Walter Blackman – Findings from the 2021 Auditor General’s Report, and Educational Reform

The following submission from Walter Blackman, Actuary and VOB TalK Show Host is a summary of his June 14 ,2022 Brasstacks program – BU blogmaster

Walter Blackman – Actuary and VOB Brasstacks host

There are many national issues simmering on the front burner which are worthy of discussion. Just to identify some of these, we have gun violence, the strategy announced by the Attorney General to combat crime, a test carried out on a male to determine the presence or absence of Monkey pox in Barbados, the need to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency, some disturbing findings from the latest Auditor General’s report for the Fiscal Year ended March 31, 2021, and last, but not least, educational reform.

With respect to the Auditor General’s report, there are some issues raised by the Auditor General which I would like to highlight:

  1. There is a lack of timely response by Ministries and Departments to requests for information. When responses were provided, they were inadequate. To solve this problem, the Auditor General noted that section 13(5) of the Public Finance Management Act 2019-1 states: “If a person refuses to produce any records or information as requested by the Comptroller General, that person is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $10,000, or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.” He suggested that the legislation should be amended to include the Auditor General.
  2. There is no Leader of the Opposition, so the post of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is vacant. There is some uncertainty on how the PAC can function. The Auditor General recommends that one of the “independent” senators be allowed to chair the PAC.
  3. In his 2019 report, the Auditor General referred to a Special Audit which was conducted on the Barbados Water Authority (BWA). Legal action has now been taken against the office of the Auditor General by a former Chairman of the Board of the BWA. Any discussion on this report must now be placed on hold pending the decision of the courts. The Auditor General recommends that legislation should provide that any document produced in good faith by, or on behalf of, the Auditor General should be privileged information and protected against lawsuits.
  4. The Treasury Department reported that its receivables increased by $1.238 billion during the year. A great difference exists between amounts reported by the Treasury and the Barbados Revenue Authority.
  5. A balance of $32.8 million was reported in respect of dishonoured cheques. The names of individuals or entities were not provided for audit inspection.
  6. $3.9 million in pensions were paid by the Treasury Department in the names of deceased persons. Sometimes, payments were made 10 years or more after death. 34 pensioners, former government workers, were affected. Over the years, the Treasury Department was unable to access the Death Register information.
  7. BRA recorded $12 million in wire transfers related to taxes paid by taxpayers. However, these wire transfers were not applied to the appropriate taxpayers’ accounts.
  8. With respect to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), access to the SAP information technology system by former employees was not deactivated. Benefit transactions were processed and approved by the same individual.
  9. Old-age NIS pensions were generated for persons who were recorded as deceased within the national Death Register. 10 NIS pensioners were affected, and in some cases, payments were made for over 5 months after death.
  10. Persons no longer employed by BRA still had active credentials and access to the TAMIS application. Some taxpayers had multiple active TAMIS numbers. BRA was not informed of deceased taxpayers.
  11. Tax refunds payable to taxpayers were reported as $611.9 million. The audit of BRA was characterized by extremely long delays in the provision of information to the auditors and this would have impacted negatively on its timely completion. Cash and banking information was not properly reconciled. This matter has been ongoing for several years. It poses risk of errors, omissions, or acts of fraud being perpetrated and concealed.
  12. Clearwater Bay Ltd, a government company, made a loan guarantee of $120 million. This loan guarantee was connected to the construction of the proposed Four Seasons -managed Hotels and Villas. The $120 million were originally shown as a receivable but then written off in 2018. The Auditor General holds the view that this $120 million should not have been written off. The Government of Barbados paid $124.3 million to the bank after the loan was called. A check with The Land Registry Department indicates that the property has been conveyed to a private company. There is no evidence of money being paid by the private company.

Minister of Education Kay McConney

With respect to educational reform, we are not limiting our analysis and discussion to the 11+ exam. I have my own ideas and vision and you have yours, so let us discuss.

Sandy Kellman has eloquently and repeatedly shown us that our new system of education must expose all of our children to assessments and tests at an early age in order to detect learning challenges and disabilities. Those young children with learning challenges should receive adequate remedial treatment as early as possible. Funds from the education budget will be allocated for this purpose, and jobs will be created.

Primary school students will be encouraged to develop their talents in art, the performing arts, music, technology, sports, English, Mathematics, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Metrics will be used in all of these areas, and teaching and coaching jobs will be created to prepare students for a vastly expanded 11+ exam.

Talents surfacing at the primary level will be further developed at the secondary school level with teachers, coaches, musicians, artists, singers, playwrights, poets, writers, and religious ministers all playing a critical and pivotal role. Many jobs are waiting to be created. We are going to need the experience and the wisdom of the John Goddards, the Ralph Jemmotts, and others to help guide us forward.

CXC, CAPE, and SAT exams will be taken by secondary school students. High SAT scores will enable our secondary school students to attend polytechnics and universities in the USA where their marketable skills and talents will undergo the last stage of development. After that, the brilliance and talents of a young Barbadian population will be unleashed upon the rest of the world.

The overall objective of this new education policy is to generate foreign exchange earnings for Barbados. At present, we are on the wrong course. We need to find a new direction. As a people, we need to pivot the Barbadian economy around a new axis.

Proposed Public Pension Formula Makes Bad Situation Worse

The following important comment was posted by Actuary and Talk Show host Walter Blackman to respond to a comment raised on the blog 60 Love Can LoseBlogmaster

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Brasstacks host

Pensions have surfaced as an extremely important issue at this stage of our national development, so I want to commend you for bringing this pension-related matter to the attention of BU readers.

The challenge for me is to distil esoteric, actuarial and mathematical concepts into information that you and all BU readers can understand. Please forgive me if I fail to overcome that challenge

We grew up hearing that one of the major benefits derived from working for the government was the receipt of a pension and gratuity.

I will use a 5-year average pay of $5,000 (assumed to be under the NIS ceiling, for illustrative purposes only). I simply want to show how the changes in pension legislation have affected government workers hired before September 1, 1975, those hired on or after September 1, 1975, and those to be hired on or after January 1, 2023.

A person born on January 1, 1945, who was hired before September 1, 1975 and who retired after 33 1/3 years of service will receive the following:

  • Government pension = $3,333.33
  • NIS Pension = $3,000
  • Total Pensions received = $6,333.33

Note that this pensioner is receiving a total monthly pension which is greater than the pay he was getting as an active worker.

This was a problem that the government decided to solve.A person born on January 1, 1945, who was hired on or after September 1, 1975 and who retired after 33 1/3 years of service will receive the following:

  • Government pension = $333.33
  • NIS Pension = $3,000
  • Total Pensions received = $3,333.33

Note the drastic reduction in government pension. This was not the best approach to be taken by the Government of Barbados to solve the pension problem.

A person born on January 1, 2003, who will be hired on or after January 1, 2023 and who will retire after the following years or less of service will receive the following:

  • Government pension (1-36 years of service) = $0
  • Government pension (37 years of service) = $$83.33
  • Government pension (38 years of service) = $166.67
  • Government pension (39 years of service) = $250.00
  • Government pension (40 years of service) = $333.33

This proposed pension formula makes a bad situation worse. The unions ought to make their voices heard.

Walter Blackman – Audio Version

Gratuity = 25% x monthly pension x 150
Pension to be paid = 0.75% of calculated pension

For example:
Government Pension = $3,333.33 per month
Gratuity = $125,000.00
Monthly Pension to be paid = $2,500.00

UPDATE: Questionable Radical AstraZeneca ‘Purchase’ Attempted

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Host of Brasstacks
The following was extracted from a comment posted by Walter Blackman to respond to BU commenter Bush Tea on another blog Nation Publishing MUST Do BetterBlogmaster

Continue reading

Walter Blackman’s Political Insights

It will be worth the time to study Walter’s brief odyssey into local politics to extract learnings;

David, Blogmaster
Walter Blackman,
Actuary and Social
Commentator Extraordinaire

If we are going to extract learnings, we need to look at the dots and connect them. I have reaped no success in politics to justify the writing of a book or my memoirs at this point in time, but there are a few revelations I can make exclusively on BU which would help Barbadians to understand the genesis of some incidents which extensively damaged Barbados, the lives of Barbadians, and the Barbados brand.

I do not know if this particular topic is the best place for me to start, but I am going to start. You, as blogmaster, have the right to package my writings and place them wherever you see fit.

I hope by taking this course of action that I will inspire other Barbadians who believe that they have a tale to tell to start doing so. William Skinner readily comes to mind.

The success of our oppressors stem primarily from the fact that they want to silence us and make us cower in fear. They want to make us feel that it is a sin for us to share our experiences. It is my deep-rooted belief that our shared experiences will help us to understand and appreciate each other more, and by so doing, will create a catalyst for change, however small.

These are my writings and I own them. I have attached my name to them so they are my intellectual property. I reserve the monopolistic right to use them as part of any book I decide to publish in the future.

Let me state, up front, that I have not been privy to any secrets created or held by any political party in Barbados, so it is impossible for me to divulge any. Almost all of the positions adopted by me arose out of deductive reasoning, or by analysis of events that stumbled into the public domain.

Expectant Pensioners Will Pay for Mismanagement of National Insurance Scheme

The following (with minor edit) is a comment posted by Walter Blackman to BU blog Whimpering Opposition.

– David, blogmaster

April 27, 2019 8:48 AM

“First thing this morning and we are off to the races attacking people instead of debating the real issues?”


Through the vehicle of BU, you are getting a very deep insight into the nature of Barbadians, as a people.

We have paid billions of dollars into the NIS since 1967. The money that was paid into the NIS was supposed to be prudently invested and used primarily to pay benefits to participants and their beneficiaries, along with the administrative costs of running the NIS department.

Reportedly, the NIS for Barbados was first articulated by Charles Duncan O’Neale almost a century ago. From the moment the concept was aired, some anti-progressive minded members of the white minority on the island rationalized that they were wealthy enough to provide for their unborn great-great-great grandchildren and therefore should not be called upon to contribute to any fund which pays out benefits to perceived poor and needy black Barbadians. To this very day, some of these white Barbadians are still demanding that they be allowed to opt out of the NIS.

With this background in mind, any sensible Barbadian ought to have been outraged when they saw black politicians from poor, humble origins take up the hard-earned NIS money of Barbadian taxpayers and stupidly give it away to every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the flimsiest of excuses. All of us are forced to suspect that kickbacks, fraud, and corruption must have been associated with the squandering of our NIS funds.

Somewhere along the line, possibly within the next 30 years, many Barbadians will weep and gnash their teeth as they witness the NIS become totally transformed into a Ponzi scheme, and then collapse, never to be resurrected. By that time, the retiring age for a full pension might be 85 or 90 years old!

This is but one simple issue in the area of finance that is desperately crying out for political ventilation and a solution. There are many, many more financial problems, alternatives, and solutions that ought to be put to the electorate.

Barbados needs outstanding financial leadership now, more than ever.

Given the excessive, prolonged “spiriting away” of public funds, along with the deep financial morass that the country is now mired in, I must boldly ask BU readers a few simple questions:

  1. Who on the government’s side is seen as the person who can get up, address and communicate financial issues to Barbadians in a clear, understandable manner, and then get buy-in from the electorate and major stakeholders?
  2. Who is the named UPP’s spokesman on Finance?
  3. Who is the named Solutions Barbados’ spokesman on Finance?
  4. Who is the named DLP’s spokesman on Finance?

Walter the Actuary a BLACK man | Charles the Actuary a White man

[Barbados Underground] Walter Blackman responded to BU commenter TheOGazerts on the observation that Barbadians are engaged in the Charles Herbert, a rich Bajan Actuary that contrast starkly with Walter, a Bajan Actuary who is Black and forced to return to the USA to make a living – David, blogmaster


TheOGazerts, Barbados, our idyllic island home, will continue to vomit up its shocking contrasts.

It is only after listening to people on BU describing how “bright” a certain white man is to have completed a degree in actuarial science, then to have gone on to complete the tough actuarial professional exams, then to have gone on to develop a multi-million dollar actuarial company in Barbados, that I found myself making some comparisons. We both demonstrated at the university and professional exams level that we possess the intellectual capacity needed to become fully qualified pension actuaries. However, the demonstration of brain power is where the similarity abruptly ends.



Now for the contrast. He is a bright, rich, white man. I am simply a black man.


In Barbados, this is a huge, huge deal and it naturally and invariably translates into a situation where a universe of opportunities are opened to him, whilst all doors are closed to me.

So whereas someone can boast on this white man’s behalf, that he made millions from selling an actuarial company which he developed in Barbados (not sure if this is correct), I am left to inform BU readers that I was awarded an OAS Fellowship to study actuarial science at the masters degree level with the expressed intention of providing actuarial services to the National Insurance Scheme of Barbados. Alas, I completed my studies but, on my return to Barbados, was never allowed to work at the NIS. I applied for the vacant position of Supervisor of Insurance, which was advertised by the Erskine Sandiford administration. After a series of interviews, the final two candidates were Walter Blackman and Joycelyn Hinds. I attended the final interview and have heard nothing since. I discovered later that Wismar Greaves was placed in the post. Could it be that this was the point at which CLICO was being prepared for its “great” journey?


Attempts to work at ICB amounted to a mere exercise in futility.

More recently, the Government of Barbados, for the first time, advertised the position of CEO of the Financial Services Commission. I knew something was afoot so I made sure that I applied. As expected, I never even got an acknowledgement. However, Sir Frank Alleyne told Barbadians that the FSC had searched the whole world and could find no one but Mr, Randy Graham to fill the position.


What has allowed me to remain mentally strong and steadfast is my firm belief that no one selected Walter Blackman to “unfair” or destroy. This “square pegs in round holes” problem is systemic and thousands of progressive-minded Barbadians, if given the chance, can easily recount incidents of being similarly “unfaired” and discriminated against.

There is some purpose to this madness.

Back in the early to mid-1980’s, a grand designer decided to “corner” and control government’s financial services market. Individuals were handpicked to head major government revenue agencies and to follow certain career tracks (e.g. Supervisor of Insurance, NIS dept, PS/Director of Finance).


For example, Sabina Walcott was made Commissioner of Inland revenue. Grantley Smith was Director of NIS, before moving on to the PS/Director of Finance role. William Layne was Financial Controller of NIS, Supervisor of Insurance, and then PS/Director of Finance. Ian Carrington was Supervisor of Insurance, Director of NIS, and has now moved into a PS/Director of finance role.


Any person or agency wishing to investigate the nature and state of the government’s finances from 1985-2015 is well-advised to start by questioning and interviewing these four individuals along with Erskine Griffith, a former PS/Director of finance, who was ultimately “rewarded” with a minister of agriculture’s salary. These persons were in the best position to know how come government’s financial rules could be violated so easily, and how come the problems raised by the Auditor General for so long could be so contemptuously disregarded with no repercussions or consequences.




With respect to the FSC, every Barbadian watched in disbelief as the organization did little or nothing to protect the rights and benefits of CLICO’s policyholders, or to punish the guilty persons responsible for the scandalous raid on the insurance company. However, when it was discovered that the Judicial Manager was about to publish a report which proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that David Thompson initiated the steps which led to the CLICO raid, the FSC sprang into action and tried to block the publication of the report. Was this the reason why the nephew of David Thompson was put in the CEO post? Was it sheer coincidence that he left the post after all attempts to block the publication of the JM report failed?



We castigate, shun, and in some cases, jail uneducated black Barbadians for their acts of ignorance. At the other extreme, we block well-educated black Barbadians.from taking up positions commensurate with their experience and training, and from participating meaningfully in public life. Participation in public life is now being characterized by corruption, malfeasance, and deceit. Instinct tells me that a social backlash cannot be very far away…

Rising Concerns about the National Insurance Fund

Barbados Underground (BU) has written extensively our concerns about the lack of public disclosure of the National Insurance Fund. Since 2006 Chairman after Chairman, Minister after Minister have promised to bring the NIS financials current with little success. The last time we sighted Dr. Justin Robinson on BU, Chairman of the NIS- who was not averse to posting to BU- he commented on the 01/11/2015 at 4:02PM as follows:

Walter, I respect your views, expertise and comments and I take being accountable to the public very seriously and I have responded to queries about NIS many times on this forum, in fact quite recently. What I don’t quite appreciate is the NIS ambush whatever the issue I am commenting on.

As I have said on many occasions, when I became a member of the NIS board in 2008, the last audited financials filed were for 1998, as a board we hired an accounting firm to help bring the financials up to date. As a result of that project the NIS has submitted its financial statements for up to 2014. The NIS is a government dept and as such has to be audited by the auditor general. The auditor general put out a tender for the large backlog of financials and EY was the only bidder. The audits have progressed much slower than expected for two main reasons. Firstly, the audits are going back well over a decade and secondly the 2004 audit posed a major challenge as this was the first year of the nis switch over to the sap system.

We have gotten the financials up to 2014 and cleared the audit backlog from 1998 to 2005 i think. I was not there when the backlog was created, but I am chairman now and the failure to have up to date audited financials is mine. I accept full responsibility, the failure is mine.

I still hope I can engage in a public debate on other matters without constantly having to explain NIS.

It is ironic the Walter (Blackman) mentioned in Robinson’s comment was also a frequent BU commenter until he landed a ‘pick’ hosting a talk show on the government the owned media outlet. We look forward to hearing him in his professional capacity as an actuary host a program which critically analyses the current state of the NIS Fund. We suspect the government ‘pick’ has effectively muzzled Walter and all for 30 pieces of silver.

Fortunately Barbadians have Charles Herbert who is head of the Barbados Private Sector (BPSA) and a respected actuary to share his view on the state of the NIS fund.

We do have real problems. But the truth is, all it is going to mean is – and we already have the highest NIS contributions in the region – they are going to have to go higher or we are going to have to cut benefits because we cannot realize our investments . . . . So I think cash flow is going to be an increasing problem for National Insurance like it is a serious problem for Government – Barbados Today

Here is what Robinson posted to BU on the 02/11/2015 at 11:49AM:

The NIS in Barbados is currently able to cover benefit expenditure from its contribution income. Given the population demographics and current contribution levels, unless either benefits or contributions are adjusted, at some point in the future the scheme will need to draw on its investment income and assets to meet benefits. I don’t think there is anything especially unusual about this. The NIS is very open about the fact that 75% of its portfolio is in government of Barbados of securities (its been around that level for most of the life of the scheme). Therefore if at some point the government of Barbados is unable to meet its debt obligations the NIS would be severely impacted.

Barbadians, an ageing population, find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Either our NIS contributions will have to be increased in the near future- already the highest in the region- or benefits will have to be reduced. As far as BU is aware the most recent actuarial study was received by government earlier this year but it has not made public. Barbadians are left to speculate about the state of the fund. If BU were to add our voice to the speciation we would hazard to state that the NIS is cash poor and Barbadians should be very concerned. We do not have the power of recall, 20,000 Barbadians marching appears not to have registered concern with the government even as a general election looms.

Is the NIS Fund cash poor?

The Human Unemployment Rate in Barbados – The Need to Develop an Entrepreneurial Class

Submitted by Walter Blackman

Walter Blackman - Actuary and Social Commentator

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Social Commentator

Prodigal Son July 5, 2016 at 10:57 PM

But wait…….is Fumble off his medication?

The man told a bold faced lie on DLPTV tonight ……….the man said in Guyana that unemployment is down to 9% and that jobs are coming back. Fumble, where? In Barbados? You have been travelling overseas too much….you got to be mad. Just last month in the CBB report, the governor said that unemployment was 11% (which is another big lie……..unemployment has to be over 20%), so how could it drop by 2% in 30 days? You ever see lies?

On August 16, 2015, I submitted an article captioned “The Human Unemployment rate in Barbados – A cause for serious concern.”

In that article, I argued that if we paid a little more attention to our labour force participation rate, and less attention to our more contentiously calculated unemployment rate, then we would end up having a far better understanding of the nature of our unemployment problems.

From the outset, let me state that I have witnessed the published unemployment rates being used by some individuals to praise the Owen Arthur administration for its handling of the Barbadian economy over the period 1994 -2007. Likewise, I have seen the similarly calculated published unemployment rates being used by the same individuals to lambaste and berate the Freundel Stuart administration for its perceived mishandling of the economy since 2010.

Now that recently published figures have shown that, at March 31st 2016, the unemployment rate stood at 9.3%, I therefore find it disingenuous on the part of some individuals to dismiss this figure out of hand, and to assert that the true unemployment rate has to be 20% or more. If individuals want to demonstrate consistency in their arguments, they must now offer congratulations to Mr. Chris Sinckler, the Minister of Finance in particular, and to the Freundel Stuart administration in general, for getting the unemployment rate down to this level.

I am acutely aware that fertility rates, unemployment rates, and labour force participation rates are esoteric subjects, so I will quickly present a few numbers to stimulate some thinking about our unemployment problem.

The total labour force represents the amount of working-age Barbadians who were educated and kept alive by some of the taxes which we all paid over the years. They represent a national resource that the country invested in, and is now looking to get a return from. Of course there are some individuals (those imprisoned, those in mental institutions, those deemed medically unfit to work etc.) who must be excluded from the workforce for practical reasons.

In 2013, our labour force was 214, 000. At March 2015, it was 224,000. At March 2016, it was 222,000.

As the Baby Boomers retire, and as the impact of our low fertility rates begin to kick in, our labour force will shrink. Contributions and taxes from our reduced labour force, as Artaxerxes pointed out, will have to support escalating health care costs and increasing NIS payments demanded by a relatively large, retired cohort of Barbadians. Some of these Barbadians will live forty years or more in retirement so we have to start maximizing the use of our labour force NOW.

In 2013: 126,300 persons were employed. Therefore the gross labour force participation rate was 59% for 2013. That is, 126,300/214,000.

At March 2015: 127,900 persons were employed. Therefore the gross labour force participation rate was 57%.

At March 2016: 131,300 persons were employed. Therefore the gross labour force participation rate was 59%.

These gross labour force participation rates are much too low to create or sustain national economic growth!

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart colourfully and simply stated that “the government’s nipples are sore”. By so doing, he informed Barbadians that we can no longer look to the Government of Barbados to provide jobs for our unemployed. In fact, the Government of Barbados was forced to shed some jobs as part of its effort to bring balance and stability back to the economy of Barbados.

Unemployment in Barbados reached an all-time high in the 2nd quarter of 2014 (125,000 persons were employed in 2014). A cursory glance at the number of persons employed in 2015, and 2016 therefore support’s Prime Minister Freundel Stuart ‘s assertion that the lost jobs have returned to the economy. Again, we need to congratulate the government and urge our ministers to keep pressing on.

These small economic gains represent a step in the right direction. The banks are awash with money and are paying savers practically nothing on their deposits. The credit unions are awash with money. Some black and white individuals and businesses are awash with money. Why does it appear that everyone is sitting down and waiting on the government?

Certainly, with a little creativity, ingenuity, and hard work we can take the risk of establishing our own businesses and put our fellow Barbadians to work.

At the individual level, we need to start asking ourselves some searching questions. What skills do I possess? Are they legally marketable? Do I really have to sit down and wait for someone to hire me?

Working in concert with his grandson, our own pieceuhderockyeahright, a prolific commenter on BU, has demonstrated to us how creativity and ingenuity can create opportunities for individuals. I would not like to see him achieve his political goals, but with all my heart, I would love to see the energy and hard work, which he puts into the conceptualization and creation of his posters, blossom and financially flourish.

Who could fault or envy pieceuhderockyeahright for trying “to show de grandson that his talents with the “stoopid cartoons” are of great use and that, if wisely positioned could be a revenue stream?”

This is precisely the type of thinking, at the individual level, which can help the country of Barbados to trudge out of its deep economic morass.

Who knows how far this new venture will go? Who knows how much foreign exchange it will bring to Barbados?

There is a small, but very important, piece of detail which pieceuhderockyeahright mentioned with respect to the development of his product – obtaining a copyright from the department of Corporate Affairs. If we are going to be successful businessmen and women, we need to pay attention to minute details such as this. Any Barbadian who is serious about owning a business should go to “Corporate Affairs” and register A CORPORATION.

When you arrive on the 7th Floor of the Baobab Tower at Warrens, you will spend many, many minutes waiting at the counter unattended whilst the employees pore over big binders and try to do their best as they struggle under the weight of an apparent archaic system. Do not expect to achieve your objective on your first or second visit, unless the stars are perfectly aligned with your birth sign on that day. When you manage to get past the “counter stage”, be prepared to stand in another line to pay your fees and receive your receipt. If it is after 3:30 pm, “crapaud smoke yuh pipe”. You have to come back another day.

In a world of e-commerce and “paperless” offices, the situation at Corporate Affairs leaves a lot to be desired. That office needs to be brought into the 21st century.

The Permanent Secretary responsible for the Department of Corporate Affairs needs to find a solution to the problem. It should not be left to the Minister.

Walter Blackman is BACK!

Walter Blackman - Actuary and Social Commentator

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Social Commentator

Walter Blackman the doyen of talk radio of the 90s is back!

An actuary by training who honed his skills in the business environment of North America for the past 21 years has returned to Barbados to establish a business of his vocation. Of note to the BU family is that he has declared an interest in being a member of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) by throwing his hat in the ring to be considered as a candidate in the next general election.

 Here is a comment posted to Barbados Underground by Walter Blackman on the 29 June 2016.

I have always put my actuarial profession ahead of politics.

In 1995, I left Barbados with the objective of acquiring 20 years of actuarial experience in the USA. I intended to use that experience to provide quality actuarial services on my return to Barbados, which turned out to be 2016. 21 years. The timing of my return was strictly professional.

I incorporated an actuarial consulting company in Barbados called Actreks Partners. I have now assumed the role of President & CEO and am in the process of building this company.

A lot of Barbadian business owners are moving towards retirement and are not setting aside enough funds to adequately provide for their retirement needs. I design pension plans for business owners and advise them how much money they can contribute to the pension fund yearly. The contributions they make to their pension plans enable them to minimize or eliminate the company’s corporation tax.

Besides designing pension plans, Actreks Partners will be providing a suite of services, including risk management and business consulting, to businesses and Government.

If my company is successful, I would be creating long-term, sustainable, white collar jobs for Barbadians. All I want you to do is wish me luck on that one, rather than talking about going back to “Murica”.

On the political front, you are hinting that I am committing political suicide by sticking with the DLP, whilst Are-we-there-yet, believes that, like clockwork, my mind is systematically ticking and carving out a path that leads to becoming prime minister. These considerations have not even entered my mind.

This is how I see it:
If the DLP wins, I have to work.
If the BLP wins, I have to work.

It has always been that way for me. I hope you understand why I am not interested in hopping on a bandwagon…

The Human Unemployment Rate in Barbados – a cause for serious concern

Walter Blackman - Actuary and Social Commentator

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Social Commentator

The following submission is reprinted from May 2014.  Walter’s view: “As an update, the situation has worsened. At the end of March 2015,

the amount of Barbadians who are of working age […] Continue reading

A New Agenda for Barbadian Workers and their Families

Walter Blackman

Submitted by Walter Blackman

Generally speaking, over the past 35 years, the political class has taken full advantage of a trusting, docile electorate. With no effective checks and balances in place, both political parties have routinely accused each other of using taxpayers’ money to fund deals, bribes, foreign bank accounts,

and kickbacks, and to create multi-millionaires out of a few handpicked people. Most of the island’s newest multi-millionaires can show no work, and can demonstrate no application of a set of skills to justify the accumulation of their recently acquired wealth.

[…] Continue reading

Damaging the Barbados Brand

Walter Blackman - Actuary and Social Commentator

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Social Commentator


It is fair to warn you the political class has you on their radar, no doubt to do with your contributions to BU. You have been courageous tagging your name to submissions be guided.”

David, Blogmaster of Barbados Underground


Please forgive me for taking so long to reply to your “warning”, but I had to focus all of my attention on the pension administration and actuarial needs of my clients.

As you know, life is very short and fleeting. It seems like only yesterday that thousands of us were wearing “school clothes” and constantly hearing adults tell us that Errol Barrow gave us an opportunity that was not available to them, so we should study hard and pass the “screaming” test. We were the future leaders of Barbados, they told us.

I ended up spending 6 years at Wesley Hall Infants & Junior Schools, 8 years at Combermere, 4 years at the University of the West Indies – Cave Hill Campus, 2 ½ years at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Campus, and about 6 years of solid studying related to my professional actuarial exams. I have therefore invested at least 26 ½ years of my life sitting at the feet of elders who were much wiser than me, and listening, analyzing, and silently reasoning as they passed specialized contents of their brains into mine.

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Numbers Don’t Lie. People do!

We apologize to Walter Blackman for picking up his submission several days lateDavid

Walter Blackman

Walter Blackman

His silver hairs will purchase us a good opinion, and buy men’s voices to commend our deeds.

William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

I make reference to a Nation News article dated November 4, 2013, entitled “Numbers don’t lie” and written by Sanka Price. In that article, Mr. Erskine Griffith is highlighted as a top‐level civil servant who served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance under six Ministers of Finance and five Prime Ministers, dating back from his appointment to the post under Tom Adams to Owen Arthur, under whom he retired as the Director of Finance and Head of the Civil Service in 2000.

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