In our system of government (sog) officials elected to parliament are expected to put the interest of the people ahead of their own. In fact the (sog) places a premium on those offering themselves to public office, not dissimilar to the calling of a priest who is expected to facilitate members of the public getting closer to the Most High. In other words, it is not a 9 to 5 job, it is a ‘calling’.
There has been a lot written in recent years about rising apathy and cynicism by the public directed at the political class and government institutions, Barbados is no different. We can cite comments from the Auditor General, note the precarious state of the National Insurance Scheme or if we want to go big – the ease with which successive governments have borrowed massively instead of implementing initiatives to facilitate adequately earning our way in the world.
It is important for members of the public to be able to develop trust in public officials. Take for example the issue of food standards. The average citizen enters a supermarket or any similar outlet to purchase food items with an understanding standards are being met to protect health standards. In Barbados the Barbados National Standards Institute (BNSI) is the agency with primary responsibility. The reference to BNSI should not be misconstrued as accusing the institution of not delivering on its mandate although the blogmaster is not in a position to know.
The objectives of the BNSI are to facilitate trade and the international competitiveness of Barbadian goods and services, the protection of consumers and the harmonious development of the sectors of the economy, through the development of standards, revision and amendment of these standards from time to time, testing of products for conformity to these standards, certification of products to national standards, accreditation to ensure that those who carry out testing, certification and inspection are competent to do so and calibration of measures (including mass, volume, temperature, length).BNSI
A survey of markets in countries more developed than Barbados and with active consumer organizations suggest that Barbadians should be very concerned about the quality of food items being sold to the public.
Two videos sent by Alien to BU with a focus on bottled water and meats are a must watch. Believe it or not this is an expose from Canada and not a third world country. Where can Barbadians turn for comfort that health standards are being monitored?