Submitted by DAVID COMISSIONG
Approximately two weeks ago, Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, solemnly assured the people of Barbados that the outrageous Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) privatization arrangement by virtue of which the SSA was engaging eight private sector compactor trucks in the collection of garbage at an astronomical fee of $411 per hour was being SUSPENDED at the end of the week that commenced on Monday 31st October 2016 — that is, by Saturday 5th November 2016.
Well, it is my sad duty to inform the Barbadian people that as of today– Friday the 11th of November 2016– the said privatization arrangement is still very much in place, and the private trucks are still collecting garbage on behalf of the SSA and are still being paid at the outrageous rate of $411 per truck per hour !
And so once again Minister Denis Lowe has misinformed and misled the people of Barbados!!!
Indeed, Minister Lowe seems determined to proceed with this privatization arrangement in which private sector companies owned by the likes of Bizzy Williams and Anderson Cherry will be paid some $16,440 PER TRUCK PER WEEK and some $854,880 PER TRUCK in the event that the arrangement is extended over the period of one year.
But what makes the arrangement even more ridiculous and scandalous is that the payment made to the private companies is based on the number of hours that they operate, and not on the amount of garbage that they collect! Thus if they operate their stipulated 40 hours per week and collect only 10 tons of garbage ( while the government owned SSA trucks are collecting 25 tons each) they will still be paid their full $16 440 per truck!
In other words, it does not matter how much garbage they collect, they are still entitled to demand their $411 per hour or $16440 per week!
And there is really no way for the SSA to police these private vehicles as they go about their supposed duties. In other words, there is no accountability built into the contractual relationship !
This arrangement may be compared and likened to the arrangement that the said Dr Denis Lowe conferred upon Mr Bizzy Williams’ Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC) for the processing of garbage. Under that contract the current Democratic Labour Party Administration committed Government (and by extension the taxpayers of Barbados ) to providing SBRC with a minimum of 36,00 tons of garbage to process every year, and to paying SBRC a minimum of $22.6Million per year over a twenty (20) year period WHETHER OR NOT SBRC IS CALLED UPON TO PERFORM THE SAID ANNUAL 36,000 TONS OF GARBAGE PROCESSING !!!
It is these types of outrageous governmental contracts that cumulatively are sinking the Government and taxpayers of Barbados in debt.
In my capacity as a Citizen of Barbados I now hereby call upon the Media houses of Barbados to do their duty ; to carry out the necessary investigations at the SSA; and to report to the Barbadian people that Dr Lowe has misled them, and that the SSA’s privatization arrangement is still in place.