All Baloney!

The recent uptick in conversation about the awarding of government contracts to construct houses in Barbados has caused many tongues to wag. A quick search of the web easily found articles of which they are many many many more criticising the relationships between the government of Barbados and Mark Maloney of Preconco fame.

  1. Is this just more politics as usual?
  2. Is this a case that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown?
  3. Is it true despite all the rubbing shoulders, conversation and consultations that the more things change the more they remain the same?
  4. Can we now officially declare that 6 is half dozen and duopoly politics from a homogeneous political class is real?

All Maloney!

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Rock Hard Cement, Hyatt Hotel, Villages at Coverley AND Mark Maloney

At the BCCI luncheon in November 2017 Mia Mottley- the featured speaker- shocked many with the revelation that one company (individual) in Barbados was able to secure ONE BILLION dollars in government contracts. The company (individual) is Preconco (Mark Maloney) of course.

Those who traverse the ABC highway airport stretch cannot help but notice the many houses at different stages of construction. A reminder this is a failed Mark Maloney project.

Those who have reason to travel by the proposed Hyatt Hotel location on Lower Broad Street all that is visible are two Robinson Crusoe like thatched huts. Clearly the contentious Hyatt hotel will not be completed during the tenure of the incumbent government. Another Mark Maloney project the government has been unable to mobilize.

Another contentious Mark Maloney initiative is the area located on the Barbados Port Authority compound where Mark Maloney stores his Rock Hard cement. As far as the BU household is aware a stop order was issued by the Barbados Courts for Mark Maloney to cease and desist from constructing the shelter where rock hard cement is being stored. To the surprise of many BU observed recently that Mark Maloney has continued construction of the storage area. Did the court give Maloney permission (in secret?)

Should Barbadians be fine with one man securing so many projects?

 

Kellman, Sinckler and Lashley: GROTTO Housing Project and the Ineffective Public Accounts Committee

The following poster was posted to BU by Sunshine Sunny Sunshine. It resonates with the BU household for many reasons.  Unlike many Barbadians the BU household has not forgotten that three ministers of government were requested to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to explain questionable decisions concerning the GROTTO housing project.  BU has repeatedly questioned the decision by government to pay a dividend of 25 million dollars from the Housing Credit Fund as one example. To be fair to Minister Kellman – the most accessible member of government – we have asked him to explain the decision to pay 25 million from the HCF many times.

We have had to witness repeatedly in the post Independence period the work of this important committee of parliament frustrated by members to parliament. How can we boast of living in a democratic system of government and at the same time frustrate the workings of the PAC and the Auditor General? Why no attempt to honestly execute matters under the remit of the Committee of Privileges?

One day coming soon!

The GROTTO High Rise Controversy

The summons by the Public Accounts Committee for Minister Kellman to attend a briefing regarding questionable financial practices in the Grotto High Rise Project was ignored by him and two other ministers.The reasons provided by them were as frivolous as their attempt to avoid being questioned. It seems that they all believe that they are above any laws of the land and do not have to give an account for any decisions they make, regardless of how eye brow raising they maybe. As the ministers sought to vindicate themselves regarding the laws governing the committee and the motive of the opposition leader as a woman on a witch hunt looking to cast blame, the fact that they refuse to turn up are grounds for interpreting their behaviours as an admission of possible guilt deserving of further investigation. The assumption gathered is that Minister Kellman is not as squeaky clean as he would like the world to believe. We already know that this minister has a propensity to speak out of turn and make utterances that make him look like darn fool. As a result, his attempts to make the whole Barbados believe that normal financial conduct was involved in the Grotto deal and that no financial rules by him or anyone affiliated with him were broken, only increases the assumption that there is more to discover than what is already given as a known. In addition, we also know that he has little regard for authority and rules by the ignorance he displayed in ignoring the island wide emergency shut down during the threat of a serious storm system that threatened the island. To him, opening his Moon Town Mall was a far greater priority than safety. His behaviour is repugnant and distasteful. If the People of St. Lucy believes that sardines, cornbeef and biscuits makes for a good politician, they better think differently about this minister, because he is prospering while they are paupering begging for his bread.

The GROTTO: Solicitor General ‘Opinion’ Deems Dividend Payment from Housing Credit Fund Illegal

The GROTTO high rise project

The controversial GROTTO high rise project

The truth about the GROTTO Housing project and the decision to declare a dividend from the Housing Credit Fund (HCF) by the Central Bank of Barbados (Government) to pay Mark Maloney of PRECONCO is finally coming to light. The BU household has relentlessly pursued this matter and it gives us no satisfaction to be proved right. Should it make sense why the Minister of Finance plans to terminate and transfer the HCF to the Consolidated Fund?

What the revelation has confirmed is that we have a government willing to flout the financial rules to appease their friends and to fill their pockets. We have a government committed to continue the practice of its predecessor to ignore the observations of the Auditor General. Lastly what it confirms is that members of the political class are loyal to the clan.

Thank you from BU to the BU family member who shared the document.

See the opinion letter issued by the Solicitor General’s Office.

Preconco Towers Closed for Business at the GROTTO

On 1 June 2016 BU posted the following blog.

Central Bank Declares SPECIAL Dividend to Pay Mark Maloney for the GROTTO Project

by David on June 1, 2016 in Barbados News, Politics Edit

In Mia Mottley’s reply to the June 2015 Budget she accused the government of Barbados of making a highly questionable decision. Minister Sinckler – she reported – issued a memo to the Accountant General to advise the Central Bank of Barbados, custodian of the Housing Credit Fund  (HCF), to declare a dividend of 25 million […]

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The BU household is not motivated to jump on the Maloney bandwagon because it is #trending – as taxpayers we need to have a simple question answered.

Will the governance rules of the Housing Credit Fund (HCF) be shared with Barbadian taxpayers?

A situation now obtains where a 25 million dollar payment was diverted from the HCF to pay Mark Maloney’s company PRECONCO for buildings at the The GROTTO which remain unoccupied many many months later. In the interest of good governance and transparency the public has a right to know.

Storage Solutions, Mark Maloney, Bjorn Bjerkhamn and Government – Has the Full Story Been Told?

Mark Maloney

Mark Maloney

One thing the government cannot deny is that it is payback time. Mark Maloney who fronts for the Bjerkhamn Group has been ‘winning’ many major government contracts. […] Continue reading

A Pop Kite Cabinet, PRECONCO JADA and more

Dr. Justin Robinson, Chairman, National Insurance Scheme

Dr. Justin Robinson, Chairman, National Insurance Scheme

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP)  continues to pressure the government on the lack of transparency surrounding the Cahill Waste to Energy project proposed to be located at Vacluse, St. Thomas. The political meeting held by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) at Tyrol Cot on the weekend reinforced concerns raised by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party during the recent budget debate.

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Mia Mottley Prosecutes Government on CORRUPTION in Her Reply to 2015 Budget

Those  Democratic Labour Party (DLP) members in parliament advocated the need for Barbados to enact Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation prior to being elected in 2008. There was an expectation Barbadians would have seen movement on this issue within 100 days of the DLP government […] Continue reading

Harlequin: Who is Accountable?

David Ames (Harlequin) r, Mark Maloney (Preconco) r

David Ames (Harlequin) r, Mark Maloney (Preconco) r

Harlequin Hotels & Resorts has halted operations here owing employees two months’ salary, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) about $80 000 and several local businesses and contractors in excess of $3 million – Nation Newspaper (07 April 2012)

The Harlequin matter continues to hog the media space in Barbados and in the United Kingdom.. The blogs have been harping on this issue for months and if what is carried in today’s press is to be believed, it has been with good reason. It seems that today’s business environment can easily be described as toxic, Ponzi, greedy, lacking governance and other similar unflattering descriptions. David Ames and his cohorts, the owners of the Harlequin operation, have been able to ‘persuade’ investors mainly from the UK to fund their questionable project.

BU has posted several blogs which have expressed disgust about the lack of interest shown by local authorities to investigate the local operations of David Ames and Harlequin. It is ironic that in August 2012 the most widely circulated local newspaper published a headline, Harlequin boost to building, equally ironic it was penned by the same award winning reporter Maria Bradshaw. Needless to say when the Nation newspaper was delivering its PR job on Harlequin, a simple Google would have unearthed a myriad of concerns about Ames and Harlequin Limited which should have provoked the most dense journalist to be probing in their report. Unfortunately an unacceptable level of passivity from the Fourth Estate and many other agencies in Barbados is what we have to tolerate. Was it too much to expect the Nation journalist to have included that the FSC issued an alert about Harlequin last month? Obviously the answer is yes.

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Bjerkham and Maloney Combo Does Again!

BEAT Foundations loses to Beer proposal

BEAT Foundations loses to Beer proposal

The players in the Arts community had hoped the government approved its request to restore the Empire ruins. The group which did a lot of work hoping to win the favour of Minister Stephen Lashley’s is BEAT Foundation headed by Jim McGowan.  Sorry Jim but we told you so!

Barbados Today has reported that a competing bid by a group of local investors which includes Mark Maloney of Prenonco Limited got Cabinet’s approval.  Yet another major project in Barbados given to Preconco or its connections by the government. This is after the crossover in the Pine and the $12 million or is it $40 million plus molasses tanks in the Bridgetown Port…and the multimillion dollar housing project at Coverly. Yes we agree the Coverly housing project is on life support but given the sweet heart PPP arrangement how at risk is Bjerkham and Preconco?

The question we must ask the government: why is Bjerkham getting a significant chunk of the major projects?