Cabinet ministers rewarded for foul ups

Minister of Finance
The Honourable Prime Minister Mia Mottley

In recent days a principal of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAB) was severely critical of the lack of support given to the Auditor General’s department by government. In a sponsored program on the Voice of Barbados titled Talking Financing the President of ICAB did not hold back venting on government’s lack of support for the Auditor General’s office, an important watchdog in our governance system. It was refreshing to listen to an independent agency in Barbados frontally address an issue untainted by political rhetoric and association.

Barbadians have been expressing concerns about incompetence and a stench of corruption to be found in decades worth of Auditor General reports which have been largely ignored by successive governments.

We will therefore strengthen governance in all of government’s affairs, ensuring that our public affairs are managed in a manner that is transparent, participatory, equitable, responsible, responsive, inclusive, and people centred.

2022 Barbados Labour P arty Manifesto

There is definitely a crisis of governance in Barbados with two consecutive general elections registering ALL 30 seats in the Lower House won by the Mia Mottley Barbados Labour Party (BLP). The result has created a dysfunction in parliament how important working committees have not been working as envisaged by the framers of the original Barbados Constitution. Some may suggest even when there was an elected Opposition working committees only served to check the process and procedure box, a different conversation.

From observation since Barbados Underground was established in 2007 there is an irrefutable conclusion to be made. In the system of government practiced, we struggle mightily with holding feet to the fire when government officials contravene rules, procedures and expected standards of performance.

The Director of Finance Ian Carrington was formerly in charge of the problematic National Insurance Scheme, out of the blue he was bumped to the more prestigious role of Director of Finance. Coming out of the COVID 19 transaction, he also earned the title ‘Most Honourable’. Ian Carrington continues to function as Director of Finance.

William Duguid having been mysteriously omitted from the original Cabinet named by Prime Minister Mottley, he was belatedly included as one of four Senior Ministers in a large Cabinet that has been attracting negative public comment. What the blogmaster will remember Duguid for is the steal houses imported from China in August 2021, see Duguid Steel Houses. Senior Minister Duguid explained at the time the decision to import 150 Chinese houses was to address speed of delivery to citizens affected by a freak storm and hurricane Elsa. His explanation came against strident public comment homegrown artisans should have been given the opportunity. Especially at a time of high unemployment. Duguid continues to function as Senior Minister.

In 2021 Prime Minister Mottley admitted she had pulled the plug on a $750,000 Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) sponsored tourism campaign. To be fair, the campaign approval process from reports preceded the then Minister of Tourism Lisa Cummins. However, what has puzzled many was the statement Minister Lisa Cummins made in 2022 that “…the Democratic Labour Party administration had signed a loan contract with the Chinese government which would see them claiming ownership of the port or airport if there was a default in repayment”. The statement was refuted by former Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy who stated that “there is nothing in the agreement about any airport or seaport being [claimed] in the case of default….I do not know where that young lady got her information. I do not know if she is being misguided . . . [but it is] absolute total rubbish”. As far as the blogmaster is aware, this matter was never been satisfactorily resolved in the public space. Cummins continues to function as a minister.

Minister Ryan Struaghn who operates in the ministry of finance promised Barbadians with the introduction of the Financial Management and Audit Act many issues perennially highlighted in the Auditor General’s reports would be dissolved. The problem of “missing documents, missing schedules, lack of information, inconsistencies in reporting and failure to provide supporting documents in too many instances, he said from an accounting point of view“, continues to be a problem. Let us include timely submissions of financial statement by several statutory and quasi state owned agencies. Straughn continues to function as de facto Minister of Finance given Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s demanding international schedule.

Barbadians have not forgotten the promise by then Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw that by now the 11 plus exam was to be discontinued. Her successor Kay McConney then became embroiled in the IDB sponsored survey fiasco that was surreptitiously rolled out to 733 students. The survey offended parents because of questions believed to have been too invasive and inappropriate, especially, without parental consent. Bradshaw continues to function in Cabinet also as Deputy Prime Minister along with McConney.

There is the ongoing confusion with the Trident ID card rollout AND similar incompetence at the Barbados Licensing Authority which involve Ministers Davidson Ishmael and the ministry of finance, Mottley and Straughn. The blogmaster could have highlighted a serious breach of performance for which feet were not held to the fire or where an honest, satisfactory explanation was not forthcoming to the public.

39 thoughts on “Cabinet ministers rewarded for foul ups

    • Public Servants do not escape scrutiny, many of them today operate as a branch of the political establishment.

  1. What’s new?

    When will the writer take these as central, not aberrations, of capitalism itself.

    In the USA the Defense Department cannot account for trillions of dollars.

    And they have long had the gall to openly admit it!

    The late ‘great’ Donald Rumfeldt counseled us that when we have a problem a solution is making it larger.

    Is that not what capitalism has been, doing across the board?

    With all the other systemic problems faced we wonder when the logical conclusion will be made.

    For in the absence of that, no vision is possible. In the absence of vision, the eleven-plus boys and girls keep threading water.

  2. William is thinking that we still have persons of the ilk of Lionel Moe et al of two decades ago. 
    The mendicant jokers who have been PUT IN PLACE by the politicians are in a class of their own now…
    -No balls (literally and figuratively)
    -No guts…
    -No vision…
    -No concerns for anyone but themselves 

    They all strive to predict what the Emperor is likely to say, and rush to say it preemptively….
    This is why the Emperor does NOT realize that her clothes are missing…

    Wunna could try any shiite that wunna like… But the REALITY is that the only effective woman is one who is attached to a WISE man…. THAT is what was DESIGNED!!!

    There is a way that SEEMS right to brass bowls, BUT THE END THEREOF is DEATH and SUFFERING….. We are well on that road….

    • There are so many issue, BU could have included this SAVVY matter under Duguid and Marshall, both senior ministers. It looks like Bigworks will have to solve.

      Article by Emmanuel Joseph
      Published on
      October 5, 2023×475.jpg

      Food court owner urges Government to act to resolve land dispute

      by Emmanuel Joseph

      Just over a month after Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced she had set a deadline for Attorney General Dale Marshall and Senior Minister of Planning and Development Dr William Duguid to wrap up negotiations with the operators of Savvy on the Bay over a land dispute, the owner of the Bay Street business has complained that “nothing is happening.”

      Alan Kinch has urged the Mottley administration to return to the negotiating table and get the matter resolved once and for all.

      In July, Kinch reported he had met with Marshall and Dr Duguid to try to reach an agreement on the sale of the property, at a time when the Government had threatened to compulsorily acquire a portion of the land owned by Kinch if they could not agree on its purchase by the State.

      “I wonder why they couldn’t have a meeting and discuss this and get it done,” he told Barbados TODAY on Wednesday in a brief interview.
      Nissan Xtrail Frontier Pro Sept 23

      The businessman, who heads Savoy Development (Barbados) Inc., the operators of Savvy on the Bay on Bay Street, St Michael, also complained that he has not received a reply to his “many” emails sent to the government.

      “My attorneys said he spoke to Dr Duguid last week, and he is waiting on an email from Dr Duguid or Mr Dale Marshall,” Kinch disclosed.

      When contacted, Duguid declined to discuss the matter in the Press.

      Back in August, Prime Minister Mottley said she had not expected the issue to be argued in public, adding that if the negotiations were not resolved by the deadline she had given, the facts would be made public. She did not reveal the date of the deadline.

      The government wants to take over and build a car park on the beachfront land that Kinch bought from the Barbados Tourism Management Inc. (BTMI) in 2015, during the Freundel Stuart administration.

      Now out of office, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) on Wednesday attacked the government’s handling of the land dispute.

      DLP president Dr Ronnie Yearwood said every landowner should be concerned that the situation between Savvy on the Bay and the Mottley administration was not over.

      “Since the Prime Minister announced that negotiations are ongoing, government representatives have blatantly refused every meeting with the owner of Savvy to answer questions or offer a fair price for the property. What is the point in buying and developing land when the government can reclaim it from you in what amounts to a hostile takeover?” he said in a statement.

      The DLP leader contended that the property which is now Savvy on the Bay was legally bought by Kinch.

      “Yet the Prime Minister has repeatedly stated that the government still owns the land,” he observed.

      “If this claim was true, there would be no need to invoke any law to compulsorily reclaim the land because the government would not need to reclaim what is already the government’s,” he argued.

      Dr Yearwood also pointed out that the Attorney General is also on record saying that his administration tried to, but could not, prevent the sale of the land.

      “So, by their own admission, the property was sold to Mr Kinch. Additionally, compulsory acquisition laws were created for projects that are in the interest of national development, not for an administration to take property from Barbadians and gift it to developers friendly to the Government and its political party regime.”

      Yearwood also wants to know the “real” reason the administration plans to compulsorily acquire the land for a suggested parking lot when there are “so many” other properties in the Bay Street/Jemmotts Lane area where a parking lot could easily be constructed.

      “While the Prime Minister has promised that the Savvy vendors will not be moved or forced out, more information needs to be provided. Understand that these vendors have invested tens of thousands of dollars in building materials and commercial equipment. So, to truly feel comfortable, they need to know any possible changes to their rent and lease agreements. Unfortunately, they too have received nothing but silence from this muted administration,” said the DLP president.

      “If the Mottley-led government was actually transparent, they would meet with Mr Kinch and the vendors and keep the public updated. Instead, government is using their power behind closed doors to ignore due process, take property from a Barbadian landowner while ordering him not to go to the media. This is not right, this is not fair, this is not democracy.”

      Yearwood promised that the DLP would speak out whenever it saw wrongs and injustices being done by the Prime Minister.

      “In addition, should the people return the DLP to government, any new DLP government will investigate transactions by this government that were wrong and unjust and will not hesitate to reverse such acts,” he concluded.

      Source: BT

  3. @ Bush Tea
    There have always been highly competent and dedicated public servants attached or been members of either party.
    We always have convenient scape goats:
    Problems in law enforcement: Blame the police
    Problems in education: Blame the teachers
    Problems in health : Blame the nurses 
    Barbados has a public service that is responsible for any positivity that can still be found in how our governance functions.
    It’s almost a miracle that it still functions relatively well when we take into consideration the clowns they have to put up with calling themselves ministers.

    • 2 simple points
      An excellent post by the blogmaster. Though attacked a and accused of being one-sided his whip falls to those on both sides who are deserving of it.

      It is good to see Ronnie O out and punching. However, he tags the administration, keep silent for day and then deliver a next punch. One day the administration will not respond to his punch as the length of time between delivery nullifies any gains that was made.

      To Ronnie O..
      Hire a clever writer. Every week, there is enough that can be a made a mountain of.

  4. @David
    The login to leave a reply scared me out of my senses.
    Perhaps, an alternative phrase can be used.

  5. It is only the politically invested, who can see major differences within the Cabal.
    They appear identical apart from the personalities involved.
    The major players learned long ago to play both sides, so for them it is similarly seamless. D or B no difference, just collectively, the Cabal.
    Unmentioned in the thread content, is the PM announced some weeks ago the NIS had caught up to 2015 in audits. Anybody seen a Report yet?
    The local bookmakers odds of them being released prior to a new NIS entity creation is 500-1.
    As for Carry-away-a-ton the diversion of contributions could not have occurred without his knowledge? Maybe it was his idea to ‘save the island’ and hence the accolades which followed.

  6. @ David

    The purchase of the Savvy land by government should be interesting in light of the fact kinch only paid $31 a square foot for it and that price INCLUDED the old eye clinic building!

    • @John A

      Interesting to see Opposition Leader has selected Savvy as one of the issues to make some noise. Interesting.

    • Unsure why interesting. This is the umpteenth topic where the Cabal has double ended involvement.
      The Ds offered for sale, but then sat on their ass after award, and left it to the Bs to close.
      The Ds loaded up the NIS with Bonds which GoB had no chance of repaying and then cry foul when the NIS cuts benefits to meet its means.
      CBL is the ultimate dual Cabal approach. The Cabal and friends benefit, while the taxpayer is left to foot the bill.
      Wonder if eminent domain will be used on the Four Seasons too.

  7. David Lol not really if you consider who is one of their major supporters. Ask yourself who sold kinch the property to begin with for the $31 a square foot! Said DLP

    • David, have you forgotten politicians usually make such information available to the public when it is advantageous to them, especially during an election campaign? Remember Arthur’s budget ‘wrap up’ speeches? Or how files mysteriously appear and their contents publicly divulged at election campaign meetings?

  8. @ David

    My question to the DLP is how could you sell prime beach front land with a 4000 sq ft historic building on it for $31 a square foot? Then have the gaul to say “he should be left with the land.” Then again all Mia got to do now is buy back the carpark and what ever he legally owns at the same $31 a sq ft and nobody can quarrel.

    This whole thing is madness.

    • @John A

      In all the exchanges isn’t there agreement it was a forex grab based on a promise to invest 180 million?

    • David, if what John A has been saying on the Savvy issue is true, then you should not have found it interesting that the ‘joker,’ Ronnie Yearwood, decided to ‘keep some noise.’ Can the DEMS say they are approaching this issue they created ‘with clean hands?’

    • Wasn’t the story….Kinch tendered, and after being determined the high bid, was then asked for an extra million, to which he agreed.
      The greater underlying issue, is when governments are known to be so corrupt, many potential bidders stay away, based upon the fear they are only wasting time, for the ‘fix is on’.

    • The blogmaster fingered Minister McConney too soon!

      Reforms take effect from 2025
      By Colville Mounsey

      Barbados could see a comprehensive overhaul of its education system within the next two years.
      With input already from educators, teachers and students and pending public approval, the wide sweeping plan will include the abolition of the Common Entrance Examination, the introduction of a new mode of transferring students from primary to secondary school, a new and updated curricula, the construction of two new schools and a two-stage secondary structure consisting of junior and senior colleges of excellence, earmarked to start academic school year of 2025.
      These were among the major announcements unveiled yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre
      where the Education Transformation Proposal, the result of 25 consultations with close to 5 000 people, was launched.
      Outlining the key points of the reform, which has been titled Reimagining Education In Barbados: A Bright Future For Every Child, Chief Education Officer Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, explained that should the proposals gain approval in January 2024, entrance to secondary school would be determined by feeder school system, with a built-in appellate mechanism.
      It was also disclosed that following a series of public consultations expected to be concluded by the end of the year, Government would be looking to approve the measures by the beginning of next year, with implementation set to begin September 2025.
      “At the secondary level we are proposing a new way of transitioning children from the primary level.
      At the moment there is focus on this exam called the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination, also known as the Common Entrance Exam. We want to give children the opportunity to transition from the primary schools through to the secondary schools with a profile,” Archer-Bradshaw said.
      Feeder schools
      She further explained: “So that when that child gets into first form, it does not matter where that child is, the teacher can focus on teaching the student more so than teaching the subject. As a result, we are proposing the abolition of the exam.
      This new system that we are proposing will have feeder schools, which will be primary schools where students will go into a secondary catchment school.”
      The Chief Education Officer revealed that there would be two new secondary schools as well as the establishment of Junior Colleges of Excellence and Senior Colleges of Excellence. Additionally, students would be given certification options beyond the traditional suite of exams offered by the Caribbean Examination Council.
      This includes the introduction of a high school diploma. There is also to be a broadening of the curriculum to include vocational training, robotics, and financial literacy.
      “We are proposing two new schools, which should lower the teacher to student ratio. We are also looking to ensure that our teachers can utilise individualised education plans for those children who are challenged or who need more support and for those who are exceedingly gifted.
      We are also looking at additional forms of certification,” Archer-Bradshaw said.
      “Right now, many children look to write CXC and CAPE, but we want to make sure that children have options.
      We want to make sure that at the end of the day they have a piece of paper that says, ‘I am competent in numeracy, literacy, a foreign language.’ So, we are proposing something called a Barbados National Secondary Diploma. So, if a child does not leave with the CXCs then at least they have this diploma,” she added.
      Critical areas
      As it relates to the primary schools, Government is proposing universal access to pre-primary education with standardised instruction delivery.
      Director of the Education Transformation Unit, Dr Idamay Denny, said this was one of the critical areas which creates disparities in learning among children entering the primary school system.
      Additionally, the introduction of universal diagnostic testing upon entry into school was proposed.
      Denny said: “At the pre-primary level, we want to introduce universal primary education within the next three years. We want all three-to-five year-olds in school.
      Right now, pre-primary education is not compulsory, and we do not provide enough places right now that every child in that age group can go to school.
      For those who are not fortunate enough to get into one of the public institutions, parents would have to send them to a private entity.
      There are a number of children out there still who have no access to pre-primary education.”
      Reforms were also proposed for the teaching service with Government revealing that all of the legislative obstacles to a Teachers’ Services Commission had been removed and that such an entity was on the cards.
      Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, in her address, said once implemented, the new measures would ensure a brighter future for this country’s children.
      “What now remains is for the Barbadian public to decide whether they want to go for gold. We believe that the consultations over the last 18 months can allow us to go for gold.
      However, as much as we believe it, it is for Barbadians to accept it,” she said.
      Mottley said the next ten to 12 weeks would be critical, as far as conversations surrounding the proposals were concerned.
      “We accept there are some for whom change will not be a natural response, but I ask us to pause and reflect that if we feel change is difficult, try keeping the status quo and see what happens to us.”
      Minister of Education Kay McConney, addressing the packed room, said they were building on the strong foundation over the years in education.
      “I say that as we put these proposals to you, I ask that those of you who want to hold on to your school ties, do so.
      Do so knowing that old school ties represent solidarity but let them not represent bondage,” she said.

      Source: Nation

  9. @ David

    All the smoke and mirrors is fine but that does not forgive them for entering into an agreemwnt with prime beach land at a price that is so massively discounted. I mean if the seller of the land was a private person thats their business, but that was state land with 275,000 shareholders of which me and you are 2.

  10. Cabinet ministers?

    Trump is being tipped to be Speaker of the House, while running for president.

    The HoR.

    If American ‘democracy’ was in trouble, what will this do?

    He’s said to be the most likely person to garner the required 218 Republican votes. There are only 220 plus 2 Republicans currently on leave.


    Maybe Trump won’t do it. Too much work.

  11. “The only effective woman is one who is attached to a wise man.”

    It’s been nearly a year
    And we’re still here!

    I look to the sky and it hasn’t fallen. The fat hasn’t hit the fire, nor the shit hit the fan.

    Everything is pretty much as it has long been. Not great but….

    …. January 1st soon come again.🤔

    Perhaps the BU wise man is nothing more than a HENNY PENNY!

  12. Maybe, just maybe, some illegal American sanctions will stop the foul ups.

    Illegal sanctions like the American settler-colony imposes on the Palestinians.

    But even with the illegal Israeli blockade on Gaza it could not stop the resistance fighters from launching Operation Al-Aqsa.

    Killing and capturing hundreds of Zionists.

    In response Israel, now as weak as a spider’s web, has resorted to the war crime of bombing apartment buildings, killing non-combatants.

    As expected, the Zionist supporters in the West, through Jewish controlled media, daily ignore the daily genocide of Palestinians, but would opine when an internationally and legal right to resist.

    Occupiers have no rights. Those occupied have the right to use any means possible to evict settler-colonialists.

    It may very well require the Americans to lock up a few public officials for mismanagement, from Barbados, to demonstrate the difference between an empire and a colony.

    • Taking a lead from Russia?
      ….has resorted to the war crime of bombing apartment buildings, killing non-combatants.
      In war anything goes.

  13. But wee building nuff houses
    “At Coconut Hall, St Lucy, 16 units will be constructed; in Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church, 20 units will be built; and 28 units and a small business centre are to be erected at Bullens, St James.

    At Atlantic Breeze, Christ Church, 267 houses will be built in partnership with the Mark McConney-owned prefab construction firm Preconco. These units are to be built through the National Housing Corporation.

    Regarding the HOPE Project, 92 houses are being built at Colleton, St Lucy, and in St John, 202 at Pool, 50 at Guinea and 154 at Todds.

    Is that McConney or Maloney? Tell me given it’s reputation St.James can’t have a Bullens?
    @John the Colleton infrastructure you pictured is for these. Guinea? I thought that was sugar land.

    • How many foul ups have we had under the leadership of Kay McConney, the IDB survey and Springer matters come quickly to mind. She has been defiant to say she will not resign. It does not matter what the people want. Does it matter too many have lost confidence in the MOE at a time it is undertaking significant reform?

    • Add the midnight principal changes before the school year began.
      We are merely learning from our mistakes?
      Resign? No way. The best you can hope for is a Cabinet shuffle. And who gets MoE?
      Seems a broader house cleaning is needed.

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