A Few Questions For Minister of Finance Mr. Chris Sinckler

Submitted by Phil Collins

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance and Senator Darcy Boyce at the centre of the Pierhead dispute

The controversy over the Pierhead Marina and the award of the contract to non-bidder, SMI Infrastructure Solutions (SMI) is well known. For the sake of completeness it should be noted that the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SMI since February 2011 when the Minister of Finance, with much fan fare announced shortly thereafter that construction work on the Marina would commence within 12 months.

Under section 5.0 of the MOU it was agreed that: “SMI will arrange financing through a third party for the work to be done under this MOU”. In other words SMI would be responsible for funding the new Marina design which was being undertaken by its prime marine engineering consultant, W F Baird and Associates.

On Monday 31st October 2011Citicorp Merchant Bank Limited advised the Government of Barbados that it was unable to raise the Bds$40.0 million on behalf of SMI. On the 1st November 2011 the CEO and Chairman of BTI were invited to meet with the Permanent Secretary of Investment in the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Finance, Mr. Chris Sinckler to discuss the situation.

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Owen Arthur Calls The PAC To Order To Investigate Malfeasance By Government Over The Marina Project

Senator Darcy Boyce (l) Opposition Leader Owen Arthur (r)

It has become patently obvious to the BU household that politicians in Barbados are members of a fraternity who will defend their ‘club’ even at the expense of the national interest. The two political parties have been latched on to a good thing for the last 30 years. Each party gets a chance to enjoy the ‘sweets’ compliments of the taxpayers.

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) promised to introduce integrity legislation in 1976, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) opposed it. The Democratic Labour Party promised integrity legislation in 100 days of assuming office in 2008, it is now over 1000 days and counting. The legislation reached the lower house as it did in 1976 to be relegated to a sub committee of parliament. It would be an optimistic sort who would expect the legislation to rear its head for the balance of the government’s term.

Where the collusion of the BLP and DLP can be seen – whether by accident or design –  is in the loud silence the opposition party has been able to manage on the matter of integrity legislation. It seems a no-brainer that a party which was accused of massive corruption at every turn leading up to the last general election would have held the feet of the government to the fire regarding the promise to proclaim integrity legislation in Barbados to sanitize its reputation.

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