Margaret Sivers (l) Chris Sinckler (r)

Overseas Travel by Politicians and Civil Servants High on the Agenda

Auditor General, Leigh Trotman's voice has been one in the wilderness.

Auditor General, Leigh Trotman’s voice has been one in the wilderness.

Some Barbadians have wondered about the need for government officials to travel overseas first class and in many cases to travel at all during a protracted period of austerity. Do you know government officials […]

– politicians and civil servants –  continue to trapeze the globe

to attend meaningless conferences/meetings while increasing taxes on Barbadians?  BU concedes some travel will be necessary to efficiently conduct the business of government, however, the government needs to built trust in its policies by engaging the public to explain its travel commitments. How are Barbadians to understand first class travel and accommodation and four and five star hotels while same government is defaulting on VAT and Income Tax rebates to citizens and companies?

Barbadian taxpayers who elected politicians deserve to be treated with respect. We need this government to be more transparency about how it spends OUR money. We know from reading the Auditor General reports through the years – BLP and DLP – we need to demand greater transparency and accountability from government. Successful private companies which undertake to make harsh demands on its employees, always place a high premium on managing the process by engaging in crystal communication strategies to allay the fears of an important stakeholder in the process as much as is practicable.

We (sensible Barbadians) want to know the budgets for the last three years for overseas travel by ministers of government and public servants to help inform our conclusion whether the acuity of government is intact.

An article titled – It’s not all first-class travel and fine dining when you’re PM: Cameron is spotted scoffing Pringles while squashed in to his seat in economy class – makes for good reading.

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90 Comments on “Overseas Travel by Politicians and Civil Servants High on the Agenda”

  1. Artaxerxes August 24, 2015 at 8:40 PM #

    @ Cummins, the DLP Himaar

    Why do you DLP himaars always try to change the context of any “discussion” on BU, into a DLP versus BLP scenario? I have mentioned in a previous post that you have the propensity to interpret other individuals’ contributions to suit your narrow political objectives and respond to defend the DLP as well as to boost your ego.

    Your attempt to defend the indefensible is not only pathetic but you go about the undertaking in an immature manner. If anyone criticizes the DLP on any issue, your general retort is “the BLP did so and so, too.” That is so juvenile for a man your age.

    BLP or DLP giving jobs to primarily to supporters is WRONG and should not be condoned by Barbadians. When elected, each party has an obligation to HELP ALL BARBADIANS and not ONLY party supporters.

    Firstly, the following excerpt was taken from the Friday, December 3, 2010 edition of the weekend Nation newspaper:

    “Former cabinet minister Elizabeth Thompson is joining the United Nations in New York as an executive coordinator for the next global conference on sustainable development. THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE YESTERDAY AT UN HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK BY FARHAN HAQ, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who also announced that Brice Lalond….”

    “UN sources said that Thompson’s “outstanding performance” DURING THE SELECTION PROCESS AND THE ROUND OF INTERVIEWS for the previous post put her on track for this newly created position which is based at UN headquarters in New York.

    Surely you must agree that the BLP was the Opposition in 2010 and her appointment was ANNOUNCED by the UN and NOT the BLP.

    Secondly, you are correct in stating that the BLP promised to introduce integrity legislation. In 1975, the then, Leader of the Opposition, J.M.G.M. Adams, tabled a resolution in Parliament calling upon the Government to introduce legislation to compel members of Parliament to disclose their assets. Adams subsequently introduced Integrity in Public Life Bill in Parliament in 1979 when he was PM. As such, the BLP is equally to blame for not introducing ITAL.

    However, when Mia Mottley “got up in the house and purported to list her assets,” it was on July 09, 2008 DURING HER RESPONSE to Thompson’s budget speech. Surely you must admit that Mottley is the first parliamentarian to publically declare assets.
    She challenged government MPs to do likewise, thereby exposing Thompson on the foolhardiness of attempting to implement ITAL within 100 days of assuming office.

    It is now August 24, 2010, five years and 1 month after, and no DLP MP has DECLARED his/her assets as yet.

    Shame on you!!

    Like

  2. David August 24, 2015 at 8:44 PM #

    @Hants

    The volatility caused by uncertainty out of China shows how interconnected the global market is today. Hopefully Trump will be elected and the US demand will pick up the slack.

    @Alvin

    Are for real? Why was the BLP voted out again?

    Like

  3. Alvin Cummins August 24, 2015 at 9:05 PM #

    @Artraxerxes,

    Your words:”…It is now August 24, 2010, five years and 1 month after…”
    “Shame on you.”

    Like

  4. Artaxerxes August 24, 2015 at 9:06 PM #

    @ Cummins, the DLP Himaar

    Thirdly, the talk about Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation (ITAL), came from David Thompson during the 2008 election campaign.

    On Thursday, January 03, 2008, Thompson held a media conference during which he distributed documents outlining a legal proposal to promote accountability, transparency and accountability in public life and fight corruption.

    He also promised that the Ministerial Code would take effect immediately after a DLP government is elected and The Freedom of Information Act and Integrity Legislation would be implemented within the first 100 days in office.

    Furthermore, perhaps you should read pages 46 to 48 of the DLP’s 2008 election manifesto under the caption “22: Good Governance” to avail yourself of the information contained therein.

    Likewise, and if they were serious, the DLP could have used the 14 years in opposition to draft ITAL. And as such, if you were to add those 14 years to their 7 years in office, it gives the DLP 21 years to adequately prepare the legislation and have it ready for parliament.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Fourthly, let us discuss the downgrades. Although Barbados may have experienced downgrades during the BLP’s terms in office, I have not found any information to suggest the credit rating was downgraded to a magnitude of junk bond status. Now, that is the difference.

    New York, May 14, 2009 — Moody’s Investors Service has placed Barbados’ government bond ratings on review for possible downgrade in order to assess the credit impact of further deterioration in the country’s debt metrics in the coming years.

    New York, October 13, 2009: Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Barbados’ government bond ratings following several years of deterioration in credit metrics. The Baa2 foreign currency government bond rating and the A3 local currency government bond rating were downgraded to Baa3 and Baa2, respectively.

    New York, June 13, 2011: Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the Government of Barbados’ domestic currency rating to Baa3 from Baa2. The Baa3 foreign currency bond rating has been affirmed. The outlook on both ratings has been revised to negative.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012: Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s national debt to junk bond status in 13 terrible words: “We have lowered our sovereign credit ratings on Barbados to ‘BB+/B’ from ‘BBB-/A-3’.”

    New York, December 20, 2012: Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the Government of Barbados’ foreign and local currency bond ratings to Ba1 from Baa3. The outlook remains negative.

    New York, June 02, 2014: Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded Barbados’ government bond rating to B3 from Ba3. The outlook remains negative.

    Friday, December 19, 2014: Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Services lowered its long-term sovereign credit ratings on Barbados to ‘B’ from ‘BB-‘. The outlook is negative. The country’s ‘B’ short-term sovereign credit rating was affirmed. However, the transfer and convertibility assessment was also lowered to ‘B’ from ‘BB-‘.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014: Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS), which is based in Trinidad and Tobago, said that it dropped by two notches the island’s rating on the Government debt issue of Bds$600 million to CariA- from CariA+ and a CariA on the local currency down from CariAA-.

    Like

  5. Artaxerxes August 24, 2015 at 9:41 PM #

    @ Cummins, the DLP Himaar

    According to information received from my mates who are employed by UCAL, that organization was created after the Transport Board closed its maintenance department. The then government allowed the former workers to form “United Commercial Autoworks Limited” and sub-contracted the bus repairs to that company. It must also be noted that Leroy Trotman is the chairman of UCAL.

    Now, if you have information to the contrary, so be it.

    Unfortunately, after much talk about ENTREPRENEURSHIP, this DLP administration had the perfect opportunity to assist those retrenched former NCC, Drainage and Beautify Barbados employees to endeavor in an undertaking similar to UCAL, while guaranteeing them sub-contracts to clean the highways and drains, thereby creating a set of entrepreneurs.

    Instead, this DLP administration sub-contracted all that work to one of their financiers, Mark Maloney. And the matter pertaining to the former NCC workers is yet to be heard by the ERT and the former Beautify Barbados employees are yet to receive their severance more than a year after they were retrenched.

    Cummins, it seems as though you live by the rule “if an individual criticizes of the DLP, he/she has to be a BLP.” There are those of us who think independently and without political bias.

    Finally, Cummins your attempts, like so many other DLP supporters that come to BU to defend shiite, are very weak.

    Like

  6. Alvin Cummins August 24, 2015 at 9:44 PM #

    @Artaxerxes,
    Re above blog, sorry I spelt it wrong. Won’t happen again.

    I read your contribution carefully. Won’t comment although you have some things slightly out of context. Example, Does the last paragraph refer to T&T or Barbados? People get on as if Barbados (under the DLP) is the only place that gets downgraded.

    DLP could have used the 14 years in opposition to draft legislation, etc. 14 years in opposition… first 5 years of opposition…2 members in Parliament. Members elected Dennis Kelman and David Thompson…Party in confusion and turmoil. Branford Taitt is booed at elections for leader of the party..Clyde Mascoll leader of Party. Next five years party wins seven seats…Party still in confusion..Mascoll leaves party and joins BLP. more confusion; Politics of inclusion. etc.
    As I have admitted, and said, they could have and should have passed that legislation when they won in 2008, but what happened soon after the election victory?
    but…

    By the way where was Dorcy Boyce before he was appointed a minister in the DLP administration?

    Anyhow, IDWD!

    Like

  7. Artaxerxes August 24, 2015 at 9:56 PM #

    Alvin Cummins August 24, 2015 at 9:05 PM #

    “@Artraxerxes: Your words:”…It is now August 24, 2010, five years and 1 month after…” “Shame on you.”…”

    You are such a jack-ass grabbing at straws. Obviously I meant 2015, but in any case, the DEMS was the government in 2010 and 5 years after you are still the government.

    Come on, for a man who professes to be an author, surely you can do much better than this.

    Like

  8. de Ingrunt Word August 24, 2015 at 10:02 PM #

    David, your remarks “The volatility caused by uncertainty out of China shows how interconnected the global market is today. Hopefully Trump will be elected and the US demand will pick up the slack” are perplexingly strange.

    How would a Trump presidency cause US demand to pickup?

    What strategies will he be able to implement as a President or policies will be initiate that will cause the Chinese to import more US goods and stop all the American firms from importing from their factories in China and returning stateside?

    Please enlighten me?

    And what exactly happened today that basically does not happen daily in the interconnected world of finance?

    Yes the market hit some unprecedented lows before climbing back somewhat but isn’t volatility a natural aspect of markets and particularly modern markets which are more devoid of human intervention and where many buy-sell orders are automated. An aspect in itself which drives many of these grievous swings.

    And btw I still do not expect him to get his party’s nomination. It’s great to make pretty speeches and say that you will build a wall, but when pressed by a journalist on HOW and details if your response is to the effect ‘I will employ managers to manage this process. These politicians only have hacks who know nothing about executing’. Words to that effect were his astute response on ABC’s ‘This Week’ Sunday political program.

    Help me understand what it is you see that the Donald will do so differently and well to improve the US trade v China.

    Like

  9. Artaxerxes August 24, 2015 at 10:12 PM #

    Alvin Cummins August 24, 2015 at 9:44 PM #

    “I read your contribution carefully. Won’t comment although you have some things slightly out of context. Example, Does the last paragraph refer to T&T or Barbados? People get on as if Barbados (under the DLP) is the only place that gets downgraded….”

    Cummins, I have to agree with Bushie’s assessment of you. One of the fundamental attributes of being an author is the ability to comprehend. I DO NOT BELIEVE you are an author. I suspect you have been bluffing your way through life.

    You chose not to reply because you CAN’T, and your cop-out is I “have some things slightly out of context,” while citing if “the last paragraph refer to T&T or Barbados?” as an example. How the hell does my last paragraph of the post you referred to has anything to do with T & T, when I clearly stated “Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS), WHICH IS BASED IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO….”

    Let me explain it for you, CariCRIS is a CARIBBEAN RATING AGENCY, which is BASED in TRINIDAD & TOBAGO.

    Shiite, man!!!!!

    Like

  10. David August 25, 2015 at 2:49 AM #

    @Dee Word

    It was a tongue and cheek remark.

    Like

  11. Sunshine Sunny Shine August 25, 2015 at 3:49 AM #

    …You are such a jack-ass grabbing at straws…

    Artaxerxes do not forget a pretender and make-believer. You just have to read what he throws out on this blog. All a compilation of the little bits and pieces he knows that he feels, no other can dicifer – why? He is Alvin Cummins qualifications extraordinaire, book publisher and noted authority on things DLP. He has the wherewithal to call people unintelligent – what a laugh. I wonder what the heck he does in a church that makes him believe he is God ordained and God entitled. Even purporting that his life is governed by the lord he makes a mockery of the faith he should hold dear to his heart as one so advanced towards the end of life. Pathetic little puppet. I just can’t stomach pretenders.

    Like

  12. balance August 25, 2015 at 5:08 AM #

    “Numerous downgrades? How many during your terms in office? Did ANY occur during those years? Oh, the Caves! You really want to talk about that? I don’t think so.
    UCAL? Tell me when it started and why.
    @SSS,

    Dots connected. All in good time!!I If greedy wait hot will cool, except I am not greedy. I am a VERY patient man.”

    Your response is incoherent; but try not to get flustered Mr Alvin. I recognize your difficulty in trying to defend the indefensible.

    Like

  13. Sunshine Sunny Shine August 25, 2015 at 10:10 AM #

    @Alvin Cummins

    You ain’t start to connect the dots yet, but I hope you do. Just stay tune. I patient too sweet P. But I tend to give in when I see shite.

    Like

  14. Due Diligence August 25, 2015 at 3:43 PM #

    This from:

    http://www.cbc.bb/index.php/en/news/barbados-news/item/2253-ministers-permanent-secretaries-and-senior-public-servants-on-retreat-at-crane-resort

    Friday, 21 August 2015 17:18 Item title
    Ministers, permanent secretaries and senior public servants on retreat at Crane Resort

    No other institution in Barbados possesses as wide and varied skills as the public service, but these skills have to be channelled in ways that would contribute to national development. 

    This assertion from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, during his brief remarks at the end of a recent two-day retreat for cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries and other senior public servants, at the Crane Resort in St. Philip.
     
    The retreat provided the opportunity for government’s policymakers and their top administrators and advisors to discuss major matters relating to the functions of government; explore relationships among key government agencies. 
    Mr. Stuart noted that the public service as a whole has more members of the public that any other institution, and that its decisions affected a wide cross section of persons. 

    He stressed that a well-functioning public service is a must, adding that the sector must be so configured as to facilitate and manage change. 

    He also called on his cabinet colleagues to ensure that the skills of public servants are utilised and mobilised 

    Meanwhile Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has highlighted film, the arts, information and communication technology and green growth policies as some of the areas in which Barbados would be keen to receive assistance from the Republic of Korea. 

    Mr. Stuart identified those areas recently during a courtesy call with the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Lee Doo-Young, at Illaro Court. Also present was first secretary and consul, Sanghoon Lee. 

    The prime minister says South Korea has a good reputation in the area of film and the arts, and Barbados is seeking to develop its film industry. 

    He also added that considerable interest was being expressed in the sport of taekwondo, and suggested that with assistance from the Koreans, it could become more popular. 

    Mr Stuart noted that South Korea has made significant advances in green growth policies, and Barbados is committed to a green economy. 
    He also praised South Korea for its work in information and communication technology. 
    Mr. Stuart says there were other issues both countries needed to discuss, such as tax agreements.” 

    I guess we will soon hear of a delegation of Ministers, permanent secretaries and senior public servants (including the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Tourism going of to South Korea to learn about film, the arts, information and communication technology; and the sport of taekwondo.

    And of course Minister Down Lowe to pick up a few pointers on Korea’s green growth policies

    Like

  15. johnjickum August 27, 2015 at 7:54 PM #

    I’ve heard it said that the British know how squeeze a penny so tightly that the Queen must scream ! It is part of their culture ! P.M Cameron will think nothing of “scoffing Pringles while squashed in his seat in economy class”. But don’t expect our “Johnny-come lately” government officials…politicians and civil servants… to indulge in such parsimony. They consider themselves to have “arrived” and to be entitled to “big mout drinks, big ride, and big shelter”, all at our expense ! They laugh at us !

    Like

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