Transparent Incompetence

Press Release issued by leader of Solutions Barbados, Grenville Phillips II

There is a refreshing amount of transparency with the current administration.  Unfortunately, it seems to be used as part of a public relations campaign rather than to improve public policies.  The passage of the Data Protection Bill last week is a recent example.

The national organizations representing: doctors, lawyers, bankers, and digital businesses, submitted their concerns to the Joint Select Committee of the House and Senate (the Committee).  Their concerns generally affected their members.  The Committee responded by dismissing almost all of their concerns.  Their response has been shameless silence.

Solutions Barbados’ concerns focused on issues that could harm the public.  A review of the Committee’s minutes revealed the interesting ways the Committee used to dismiss our concerns.  Our recommendations, and the Committee’s responses, follow.

Interpretation:  We identified several grammatical errors.  The Committee responded: “typos happen and they will be fixed in the final Bill.”  After reading the passed Bill, grammatical errors were still easily found.  For example, on page 15, “unit other authority” should read “unit or other authority”, and “by the any enactment” should read “by the enactment”.

Section 10.3:  Any individual can ask the data controller to amend or erase their data.  For a data controller with reasonable doubts about the person’s identity, Section 21.14 states “the data controller MAY request the provision of additional information necessary to confirm the identity of the data subject.” (Section 21.14)

To address imposters, we recommended that the optional “may”, should be replaced with the non-optional “shall” or “must”.  The Committee’s response: “My understanding is that this provision was put here to give the controller flexibility in terms of confirming identity”.  The only flexibility it gives is for the data controller to behave badly.  They passed the bill with this harmful vulnerability in place.

Section 22:  This section made it an offense to transfer personal information, to countries that did not respect human rights with an “adequate” level of “appropriate safeguards”.  Section 23 tried to define “adequate”, and Section 24 tried to define “appropriate safeguards”.

We recommended that a Schedule containing an approved list of countries, or a negative list of countries, should be part of the legislation.  The Committee stated: “It is suggesting that we try to define adequate, and appropriate safeguards as it relates to section 22”.  We were suggesting no such thing.

The Committee dismissed the idea of a list, because they did not want to keep amending the Bill every time the list was amended.  They evidently did not understand that a Schedule can be amended by the Minister at any time, without having to go to parliament to amend the main legislation.

Section 55.4:  This Section gives the penalty for operating as data processor, without being registered, as “a fine of $10 000 or to a term of imprisonment of 2 months or to both.”  The Profession, Trade and Business Registration act states a penalty of $500, and no imprisonment, for this type of offence.

We were concerned about the discrepancy in penalties for the same offense.  The Committee ignored our concern and responded: “It just makes that null and void because they are not creating professions, therefore, that one is not relevant.”  So much for sober second thought.

Sections 68 & 69
:  We were concerned about the requirement to hire a Data Privacy Officer, whose allegiance appears to be to the Government appointed political Commissioner.  The Committee ignored the close relationship between the Data Privacy Officer and the political Commissioner, and simply dismissed this concern.  Amazing.

Section 73.1:  We were concerned about a glaring loophole that allowed confidential information to be leaked.  This section states: “The Commissioner and a public officer … shall keep secret all confidential information … EXCEPT insofar as the Commissioner authorises that person to release the information.”

The Committee’s legal resource stated: “this particular provision is very common when you are dealing with functionaries”.  So, they left the glaring loophole, for political mischief, in place.

Section 74:  This section allowed the Commissioner and their staff not to be held liable for their mistakes or negligence.  We recommended that the standard for negligence should be the same for all professionals.

The Committee went back to their go-to loophole-retaining statement: “this is a common provision again that is put in place in terms of functionaries”.  Well, that explains why all Barbados legislation to address political corruption seems to have loopholes.

Section 85.2(d):  This section allows the police to: “inspect and seize any documents or other material found on the premises”.  We recommended that the business owner should be allowed to make copies of documents seized, especially if the material seized is unrelated to the charge, and was needed to continue their business.

The Committee seemed to think that businesses run by magic.  Further, they decided that making copies of seized documents “is not something that we would wish to do at this stage or at any stage.”  Are charged persons not entitled to a copy of the evidence against them?  Since when did that change?  And where is this hostility to businesses coming from?

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at

The Mottley Saga – A Promise of Change but More of the Same

Submitted by Sunshine Sunny Shine (SSS)
mia mottley

Posted to Imgur

When the Mottley led BLP were in opposition, startling revelations by them suggested that the then DLP Stuart led government was corrupt, dishonest, and happily kept silent on important matters that should have engaged the public’s interest.

Mottley, agitated by the sequence of disturbing events unfolding under Stuart and his team, fought to have a moral basis established in Barbados politics. She pursued this basis by first tabling a move to have the then speaker of the house, Michael Carrington resign on grounds that his action in a money matter involving an elderly gentleman was unethical and immoral. So incensed was she, that several walking out of parliament became the protest action norm against this obvious condoning of inappropriate conduct.

She furthered her quest for moral politics by bringing the integrity of Freundel Stuart into the spot light. Stuart who wanted persons to believe that he was honest and upright, lied to the Barbadian people when he said he was unaware of the doings in the Cahill deal, when he had signed of on it many months before.

Fast forwarding to the Mia Amor Mottley who is now Prime Minister of Barbados, we are left to wonder what happened to that ethical and moral compass she brought to bear against Stuart and his DLP colleagues. A compass that many felt would be the change that Barbadians long for. Unfortunately, it was short lived.

For starters, there are serious accusations against two of Mottley ministers in the form of Payne and Marshall that have not once been addressed by her. If Carrington’s action was unethical, then any claims concerning inappropriateness by two ministers should have brought her moral compass to bear down on them.

Then there is the matter of her bloated cabinet versus those struggling civil servants sent home as the sacrificial few to keep the whole intact. Why only the bottom and not the top. Certainly this is ground to bring your ethical compass to forefront of things and show Barbadians that you everyone must make sacrifices including the top.

Then there is the tweaking of the constitution to accommodate two friends, but no investigations launch into the financial issues surrounding those of the Democratic Labour Party accused of corruption. Or. no quick move to have legislation put in place to deal with minister corruption, collusion, and wheel and deal.

The SSS has frequently stated that Mottley is a rogue and if she is to believed, otherwise, it certainly cannot be proven when she wants to bestow upon her father a knighthood that is not deserving at this time.

The George Brathwaite Column – Anti-corruption Mix and Fix

The worst disease in the world today is corruption. And there is a cure: transparency” – (Bono).

Over the last two years, this writer has consistently made the point that sound public administration must embrace the ideals and mechanisms that facilitate good administrative and business practices. In recent years, increased allegations of corruption and maladministration were levelled against the Barbados Government and agencies functioning under its purview. Surely, the last Barbados government would have attracted a ‘fair share’ of the accusations although claims of corruption have always lingered in the shadows of preceding administrations. It is without making any hypocritical twists, that Barbadians must ponder on the information being pedalled into popular discourse.

Prior to the last general elections, Barbadians were often critical of the Freundel Stuart-led administration’s silence on important issues. People were uneasy with non-forthcoming information, and the way contracts were entered upon while taxpayers’ monies were spent or wasted during times of belt-tightening by local workers and households. Amidst rumours and speculation of corruption, it became self-evident that the then administration was more willing to operate in silence than shower the media and the governed with information. Who would dare forget the refusal by Stuart’s administration to disclose critical aspects of the mysterious Cahill Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?

The Nation Newspaper’s editorial of 18 August 2015 iterated the popular sentiment that it was “hard to fathom the deafening silence of Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and the Government as a whole. It is as if they have determined that they will outlast objectors with their silence.” Withholding information from the public is a political tactic, but it does not encourage transparency. It is not conducive to reducing the risk of corruption. Indeed, lack of information or resorting to misinformation is indicative that things are not in reality what they are being made out to be. For example, a ludicrous statement made by Freundel Stuart in April 2017 asserted that Barbados remained “socially balanced, economically viable, environmentally sound” and is characterised by “good and transparent government.” That declaration was laughable given what was being hidden in plain sight – the shattered economy, society, and government.

It is inconceivable that going into the third decade of the 21st century, any responsible government would function stealthily when Barbados is already gripped in an age of openness. Naturally, the Government may try to control the flow of information; however, populations are demanding greater transparency and accountability. It is in this context that accurate and timely information can be the impetus for obtaining appreciative standards of good governance. Freedom of Information, Integrity in Public Life, and other legislative fixes inclusive of addressing procurement practices must be on the table. One anticipates that the Mottley-led administration will implement best practices, especially because Barbadians are vocal in their need to have corrected, the several wrongs that made daily living much harder during the final years of the last administration.

From the day to day running of government departments and statutory bodies, to the procurement of contractual services, Barbadians largely believed (and still do) that the provision of public services has been undermined by the corrupt practices of bribery and nepotism. The Auditor General identified gross discrepancies and the non-reporting of substantial sums of money. Also, and not for the first time, it was recommended that “audit issues, once presented, should be addressed in a timely manner, to ensure that such issues do not recur in subsequent years.” Generally, rumours suggested negligence or at worst, persons had a hand or two in the country’s cookie jar. Additionally, whisperings of injurious transactions costing the treasury millions appeared unrecoverable. Large sums remained untraceable without recourse to a forensic audit. Inside disclosures coupled with non-lodged leakages such as those emerging from the last Public Accounts Committee (PAC) all indicated the necessity for enhanced transparency and accountability. Barbadians were mesmerised that no public officer accepted responsibility nor was anyone sitting in ‘Dodds’ because of any misdeed.

Simple mistake, negligence, or mischiefs of the past reveal the urgency for which there must be the creation and implementation of new preventive and enforcement institutions. Anti-corruption measures inclusive of legislation, must be characterised by definitive strategies to scrutinise, prevent, expose, and prosecute those public officers involved in corruption. Barbadians are today pleading for a creature, formed with the requisite teeth, to safeguard the treasury. To put it differently, after the formal and informal reports of shenanigans through the Auditor General and the PAC, Barbadians are adamant about the need for a robust anti-corruption mix and fix, possessing the requisite teeth to safeguard the treasury.

All does not appear lost. The tenor and actions of the current Attorney General are encouraging. AG Marshall has succinctly stated that under the new administration, the authorities in carrying the fight against corruption in public office will “tear back the wall, tear back the vaults and look at the paperwork and see what was going wrong. It will take courage.” Certainly, this writer is pleased that the new administration is inclined to tear back the wall of secrecy while raising public awareness of the existence and deleterious consequences of corruption.

Surely, lingering ignorance in Barbados on corruption can easily empower the corrupt to become even more corruptible. It is to be noted that there is still the challenge of overcoming a deeply embedded culture of ‘harmless’ bribery and favour-granting niceties. Political Scientist Cynthia Barrow-Giles alluded to this phenomenon a few month ago in an article indicating that “acts of corruption perpetuated by ordinary citizens are equally mind boggling as the awarding of contracts and the many major political scandals that we read about.” Yet, in public glare, “bribery is just one form of corrupt behaviour perpetuated by ordinary citizens which is too often considered harmless.” Barrow-Giles concluded that “in one form or another most citizens can engage in ambivalent complicity in corruption.”

It is the previously concealed information about corruption and the malevolent practices that were not above board. The Attorney General has been forthright and relatively transparent in communicating prospects for implanting anti-corruption modes of operation in the rebuilding of Barbados’ reputation – economic and societal. AG Marshall insists that he intends “to strain every sinew … to the point of breaking,” while engaging “every agency of the Crown, either in Barbados or outside of Barbados … to bring the perpetrators of that dishonest activity to heel.” Chasing down corruption is necessary if the Barbados brand is to overcome the detriments and blacklisting that can occur, particularly with recent events that are

Barbados must be firm in its stance and resolute in its conviction for exposing the misdeeds of the past while formulating mechanisms that will help to prevent daily wastage, nepotism, and corruption. Therefore, the anti-corruption framework that is being shaped by the BLP, appears conducive to responding to the needs and expectations of citizens and residents in their capacities of individuals, interest groups and the society in general. Sharing accurate information, implementing whistle-blower legislation, and finding the best anti-corruption mix and fix can be effective for public administration and good governance in Barbados.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant and former lecturer in Political Science. Email:

A Heather Cole Column – Forward Ever, Backward Never!

In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope and it was the winter of despair we had everything before us, we had nothing before us we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”

All these things seem to encapsulate Barbados now.  Having a change of government does not mean that the problems facing the island will instantaneously disappear.  The era of Fruendel Stuart did indeed shock us who were adults prior to 2009 and what occurred was not the Barbados that we had grown to know.  Our winter of despair is upon us as the IMF has not only knocked at our door, but it has entered where we dwell setting conditions under which we must live.   It is still a season of darkness as stifling taxation is still upon us.  It is the age of foolishness as our wanton youth have lost the discipline associated with growing up under strict parentage in Barbados.  For most, it was the worst of times as all they could see was that we were going the other way, backwards.

Yet now, we are in another season, a season of light in which we will aspire to create the best of times.  For having learned the hard way, this season is our age of wisdom in which we will make decisions, even complex decisions to correct the past.  This season is now our spring of hope to go forward and lay a new foundation for Barbados that entails all that we dreamed of and more.  We must build a new foundation for Barbados not only for economic prosperity but to redefine ourselves as a people.

What Dickens did not say is that in the worst of times, the vision for the best of times is formed.  We now have a golden opportunity to build a new Barbados.  It cannot always remain a dream to have one Barbados and not two; where governance is steady and pragmatic not chaotic; where laws are not discriminatory; where the place of our birth or where we live determine our place in society and where there is generational wealth for all not only the rich. We can dismantle the stranglehold of the old colonial vanguard with its discriminatory laws, its limitations for wealth creation for the poor and its stagnant education system.

After finding ourselves at the crossroads, twice in 88 years, it makes one wonder if we have not learned that economic success is the key to our well-being.  However, it was the politics of the post-independence era that failed us this time.  Does this mean that we can only adequately plan for 30 year spans or that each generation will have a fundamental crisis at hand?  One thing that we must realize is that even in our darkest hour, there is an opportunity, but we must have the capabilities to discern it.

On the 4 corners of our foundation must underlie values that our success depends upon, namely Integrity, Accountability, Leadership, Equality and Justice.  Political service must be viewed as a sacred trust that the people have in those who govern them, never expecting betrayal.  However, on the other side of that trust must be the highest levels discipline in our workforce both public and private and; now more so than ever to execute the rebuilding of Barbados.

We need a new model to create and redistribute wealth.  The present model with a few minority business men owning all the wealth is to the detriment of Barbados.  With their billions of dollars earned off the backs of the tax payers, none of them have offered to rescue the economy and prevent the country from undergoing the harsh conditionalities that will be brought by the IMF.  A national bank is required, so too the further growth or expansion of the credit unions, building of cooperatives in every industry and other means.  The working class must transform their vision from owning a piece of the rock to owning a business on the rock.  Government also has a role to play in the creation of an enabling environment that all may prosper.

There must be a business plan for Barbados which not only includes financial targets to manage our debt but targets for investment, investing in our workforce, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, transforming our public transportation system, creating a sustainable environment, transforming our educational system, renovating and expanding our healthcare system, transforming the delivery of social services, revolutionizing all aspects of housing, removing poverty from the landscape, ultimately the creation of a new constitution, empowerment of the people, the power of recall for politicians, a well-regulated court system, access to and affordability of technology and transforming our communities to redefine the people.  Finally, we must not forget to build the bridge that has been missing for over 300 years, the bridge to Africa to reconnect to our distant past.

We must all arise and build not only economically or politically but socially as well.  Society and the family structure is in turmoil.  We have persons who came to age in the last decade that know more about feting and with more time on their hands than is rational.  Some of them do not know the last time they saw the inside of a church, read a bible or even had guidance from a family member.  We have a big problem if these are to be the elders of the next generation.  We have seriously missed the opportunity to shape their minds and someone else has shaped it in lawlessness. One thing that I have learned from Hitler is that the youth must be a focal part of any political agenda.   I lament that in the country’s darkest hour that there are people feting away.  Is the revenue to be earned form Corp Over and its activities more meaningful than preventing societal decay?  Where is the church?

We must put a political, social and economic system in place that not only survives turmoil in the next 30 years but the next 100 years and beyond.  To achieve revolutionary changes in Barbados, the task for the present government is not to reshape the country in its present mold but to rebuild Barbados on a new foundation.  To achieve this, we need the best in every field metaphorically, the best surveyors, architects, builders and building materials.  We also need visionaries, leaders and legal minds to achieve this massive feat which is to produce not another gem but a metropolis in the Caribbean.

Sandals MoU? Part II


Sandals/Beaches Tobago Hotel Pads Bubble Diagram – Source:

The following entry by Citizen Advocate Afra Raymond should be of interest to civic minded Barbadians and in particular the BU family. He continues to prosecute the pillar issues which underpin the arrangement supporting the introduction of Butch Stewart’s Sandals to Trinidad and Tobago. In Barbados the models being used to promote the Hyatt and Hilton projects are not dissimilar.

What are the pillar issues?

  • Governance
    • Integrity
    • Transparency

The price citizens must pay to ensure our democracy is eternal vigilance.

  • David, blogmaster

The previous article updated readers on my attempts to obtain the Sandals Memorandum of Understanding for the proposed high-end, large-scale resort development in Tobago. That proposed development is said to be a significant part of our country’s diversification efforts so it requires our sober attention if we are to understand what is at stake.

The model for this project is one in which the State either pays for or guarantees the financing of the new resort. The State would pay for the cost of design, financing, construction, fitting and furnishing of the new resort, all to the standards set by Sandals. The completed resort will then be operated by Sandals under a management agreement. T&T is unique in the Caribbean in that our largest hotels were funded by Public Money with the operators working via Management Agreements.

Read full text of Afra’s prosecution of the Sandals matter in TrinidadSandals MoU II

The George Brathwaite Column – Engagement Matters Now


Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Today, no leader can afford to be indifferent to the challenge of engaging employees in the work of creating the future. Engagement may have been irrelevant in the industrial economy and optional in the knowledge economy, but [in today’s creative economy] it’s pretty much the whole game now.” – Professor Gary Hamel of the London Business School.

Every day since May 25th and the swearing in of Barbados’ eighth prime minister, ‘engagement’ has been palpably visible in Barbados. Engagement with citizens and stakeholders, individuals and groups, and with regional and international entities has been forthcoming. Furthermore, the feature of engagement also implies that the characteristics of a national leader matters. Professor Hamel, in connecting leadership and engagement, identified five paramount issues that are essential: values, innovation, adaptability, passion, ideology. Space does not allow for a full discussion on these dynamics, but enough will be said to indicate that even against simple explanations, the importance of these itemized basics to leaders’ engagement can be meaningfully understood.

In speaking of values, attention is drawn to the necessity to equip oneself with integrity and sound ethical practices, given the waning of public morality and reasonableness in the public sphere. Innovation connotes the individual responsibility to be objectively critical while being creative in determining alternatives and solutions. Adaptability is a necessary ingredient given that the world in which we live is dynamic and change is practically constant. Hence, there must be a strong sense of nimbleness, maneuverability, and a reluctance to be paralyzed by inertia.

The concept of passion is to ensure that our existence is inspired, and that our activities are motivated and honed to success by finding ‘new ways to rouse the human spirit’. The ideology that drives our efforts must be sufficiently compelling as to cherish our attained freedoms and the right of self-determination. Overall, national and civic leaders must never abandon the concert of principles that encourage trust, thus leading to the type of enhanced cooperation and providing for security, prosperity, well-being, and opportunity.

Today, the story that is unravelling in Barbados is inspiring. The one-month old Government is adaptive to the foremost interest of the masses and the leadership is deliberately informative and engaging. Prime Minister Mia Mottley has wittingly wrapped herself around the fundamentals of expressing a clear vision, implanting values, being creative, pliant, and inspired to achieve unprecedented successes at the individual and national levels.

Indeed, with the quest for good and effective governance, PM Mottley is focused both on people and on the policy process. The policy process may be defined as the administrative, organizational, and political activities and attitudes that shape the transformation of policy inputs into outputs and impacts. Thus, Barbadians are observing daily, the kind of public administration and policy processes that augur well for national development due to the deliberate method of engagement.

Public administration is described to be ‘the management of the whole set of government activities dealing with the implementation of laws and regulations, making and implementation of policies and decisions, and the provision of public services’. These things are crucial for Barbados. Thus, the practice of respectable public administration coincides with Prime Minister Mottley’s robust efforts to engage the national constituents for the good governance of Barbados. Miss Mottley demonstrates alongside her team, the active personification of a caring government that is responsive to the needs and expectations of the population.

Moreover, this new Barbados Government is showing deep commitment to reverse the vexing trends and mismanagement practices that festered under the previous administration. Transparency and accountability are clear signposts that the Mottley-led administration has chosen for meeting the day-to-day challenges which confront Barbados. Arguably blessed with the acumen of a communicative style, PM Mottley has been forthright in bringing the most crucial matters to the public’s attention. One example is the true state of the Barbados economy, and her government’s intent to restructure the national debt while repositioning itself for economic growth under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.

Additionally, PM Mottley understands the right for the people to have authentic information. Miss Mottley has already reformulated the Government Information System (GIS) whereby, there is the provision of adequate information relating to the governance of Barbados, and knowledge on the projects being undertaken by the various Ministries. The promise of greater citizen participation is encouraged with a system soliciting feedback and encouraging persons to submit their ideas to a listening Government. Dialogue as seen with the ‘Social Partners’ has drastically improved in mere weeks much to the satisfaction of representatives comprising government, business, and trade unions.

Notwithstanding, PM Mottley is also aware of the risks and perils that rest in the vacuum of ignorance and the shadows of speculation. Official reports such as those previously delivered by the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee, combined with unofficial statements reveal that in past years, Barbados’ institutions and the civil service increasingly suffered from system failure involving the following:

  • Inadequate attention to achieving government policy and delivering pre-determined goals and targets;
  • Inability to cope with the changing environment;
  • Needless and time-consuming procedures (over bureaucratization and duplication);
  • Inadequate delegation;
  • Poorly trained and/or demoralized staff;
  • Increasing incidence of corrupt and/or fraudulent practices;
  • And, inadequate and/or inappropriate skills among managers and staff.

Miss Mottley and her executive are today standing on the right side of law and ethics. Although raising several concerns about the misfeasance done in corridors of stealth, conjecture, shady communications and eleventh hour contractual arrangements, preceding May 24th, 2008, Miss Mottley recognises that it is ‘our responsibility’ to engage with the public and take the appropriate action in the name of resolute public administration and good governance.

To that end, the assertive prime minister instructed her Ministers and civil servants that all official governmental business must be conducted via the secure technological platform for which the Government has invested.  This means that all Government business should be conducted via official emails only. Miss Mottley added that neither she nor her Ministers would be holding meetings to conduct the business of Government without public officers being present.

According to the confident leader, “the notion that persons can meet politically in an office to discuss the business of Barbados without public officers cannot happen because we put ourselves at risk of two things.” PM Mottley cited ‘allegations of corruption’ and the matter of who will ‘follow up’ from the proceedings of any held meetings. In her explanations, the popularly elected leader suggested that “if you are in meetings all day and you don’t have a public officer with you, who is going to follow up?” She elucidated on this point by highlighting that “the role of the public officer is to execute the policy and the decisions pertaining to policy that have been made.”

Therefore, it is a matter of practical purpose and safeguard that the presence of public officers become more pertinent in the scheme of transparency and accountability. PM Mottley’s engagement for purposeful public administration ought to be commended by the population. Nevertheless, it is important that we all remember the words of Hannah Arendt: “Political questions are far too serious to be left to the politicians.”

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a part-time lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and a political consultant. Email:

Government Urged to Heed the Advice of Independent Senators on the Bill to Amend the Police Act

Submitted by David Comissiong, President, Clement Payne Movement

The Parliament of Barbados is on the verge of enacting into Law an amended Police Act that will confer upon the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police enormous power to forcibly cordon off areas of Barbados; to impose curfews in our country; to confine people to their homes; to physically search persons; to carry out Police searches of homes and motor-vehicles; and to OBLIGE citizens of Barbados (in communities subjected to a curfew or a cordon) to subject themselves to interrogation by Police officers, AND  THE  VAST  MAJORITY  OF  THE  PEOPLE  OF  BARBADOS  HAVE  NO  IDEA  WHATSOEVER  THAT  SUCH  A  LAW  IS  ABOUT  TO  BE  MADE  AND  IMPOSED  ON  THEM!

Indeed, the people who brought this Bill to Parliament– Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and the other members of the Democratic Labour Party administration — made no effort whatsoever to inform the BARBADIAN PEOPLE about this Bill nor to permit them any opportunity to consider and discuss it. In other words, there was no CONSULTATION with the people of Barbados!

So, once again, this Democratic Labour Party administration is using secrecy and stealth to impose new potentially draconian measures on the Barbadian people !

(The last time they attempted to do so was with the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations. With absolutely no advance warning or consultation, the DLP government simply announced that they had enacted Regulations that obliged Barbadians to be fingerprinted every time they traveled from or returned to their own country. Thankfully, the Supreme Court of Barbados ruled that those Regulations were unconstitutional and struck them down !)

So far as this Bill to amend the Police Act is concerned, it should be noted that at the sitting of the Senate that was held on Wednesday 31st January 2018, a number of Independent and Opposition Senators decried the lack of public consultation and called upon the Freundel Stuart Administration NOT to proceed with the current effort to enact the Bill, and instead, to make arrangements to bring the Bill to the attention of the Barbadian people and to have a proper national consultation.

The Senators who made this very responsible and enlightened CALL included Sir Roy Trotman, Sir Henry Fraser, Senator John Watson, and Senator Wilfred Abraham.

The Clement Payne Movement hereby publicly endorses and supports the CALL made by the Independent and Opposition Senators of Barbados!

We also hereby publicly urge the PEOPLE  OF  BARBADOS and their various civil society organizations to raise their voices as well and insist upon a process of national consultation in relation to this extremely controversial Bill.

In particular, we CALL upon the Bar Association, the Trade Unions, the Churches, and the representative Youth organizations of Barbados to speak out loudly on this issue and to support the Senators’ CALL.

Hypocrites and Parasites

Submitted by Heather Cole

Submitted by Heather Cole

One can argue that the state in post independent Barbados has never provided the environment to foster economic independence to the majority black population. Despite this a few black businessmen managed to gain economic independence but the majority of the black population has settled for becoming the employed and never the employers. On the other hand, the minority white population has more employers and entrepreneurs.

Except for a limited apprenticeship period early in the history of Barbados – and in poverty stricken areas like Martins Bay- the minority white population has always had economic independence and social independence. At emancipation, the blacks were given social independence; it was not economic because they were not paid reparations for the time they had spent as slaves. At independence in 1966, the island gained its political independence from Great Britain.

Herein lies the present structure of inequality of Barbados; 99% of the 5% whites have social, political and economic independence and the 95% of the black population believe that they have social and political independence. Of that 95 % less than 5% have economic independence.

There are several reasons for this. The outdated educational system in Barbados does not teach entrepreneurship, poverty among blacks, the prohibitive lending practices of the banks, limited scope of government’s business development schemes and the inability of back businessmen to receive lucrative government contracts. This article will focus on the latter.

Throughout post independent Barbados, wealthy white businessmen have played prominent role to direct the political affairs of the island. In the past they were known as white shadows. Of late, they are no longer in the shadows and their presence now looms larger than life. Even the great Errol Barrow could not shake the hold that the minority whites held after his party achieved independence in 1966. They were the landowners and therefore voters before the backs obtained the right to vote. Did this give them preferential access to the government over blacks? One wonders why this preferential relationship has continued with successive black governments and why the whites do not seek political office.

In the midst of the present economic recession on the island, it is now essential more than ever that the black population achieve economic independence. Each successive administration has offered lucrative business contracts to the white minority and very few to blacks. This has created several white business magnates who by their portfolio now cater to every need on the island, leading to a concentration of power and wealth in their hands.

The present reality is that we have a situation where a fraudulent election has produced a hypocritical government which pretends to have the best interest of the people but their actions to these minority white business men speak otherwise. This small group of business men has attached itself as a parasite to the public purse to create every scheme they can dream up. In essence government ministers are now the puppets of the whites who no longer control from the shadows. Every Minister of the elected government has compromised his position to the entire electorate of Barbados in some was as a result of his involvement with those businessmen.

Both the Prime Minister and the Attorney general have admitted that votes were bought in the 2013 election. Bizzy Williams has admitted that he has given money to finance political campaigns for both parties as well as that he made a donation to the police force. It is no wonder that the police never investigated the Cahill scam. Bizzy Williams, Bjorn Bjerkham, Cow Williams, Mark Maloney and Tempro have all found a way to achieve wealth off the backs of the black people of Barbados long after slavery has ended. They bring no genuine investment but depend on the taxpayers’ money to finance their business schemes.

The cash strapped present administration whose members have already sold themselves to the highest bidder is seeking to divest government’s assets. The Sanitation Service Authority seems to be on the list of things to sell and what has unfolded as the Garbage Crisis in Barbados is quite telling; for months the state refused to take hold of its responsibility to remove garbage and then there was the drama surrounding the infamous tipping fee that was to be paid to Mr. Williams’ disposal company and after that several mysterious garbage trucks landed at the Bridgetown port. Now that the garbage collection system has almost collapsed, in comes Mr. Williams as a knight in shining amour to announce a proposal that he is willing to manage the garbage disposal in Barbados for $60 M a year. This alone is evidence that the SAS was allowed to fail so that the government could take hold of Mr. William’s offer. It is a clear picture of collusion between the Minister Denis Lowe and Mr. Bizzy Williams.

Since Opposition Senator Abrahams was able to comment on Mr. William’s announcement, an offer must be on the table and one must wonder of its contents. No manager of the SSA or the Minister is paid $60M a year. So exactly what does this management entail? Are those green garbage trucks that did not have an owner part of the $60M deal? What will happen to the workers currently employed by government? Does this mean that Mr. Williams, in addition to garbage collection will be responsible for garbage disposal? Will his new $60 M responsibility include decision making on any future waste to energy plants in Barbados for which land has already been vested and finders fees paid?

Mr. Williams is no angel, saint or savior. There are already private waste haulers who could have done this job. Chief among them is Mr. Cherry, private waste haulers who government seems bent n victimizing. Mr. Cherry should now offer government a counter proposal to collect the garbage in Barbados.

One wonders if the outcome of government’s failure to collect garbage is a sign of things to come for the delivery of other public services for which taxpayers’ money is utilized. This brings me to the water crisis that is being experienced in the North of the island. Is the provision of tap water being allowed to fail so that a white businessman can offer to provide running water to those affected residents at let us say $300M a year?

At the end of the day there is a need for the ending of secrecy and beginning of transparency in the way the government awards contracts and other business initiatives, the tendering process must be followed. There is a need for a quota system in the awarding of government contracts. 95% of the island should receive 95 % of the contracts and the 5% who are already wealthy will not suffer if they receive 5% of the contracts. Black business men, community groups or cooperatives must be formed to present counters offers to the government in light of the proposition offered by Mr. Williams as well as for other projects. If Mr. Williams can do it off the taxpayers’ money any black business man can do it too.

If this situation persists unchallenged and unchanged, we are headed to what can only be termed as economic slavery where the government collects taxes just to pass on to this minority. To make this situation even worse, a fraudulent election means that there is no political independence of the electorate. This means that after 50 years of achieving independence, the black population is headed back to the pre emancipation period. We never had economic independence, our political independence was sold for a mess of pottage on the last election day and; social independence (our pride which some of us relinquished by giving up the right to vote for free and fair elections) which is dependent on the former also vanished on the last election day.

Privacy Pros & Cons

Faris Al Rawi, Attorney General

Faris Al Rawi, Attorney General

The recent high-level of public concern over the SSA Amendment Bill was of limited concern to me, until I started listening properly. In the event, the proposed law was passed by the Parliament and there is some threat from the Opposition of a lawsuit to test its constitutionality. We will see.

Two very interesting stances surfaced during the heated debates and it is at these kind of moments that I sometimes think of our so-called political divide. Those were the Right to Privacy stance disclosed by the AG and the private briefing of Parliamentarians as a legislative tool.

Source: Privacy Pros & Cons

Call for OPEN DATA for Parliamentary Expenses

Afra Raymond

Afra Raymond

No More Secret Spending!

Public Money is Our Money!

This is an open call for the Administration of our Parliament to take the lead in publishing all the details of Parliamentarian’s expenses for the past ten years – 1st January 2005 to 31st December 2015.

Recent revelations have sparked a national discussion on the use and abuse of MPs’ entitlement to Public Money for the operation of Constituency Offices. We are now having a vital and long overdue national conversation about the proper use of MPs’ benefits and the need for the public to scrutinize this aspect of public money expenditure.

Our Parliament provides freely-available information with great ease of access at and in its various online broadcasts, as well as GISL and 105.5FM.

The details of the Constituency Office expenses of MP Marlene McDonald were disclosed to Fixin T&T under the Freedom of Information Act. That precedent having been established, it is difficult to imagine that any tenable objection could be raised to the publication of the same information for the other 40 MPs.

We are therefore proposing to the Administration of the Parliament that they take this historic opportunity to lead the transition from the current ‘Freedom of Information’ paradigm, in which citizens have to apply for information, to the modern, more proactive, approach of ‘OPEN DATA’ in which public information of interest is routinely published on a voluntary basis online, in searchable databases.

We also suggest that the Legislature consider the lessons from the UK Parliament (often considered to be the our ‘Mother’ Institution), which, as a response to the parliamentary expenses scandal in 2009, announced the creation of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), intended to manage Members’ expenses at “arm’s length” from the House.

Our Parliament is our highest Court and it is important that it take the lead in setting higher standards of Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance. These challenging times call for non-partisan and decisive leadership: we expect no less from our Parliament.

Specifically, our call is for the details of MPs expenses to be published for the ten year period – January 1st 2001 to December 31st 2015, with quarterly updates as necessary. The expenses which should be disclosed are –

  • Details of annual allocation of Public Money to be spent via Parliament for operation of Constituency Offices;
  • Guidelines on the use of those sums of Public Money, together with changes in those guidelines, with updates to show when these were in force;
  • MP’s names;
  • In relation to each MP’s office/s, names of employees to include period of employment, position held, salary etc;
  • In relation to each MP and their office/s, details of the non-salary expenses claimed and paid, to include utilities (TTEC, TSTT, WASA etc) furniture/equipment rental etc;
  • In relation to each MP’s office/s, details of the rentals paid, lease/tenancy agreement;
  • Annual Financial Reports submitted to the Parliament by MPs and the consolidated Financial Reports to the Parliament.

Many of the positive steps taken by our Parliament in relation to disclosure of information were supported by former Speaker of the House, Wade Mark. We expect this to be continued by the current Speaker of the House, Bridgid Annisette-George.

Friday 25th March 2016

Afra Raymond

Disclosure Today

Trinidad & Tobago Transparency Institute

Constitution Reform Forum

The Cahill Energy Project – A Really Awful Deal for Barbados and Barbadians

Submitted by David Bryan, Attorney-at-Law


Firstly, it must be said; some men are born cowards, some men are made cowards and some have cowardice thrust upon them. […] Continue reading

The Cahill Conspiracy

<h6 align="justify"><font style="font-weight:normal;">L-R): Edison Alleyne (Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment), Margot Harvey (Chairman, Sanitation Service Authority), Dr Denis Lowe (Minister of Environment), Clare Cowan (CEO of Cahill Energy), Christopher Sinckler (Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs), Denis Kellman (Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development), Senator Darcy Boyce (Minister of Energy in the Office of the Prime Minister)</font> - Caribbean News</h6>

L-R): Edison Alleyne (Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment), Margot Harvey (Chairman, Sanitation Service Authority), Dr Denis Lowe (Minister of Environment), Clare Cowan (CEO of Cahill Energy), Christopher Sinckler (Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs), Denis Kellman (Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development), Senator Darcy Boyce (Minister of Energy in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Caribbean News

I am a firm believer in conspiracy theories. There have been many great conspiracy theories in history, ranging from the September 11 Terrorist attacks to the assassination of John F. Kennedy to UFO’s at Roswell.

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Institutional Cracks are Appearing: Whither Transparency and Democracy

George C. Brathwaite, founder and interim president of BAJE

George C. Brathwaite, founder and interim president of BAJE

In contemporary Barbados, several questions are being raised by the inquiring citizen whose voice attracts the political whip. Many persons could care less of an individual’s curiosity or the need to know once  burning issues are scrutinised. Inquirers and commentators are often. In contemporary Barbados, several questions are being raised by the inquiring citizen whose voice attracts the political whip. Many persons could care less of an individual’s curiosity or the need to know once burning issues are scrutinised. Inquirers and commentators are often and dismissively thrown into the political camps of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) or the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). In relation to the current Cabinet or executive, there are increasing trends of neo-authoritarianism being exhibited on a regular and disconcerting basis. This observation is profound and it serves to demarcate an approach to governance that is not consistent with the 2008n and dismissively thrown into the political camps of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) or the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). In relation to the current Cabinet or executive, there are increasing trends of neo-authoritarianism being exhibited on a regular and disconcerting basis. This observation is profound and it serves to demarcate an approach to governance that is not consistent with the 2008

Issue after issue, there are repeated cautions that are registered against those persons and/or groups critical of governmental policies, actions or inactions. In turn, apathy and determinism have mimicked the cowardly forms of inevitability demonstrated by the national executive.

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CONCACAF’s Integrity Committee Finds Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer Guilty – David Estwick Take Note re:Barbados Water Authority

The Nation and Advocate both carried almost identical articles about The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football’s (CONCACAF’s) investigation into allegations about Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer. While the article covered the main allegations and findings it is only when you read the full report of CONCACAF’s Integrity Committee, that you appreciate the exploitation carried out by both men during the years when they were President and General Secretary respectively.

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