Was Michael Carrington VAT Registered When he Invoiced the BIDC 706 thousand dollars?


Hal Gollop invoiced the BWA 1.5 million

The startling revelation that Hal Gollop submitted an invoice in 2017 to the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) for 1.5 million dollars continues to raise eyebrows. See BU’s blog post – Hal Gollop’s 1.5 Million Dollar Invoice which went viral. It was also revealed that former Speaker Michael Carrington submitted an invoice to the BIDC for $706, 450 for providing legal services relative to “the $32M sale of a BIDC at Lot A1 Newton Business Park, Christ Church to Gildan Activewear Properties (BVI) Inc. in 2010. This is the same Carrington who had to be ordered by the High Court of Barbados to pay a septuagenarian client his money. See BU’s blog post Tales from the Courts–Justice Jacqueline Cornelius Makes Speaker of the House Michael Carrington PAY XXIV.

In response to a query from the blogmaster whether the incumbent Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government can challenge the invoice, BU family member Artax shared the following:

David BU

I read in today’s Mid-week Nation [15 August 2018] that, while speaking in parliament yesterday, Ronald Toppin queried the fee of $706,450 former Speaker of Parliament Michael Carrington charged BIDC……..

………for providing legal services relative to “the $32M sale of a BIDC at Lot A1 Newton Business Park, Christ Church to Gildan Activewear Properties (BVI) Inc. in 2010.

Toppin said based on his calculation of the scale of fees, the legal fee paid for the BIDC property sale should have been $322,500.

David BU, it becomes more interesting.

According to Toppin, subsequent to the conclusion of the land sale in 2010, Carrington wrote a letter to the BIDC in 2011 in which he indicated that…… at the time the transaction completed…. he was NOT registered for VAT……..

……….and requested the BIDC pay the VAT Division on his behalf……..the VAT of $92,146 his legal fees incurred.

As a QC (and LEC qualified lawyer….. hahahahahaha), Carrington’s earnings would obviously have been above the VAT threshold of $80,000…….hence, in keeping with the VAT laws…..he should be VAT registered.

The dishonest Carrington…. not being VAT registered…… expected the taxpayers to pay on his behalf…….VAT of $92,146 he incurred on his legal fees.

Perhaps the BLP may do something about Gollop’s invoice……..

……… especially if one takes into consideration that one of the services rendered as listed on the said invoice was for preparing a conveyance for the project site to Innotech…….under circumstances where a conveyance was NOT necessary……..

…………because the project site was owned by the NHC…

The reason why Carrington wanted the BIDC to pay the $92,146 on his behalf was because BIDC was obligated to issue him a “goods and services” slip as required by the BRA (Inland Revenue at the time).

And an amount of $709,450 BIDC paid to a service provider, would obviously incurred VAT……and “open a can of worms” for the goodly gentleman.

A check of Carrington’s tax records would have revealed he was not registered and since the fee was above the $80,000 per annum VAT threshold, non payment of the VAT portion would have incurred interest and penalties…….

……..and perhaps an audit of his earnings from 1997 to 2010 to determine if he filed VAT returns and the amount of VAT he did not pay to the VAT Division as required by law.

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Enforcing Proper Administration

Jeff Cumberbatch – Columnist, Deputy Dean of UWI, Law Faculty, Chairman of the FTC

“An Act to provide for the improvement of administrative justice in Barbados and for related matters.Administrative Justice Act (Barbados), Cap 109B

Former Prime Minister, the late David Thompson, might have turned in his grave on Wednesday last week with the handing down of the decision in at least one of the two judicial rulings that went against the governing administration. I recall that soon after he assumed the reins of office, he summoned the Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of all the statutory boards to a “confab” with him and some members of his Cabinet at what is now the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. I attended as the deputy chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Authority, then under the chairmanship of Sir Neville Nicholls.

It was not a social occasion merely though; Mr. Thompson, as a lawyer, was concerned with the more efficient administration of the statutory boards and perhaps the insulation of his administration from court action. I recall clearly that he counselled all those present to familiarize themselves with the principles of the Administrative Justice Act, Cap 109B of the Laws of Barbados. Last week’s High Court decision in the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation [BIDC] matter to the effect that for the corporation to compulsorily retire seven of its employees before the date required was an unreasonable exercise of its discretion under the Statutory Boards Pensions Act thus might have, if it were at all possible, elicited a wistful smile from him.

Of course, in matters of law, a legal opinion is just that, an opinion, although some might be more informed than others and, in the case of the opinion of a judge of the High Court, binding until and unless a higher court overrules it.

I should issue two caveats at this point; first, that I have not read a transcript of the decision in question and second, in any case, it is subject to imminent appeal so that scholarly commentary on it would be highly improper at this stage.

Given the first, I am unaware of the evidence led or of the submissions of counsel in the matter that would have moved the judge to conclude that that the exercise of the BIDC’s discretion under section 8 (1)of that Act was unreasonable, but this provision;

[“A Board may require an officer in its service to retire at any time after he attains the age of 60 years.]”

appears to controvert directly that section of the Employment Rights Act 2012 that expressly treats as a contravention of the employee’s right not to be unfairly dismissed “where the reason” for the dismissal is “a reason that relates to the race, colour, gender, age, marital status, religion, political opinion…”(emphasis added).

Nor does it seem cogently arguable that the compulsory retirement contemplated by the section is not a dismissal, given the wide interpretation given to this latter concept at section 26 (1)(a) of the ERA 2012, nor that the ERA2012 does not apply to employment by a statutory board –see section . It does not appear, however, that the case was contested on this private law basis on this occasion, but these statutory conflicts are arguably unwholesome, untidy and unnecessary.

The second decision, also adverse to the interest of the governing administration, but one on which Mr Thompson did not address those gathered on the occasion referred to earlier, was that Mr. David Comissiong did indeed have the locus standi [the capacity to bring a court action] to challenge the official decision to permit the onset of construction of the Hyatt. Again, I must confess that I have not yet read this decision, although I have only recently gained access to a copy. The AJA itself is clear in section 6 as to those entitled to relief-

“The Court may on an application for judicial review grant relief in accordance with this Act

1. (a)  to a person whose interests are adversely affected by an administrative act or omission;

(b)  to any other person if the Court is satisfied that that person’s application is justifiable in the public interest in the circumstances of the case.

The question for the court therefore would have been whether the applicant satisfied either arm of the provision according to the relevant case law on the matter. The decision published demonstrates that the judge was so persuaded on the authorities. This decision is also, as I understand it, subject to appeal.

A blessed and joyful Christmas day to all my readers and their families.

Barbados Courts Delivers Double Whammy to Government

Submitted by Mark Jones

Justice Cornelius (l) next to BLP candidate and husband Ralph Thorne (r)


The talk around town this week was about the double whammy the Government got in the same day with two important decision going against them.

The Government lost the Hyatt case against Comissiong and they lost the case with the BIDC. The Bees in the bar were gloating about the licks Hal Gollop and Michael Yearwood got in the two cases but a man in the crowd thought the whole thing was very suspicious to him. He thought it was a STRANGE COINCIDENCE that the two cases could be decided on the same afternoon one after the other. He said he was waiting to get his hand on the BIDC decision but he had seen a copy of a decision his friend had in the Hyatt case and could not understand how the judge Dr Sonia Richards could arrive at the decision she gave; all the reasoning pointed to the fact that she should have ruled against Commisiong being allowed to contest the case but she held otherwise. He also said that it was clear to him from the manner in which the judgment criticises itself that at least two different persons wrote the decision.

The other case was before Cornelius, the wife of BLP Politician and Candidate Ralph Thorne!

My man said it appeared to him that the two judges had some agenda other than law and he felt that politics had now raised its head among the judiciary. It is known that Gollop and Yearwood are two Dems lawyers and they had to put the two of them in their place! The man continued that it is now a sad thing for Barbados that people are losing faith in the judiciary. If the judiciary is now engaging in corrupt practices and lawyers are being targeted where will this all end?

Also a very serious and pointed concern has been raised by a senior QC from the region who has also questioned why judge Cornelius did not recluse herself from this very political fuelled case such as this BIDC case being the wife of a BLP Candidate Ralph Thorne?

And it is also being asked why the judge Richards did not recuse herself since she is a known active Methodist!

Relevant Links:

The online paper said Gollop immediately informed that he was appealing the decision but it was noticeable that he did not speak to the press. On the other hand Comissiong was holding forth. The other matter raised was how he could suddenly be questioning every decision the Government takes. The feeling is that can only happen because there is a number of anti government judges sitting in the bench. It is not known if Yearwood will also be appealing his decision but whatever happens these two decisions have raised eyebrows among the public and likely to create serious doubts about the ability of judges on the bench to give a fair decision on the law before them and not which party the person involve support.

The public must be confident that when they go to court that they will be treated fairly but this now seems very suspect!

Another Caswell Franklyn Column – Unions Seize Chance for Redemption

Donville Inniss – Minister of Commerce responsible for BIDC

The following article reposted, the author is Caswell Franklyn the head of the Unity Workers Union. The article is made relevant by the decision of the Barbados Courts to rule in favour of the dismissed BIDC workers – David (BU)

THE RELATIONS BETWEEN the Government and trade unions in this country has been unnecessarily reduced to […] a state of government induced chaos.

It would appear that the major unions have delinked from Democratic Labour Party control, leaving the Government rudderless in the sea of industrial relations.

Previously, Government did not see the need to develop any expertise in the area of industrial relations because it relied on its minions who control the decision-making organs of the unions to keep a lid on the simmering cauldron of employee discontent.

Read submission Unions seize chance for redemption originally posted 12 July 2015.

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column–The Dispute: Source and Aftermath

Jeff Cumberbatch - Columnist, Barbados Advocate

Jeff Cumberbatch – Columnist, Barbados Advocate

BU shares the Jeff Cumberbatch Barbados Advocate column – Senior Lecturer in law at the University of the West Indies since 1983, a Columnist with the Barbados Advocate since 2000 and BU commenter – see full bio.

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Entrepreneurship! How Serious Are We as a Nation?

Wayne Cadogan

Wayne Cadogan

In September of 2012 as I was preparing to go on preretirement leave and as the word got around, I was approached by a number of concerned citizens, government officials and businessmen regarding what I was going to do with my knowledge and experience. I was told that I should not take all of my knowledge and experience to the grave. I was advised that I should re-open a learning facility to undertake training in the garment and business field. I thought long and hard over the issue and came to the conclusion that God would not be happy with me if I did not honour that request to my fellow countrymen and women.

In November of 2012, I was advised to submit an application to BIDC Small Business Centre for space to conduct the training, as there was space available there for such small businesses. I submitted the application and was told then that there is a committee that meets monthly whom I would have to meet with, before an approval could be made. Well a year has passed and I am yet to hear from BIDC in any form or fashion regarding my application. Meanwhile, I am constantly being bombarded by members of the public when I am going to start training.

Unfortunately for the public and the country, due to a lax or inefficient public system; where work is not of a high priority for some workers and where some workers are paid only to be present at work and not producing, causing productivity to be actually non-existent within some government departments in the public service and which needs to be addressed if the country is to go forward.

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10 Things Government Can Do To Fix An Intentionally Broken System

Submitted by Austin

1. The government of Barbados needs to implement contracting reform that allows greater transparency to tenders and contract opportunities that local non-elites can response too and win, and end bar side deal making with a few selected elites.  All government tenders, contract/consulting opportunities, should be centralized and made available via the web, not the case today.  Additionally, a policy should be implemented which require a percentage of all tenders to be fulfilled by Bajan small businesses as defined by adequate size standards. Bajans in key contract management roles need to be held to an ethical standard that end current non-ethical contracting behaviour.

2. The government via the BIDC should broaden it’s approach to attracting industries to Barbados by aggressively leveraging our educated masses, which is not being done properly today.  The folks at the BIDC are using a Bajan business methodology to attract international industries to Barbados which in large part is not working as they are either unwilling or not knowledgeable enough for the task at hand. They are slow to response and ineffective (from personal experience).  In large part new blood and thinking is desperately needed in all ministries with international facing responsibilities. Just try to open bidc.com which takes too long for starters and you will see what I mean.

3. Government needs to conduct an inward assessment of new goods and services that a renewed Bajan economy can deliver locally and on the world stage. With emphasis on creating sustainable good paying jobs, this has not occurred thus far.
4. The distribution of wealth in Barbados is out of control. With non-Bajans acquiring more and more as the years go by, simply not right. The previous government was so focused on attracting outside investment they left nothing for the average Bajan family. It has and is too easy for non-Bajans to setup shop at all levels to the exclusion of local entrepreneurs.

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