There is a culture of secrecy in Barbados when it comes to explaining how taxpayers dollars are spent. The blogmaster listened to retired Director of Finance William Layne in a radio interview recently when he shared a view that much of government’s business can be made public except in a few cases where security considerations apply.
The Trinidad government took a decision in 2015 to inform parliament the amount of fees paid to lawyers and other entities for professional services rendered to government. By recording the names in the people’s parliament they were published in the media for the public’s information. Although reports confirm some attorneys and others objected for fear of concerns of personal and family safety, the practice continues.
One of many concerns for Barbadians were the outrageous legal fees charged by a select few lawyers for services rendered to government during the last administration. Top of mind is the 1.5 million paid to Hal Gollop to review the BWA headquarters agreement. There the payment to Richard Byer of $766,855 to review a standard agreement by order of Caves Barbados. Guyson Mayers was paid $300,000 for fifteen months work to prepare a nondescript report supported by technical tools costing $224,000. Other lawyers like Michael Yearwood and Adrian King come to mind who have risen to millionaire status as a result of sweetheart deals at the behest of the last government.
The blogmaster does not advocate practicing long-knive politics, however, if Prime Minister Mia Mottley wants to send a loud message to the bevy of ministers et al she leads- many are lawyers- here is an opportunity to share with the public all legal fees and professional fees paid to individuals and firms that rendered services to the former government. It is our money, we have the right to know how it was spent.
In the not so eloquent words of the former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister Mottley must show the country that her mice are not without balls!
Prepared jointly by Douglas Trotman, Attorney-at-Law for Nigerian Students, R.E. Guyson Mayers, Attorney-at-Law for Sharon Brathwaite, R.E Guyson Mayers represents Ms. Sharon Brathwaite and Douglas B. Trotman represents 66 Nigerian students in this matter
Mr. Trotman was instructed by his clients that they wished to have Ms. Sharon Brathwaite reinstated as their coordinator; they also wanted issues related to their accommodation, food, laptop computers and cell phones raised and settled preferably before the start of the program. The matter of the lack of decency and respect shown by Ms. Donna St. Hill towards them was also an issue raised by the students.
A letter was written and delivered to Ms. St Hill on the 7th January 2015 outlining the issues raised by the students; to date Ms. St. Hill has not responded to the letter nor has she accepted service of a subsequent letter written to her. Instead Ms. St. Hill used the media to put her story in the public domain. The assistance of a government senator was sought and that senator communicated with Ms. St. Hill to no avail.
During the effort to resolve the issues we have listened over the past two weeks with keen interest to a string of accusations that were levied against Ms. Sharon Brathwaite, whether she was named or not.
Mia Mottley’s has bee critical of the way Commissioner Dottin was removed.
Since late last year, and again earlier this year, some persons in the BLP had been telling this country that they had no confidence in the Police Service Commission. They wanted to see the back of the the Commission that was chaired by the highly respected and above-board Dr. Trevor Carmichael, and the other members.
I guess after all the griping and bad-mouthing of the Commission, Dr. Carmichael, an outstanding Barbadian of impeccable character, appeared to have had enough of the idle talk and stepped down.
A new Chairman, an attorney at law, an untarnished former senior police officer and former Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority, Mr. Guyson Mayers, a man with an unblemished reputation, was appointed.
While the necessary requisites of common sense as well as a non osteoporotic spine may well doom this suggestion, someone in authority needs to carefully read and take to heart Mr. R. E. Guyson Mayers’ “Signs of the times” op-ed offering in the August 28th Advocate.
All who put pen to paper endeavour to achieve the perspicuous perspicacity displayed by Mr. Mayers in his parsing of the issues related to the Westbury Cemetery fiasco, but few succeed as well. Such an egregious example of the tail wagging the dog provides the ideal opportunity to reestablish a proper no nonsense chain of command. Unpaid suspensions from work, as well as a few outright dismissals might well garner employees’ attention.