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.

Make Legal (Professional) Fees Paid by Former DLP Government Public!

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!


The Prime Minister, Attorney General and Gollop the QC

A few years ago Minister Michael Lashley was the starboy of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). He was complimented for expanding the housing stock, exponentially. He ensured Barbadians erased Liz Thompson’s ‘bumblebee’ prototype from memory. Years later many of the houses built by Lashley with tax dollars are unoccupied or rotted. If we include the Coverley PPP it gets worse. A few years later Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley will be recorded in a political footnote as having presided during a period where the state of Barbados roads deteriorated to a level slightly above a cart road.

Of concern to the blogmaster though are observations arising from the waning LEC debate.

Some are of the view now that the LEC debate is behind us, more important issues will be have the space to fuel discussion. What they fail to acknowledge is that the political principals who waylaid Barbadians with the manufactured issue of Mia’s LEC are also responsible for informing and leading the country on the pressing issues of the day.

In his Sunday Column – The Jeff Cumberbatch Column–Non – litigious Resolution of Defamation LawsuitsJeff Cumberbatch shared his view on the LEC matter:

To the best of my knowledge and belief, Ms Mottley has been duly admitted to the local Bars, both Utter and Inner. Unless and until she is removed therefrom or otherwise disbarred by appropriate procedure she remains duly admitted. Omnia praesumuntur rite esse acta [Apologies for the Latin] It means that there is a presumption that acts done through the court are rightly and properly done.

The outcome of the recent court case Mia Mottley vs Barbados Today confirmed that Mia Mottley is qualified to practice law in the Courts of Barbados.

What Barbadians must reflect on is why did the Prime Minster of Barbados- a seasoned lawyer and former Attorney General- not have the knowledge of the law and procedure related the LEC issue. One must assume he did not know because he said nothing.

Although the Attorney General is a legal neophyte and light weight he had the resources of the Solicitor General’s office and other state resources to have been equipped to clarify the LEC matter in  less than 24 hours. Some should recall he promised on the floor of the House of Assembly to investigate the matter. A promise he failed to keep. One must assume he dis not know.

Then there is Hal Gollop, better known to the BU household as a school teacher and musician, who prosecuted the LEC matter recently at a DLP political meeting. What has his failed LEC argument done to injure his reputation as a lawyer? Clearly he was party to a political plot to ‘decapitate’ the leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) a few months from a general election. One must assume he misinterpreted the relevant laws and procedures related to the LEC issue.

The challenge Barbadians face is that we have an obsturate political directorate whose members are willing to crash the economy on the altar of political expediency. Why should intelligent Barbadians expect that this government is able to appreciate what rising oil prices will do to the economy? We are a country with a DEBT to GDP ratio of close to 150% and foreign reserves  cover of 8 weeks. Despite the current state of the economy this inept lot prefers to try to hoodwink Bajans by floating a silly debate anchored to Mia’s qualification to practice law in Barbados.

Imagine if Stuart, Brathwaite and Gollop were able to put heads together to promote a component of transparency legislation promised from day one? Wasn’t Gollop contracted to draft a roadmap to assist with moving Barbados to a Republic? Didn’t Stuart and Brathwaithe promise to examine existing to electoral laws to address what they admitted to irregularities that occurred last general election?

Hal Gollop Kingmaker

Hal Gollop, Chairman of the ERT

It seems like just the other day political pundits concerned with integrity in public office whispered the names Hallam Nicholls and Rodney Wilkinson under the reign of Owen Arthur. Although the late David Thompson did not have a lengthy tenure it is no secret he was in bed with Leroy Parris and the significant legal work was dished out to the relatively inexperience lawyer Adrian King from Inn Chambers, the husband of his personal assistant at the time Natasha King.

By the way what is the status of the Rodney Wilkinson court matter?

Of recent vintage we have seen the rise of the recluse Freundel Stuart to be prime minister. It is unusual to describe a politician- especially the prime minister- as one who prefers to live a solitary life. Barbadians were happy to re-elect Stuart although it is obvious he is not a peoples person. With a general election on the horizon there will be time to reflect on how Stuart the politician was able to achieve the impossible.

One man who appears to have the ear and confidence of the prime minister is lawyer Hal Gollop. Before the general election of 2008 the Gollop name was not a household brand. With Thompson forced to vacate the office of prime minister because of a visit from the Grim Reaper, we not only witnessed  the rise of Stuart so too Gollop.

To chronicle how busy Gollop has been since Stuart has taken office would be a lengthy exercise.  However, a cursory examination of how active Gollop has become raises the concern by civic minded Barbadians about the need to enact and operationalize transparency legislation -ideally recruit a contractor general. Barbadians have had to witness the incestuous and familial characteristics practiced by successive governments. Barbados is a small island and if one choses not to believe the Auditor General’s finding in reports presented by that office to parliament going back to 2006 there is the underground chatter.

The rise of Gollop to head the inefficient Employment Rights Tribunal (EFT) in hindsight seems to be part of an orchestration to frustrate a group of people for political reasons. It has been reported on BU 10 of 300 cases filed are recorded to be heard by the very busy Gollop and his team. For those who question the bona fides of Gollop to be referred to as the friend of Stuart the recluse, it is known that Gollop is the campaign manager of Stuart.

Recently Gollop was in the news having invoiced the Barbados Water Authority a cool 1.5 million dollars for vetting routine paper work. He appeared in court last week to represent the prime minister in a matter to challenge the constitutionality of  a motion brought by citizen advocate David Comissiong to have government’s decision reviewed. His most famous public interventions has been his defence of Leroy Parris, buddy of the late prime minister and declared pal of prime minister Stuart. The obvious interplay between Parris, DLP and players, the outstanding settlement of CLICO/BAICO matters is a classic case of what is rotten by the lack of transparency of government practiced in Barbados. In a robust democratic system watchdogs like the media, political Opposition and other NGOs would have been calling for Gollop to recuse himself from many government appointed assignments. One would love to be a fly on the wall to listen to Gollop and Stuart sitting on the patio sipping. There was the Alexandra Waterman Commission that Gollop chaired and pocketed a fat cheque for the trouble. Should we go on?

Is Stuart rewarding Gollop’s loyalty. Are nests being feathered? What does Gollop bring to the table that easily persuades Stuart to provide a gateway for Gollop and his lackeys like Michael Yearwood et al to earn millions coughed up by the taxpayers?

Gollop the Kingmaker.

Hal Gollop’s 1.5 Million Dollar Invoice

The Hal Gollop 1.5 million invoice

The following was posted to BU on another blog and worthy of penetrating discussion afforded a separate blog-space.

William. Please post the following info as well. Firstly, the BWA bought the land on which the building is located over 15 years ago and under the NHC Act. So the notion that he had to regularise the title to the land is absurd.

Secondly, Clarke Gittens and Farmer, the law firm which worked for the financier and whose legal fees the BWA also had to pay and who prepared ALL of the documentation) charged $275,000.00.

Thirdly, the BWA found the bill to be so large, that they had to pay the fees in installments.

Michael Carrington invoiced the BIDC fees of $1,000,000.00 for sale of a building at Newton Roundabout.

Michael Yearwood charged the SSA $1,500,000.00 for the Cahill project, when the SSA Board did not even have any knowledge of the project.

Richard Byer, a DLP member, charged Caves $750,000.00 for work which, when it was first done under the BLP, the fee was only $30,000.00. Same work, but the fee is $720,000.00 more.

But David Thompson led from in front, as any good leader would. According to the CLICO forensic report, Thompson charged CLICO $2,000,000.00 for the purchase of CCB, and the he charged CLICO a fraudulent and wholly fictitious $3,300,000.00 for work that did not even exist.

And we have to ask how much Adrian King, son of Maurice King, charged Clearwater Bay Limited ( the government entity) that guaranteed the loan to The Four Seasons project? Some say $5,000,000.00


The Caswell Franklyn Column – A Travesty Called the Employment Rights Tribunal

Next month will mark four years that the Employment Rights Act has been enforced as part of the Laws of Barbados. This piece of legislation took more than a decade to make it from first draft to passage in parliament, mainly because of half-hearted support from major unions and opposition from employers’ representatives.

The unions feared the prospects of having a tribunal that would be empowered to make binding decisions thereby diminishing the unions’ ability to bully their way in disputes. On the other hand, the employers treasured an environment where employees had few rights and they were prepared to do everything to delay implementation.

Despite opposition and delaying tactics, Government went ahead and passed the legislation which gave workers a new set of rights that have proven so far to be mostly elusive. It is taking too long for workers to have their matters adjudicated by the Employment Rights Tribunal (ERT) which leads to unnecessary hardship.

As far as I am aware, over 200 cases have been referred to the ERT but to date fewer than ten decisions have been handed down by the three panels that constitute the tribunal. The reasons for this unsavoury state of affairs are varied but stems from Government’s lack of commitment to provide adequate resources, including competent staff, to the Chief Labour Officer and the ERT.

The ERT has nine members and is divided into three panels each consisting of a chairman, who must be a lawyer, and two laymen; one nominated by the labour movement and the other nominated by the employers’ representative. At first blush, it would appear that three cases could be heard simultaneously but unfortunately, that is not the case since the secretariat is only equipped to service one hearing at a time.

When a case gets going before one of the panels, it is fraught with delay as a result of tactics of lawyers or the unavailability of the chairman. It would appear that the Government underestimated the number of cases that would have been coming before the ERT, since the burden of chairing the panels falls on lawyers who are already fully employed, whose service must compete with other engagements particularly High Court appearances that take priority. In my view nothing short of a full time ERT would suffice. Anything less would only serve to frustrate applicants and increase the final cost to employers through no fault of their own.

Even before a matter can reach the tribunal, the legislation requires the Chief Labour Officer to “use his best endeavours to achieve, by means of conciliation, a settlement of the matters raised by the complaint”. Section 42 of Employment Rights Act anticipates that this process would take a maximum of 42 days. However, for the first three years, Government failed to provide the already overburdened Labour Department with additional staff to handle the upsurge of complaints.

At the end of last year, Government finally appointed a number of labour officers but like everything else, the authorities managed to get that wrong as well. Paragraph 3 of the Employment and Recruitment Code of the Public Service states, in part:

“Every individual to be appointed to an office in the Public Service shall be selected on merit …”

The notes to the code go on to explain:

“Merit is to be interpreted so as to ensure that

(i) persons are not appointed to offices unless they are competent to perform the duties of those offices”.

Nonetheless, the authorities overlooked experienced temporary labour officers for permanent appointment, in favour of persons who now have to be trained, which actually guarantees that there would be further delays in the system.

The Employment Rights Act is a good idea that has gone awfully wrong. Workers have been given new rights on paper but it is well nigh impossible to access those rights in a timely manner. For example, I referred a matter, involving 23 workers from the National Housing Corporation, in 2014 and the conciliation process is still not completed so that the case can go on to the Employment Rights Tribunal.

From where I sit, it would appear that workers rights ceased being a priority for Government since the time of Grantley Adams.

Employment Rights Tribunal 2014 064 Cutie Lynch and NCC Decision, with document

Hal Gollop, Chairman of the ERT

Hal Gollop, Chairman of the ERT

The decision was finally handed down by the Employment Rights Tribunal (ERT) in the matter of the NCC and Cutie Lynch. This is a matter that stoked robust public debate. BU is pleased to post the following document for one and all to study. Of note is that the complainant Cutie Lynch acted on her own behalf.

David Comissiong’s Release – FINAL Refutation of HAL GOLLOP’s Absurdity

Submitted by David Comissiong

Dear Members of the Media,

I do not possess the luxury of time to be constantly used in responding to Hal Gollop’s absurd claim that the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 were only an “idea” of the DLP Administration, and did not actually exist. I have therefore attached the following documents hereto:-

  1. Several pages of the actual text of the Regulations as made by Freundel Stuart on 17th April 2015 and published in the Official Gazette of 23rd April 2015
  2. The first page of the Official Gazette of 23rd April 2015. Please see the Contents section
  3. The text of the Barbados Government Information Service Release of 15th February 2016 announcing the  decision and directive stipulating the fingerprinting of persons leaving and entering Barbados. Please see the fourth paragraph of the text of the Release  which indicates that these measures “WERE  MANDATORY  UNDER  THE  IMMIGRATION (BIOMETRICS)  REGULATIONS 2015”.

I would be grateful if you would publish these documents in order to safeguard the Barbadian public from being misled by Mr Gollop’s un-informed and misleading comments.

Related Documents:

Former Chairman of CLICO Barbados Leroy Parris Suing Cash Strapped Government for Damages

Since his assets were frozen by the court, the former CLICO boss has lamented that he had been experiencing hardshipLeroy Parris (BT)

The mouth of Mr. Hal Gollop, lead lawyer for Leroy Parris,  has been running like a sick nigga botsy of late. His protestations about client Leroy Parris are easily accessed on a weekly basis in the traditional media. How convenient when lawyers and traditional media hide behind the cloak of sub judice to keep the masses ignorant. Our mistake, this is only an interlocutory matter still to be heard!

The CLICO issue is complex and must be delineated within the boundaries of what is legal, moral and political to intelligently inform discussion. Parris and his legal Senior Counsel (SC) to be may yet win the battle to be staged very soon in a law court near you if Gollop’s constitutional motion succeeds, however, the fallout caused by political and moral outrage continues to gain momentum. It appears certain the CLICO issue will bury the political ambition and stain the legacy of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) for eons to come. It rides the back of this government like the proverbial Albatross.

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Update: Leroy Parris v BLP, Nation and Barbados Advocate

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados Designate

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice

In the interest of sharing all information received about any matters which BU has reported on, we have been advised and updated on the issue of the Parris v BLP and Nation and Barbados Advocate as follows:

Mr Hal Gollop QC filed an action for defamation against the Nation which pre-dates the Parris action. The law firm of Carrington and Sealy acts for the Nation and Mr Vernon Smith QC is acting for Mr Gollop.

The essence of the complaint is that on January 07, 2013, the Nation captured and published the photograph which is the subject of dispute. Reasonable conclusion, the Nation was the author and the holder of copyright of the photograph. The BLP subsequently used the photograph and caption in their campaign. Thus, Mr Gollop has also advanced a claim of conspiracy against the Nation and the BLP.

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The NOTE: Was Hal Gollop Brokering a Deal Between Owen Arthur and Fruendel Stuart to Get Mia Mottley?

Submitted  by Ckeckit-Out on BU’s General Election page (as a comment)
Note from Owen Arthur to Fruendel Stuart (sent via Hal Gollop)

Note from Owen Arthur to Fruendel Stuart (sent via Hal Gollop)

David;  I thought I should push my mout in your discussion with Miller of 1.35 pm today.  There are a number of things about the NOTE that was reproduced in Barbados Today that is somewhat troubling.

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The Violet Beckles Affair, Separating Fact From Fiction Part V

Related Links:

The Alexandra Incestuous Factor

Karen Best, former BUT President and current Deputy Chief Education Officer

Karen Best, former BUT President and current Deputy Chief Education Officer

Minister Jones, visibly shaken and angry, termed the no-show a “gross insult” and the low point of industrial relations practice in the trade union history of Barbados. Mrs Karen Best, president of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), reportedly said she had never seen anything like it in industrial relations. Her [Best] comments clearly indicate her union will not support the BSTU. For the first time that I can remember, there is a split among five unions – the BSTU and Barbados Workers Union (BWU) on one side, the BUT, BAPPSS and NUPW on the other

Nation Newspaper

It seems to be finally hitting home to Barbadians – especially the political partisans – that the Alexandra School dispute (AX) is not so easy to resolve after all. The Frederick Waterman headed commission of inquiry was suppose to wash away the problem which all have to admit predates this government coming to office.

One view of the AX matter which BU has not put under full scrutiny is the incestuous nature of the relationships of key decision makers and participants in the AX plot. Barbados we know is a small country  and there is an inevitability about how personal relationships can shape public perception about how decisions are taken.

Key players in the AX Mess are Principal Jeff Broomes, Minister Ronald Jones, and Deputy Chief Education Officer Karen Best who are ALL products of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT). To complete the BUT connection we should declare that current President of the Barbados Union of Teachers is Pedro Shepherd who recently challenged for the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) nomination in St. Michael South East.

Of special interest to BU is the recent appointment of Karen Best who has responsibility for schools.

‘Ingredients’ for a cabal you think? It gets better.

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The AX Matter Moves To The Next Phase

Commissioner Frederick Waterman – Photo Credit: Nation

The final arguments from lawyers representing all parties in the Alexandra School Dispute have been submitted and Barbadians await the report from lone Commissioner Frederick Waterman. It is obviously the report will be delivered before the September school term begins.

There was a sense by BU during the last two weeks of the Inquiry that it was hurried along; and for an obvious reason. The  first school term is scheduled to begin on the 10 September 2012 and given known timelines the Waterman Report will be late. Therefore the 64k question is – what will be the next phase of the AX Affair?

It is early days yet to evaluate the performance of the Alexandra Commission. However, BU is concerned the Commissioner made some questionable decisions which will impact the quality of the final report.  For example, it is understood from our sources that the aunt of Miss X whom we reported on another blog the student in the transcript affair was to go to live in the USA to facilitate school there, was in Barbados and prepared to give evidence. BU understands she was seized with interesting bits of information as a result of her visit to the school to which Miss X was to attend and where the transcript was allegedly sent by the secretary. Our source has advised that she had proof no such transcript was received by the US school. A reasonable conclusion to be made, the transcript was never sent. We have been reliably advised that Commissioner Waterman refused to allow this witness to be called.

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Jeff Broomes to Hal Gollop, Hello?

Hal Gollop and Jeff Broomes, the men embroiled in the cellphone mystery

A little story reported by the Nation newspaper on August 15, 2012 under the headline ‘Cellphone mystery’ has not generated the public debate BU expected. The gist of the story is that several calls originating from the cellphone of Jeff Broomes, principal of Alexandra School, terminated on the phone of Hal Gollop, attorney-at-law for the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) last weekend. Both Broomes and Gollop are reported to be ‘mystified’ by what BU agrees was a very unusual occurrence.

Barbadians boast of a healthy Internet and mobile phone penetration which compares favourably to developed countries (In this regard we may accurately boast of attaining first world status). What is evident is that Barbadians have not demonstrated even cursory interest in the ‘backend’ which supports how information is managed by telecommunications companies in Barbados. What are the security protocols managed by LIME, Digicel, Telebarbados and others? To what degree is privacy of information respected and guaranteed? So many question can be asked but in Barbados we can be assured answers will not be easily forthcoming.

Remember Barbados is a country which boasts of being highly educated with a telecommunications infrastructure described as one of the best in this hemisphere.

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