were working with the Auditor General to rectify the issue.
    “Each fund has its own income statement and balance sheet. We take our responsibility for managing those funds very seriously and on my desk are July 31, 2022 financial statements.
    “The Auditor General is working with us to implement a framework that will satisfy internationally accepted accounting standards and provide a supported schedule that can be validated. These financial statements are prepared. The smaller funds have been audited up to 2015-16, so don’t feel that we don’t do statements. They are done and prepared. We will apologise because you haven’t had sight of them because they aren’t public documents but rest assured, they are there,” she said.

    Source: Nation

  11. Dear David:

    Before we spend millions or tens of millions buying a “system” designed for populations of millions or billions can you please name the “other public and private agencies that would find the information useful”

    Thanks very much.

    David I know more about records management than you do. It is half a day’s work.


    • Thinking BIG is about the possibilities to improve efficiency and business facilitation in the country by feeding a central database with information. Hope this helps.

  12. In two hours I could teach the grans who just did the 11+ how to do it.

    It int. hard.

    Why do we always like to make easy things difficult?

  13. Some are way too comfortable, accepting of and wallowing in never ending corruption

  14. Blame the vendors and others for a 56 MILLION NIS DEFICIT….and that does not include the BILLIONS GONE..

  15. @David and @William there is definitely comedic cynicism in the progression (illogic really) in describing: 1) “If we did not have an historical competent public service, the country would have gone under water by the sheer weight of corruption and political interference, ever since” … and then in the same breath also asserting (2) “The bigger problem seems to be syncing information between relevant government departments about recent deaths…nothing that a easy process of exchanging an electronic file between the departments shouldn’t fix but how long will it take to do so is the question

    That’s quite ‘risible’, as the former Dean would say!

    Quite clearly both of you are right in some measure but by your own words also wrong about our Public Service competencies being ‘dulled’ by political corrupters … so on balance the scale shows nothing up, nothing down!

    After all this time in lil Bim the matter of cleaning up the death records to ensure accurate voting data and the equally important NIS data base is couched in terms of “how long will it take to be done” and we are really debating competency or lack thereof of our govt departments or how literate we are or what are our lettered qualifications!

    Alright den … onwards and upwards to NIS Town Hall meetings … nuff sterling competencies should be forthcoming AND MOST importantly they will be competently implemented in a TIMELY efficient manner.

    Reminds me of the equally sterling Sir Henry Constitution Review Commission meetings … somerhing about timely implementation of awesome recommendations comes to mind … but heh … we sure were real competent and quite smart, tho!

    We too sweet … 😎🤦🏾‍♂️🙏🏿

  16. I see they have to resort to putting a survey out there…..but no one in their right minds would pay any attention to IT OR THEM……FRAUDS and their fraudulent supporters..

  17. @David August 16, 2022 9:59 AM ‘Thinking BIG is about the possibilities to improve efficiency and business facilitation in the country by feeding a central database with information. Hope this helps.”


  18. “Sandra Squires said more should be done about non-contributors.”


    Interesting comments.

    Is there is a law requiring Barbadians to
    contribute to the NIS?
    If not, then, those persons who choose not to pay NI wouldn’t receive pension.

    But, what upsets me is the fact that we’ve had people who never contributed to the scheme, yet, they receive a non-contributory pension which is financed by a 2% deduction from an employed person’s salary/wages and 2% contribution by employers.

    Both employers and employees contribute 0.50% to a ‘training levy.’
    What is the purpose of this levy and how is it utilized?

    • @Artax

      You know the purpose of non contributory pension. From what is being said it is a relatively small amount with most of it funded by central government?

  19. pay in more and we will TIEF LESS…good plan….nothwithstanding the BILLIONS MISSING ALREADY,,,

  20. Did anyone bother to explain where the multi-millions scammed to build the apes hill clubhouse and pool that the new owners dug up……that no longer EXISTS…….gone to….multimillions of NIS pensioners money down the drain…..

    did anyone bother to ask…..

    another write off….

  21. Some MAD soundbites in a Bajan Stylee
    (also known as a BU ‘Holding Letter’)
    (you can type any old shit in a comment box)
    (also known as “Mental Health Issues Tissues”

    “Government is ‘managing expectations'”
    “‘they’ rob and gone with all the money”
    “problem reaction solution paradigm”
    “new world order conspiracy theory”
    “working as a slave until ‘they’ push you to grave”

    Global Warning

  22. Given the known (suspected?) state of the NIS, why would the self employed see any benefit in contributing?
    The challenge here is much wider than the NIS. The nation of Barbados has consistently (past decade) SPENT considerably more than it COLLECTS. This is why the controllers of GoB went dipping into social security monies to fund Central Government. (Unadvisedly or not)
    And when those cupboards were empty, they withheld NIS contributions deducted from their employees. (Monies replaced with a Series J Bond)
    The island has an EXPENSE challenge.
    Today, they continue to ‘print money’ to get the money to run the island (as is)
    The ultimate solution is bankruptcy?
    I will suggest several of these issues which have become ‘suddenly current’ (but have been festering for a while) are related to the imminent IMF decision.
    Despite the pleasantries between the IMF and GoB, they ARE issues. And they haven’t ‘gone away’.
    And despite all the talk about “more people”, they are costs associated with this. Where is the revenue coming from? Or are all these ‘new citizens’ bringing buckets of money to spend in their new home.
    Nobody said governing was easy.

    • @NO

      If self employed people do not see the sense to contribute the state will have to pick up the tab later anyway via welfare department?

  23. “Given the known (suspected?) state of the NIS, why would the self employed see any benefit in contributing?
    The challenge here is much wider than the NIS.”

    indeed, have a young relative as a self-employed wondering what the hell is going on and don’t want to contribute tens of thousands only to hear later…..there is a replay….and then left in the cold..

  24. What i don’t understand is why no one wants to ANSWER the HARD QUESTIONS….and seem only interested in GLOSSING OVER REALITY….to reel in the gullible and weak..

    trying to PRETEND that the THEFT of PENSIONER’S MONEY….just like the THEFT OF VAT…….DID NOT HAPPEN.

  25. Bushie
    You know I’m good, damn good. You need the Mottley reference to invalidate me. Others the million dollar errand boy. Up to now wunna can’t win a ting. Everyday like stuck records.

  26. @ DPD
    Are you suggesting that a screw up with pensions being paid to dead people is enough reason to deny that we have had an historical competent public service.
    Do you know the number of promises made to restructure or reform the public service that did not see the light of day?
    Do you know the failure to computerize and bring modern technology , as a priority, into the public service was an act of gross incompetence by both administrations?
    Are you unaware that most high ranking public servants on retirement are swallowed up by the private sector.?
    Do you not understand that the professional lives of public servants are almost at the mercy of egotistical, don’t know a damn thing politicians.
    I stand by my word. Many here apparently only started to examine the public service recently and decided to blame them for every mess up made by their political masters.
    I am not saying that there all public servants are competent but to beat up the service to protect political leaders is pure ignorance.
    Please tell me the name (s)of the public servant responsible for Greenland; Cahill and refinancing / restructuring the national debt , that cost the NIS to lose one billion dollars just so.

  27. William…you will be going around and around while smoke and mirrors are thrown up to distract you…….good news….they no longer work..

    the people have to UNDERSTAND THE POWER THEY NOW HAVE IN THEIR HANDS….or they will be ROBBED and trapped in bondage, oppressed, suppressed and every lowlife minority these could find would walk all over them…they have to choose..

  28. @WS
    The issue with ‘senior’ public employees is largely restricted to CBL.
    And appreciate had it not been for ICIJ dump of CAIPO records, it would not be public knowledge THEY were the sole directors of CBL.
    The circumstances around their nomination and tenure is not known. However, while the announcement of CBL (Act?) was laid in the House, not one RH since.
    Subsequently, without official facts at any point in it’s life thereafter, we now get mixed messages.
    The one which seems totally accurate, is the taxpayers of Barbados are currently out of pocket BDD$124M +++. Nobody is denying this.
    And subsequently some feel betrayed by these employees, who as Directors,
    “Under the fiduciary duty of loyalty, directors and officers are to act impartially and place the interests of the corporation first”, there is no public information this occured. Not that it did not occur, but nothing is publicly available.

    • @NO

      There many examples where public officers do crap. The blogmaster can cite the educational system and decisions to transfer teachers and principals in the system who committed egregious acts.
      If William continues with his head in the sand the blogmaster a willing to resurrect blogs sleeping in the BU Archives.

  29. I must have torn out a WHOLE NERVE…

    Northern…..these are very cheeky…and their supporters, there are no words to describe them…..mysterious why they keep overreaching, no one with commonsense will entertain them or their backward trajectory..

  30. No @William I am NOT suggesting “that a screw up with pensions being paid to dead people is enough reason to deny that we have had an historical competent public service”.

    I am bluntly saying that the act of cross referencing deaths with NIS disbursements is one of the minimalist and most basic aspects of data base management … thus this NOT a recent “screw up” brother Skinner but fundamental, incompetent indifference.

    You can blame the political masters surely but to absolve professional, expert technocrats is not rational!

    Obviously our Public Service has performed well over the years but realistically THEY have also screwed up … often under the misguided belief that they are achieving desired “good” results for their political masters or otherwise … Thus I am NOT as sanguine as you are in dropping all the weight on one side of the scale.

    Re your substantive notes:
    “Do you know the failure to computerize and bring modern technology.”

    Sorry bro, but that’s a red herring. I recall visiting the old Data Processing office in Fairchild street and learing first hand about the I-O bytes and bits punch card tech … YEP, that long ago … JUST before the advent of the integrated chip mainframe technology and the related PC seismic shift.

    Thus, I know how IBM (under CEO Castilho) and BBM (under owner/CEO Barnes, if memory serves well) were at the forefront in sales pitches to update the govt departments with the new tech!

    Yes we can assert that systems were likely implemented with “gross incompetence [corruption] by both administrations” but THAT does NOT mean that simply operational processes should be so deficient today.

    Thus for us to be debating in 2022 the proper use of basic database development tools/data management across depts. is RIDICULOUS…

    “Are you unaware that most high ranking public servants on retirement are swallowed up by the private sector.?”

    Yep, happens all the time … they are skilled in how to manage the systems and they then go over at excellent wages and help the corporate chieftains to best benefit from said systems.

    “Do you not understand that the professional lives of public servants are almost at the mercy of egotistical, don’t know a damn thing politicians”

    And absolutely yes again … but does that mean that cross checking deaths to avoid erroneous disbursements is being mercilessly mandated from on high!

    I GET your point brother … but I am simply saying that these are basic elements of the professionals’ work and such failures REFLECT badly on THEM (their incompetence or fraud), not their political masters!

    I gone.

  31. Thought we were discussing all the MISSING ……and unaccounted for MONEY….from the Auditor General’s report…so yall saying it’s the civil servants responsible…

    they better come forward and clear their names if they are not guilty….wait…they can’t talk under the official secrets act..

  32. @ WARU
    Apparently the NIS losing one billion just so is of no concern. Employers refusing to honor $56 million is of no concern.
    We are just looking to give the corrupt political class, the green light to do whatever it pleases.
    No surprises here at all. Business as usual.
    The Duopoly rules supreme.

  33. “We are just looking to give the corrupt political class, the green light to do whatever it pleases.”

    once they do it to THEM ONLY….and don’t believe they can pull their next scam on everyone else….weeee have no problem at all with that..

    everyone, except for those who could actually SEE are dancing all around the subject of the MISSING MONEY…and apparently expect everyone to just FALL IN LINE….wonder who led them to believe they had that much power.

  34. So are the World Food Program trucks on the island…asking for a friend…….just saw some photos..

  35. “…… and such failures REFLECT badly on THEM (their incompetence or fraud), not their political masters!”

    @ dpD

    Employees have been fired from the NI Department after it was discovered they used ‘creative methods’ to facilitate the payment to themselves, of deceased people’s pensions.

    Who is responsible for granting ‘unapproved duty free concessions’ to their relatives and friends, who either pass through the airport with luggage or import goods through the seaport?

    …… or, the reported theft of over $850,000 from the NIS……
    …… the theft of over $1M from the Psychiatric Hospital……
    …… thousands of dollars stolen as a result of dead people being included on the QEH payroll……
    …… the unreported theft of approximately $800,000 from Inland Revenue……

    …… officers from the BRA filing income and corporation tax returns for relatives, friends and other persons to prevent them from paying income and corporation taxes?

    All of which, although just a few examples, if calculated in their totality…… over an extended period of time, would clearly indicate a significant LOSS of government revenue as well.

    This is not an attempt to “beat up on the service to protect political leaders,” but, the reality is, whether or not we want to admit it, corruption in ‘government’ is perpetrated by BOTH public sector employees and politicians.

  36. First time in over 100 YEARS years, post emancipation, the PEOPLE FINALLY HAVE THE UPPER HAND…they better make very good use of the opportunity….

  37. This is not an attempt to “beat up on the service to protect political leaders,” but, the reality is, whether or not we want to admit it, corruption in ‘government’ is perpetrated by BOTH public sector employees and politicians.


    1000 PERCENT

  38. Come on, let’s be realistic.

    A politician does not have access to the bank accounts of any department, statutory or quasi government organization falling under his/her portfolio.
    Nor, do they complete or sign expenditure vouchers, approve payments or sign payable orders and cheques.

    You cannot, in all seriousness, blame a politician for the discrepancies in VAT receipts or missing funds from government departments the Auditor General mentioned in his reports.

    A politician could order the Chairman of a statutory corporation, for example, to direct the Board of directors to approve a tender submitted by one of his mates….. and receive a ‘draw back’ for his efforts.
    I’m sure BU remembers when Michael Lashley and Denis Lowe were Ministers of Transport and Environment respectively…… Transport Board buses and SSA trucks were being sent to Trans-Tech Inc. for repairs.
    And, the owner of Trans-Tech subsequently admitted the SUV’s driven by both gentlemen, where registered under his business.

    We’ve also heard of a particular insurance company that was given the contract to insure TB buses, at a time when government vehicles were insured by the then state owned ICB.
    The company had full sized advertisement on the TB’s 2004 Mercedes-Benz Marcopolo Torino omnibus, BM124.

    There are also cases where the approval to provide goods and services was granted to businesses that were actually owned by politicians, but using a ‘front man.’

    I can’t remember if it was ever mentioned in any of his reports, but, some time during the late 1980s, the Auditor General complained about a statutory corporation outsourcing its accounting duties to a private firm named Brian Griffith & Company, which was also contracted to conduct audits for a number years…… at $50,000 per year.

    • Who signed off on the contract with Hadley Byer to faulty supply water metres? Was it a politician or public servant. The blogmaster rest, those who have eyes will see.

  39. So if the public servants running things without oversight…

    .wuh yuh need politicians for….

  40. If a Minister is responsible for directing government policy and making decisions relative to national issues and presenting bills and proposed laws from departments and statutory corporations falling under their portfolio, for example……

    …… then, commonsense would indicate they are NOT RESPONSIBLE for micromanagement of public sector employees, especially if it is taken into consideration that each Ministry has a Permanent Secretary, while each department has a ‘Chief’ or Head of Department (e.g Chief Welfare Officer, Chief Environmental Officer, Chief Librarian etc)……

    …… and SOE’s are either managed by a Director (CBC, NAB, NCC, UDC and RDC); or CEO (Enterprise Growth Fund, Transport Board, NCF).

    Payments for goods, services, personal emoluments, travel etc, are approved by the Departments’ Accountant and funds disbursed by the Treasury.

    Payments are approved and disbursed by the SOE’s Accounting Sections.

  41. William Skinner August 16, 2022 3:43 PM #: “Apparently the NIS losing one billion just so is of no concern. Employers refusing to honor $56 million is of no concern.”

    Mr. Skinner

    Any reasonable Barbadian would be concerned about “employers refusing to honour $56M.”

    NIS should confiscate and auction the properties of those business owners who are indebted to the fund.

    But, who are responsible for allowing the payments to accumulate, especially when NI Department has a Compliance Section?

    We’ve had situations in Barbados where the rents at some NHC units were $75 per week and some tenants who were gainfully employed, had accumulated over $8,000 in rent arrears.

    Could you imagine the rent for stalls in Golden Square Market was only FIFTY (50) DOLLARS per month…… and some vendors accumulated as much as $7,000 in arrears?

    People are indebted to the Students’ Revolving Loan Fund, because they benefited from loans they have refused to repay.

    Those same people would make an effort to pay Consolidated Finance or Simpson Finance for their vehicles…… or make alternative payment arrangements if their accounts fall into arrears, simply because those institutions have aggressive collection and repossession policies.

    • @Artax

      If you followed the town hall last night you heard an admission by CEO Kim Tudor they want to get the NIS Inspectorate functioning again like back in the day.

  42. Apparently the politicians know nothing ; see nothing and do nothing and are responsible for nothing.
    Here we are discussing the wreckage of the NIS and suddenly we are zeroing on corrupt public servants .
    Who wrecked the NIS ?
    Who with a stroke of a pen cost the NIS to lose one billion dollars just so?
    Those public servants who engage in corruption and who are caught , end up before the courts; or even get fired.
    Nobody ever argued that all public servants were honest . Of course there are corrupt public servants .
    All I have stated is the fact that we have had an historically competent public service.
    These red herrings designed to deflect from the activities of mismanagement by elected politicians are laughable.
    Every time our political masters wreck anything with their poor and visionless leadership, we come here with one objective : protect them at all costs ; hold our noses and try to convince ourselves that the stench is coming from elsewhere.
    The question remains:
    Who wrecked the NIS ?
    Who cost the NIS one billion ?

    • William you are so one dimensional and blinkered it is not funny. What if some of these PSs grew balls, many of the transgressions by the political class would see the light of day. In any system there must be checks and balances. There is a reason the public service in our setup is designed in theory to be independent of the executive. If we have the tail wagging the dog what are we to do?

  43. All government departments should have OVERSIGHT…..

    it’s a NOBRAINER…

    is that not what the Auditor General keeps ASKING FOR… and the SAME POLITICIANS IGNORE HIM..

    so if they can’t implement that function for the people……what do yall need them for…it’s seems only the weak need them to tell lies and talk shite so they can admire it…

  44. @ David
    Stick to the script and not the “ what ifs”. Now you are asking the top civil servants to be police. Really.
    Let the Governor of the Central Bank tell any Finance Minister, he’s not following government policy and see what happens.
    Imagine a public servant calling in the police to arrest or charge a politician with corruption.
    You need to get through your head that the guards are guarding themselves.
    The main person to get rid or bring corruption exposure might be the PM in our system.
    Imagine you. want the PS to be an enforcer.

  45. @ Mr. Skinner

    You are being VERY DISINGENUOUS.

    EVERYONE who has been discussing the plight of the NIS over the past few years, from John A, NorthernObserver to Bush Tea, has ACKNOWLEDGED the FACT that SUCCESSIVE BLP and DLP administrations “wrecked the NIS,” and the current administration’s debt restructuring “cost the fund one billion dollars.”

    WHO in this forum has DENIED those facts?

    Also, you have been consistently and conveniently giving the impression that many of the financial improprieties outlined in the Auditor General’s Reports are the fault of politicians.
    Hence, contributors have responded accordingly.

    @ David

    As I have mentioned on several previous occasions, it seems as though certain contributors developed a set of ‘rules and guidelines’ to criticise politicians, which they believe everyone must adhere to, otherwise they’re accused of protecting and defending politicians.

    All one has to do is share ideological and philosophical similarities…… repeat the same shiite every day with monotonous regularity…… and you’ll automatically become a member of the ‘club.’

    I prefer to ‘call things as I see them.’

    I’m not here to ‘sing in the choirs’ of certain individuals, while being deceitful in remaining silent anytime they attempt to mislead BU……

    …… or, immediately come out to admonish and condemn non choir members for engaging in similar practices.

    What I also find interesting is the fact that some people often criticise what they refer to as the ‘duopoly,’ yet, their criticisms are always concentrated in the direction of a particular political party and its supporters.

    The level of deceitfulness exhibited by some persons in this forum is simply amazing.

  46. @William,I wouldn’t say you are being one dimensional as your bud the Blogmaster opined but you surely can be blinkered tho 🤣.

    We ALL agree that the politicians run tings and thus they absolutely effect greater ‘divestment’ of corruption 😎 but we also must accept that our society is unfortunately extensively corrupt … thus WE also have our hands in the till.

    I am making no grand pronouncement beyond what has been said here many times: corrupt politicians come from amongst US, they are not from Mars or Jupiter. We are inherently as honest and dishonest as they are.

    So yes you can have your duopoly narrative to your heart’s content but until people from Saturn start to vote in Barbados I am at a lost to understand why your view that the political class are THE culprits is more viable than the fundamental issue that we are all COMPLICIT in this malaise!

  47. Anyone got any ideas WHERE DE BILLION DOLLARS come no one at NIS can account for it……………..and that does not even take into account all the rest of money still missing…..which am sure is much more than what’s being said…

    William…I don’t know of anyone on BU responsible for those THEFTS….unless others know something we don’t…

  48. ….the fundamental issue that we are all COMPLICIT in this malaise!
    You can say that again Dribbles.

    In fact, Bushie posits that one of the reasons that ordinary Bajans literally worship politicians, is that most of us ENVY the opportunity that this presents to ‘thief some BIG money’.

    Do you know that plenty Bajans actually SCORN any politician that allowed HONESTY to get in the way of his or her ‘political opportunities’?

    The WHOLE damn society is lost….
    Those crooks in Parliament REPRESENT us …in more ways that one….

  49. “Let the Governor of the Central Bank tell any Finance Minister, he’s not following government policy and see what happens.
    Imagine a public servant calling in the police to arrest or charge a politician with corruption.”

    Hmmmmm…… interesting.

    Some time ago, I mentioned that the Director of a SOE where I worked, on orders from the Board of Directors, instructed me to deposit the funds remaining from the previous financial year, to the Consolidated Fund.

    I complied with the instructions.

    Caswell Franklyn ‘said’ I didn’t know what I was doing…… subsequently supported by Bush Tea and de pedantic Dribbler.

    Similarly, what would’ve happened to me if I had told the Director, Board and Minister they weren’t following accepted policy…… and refused to proceed as instructed?

  50. @ Artax
    “…what would’ve happened to me if I had told the Director, Board and Minister they weren’t following accepted policy…… and refused to proceed as instructed?”
    We would have hailed you as a Bajan GIANT of the ilk of Emtage and Lionel Moe, and all like now so, your donkey would be in Parliament making wrong things right yuh we…..LOL

    Instead you set the tone for the Radical PS…..

  51. “is that most of us ENVY the opportunity that this presents to ‘thief some BIG money’.”

    i have heard some of the dimmest people tell ya, if ya wanted to get rich ya shoulda been a politician….so stop complaining.

    ….it could never compute in the minds of the dimmest that said politicians are getting rich from TIEFING FROM THEM and their children..

    but that’s the blighted plight of pimps and fowls….they never fail to amaze…

  52. de pedantic Dribbler August 16, 2022 6:47 PM

    Despite who agrees, disagrees or PURPOSELY INTERPRETS my opinion as PROTECTING POLITICIANS……

    …… corruption in government is PERPETRATED by BOTH public sector employees and politicians.

    Let me give you an example of corruption perpetrated by BOTH.

    We’re all AWARE that politicians have for years been facilitating the issuing of PSV permits (ZR, taxi, tour buses, mini buses), to CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS.

    Some of those same PSV owners or their operators do not have to:

    … file income tax returns and apply for tax clearance certificates so as to process the renewal of their permits, because somebody in the BRA gine ‘sort dem out’ for a ‘small fee.,’

    …queue in longs lines to have their vehicles inspected, because duh got uh fellow at MTW dat gine get de inspection certificate ‘sort out’ for a ‘small fee.’

    … go to Court when the ZR or mini bus driver was reported by the police for speeding, going off route, off loading and picking up passengers at an area other than a bus stop or and carrying excess passengers….. because he got a ‘police friend’ who, for a ‘small fee,’ gine mek sure he ‘get sort out.’

    This is the REALITY in Barbados.

  53. Artax as usual you are 1000% correct this clique on here comprising Waru, Skinner, Bush Tea and Pacha main aim on here is in my view to pull down this elected government at all cost.This is as clear as day.Mr Skinner likes dropping a lot of childish remarks amytime his agenda is exposed.No wonder with his knowall personality he received less than 100 votes in his only failed attempt to wow voters back in the day.Today he is an expert in all things, poor fella.Stick to impressing Waru and the rest of your clique you will be a lot more sucessful
    I gone.

  54. @ Artax

    While no one can seriously deny all the acts of malfeasance you have mentioned, you are missing one salient point ; these acts are often surreptitiously encouraged by the same politicians , who should be the guardians of the public trust .
    Therefore we have a culture of political corruption that is pervasive and its tentacles touch almost everything in this country.
    In other words , it is a known fact that one phone call from a politician can stop a civil servant or police from executing their duties.
    My position as stated earlier remains: if we did not have an historically competent public service the country would have gone under water every since by the weight of political corruption.
    In other words while we may choose to highlight the dishonesty of some public servants, we should pause and ask ourselves if there were not some very competent ones , where the hell the country will be today.
    And getting back to the topic: No public servant can sign off on an economic policy that causes the NIS to lose a billion dollars just so.
    No public servant can make the Central bank print money
    No public servant can write off taxes of the same business people that owe the NIS $56 million dollars.
    And no public servant could have touched Donville Inniss
    And no public servant can shut down this country
    And no public servant can determine what type of budget should be presented.
    You know that politicians run this place and anybody who gets in their way is socially and economically destroyed.
    The public servants, nurses, teachers, police and others have all at some time or other paid the price of visionless, poor management and leadership of this country by both the Dees and Bees.
    They created the cesspool of corruption and graft and it is now biting them in their backsides.








  56. @ DPD
    “So yes you can have your duopoly narrative to your heart’s content but until people from Saturn start to vote in Barbados I am at a lost to understand why your view that the political class are THE culprits is more viable than the fundamental issue that we are all COMPLICIT in this malaise!”

    Well, my Brother if you really believe that we are all “ complicit” we could as well shut shop.
    No wonder the Duopoly can do as they like; they have our backing , according to you and others , who can’t accept that those elected and entrusted with the public trust set the tone for the country.
    Now, rather than support the need for those who lead to set standards , you want the Doris to come and pick up all ah we.
    What you have written above will be read with great glee in Roebuck and George Streets.
    Man, you gone to completely new heights and I hope you have prepared a landing for such a flight. Safe landing my Brother .



    Now that’s the point I have been trying to make . The country has been led to this cesspool by the political leadership. They encourage the bull shit and allow their lackeys to do whatever they like.
    When I say Duopoly that is exactly what I mean.
    This is a well cultivated and encouraged culture.
    It will not be killed by those who have nurtured and nourished it , along with their lackeys.
    Here is the outstanding matter they don’t want to touch.
    Why did the NIS
    have to lose one billion dollars?
    You note the assortment of apologists are barely trying to answer this question.
    Imagine the same business people who owe the NIS $56 million dollars were given massive tax relief and millions upon millions were written off.?
    You are absolutely correct they like it so and apparently I am now hearing that we are all “ complicit” . The other day I was hearing about “ covert “ activities of public servants and we now have a dossier of every malfeasance committed in by public servants.
    So, if according to the truthful scribes on BU that the public servants just as corrupt ac the politicians , where the hell are we going to end up ?

  58. William Skinner August 16, 2022 9:06 PM

    YOU’RE the person who is “missing the salient
    I did not “choose to highlight the dishonesty of some public servants,”
    I highlighted the dishonesty of BOTH politicians AND public servants…… under the SAME circumstances.

    If you’re suggesting SOME politicians created, supported and upheld an environment in which acts of corruption are perpetrated, I would be the first person to agree with you.
    You seem to be implying that, although you acknowledge there are SOME dishonest civil servants…… there AREN’T ANY HONEST politicians…… that ALL politicians are INHERENTLY DISHONEST.

    However, according to the older folk, ‘when you say ‘A,’ you have to say, ‘B.’

    According to you, “if we did not have an historically competent public service the country would have gone under water every since by the weight of political corruption.”
    Yet, you ‘said,’ for example, “Imagine a public servant calling in the police to arrest or charge a politician with corruption.”

    “No public servant can” do some of the things you mentioned, because THEY’RE NOT RESPONSIBLE for developing policies or making political decisions.
    So, you’re essentially ‘comparing apples with oranges.’

    “No public servant can write off taxes of the same business people that owe the NIS $56 million dollars.”
    But, they can facilitate a process whereby “those same business people” WON’T have to PAY income or corporation taxes, which is essentially a ‘tax write-off.”

    Shouldn’t you likewise ask yourself if there weren’t any competent politicians that implemented progressive policy initiatives that were subsequently corrupted by civil servants?
    UDC and RDC, for example, provide houses and house repairs for poor people.
    I know of cases where persons charged with approving house repairs, sought sexual favours from women so as to ‘fast track’ the approval and facilitation of those repairs.

    “……it is a known fact that one phone call from a politician can stop a civil servant or police from executing their duties.”
    And, it is likewise “a known fact that one phone call from a” colleague in the civil or police services, on behalf of a relative or friend, “can stop a civil servant or police from executing their duties.”

    “No public servant can sign off on an economic policy that causes the NIS to lose a billion dollars just so.”
    But, public servants could engage in activities that, over a period of time, “cause the NIS to lose a billion dollars just so.”

  59. I am confused. One minute leading the charge for good governance and the next minute an unapologetic apologist.

    Hal Austin used to say that our problem was not one of corruption, it was incompetence. Perhaps he is right.

    Ignorance of our GoB officials is the main reason why we get scammed. The second reason being corruption of the politicians. Perhaps we are expecting too much from the square pegs in round holes. things just have to fall apart.

  60. Anytime they have to figure out the price after the purchase… a scam. Not a billion dollarl scam, but definitely millions will be lost.

    From BT
    “Speaking to another section of the media, Ishmael had said he would not be pressured to prematurely release the figures.

    “I am going to provide the public with the costs related to this project very soon,” he had said, adding that when the cost was eventually made public, it would include a comprehensive breakdown of everything involved.

    “We have the information relative to the cost [but] that information is spread across many financial years, many different components, many different agencies, departments and ministries.”

  61. Caswell is on top of them like white on rice.

    However, his language is much too refine to accurately describe the shenanigans. Notice he says
    ‘backward’ and not ‘ass backward’. His
    Talk of “building a house and don’t have money” translates to ‘writing a check your ass cannot cash’ and his “it should have been costed before … ” translates to ‘now they gun fiddle de books and gi we bogus numbers’

    From BT
    However, Franklyn said that was not good enough.

    “His response is arrogance,” he said.

    “Government always does things backwards. You do not do something and then try to find out how much it costs, you work out the costs and everything and see if it is feasible and then you start the project. You don’t build a house and discover halfway through you ain’t got no money.

    “It should have been costed before and put to the Estimates so that the world would know how much it cost when they roll it out. That is what a government does, that is how government is run,” Franklyn added. (KC)

  62. “……and we now have a dossier of every malfeasance committed in by public servants.
    So, if according to the truthful scribes on BU that the public servants just as corrupt as the politicians……”

    Mr. Skinner

    Despite the shiite and silly, snide remarks you’re spewing…… I will stand by my comments that BOTH civil servants and politicians engage in corruption.

    And, that is the fundamental point you’re CONTINUING to PURPOSELY IGNORE.

    What are the significant differences between Susan going to a politician for assistance in receiving her passport the same day…… and paying an immigration officer a ‘small fee’ for him/her to render the same assistance?

    What are the significant differences between Mike asking the Minister of Transport or his constituency representative to arrange for him to get his driver’s license, without going through the rudiments of the driving test…..
    …… or, asking his Testing Officer friend to make similar arrangements for a ‘small fee?’

    RE: “The country has been led to this cesspool by the political leadership.”

    RE: “They encourage the bull shit and allow their lackeys to do whatever they like.”

    Are you suggesting politicians are solely responsible for the perpetration of corruption in Barbados?

    I’ve come to realize that you and some other persons in this forum, SEEM to believe you have the ‘monopoly on intelligence.’

    That we should come in this forum on a daily basis to focus only on those issues you want to discuss…… and in a manner you want them to be discussed.

    That we should describe ALL politicians as ‘generational thieves and black faces in Parliament, stealing from the Treasury and pension fund.’

    That it is ‘either your way or the highway.’

    And, any opinions that differ from yours and those in your club, mean we are an “assortment of apologists protecting and defending politicians.”

    ‘Keep up the good work.’

    As-salaam alaikum.

  63. The A guy -both to blame
    W guy- politicians
    D guy – civil servants
    HA – incompetence
    Wura – corruption
    Me – genetics.. the thiefing gene is found in some civil servants, most politicians and some citizens

  64. @William, those blinkers again are being worn by you!😎🙏🏿

    Why do you persist in mischaracterizzing what @Artax or Bushie, the Blogmaster and DEFINITELY what the blogger Baje is saying about Bajan society … why, brother Skinner!

    You are engaging in a very circuitous argument … 1st, no one disputes your point that the political class leads us and are thus entrusted to guide with integrity and lead us with no corruption.

    Did you MISS the 1,000% agreement the same Baje made with Artax’s post about malfeasance by civil servants !

    Did you miss that you are agreeing with his 9:51PM post where you say “that’s the point” YOU are making when in fact his remarks clearly disputes YOUR argument! He is clearly condemning the incompetence of the public servants even as he launches a backhanded critique at how easily the Minister caused said civil servants to expeditiously do the job that should have been done WITHOUT her intervention!

    As @Artax noted … YOU are the one missing the point, brother!

    If the public service was competent then of necessity some of the elected MPs and govt ministers who went to the SAME schools, SAME universities, churches etc ALSO must be just as competent, not so!

    (As so obviously noted above by Artax)

    And thus if some politicians are corrupt then so too must be some public servants!

    The duopoly was created by Bajans …so absolutely my remarks cannot cause any glee at party HQ as they know quite well the inherent corruption on which they have built their extensive graft !

    You present this unreal description that our LEADERS alone have failed our nation! SMH.

    A wish you well on that strange journey!

  65. @DPD
    Do you know the failure to computerize and bring modern technology.
    Allow me to add to that bit of misinformation.

    In 1969 the US Gov’t provided an IBM 1401 computer to the Barbados Gov’t to enable it to get in on the ground floor in the world of data processing. The Gov’t then established a new Dept. named the Data Processing Unit under the leadership of the late Harry (Sir Harcourt) Lewis. To staff this Dept. the Gov’t instituted a Civil Service wide search to identify employees who were viable candidates to work within the Dept. and it did this by having all applicants take an IQ test to determine who were best suited to complete training and work in the Dept. Twenty-four candidates were selected and out of this complement were supposed to be systems analysts, programmers, and computer operators. Those who completed the training and didn’t make the final cut were returned to their respective Depts. to act as liaisons for the changes that would be implemented because of this new technology. The computer training was done by a Peace Corp volunteer provided by the US Gov’t.

    The above is a brief snapshot of when computers were introduced to the Barbados Gov’t 53 years ago and I am flummoxed at the suggestion that from that small beginning time there has been a failure by the Gov’t “to computerize and bring modern technology”

    BTW I believe that Lewis” experience with the DPU made him the ideal candidate to transition the Barbados Savings Bank to the Barbados National Bank and the start up of its fledging computerize systems..

  66. Hmmmm……

    Now…… I’m confused.

    If we accept civil servants and politicians come from amongst the general ‘pool’ of citizens, then, I’m finding it hard to understand how “the thiefing gene” can be found in “SOME civil servants” and “SOME citizens”…… but, yet, “in MOST politicians.”

    Unless, politicians come from Pluto or some other planet?

    But, if the gene is found in SOME citizens, then it means there are citizens who do not possess the gene.
    Or, is it that they actually have the gene, but it remains dormant until they join the public sector……
    ……and, politics provide an environment conducive for the gene to mutate…… thereby becoming aggressively active as soon they enter the political fray?

  67. “But, if the gene is found in SOME citizens, then it means there are citizens who do not possess the gene.
    Or, is it that they actually have the gene, but it remains dormant until they join the public sector……”

    Food for thought.. Possibly a research area.. a gene that is spread by proximity.

    I would not take it that serious.

  68. Concerning the NIS debacle, I would like to share my thoughts in the form of a poem. It’s a long one, so I’ll just write the 1st verse for now. Maybe, I’ll come back and post the rest: – I runnin’ pun empty, I runnin’ pun empty. I am barren. There is nothing left. In times of plenty, you misuse and abuse me. Wuh you expect now? Green trèes in a desert? Well you must be hallucinating, ’cause it’s only dried up stumps I seeing. I runnin’….

    • In the same way we finally have citizens talking about NIS because they perceive the threat of losing benefits, the same spotlight must be focused on the public service. We need a strong and relevant public service especially in these times.

  69. Magnificent a.k.a Magno – Yu Heard Formula: C₂₁H₃₀O₂ IUPAC ID: (−)-(6aR,10aR)-6,6,9-trimethyl- 3-pentyl-6a,7,8,10a-tetrahydro- 6H-benzo[c]chromen-1-ol on said:

    Camp David
    There are many camps on BU but there is no reasoning amongst brethren
    #THROWASHADECREW like to make out they are more intelligent but clearly aren’t
    There are Team Players who blindly support and agree with their favourite messy people

    Mind the Gap

    But I would like to turn attention to the 2 Camps of Barbados
    the Rich and the Poor

    I could go on and on the full has never been told
    Voice of the Poor

  70. Private sector not the villain here


    THE TOPIC OF REFORM of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is a large one. This analysis is not exhaustive and deals primarily with the principal long-term benefit of NIS pensions.
    By law the NIS is subjected to an actuarial review every three years. The most recent one was undertaken at December 31, 2020 and the previous one of 2017 was finalised in December 2021.
    The long-term patterns presented in this report are not substantially different from previous reports except that the fund exhaustion has been brought forward by the depletion of the fund by $1.3 billion. This is a result of national debt restructuring, and the lost revenue and increased benefits occasioned by the pandemic. The broad picture is unchanged from what we always knew and some of the recommendations made, and ignored, are in previous reports: 1. reduce investment in Barbados Government debt (target 40 per cent, actual 70 per cent).
    2. improve administration, and 3. improve corporate governance and accountability – the last completed audit was in 2010.
    There is no doubt that we need to take decisions and action. Often there is the will to do so only when the crisis looms closer. Some decisions need no debate, just action; others have social consequences and need the broadest possible support of all Barbadians.
    The introduction of the NIS in 1966 was a great step for Barbados but it should not blind us to thinking that every aspect of its implementation was ideal. If we do not acknowledge the errors, we will not improve for the future.
    The NIS provided pension benefits for many employees who would never have received pensions, mainly transient workers such as artisans and people employed by individuals or smaller companies. For these it has really been a “lifeline”.
    At the same time: (a) It was not needed for public sector employees who already had an adequate if not generous pension arrangement; for them (hired before 1985) it duplicated benefits at a cost that the nation could not afford and these benefits will continue to be paid for many years. For post-1985 hires, the Government pension is abated and the duplication has been largely eliminated and employees now contribute to a large part of their pension.
    (b) For the employees of private sector companies who had pension plans there was no change in benefits but the total benefit now came from two sources.
    ( c) There was doubtless also a category who saved and provided for their own retirement but these numbers are not known.
    For employees in categories B and C, the effect was to transfer significant amounts of future savings from private arrangements to NIS control. These funds should have been invested to build private sector businesses and start new ones. Unfortunately, most of these funds were lent to Government and new investment was left to foreigners, who bought our companies and started new ones, while others were never started. In short, the economy did not grow as it could have and where it did the growth did not belong to Barbadians.
    NIS has traditionally been suspicious of the private sector: ( a) It trusted employers to collect contributions but not to pay benefits.
    ( b) It will not report to employers on benefits paid to employees.
    ( c) I was once told by a former NIS director that they would never invest in a private sector company because the private sector’s governance was too weak. This requires no comment, as NIS has not published an audit for ten years while our listed companies publish quarterly financial results and audits within four months of year end.
    “A” is important because paying benefits through employers is faster and could result in reduced administrative expenses by NIS. Late payment of sickness benefits can be a huge burden on employees.
    “B” is important because it would allow employers to accurately “harmonise” benefits and plan better employment packages for employees. Despite what some think, many employers care about their employees and would like to be able to better plan the “total” benefit package to employees.
    Vague statements are made about outstanding contributions that gives the impression that employers deduct from employees and do not pay over to NIS. I would like to see the facts:
    • what proportion of expected contributions are outstanding after one month, six months and longer than one year, and
    • what proportion of each category are public sector employers.
    I expect that their track record will show that the vast majority of private sector employers pay promptly and have been good partners with NIS, but let the facts speak and put a stop to idle speculation. Certainly all defaulters should be pursued and action taken where possible and written off where not recoverable. This happens in all businesses.
    What fixes should not need debate
    Although it is unlikely that the NIS reserve will grow, there will be Government bonds that mature, and where not all of the funds are required to pay benefits and expenses. These funds available for new investments should be managed by private contractors to invest in local businesses. Details such as rules, tenders and removal of low performers should be developed by the Social Partners.
    Improved administration for better records and faster payment, possibly in partnership with employers, is also not controversial, as is a reduction in the cost of this administration. A reduction from seven per cent of contributions to five per cent would be similar to 0.5 per cent increase in contributions (two per cent x 21 per cent = 0.42 per cent).
    Options that do deserve deep debate
    These are the thorny issues that do need debate: If we increase contributions, then when should we do it: ( a) Now when earnings are already under strain? ( b) In two years after some recovery and in the meantime draw on the reserve?
    ( c) Should the increase be split equally between employer and employees?
    ( d) Should we increase the ceiling for earnings so that higher paid employees pay more?
    ( e) Should we draw down the fund, then contribute at the “pay as you go rate”?
    ( f) Should we transition in some way to a “defined contribution” arrangement as is popular in Latin America?
    If we alter benefits, then we should consider alternatives such as: ( a) Longer accrual rates. ( b) Lower benefit rates for higher paid employees while we maintain the safety net for the lowest paid.
    ( c) Should retirement ages be increased further? ( d) Should retirement ages be held but benefits increase at a later age to reflect increasing dependence with age?
    How can we encourage more contributors into the Scheme? We know that many self-employed and contract workers do not contribute and that some number of employers and employees agree not to contribute to so achieve higher net pay and/or reduced costs. This will get increasingly difficult as contribution rates increase.
    Do we need to increase our population either through incentives to have more children or through immigration?
    My opinion is that the size of the population is not as important as the number of jobs that the economy can support. To have a larger population than there are jobs will not help NIS and will increase all other social benefits and costs. This needs full debate and consensus.
    I do hope that over the next few weeks there will be meaningful national consultation and that the key issues will not be clouded by political mudslinging, “red herrings”, and pontificating that so often overwhelms similar discussions.
    To conclude, my own suggestion is that the NIS sponsor publicised debates on key issues where the panel tries to clearly enunciate the pros and cons of alternative courses of action. The objective of these debates would be to inform and educate the public and not to score political points (perhaps politicallyaligned people should be excluded).

    Charles Herbert is a retired actuary.

  71. The blogmaster inquired in an earlier comment why did the inspectors stop visiting employers. We know the answer, blame the politician.

    NIS keeping eye on cheques

    THE NATIONAL INSURANCE SCHEME (NIS) is on alert for the number of “dead” people who have received pension cheques, says director Kim Tudor.
    Amidst complaints from the public following the Auditor General’s recent report highlighting the problem, Tudor said they were addressing the situation. She was speaking on Monday evening during the first in a series of town hall meeting titled How Can We Revitalise The NIS – For Us, Our Children And Grandchildren. It was held at Combermere School in Waterford, St Michael.
    Processing payments
    “The life certificate was discontinued years ago, so we depend on updating our records based on the Registry and the goodwill of families to notify us that the person has died. Right now we are processing payments for the end of August into September, so we are always going to be mailing out pensions ahead.
    “However, we have looked at how often we should get the updates from the Registry, and how often we should update our system and we are certainly addressing it,” Tudor said.
    The town hall meetings are being held following a press conference last week at which Government announced that the NIS would be in jeopardy from 2034 and on if changes are not made.
    Tudor said that monthly about 48 000 pensioners were paid, a handful of whom were flagged by their system.
    “The fact that the system was able to identify five out of 48 000 does show that we have a system in place. When I mail out cheques at the end of August, somebody will get a cheque for the end of September, but God forbid, they may die in that period,” she added.
    Jade Garner, who said she has worked in accounting for 46 years, was among those at the meeting expressing concern.
    “I heard the Auditor General say that the NIS is paying dead people and that I have a problem with. I believe if there is an audit and things are put in perspective, we will be able to move forward from a better position,” she said.
    She recalled that when she worked as a programmer at Plantations Trading Co. Ltd, NIS inspectors visited to ensure the correct procedures were followed.
    Garner suggested that a similar measure should be taken again, along with encouraging more people to contribute to the Scheme.
    “An officer from the NIS used to come around, and her visit was a pleasure. She came to see if all of the calculations were correct and that we were doing our duty. However, that stopped many years ago and I think what we should do is to try to encourage people, without threatening them, to file and pay National Insurance, whether they are selfemployed or employees. “I am happy that I performed my duty and responsibility for 46 years and, please God, when I reach 67, there will be money inside there for me to get my pension because I have worked my tail off for 46 years,” she added.
    Deputy chairman of the NIS board, Rawdon Adams, said although compliance was an issue, the NIS problem was more structural as it was still operating in the way it was designed over 55 years ago.
    People born today are expected to live longer, he said, adding that while the average number of children in households in 1967 was under four, these days it was less than two.
    Adams said although targeting entrepreneurs would be useful, it would not allow
    them to make up the $980 million deficit projected by the mid-2030s.
    “Let’s pretend for a moment that we could regularise the entire informal sector. We can infer that represents about 33 000 to 34 000 people and that may be worth about $220 million, but to get half of the deficit is a structural problem.
    “The Scheme was not designed for the time we live in now. It’s a structural problem we are facing today. Although it may be daunting, many countries have faced this issue and there is a precedent,” he added.

    Source: Nation

  72. Wadada ♡ ♥💕❤😘
    means: LOVE
    It can also be used as a greeting such as “Hello” and “Goodbye.

    Ask me no question
    I tell you no lie
    Ask me no question
    I play music

    Jah Works
    knowledge wisdom and understanding
    is what the sensimila bring

    It’s like the same song everyday..
    but a next generation of new singers
    sing new versions of older last generation song lyrics
    with Reworks

    We specialise

    Be Grateful
    De Dubful

    Voice of the Poor (x2)
    Voice of the Poor Dub Voices Nish Wadada

    Voice Of The Poor, Fred Locks & Creation Steppers, Poor Man’s Story, Levi Roots & Sir Coxsone Sound

  73. @ TheO
    The A guy -both to blame
    W guy- politicians
    D guy – civil servants
    HA – incompetence
    Wura – corruption
    Me – genetics.. the thiefing gene is found in some civil servants, most politicians and some citizens
    Bushie – Brassbowlery to blame. (all of the above and spiritual karma)

  74. Revelation 5:5: Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’ This is widely regarded as a reference to the Second Coming among Christians.

    Salute Him
    Dub Salute

  75. @ Sargeant
    So you are contending that a computer installed in 1969 is equivalent to brining the entire public service up to scratch for the next 50 years.
    Therefore all the talk over the last two decades by both administrations about computerizing and bringing technology to enhance the service was one big reinvention of the wheel.
    I stand by what it is widely known , the public service. was and is still lagging in technology.

    • The issue of installing computer hardware Dee Word can describe better than the blogmaster – it not about installing hardware, there must be a good design of systems and procedures to map all functions, continuous training etc

  76. Yes Mr Adams but if you all did not right off a billion dollars of the NIS money you would not have a $980 MILLION dollar deficit by 2034 would yuh!

    That is why all talk bout ” dont worry its a wash” is total BS in real terms. It really was an insult to the intelligence of the bajan shareholders of the NIS to make such an assanine statement.

    • @John A

      Agreeing with you. The actuary seems to justify calling it a wash because it relieves the public of the 1 billion liability BUT after that the NIF remains undercapitalized.

  77. David
    “In the same way we finally have citizens talking about NIS because they perceive the threat of losing benefits, the same spotlight must be focused on the public service. We need a strong and relevant public service especially these times.”
    To do what exactly David?
    How did it help David Thompson to FINALLY access the best possible medical experts – after reaching the stage he did?
    How would the Titanic have fared any differently, if the top boatbuilders were on board after the idiot captain impacted the iceberg?…

    There is a time and a place for everything…
    We missed our time to build…
    Not we have reached the time to pay.

  78. So who is surprised these incompetent frauds can’t get from point A to point B 53 years later…the only thing they can see is a way to run a scam…

    i bought my first computer an IBM in the early 90s, never looked back, but taxpayer funded departments can’t take the first step from a DONATION…lucky they did not leave the system out in the rain to rot as they do the baby incubators, the onion drying machine and other life saving equipment….donated to them.

    Bushman….and she is STILL LYING…..won’t STOP LYING…..while people who KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON because it’s their field of expertise are saying one thing….the LIES still ooze out of the parliament…

    government should not touch the people’s money anymore…TOO MANY THIEVES between them and civil servants…..according to what some on here say, and none can stop the other..

    no one with commonsense will believe anything coming from the likes of CH.

    “Barbadians are being encouraged to invest in private pensions and not solely depend on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to support them in their retirement years.

    The advice has come from president of the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) Randy Graham, who contends that the NIS can no longer afford to support pensions for every Barbadian.

    His advice follows the recent revelation that the National Insurance Fund was in danger of being depleted within the next 12 to 20 years if urgent action was not taken.”

  79. Here is Caswell…….all politicians are painted and tainted with the TIEFING brush….the politicians who do nothing and say nothing are equally guilty as collaborators and enablers………silence is violence, silence is ACCEPTANCE………many say the civil servants are ALSO THIEVES………don’t know how many….but birds of a feather flock together…..liars and THIEVES, wicked and greedy, only looking out for THEMSELVES…like Caswell is pointing out in this comment..

    “A friend told me that Gline Clarke, who served as a minister in the Owen Arthur Administration, has made a call for increased pensions for parliamentarians when the current economic fortunes turn around.
    Even though my friend is usually reliable, I had difficulty believing him because I found it hard to understand why anyone, who is still in possession of all their mental faculties, could make such a call, in the Barbados context.
    I decided not to repeat that bit of news before I read the report for myself. My caution turned to complete amazement when I went about searching and found a story headlined Give Us More in the June 3 edition of Barbados Today which confirmed what my friend had said.

    Mr Clarke was quoted as saying: “After spending so many years in here [Parliament], there should be something where parliamentarians can have a decent pension to live on comfortably. We don’t want to be rich. What we get is meagre . . . in terms of living from day to day, it’s really meagre.”
    He also said that some MPs are left in degrading positions, unable to survive on their meagre pensions and forced to rely on family for financial support.
    But before we start feeling sorry for retired parliamentarians, it would be useful to contrast what they receive against what others, who also give public service, receive. Mind you, as MPs they have been able to legislate some of the most generous pension terms and conditions for themselves. Except for the Prime Minister, all other MPs are pensionable under the Retiring Allowances (Legislative Service) Act.

    Originally, both MPs and public servants were able to access their pensions from 55 years of age, but over time Parliament has lowered the qualifying age for MPs to 50 years, and increased the pension age for public officers to 67 years. They are therefore entitled to receive their pensions 17 years ahead of other public servants. That is bad enough, but it gets worse.
    Former, and in some cases, sitting MPs, qualify for pensions of half of their highest salary, after serving eight years. On the other hand, public officers qualify for one-fifth of the three-year average of their salary after serving ten years. While former employees of statutory boards, who are pensionable under the Statutory Boards (Pensions) Act, qualify for one-sixth of their salary after serving ten years. That is bad enough but it gets worse.

    MPs qualify for a full pension of two-thirds of their highest salary after serving 12 years; public officers are entitled to receive a similar pension after serving thirty-three and one-third years; and employees of statutory boards qualify for the same entitlement after 40 years.
    Tomorrow, if a minister demits office after eight years, he would be entitled to receive a “meagre” pension of $6 349.25 per month, and after 12 years’ service, the “meagre” pension would be $8 465.67 per month. In order to appreciate how meagre that pension happens to be, a deputy principal of a secondary school and a senior administrative officer in a ministry both receive a salary of $7 348.54 per month. That is bad enough but it gets worse.
    In 1975, legislation was passed in Parliament to provide that persons who join the Public Service, after September 1, 1975 would have their public service pensions reduced by the amount of their National Insurance pension.
    In effect, it means that public servants would qualify for the higher of the two pensions. Interestingly, the reduction did not apply to MPs so they would continue to receive both pensions. At their level, MPs should qualify for the maximum NIS pension of $2 419.21 per month, at today’s values, which would give them a total of $10 884.88 per month. A deputy permanent secretary receives a monthly salary of $10 112.48.

    In order not to mislead, I must point out that an MP who served 12 or more years, and who opts for a gratuity and reduced pension, would receive a gratuity of 25 months’ pay and a reduced pension of half his highest ever salary.
    Also, when a former parliamentarian finally goes to meet his maker, he can do so secure in the knowledge that his widow and children would not end up in the poorhouse. Sections 10 and 11 of the Retiring Allowances (Legislative Service) Act make generous provisions for the widow, while she remains unmarried, and for the children who are under the age of 18 years.
    On the other hand, while retaining theirs, Parliament abolished the pensions that were payable to the survivors, in respect of public officers who were appointed on or after April 1, 1978, in accordance with section 3A of the Widows and Children Pensions Act.

    The foregoing should be enough to debunk the myth that former ministers are not well taken care of in terms of pension entitlements. But could the former minister have been speaking of former prime ministers? I think not. Their pensions arrangements are the most generous that I have ever seen.
    Both Gline Clarke and I agree that there should be some reform in the pensions paid to former parliamentarians, but that is the extent of our agreement. Unlike him, I believe that pension entitlements for MPs are overly generous. Rather than give them more, I propose that some equity should be brought to the pension system by bringing the pensions paid to MPs in line with those paid to former public officers.
    Mr Clarke’s revelation that some former MPs cannot live comfortably on their already lucrative pensions clearly demonstrates why they should not have been allowed to manage the country’s finances.
    • Caswell Franklyn is a trade unionist and social commentator.

  80. Let me tell you now
    as an experience IT Guru
    The only good system
    Is a Sound System

    Can’t Ride Computer

    King Kong


    Anthony Red Rose

    “AC” was a mindless soulless bot that generated random text copied cut and pasted from others works of wisdom and original ideas like the white man and his spies in Babylon, but we Jah Children the Chosen Brothers March Against Babylon Mash Down Babylon Dub Babylon to nice up the dance nice up the lawn and nice up the land

    That’s why
    The 0, Harold Harry Hal Austin, Bushman, Afrika Dub are big fans

  81. William…apparently in their delusions these still tell themselves they will get away with all their lies, fraud, thievery, broad-based corruption and crimes against the people, although it’s being SHARED EVERYWHERE….

    some thieves and liars have no shame…

  82. @ David

    Its like saying If i dont pay my hunderd dollar water bill and keep the hundred dollars its a wash because i now have the money in my wallet. Of course i now got to bathe under the standpipe, but dont worry over the water gettig cut off cause its a wash!

    Some statements are better left unsaid. It also showed a lack of respect for those that contributed the billion dollars to the system as well.

  83. @ Artax
    You are entitled to your opinion and so is everybody on this blog . If you and others believe that corruption is inbred in every Bajan, that’s your opinion.
    I maintain that it is a culture that has been cultivated , nurtured and nourished by the political class.
    There are two political parties that have governed this country and in my opinion they have allowed , encouraged and engaged in widespread corruption.
    They have never put proper governance and accountability as bench marks of development.
    They have now succeeded in wrecking the NIS.
    Hopefully we will find the one billion dollars that a policy decision cost the fund and hopefully those who owe it $56 million will have a change of heart and pay it in.
    I come here with only one purpose , to share how I think with my brothers and sisters. And I respectfully believe that you and others do exactly that. At the end of the day we are all Bajans.
    We don’t have to always agree.

  84. William…they are trying to gloss over the fact that civil servants are also lackeys, political pimps and cult fowls for one party or the many fowls on here….and would do ANYTHING to maintain that status….just like the BU fowls..

    ..there are only two corrupt parties…for the last how many decades…where else would corrupt civil servants reside…

  85. @ David

    That is why i said from day 1 all this talk shop and old talk is a waste of time when you have a basic problem with one solution.

    You will have a shorfall by 2034 of $980 million based on todays activities. You decided to write off $1 billion dollars of liability to the NIS. Central government must therefore inject THE 1 BILLION DOLLARS IN CASH back into the fund that it wrote off. Its that simple so left out the talk shops and start looking for the money. Oh and for the record when i say money, i mean liquid negotiable cash not another promisory note known as a government bond.

  86. despite the circular, around and around argument….there is NO ESCAPING THE FACT……that ALL POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT and the civil servants accused of corruption are their followers, party members, family, friends, bed partners, etc …they can’t tief millions and BILLIONS by themselves…..the MINISTRY OF FINANCE has to SIGN OFF on checks….that i know…

    at the end of the day they are A SYNDICATE OF THIEVES both them and the politicians….none can be separated from the other…

    so WHAT NOW?

    what is the solution to END THESE CRIMES against taxpayers, pensioners, young people, children etc…

    instead of arguing nonstop….what is going to be done…TO END THEM ALL..they MUST BE TAKEN DOWN….unless yall want them continuing permanently so yall can have something to argue, post and TALK SHITE ABOUT..

  87. Carry on Dubwise

    It’s a love affair
    you know there’s
    money going down the drain
    I don’t know what to do
    that’s a love affair

    That’s why I have to
    box you down
    kick you down
    and don’t you come
    running to me
    crying to me

    This is the best that I can do
    this is something you must understand

  88. @ David

    That is the leaders problem not mine. They could borrow it from china or Timbuktoo for all i care, but if we really want to fix the fund this is the only solution. Anything less will be a useless short term patch. As long as its borrowed at an interest rate that is lower than the current fund yield that is my major conceren.

    • @John A

      Unfortunately borrowing that about is not practical. The PM alluded to injecting about 77 million in the first year based on what is before her from the actuarial work done. One suspects this is the best path but would it conflict with a possible IMF rollover plan.

  89. @ WARU
    All we need to fo is accept it as a culture that has been allowed to flourish. There is no accountability within the political halls of power.
    Now we are supposed to accept that a policy decision which caused the NIS to lose one billion dollars is no big thing. They are calling it a “ wash”.
    I am now being told that civil servants by a series of acts can eventually cost one billion dollars as well.
    Imagine a country that has children whose parents cannot find the means to feed them during the summer vacation can just so decide that wiping out one billion dollars from a fund established to give comfort in our old age is really no big thing.
    I therefore posit that if we are a nation of corruption and our civil service is as equally corrupt as the politicians , it is time to shut shop.
    From the offerings of some on this issue, I have no choice other than to suggest that we are all corrupt and the most corrupt with the backing of their supporters and assortment of lackeys will survive.

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