The Jefferson Cumberbatch Column – The Contractor General II

Jeff Cumberbatch - Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

Jeff Cumberbatch – Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

Last week’s essay suggested the local establishment of the office of Contractor General as a replacement for the so far dysfunctional and, in more cases than one, seemingly non-functional Public Accounts Committee. A press statement issued this week by counsel for the three Ministers most recently summoned further demonstrated the limited powers of the Committee that, under the relevant legislation, needs a referral from Parliament in order to conduct an inquiry, as opposed to an anodyne examination, into any matter connected with the public accounts. This serves to reinforce the point made in this space last week that the Committee is rather ill-served by its parent legislation where there is also some duplication as to the legal recourse available should a summons from it to be disobeyed.

Unsurprisingly, this column’s suggestion for the office of Contractor General did not meet with universal acclaim; some were of the rather expansive view that we needed rather first to change an essentially corrupt human nature if we are to achieve anything and that the proposal was but a will o’ the wisp that merely kicked the can further down the road, if I should be permitted to mix metaphors.

However, if we are indeed to have Parliamentary oversight of public spending, as we should, then the office of Contractor general is as sound a suggestion as that which currently obtains in the form of a Public Accounts Committee whose every attempt to fulfill its functions might be perceived, because of its leadership, as adversarial to a grouping that by definition controls the majority of its parent institution.

According to section 16 of the Jamaican Act, “An investigation may be undertaken by a Contractor General on his own initiative or as a result of representations made to him, if in his opinion such investigation is warranted”.

The officer also has a wide scope of investigation, being empowered to investigate, among other things; the registration of contractors; tender procedures relating to contracts awarded by public bodies, the award of any government contract and the implementation of its terms. However, he or she cannot, without prior approval from the Cabinet, investigate any government contract or any matter concerning any such contract entered into for purposes of defence or for the supply of equipment to the Security Forces or the grant or issue of any prescribed licence for these purposes [Section 15].

It is further provided that the Contractor General is free to adopt whatever procedure he considers appropriate to the circumstances of a particular case and, in a potentially disputatious section, the statute stipulates that “nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring a Contractor General to hold any hearing and, no person shall be entitled as of right to comment on any allegations or to be heard by a Contractor General. [Emphasis added]

It is essential that such a sensitive office should be independent of the Executive and section 5 declares that in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by this Act, a Contractor General “shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”, although the section later allows for the assignment to a Minister responsibility “for such aspects of the administration of this Act as are necessary or desirable to facilitate liaison between Parliament and a Contractor General”

This independence is further concretized by the security of the officer’s tenure. Although the appointment is for a fixed period of seven years in the first instance and further renewable for periods not exceeding five years at a time, the Contractor General may be removed from office only for inability to discharge the functions of his office; misbehavior; and unauthorized trading with the Government. The procedure for removing a Contractor General is akin to that of removing a judge of the High Court to whom his remuneration is identical.

As I noted last week, the decisions of the Contractor General have been challenged in the courts. In one 2013 decision, the Minister of Transport Works and Housing sought leave to apply for Judicial Review of a decision by the Contractor General formally to commence the monitoring and investigation of a body titled the Independent Oversight Panel, and interlocutory injunctions to restrain the continued monitoring and investigation of the activities of the IOP by the Contractor General.

The Minister’s claim was based on the grounds that the IOP was simply a voluntary advisory board and therefore not subject to monitoring and oversight under the Act and that the Contractor General had no statutory power to monitor and investigate pre-contractual activities.

The facts were that two Chinese companies made unsolicited proposals to the government of Jamaica for the implementation of three important national projects; the completion of a highway, a feasibility study of one of the companies developing new berthing capacity at the Port of Kingston, and a feasibility study of the viability of the other company developing new berthing capacity at the Port of Kinston to be used as its hemispheric hub. These projects fell under the portfolio of the applicant Minister who was given cabinet approval to proceed with the negotiations. Cabinet also approved the appointment by the applicant of three members of an IOP. The Contractor General issued a media release three days later and, the next month, issued a letter to the IOP stating that he had formally commenced monitoring and investigating its activities and requisitioning certain documents and information.

The matter was eventually referred to the Attorney General who advised the Contractor General that he did not share the Contactor General’s opinion on the propriety of the requisition and that this divergence of opinion would be referred to the Court for resolution.

This is not the forum in which to bore readers with the intimate details of the legal reasoning in the case, but it suffices to state that the court ultimately decided that the decision of the Contractor General to issue the media releases before he had instituted a formal declaration was not unreasonable and therefore not subject to judicial review. The application for leave to apply for judicial review was therefore refused, the judge making express reference to the section of the Act that permits the Contractor General to undertake an investigation on his own initiative or as a result of representations made to him.

I am keenly aware that there is very little likelihood of Barbados establishing the Office of Contractor General in the near future or at all. It is just not an aspect of our political culture to ascribe such great power to an unelected individual. However, it may be argued and is respectfully submitted that the Public Accounts committee has outlived its usefulness in its present form and that the search for another institution to oversee effectively the disbursement of public funds should be a matter for contemporary public discussion.

Advertisements

Tags: ,

73 Comments on “The Jefferson Cumberbatch Column – The Contractor General II”

  1. Gabriel December 18, 2016 at 7:49 AM #

    Getting to the meat of the matter,I support your view re the PAC and I posit the view once again that Barbados is too small and burdened by an already high proportion of its finances funding public service personnel both active and inactive.There should be another attempt at a union starting with the OECS.

    Like

  2. Dompey December 18, 2016 at 8:35 AM #

    Gabriel

    The view that Barbados is much too infinitesimal for such an office is prosperous because what has size to do with fairness and corruption?

    Listen! Due to a history of discrimination against minorities in the employment sector in America, Affirmative Action set out to level the playing field with respect to how contracts are awarded to whites with respect to other minorities, so an agency was established which is charged with the responsibility of ensure that such contracts are awarded with the greatest of impartiality and equity.

    Now the idea of attributing immeasurable latitude to an office devoid of the appropriate checks and balance is self-defeating in my estimation because one has to consider the human tendency towards corruption.

    Like

  3. Dompey December 18, 2016 at 8:49 AM #

    Everytime I think about power or those in position of authority I often think about Sir Alexander Hamilton immortal question when He said: “Why was government instituted in the first place?” He answered his own question this way: “Because the passions and desires of men will not confirmed to the dictates of reason and justice with constraints”.

    Like

  4. Dompey December 18, 2016 at 8:51 AM #

    Conformed sorry!

    Like

  5. Bush Tea December 18, 2016 at 8:53 AM #

    @ Jeff
    “…..the office of Contractor general is as sound a suggestion as that which currently obtains in the form of a Public Accounts Committee…..”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Well said.
    This sums up exactly, the concerns raised to your part 1. Six is half dozen.
    You know full well that under the DLP, Richard Byer would be appointed Contractor General, and under the BLP, Noel Lynch will get the job.
    All your legal manoeuvring then will come to nought.

    The best option right now is a simple change to the law which will REQUIRE that such issues be referred to a special court of three judges randomly selected, and the matter tried publicly, within three months, …and in the High Court.

    Under Bushie’s BBE dispensation, the PAC will be REQUIRED to publicly review all transactions by Government – in EXACTLY the same way that the supervisory committees of cooperatives are required to do right now…. not only those that look suspicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. David December 18, 2016 at 8:56 AM #

    Does Barbados want to cede rights as a sovereign state as would be the case as a unio a la the EU? There is benefit to having a system where a secretariat is responsible for managing the day to day affairs of state by personnel selected from a larger pool. The rotation of judges work very well in the EC.

    Like

  7. Bush Tea December 18, 2016 at 8:57 AM #

    Steupsss @ Dompey
    …it is WITHOUT constraints.

    Like

  8. Well Well & Consequences December 18, 2016 at 10:10 AM #

    Fine…so give the current auditor general the post of contactor general, at least he has a track record of actually working for his salary.

    If ya try to make it more complicated than that, ya will attract more corruption, everyone will walk with their own version.

    Like

  9. Well Well & Consequences December 18, 2016 at 10:13 AM #

    Apparently PAC never even got off the ground, never been used, who have they ever held accountable for the ? years the name…acroynm….has existed..lol

    “However, it may be argued and is respectfully submitted that the Public Accounts committee has outlived its usefulness in its present form and that the search for another institution to oversee effectively the disbursement of public funds should be a matter for contemporary public discussion.”

    Like

  10. NorthernObserver December 18, 2016 at 10:50 AM #

    All these potentials are useless without consequences.
    a) they refuse to appear
    b) they appear and take the 5th
    c) they appear and cannot remember
    etc etc etc

    at days end one is no further ahead. In business or political life they all do the same. People want the money and the power without accountability.

    In political life, despite its downsides, annual elections. The ONLY time politicians will comply is when they need your vote.

    Like

  11. Gabriel December 18, 2016 at 10:51 AM #

    Another plus among many is that no one State can interfere in the day to day operations of the Central Bank of the OECS.EWB removed Barbados from the Little Eight(an unfortunate misnomer)citing sloth among members including Grenada which looked to Trinidad for its ‘salvation’ and the last attempt by OSA at the turn of the century stumbled and stalled owing to disinterest or suspicion that Bdos would become a domineering member.It would appear that a major change in relationships with one or more of our big trading partners might be the galvanizing force needed to weld the group together.

    Like

  12. BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 11:24 AM #

    Funny how Trinidad has registration of Political Parties, Jamaica has a Contractor General, Barbados has neither, and the same shite still continues to happen across the board.

    F’ck it .. Happy Christmas to all

    Like

  13. BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 11:48 AM #

    About four BLP Lawyers recently return from a “BUSINESS” trip to China that was financed by the Chinese political party. What did they have to sell that the Chinese were prepared to buy ..? Chines are interested in employing Chinese labour and expertise all over the world .. and are prepared to fund import business that import Chinese products and foodstuffs. China is doing right by its people.

    So what are these Bajan lawyers (Hinkson, Bradshaw and a couple others) on about ..? The Chinese are big on Construction (as the Jamaicans are also finding out) and alternative energy. It should be noted that to the legal fraternity, it really DOES NOT MATTER who wins the big Government contracts, as the local fraternity’s services will still have to be engaged.

    Wunna t’ink de Chinese don’ know who to invite to their “BUSINESS” meetings..?

    Yes to a Contractor General, even if it is filled by the present Auditor General … but even he can’ stop the political lawyers from carrying on a form of international business that will surely see to the end to a very diverse locally based skill set.

    Wunna luv these public life lawyers nah .. “It is about time Mia get a chance ..” and so on .. Ga long do, for they are NOT your friends

    Like

  14. Gabriel December 18, 2016 at 12:39 PM #

    Stuart calls it a political class.Panday says it has a morality all its own.Read the tea leaves and recognize its a scratch my back I scratch yours cabal with a few of means benefitting from pay back time in exchange for funding political parties and its both sides of the political fence.They are all friends,never mind how they appear in public to be enemies.It was this approach which got OSA in trouble with Stuart who possesses not an ounce of humour.Not everyone would want to feel up Maria’s ass and sample the goods as a quid pro quo.

    Like

  15. Anonymouse - TheGazer December 18, 2016 at 12:49 PM #

    @BFFBP
    An unusual Christmas greeting. The same to you.

    You have highlighted a fact that all of us are aware of. It is clear that those in charge need to be replaced, but it may merely be a swapping of batteries. It has to be more. Changing batteries every five or ten years is not enough.

    Like

  16. Anonymouse - TheGazer December 18, 2016 at 12:52 PM #

    @Norther Observer
    Annual elections? Are you mixing up changing the batteries in your smoke detector and the political process?

    Like

  17. BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 1:08 PM #

    There is a VERY obvious reality in play. The Chinese are the major “doners” to Political Campaigns in Barbados and indeed the rest of the Caribbean.

    Now more than ever, Parties should be made to make revenue submissions to the Barbados Revenue Authority .. . even if they are not taxible, but of course they must first have a legal foot print, like a identification number.

    Like

  18. David December 18, 2016 at 1:15 PM #

    @BAFBFP

    Whether we agree with you or not surely there must be consensus we need to modify our governance system.

    Like

  19. BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 1:19 PM #

    But David why should there be disagreement ..?

    Like

  20. Vincent Haynes December 18, 2016 at 1:22 PM #

    we needed rather first to change an essentially corrupt human nature if we are to achieve anything and that the proposal was but a will o’ the wisp that merely kicked the can further down the road, if I should be permitted to mix metaphors.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    This is the crux of the matter and until such time as an answer is found to deal with this we will continue to spin top in mud.

    Like

  21. Vincent Haynes December 18, 2016 at 1:23 PM #

    David

    Will Caswells post be coming?

    Like

  22. David December 18, 2016 at 1:31 PM #

    @Baffy

    Because there is a natural resistance to change.There is not system that does not require modification over time. Especially if there is overwhelming evidence to point to its dysfunction.

    @Vincent

    Caswell’s column printed today by the Sun was carried by BU last week.

    Like

  23. Jeff Cumberbatch December 18, 2016 at 1:44 PM #

    we needed rather first to change an essentially corrupt human nature if we are to achieve anything and that the proposal was but a will o’ the wisp that merely kicked the can further down the road, if I should be permitted to mix metaphors.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    “This is the crux of the matter and until such time as an answer is found to deal with this we will continue to spin top in mud”.

    @ Mr. Haynes, you are fully aware, of course, that this has ever been tried since the beginning and ever failed to achieve its objective?.

    Like

  24. BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 1:49 PM #

    Exactly .. Corruption, or the need to be enriched, even if it means bending or breaking the rules is HUMAN NATURE .. To wish for better is a complete waste of time. Designing systems that take that into consideration is the ONLY way forward. Vincent … wake up do ..!

    Like

  25. Hal Austin December 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM #

    Any politician or public servant who accepts a ‘gift’, such as an all-expenses paid trip, to a foreign country should be charged with committing the criminal offence of bribery. Further, there should face espionage charges, in my view.
    The Chinese are not our friends and they are not giving away money. They are buying influence. I am sure US and UK security people are noting these developments.

    Like

  26. David December 18, 2016 at 1:57 PM #

    To think that in the developed countries of the Commonwealth they continue to tweak the Westminster model to ensure better governance on behalf of the people. Why cant our educated political class see the light? Isn’t it obvious we need to improve? We have an Auditor General who points out year after year our state agencies have not completed audited financials and what? Private sector companies fear the dreaded audit note(qualification)

    Like

  27. Bush Tea December 18, 2016 at 2:12 PM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch December 18, 2016 at 1:44 PM
    So then we get back to Dompey’s misquote of Sir Alexander Hamilton…..who said…
    “The ONLY way to get brass bowl men to act honourably is to constrain their donkeys with severe penalties for doing otherwise.” (translation complements of Bushie for Dompey’s benefit)
    Now straight off …we KNOW that lawyers cannot be engaged on such an exercise if we hope to see any level of success. Historically, nothing has worked better than Pacha’s Guillotine, backed by a mob of ‘ingrunt’ citizens…… well except of course the Cooperative supervisory committee – which we have seen working right here in Barbados now for some thirty years… as demonstrated by Caswell’s history…..

    Like

  28. Jeff Cumberbatch December 18, 2016 at 2:45 PM #

    “The best option right now is a simple change to the law which will REQUIRE that such issues be referred to a special court of three judges randomly selected, and the matter tried publicly, within three months, …and in the High Court.”

    “Now straight off …we KNOW that lawyers cannot be engaged on such an exercise if we hope to see any level of success”.

    Make up your mind, Bush Tea. Or are your judges not lawyers?

    Like

  29. vincent haynes December 18, 2016 at 2:56 PM #

    Baffy

    I am fully awake and waiting for you to show us your plan of governance that includes corrupt practices and how will it differ from present day corruption.

    Like

  30. vincent haynes December 18, 2016 at 2:58 PM #

    Jeff

    We have been trying from the dawn of humanoids without any succes.

    Like

  31. millertheanunnaki December 18, 2016 at 3:08 PM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch:
    “It is essential that such a sensitive office should be independent of the Executive and section 5 declares that in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by this Act, a Contractor General “shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”

    I might have missed it but did you indicate how this “independent” office would be created and the incumbent selected? Who would be responsible for renewing the post-holder’s contract of employment?

    Would the Prime Minister have any say in the appointment as in the case of a high court judge?

    As it stands the Auditor General is ‘independent’ of the Executive yet he remains a toothless tiger all bark and no bite. The Contractor-General (C G) would also become such a creature no more ‘powerful ‘than the Ombudsman unless buttressed by taxpayers’ right to access information regarding the investigatory and decision-making process of the
    C G (wide ranging FOI and ITAL) along with an effectively functioning judiciary.

    Would the existing Financial Administration & Audit Act and Administrative Justice Act have to be replaced or amended to support the new legislation establishing the functions of the Contractor General?

    Why not make the Contractor General post a topic for major debate within the context of a republic for Barbados which is inevitable in the coming months when the Queen has to leave the throne?

    What about getting rid of the Senate (Rubberstamp Chamber) which is ‘encumbered’ by the ruling political party as it is presently structured and use the money to fund the office of Contractor-General, what so you to that, Jeff?

    Like

  32. Well Well & Consequences December 18, 2016 at 3:19 PM #

    “Any politician or public servant who accepts a ‘gift’, such as an all-expenses paid trip, to a foreign country should be charged with committing the criminal offence of bribery. Further, there should face espionage charges, in my view.”

    So why is DPP Leacock not in prison and will Mia remedy that.

    “Panday says it has a morality all its own”

    That’s why everyone was happy when Panday was the first to be arrested under the transparency laws he himself created…too goddamn corrupt..lol

    Like

  33. Dompey December 18, 2016 at 3:32 PM #

    Well Well

    It goes back to the appropriate checks and balances as far as I am concerned because if politicians in North America are held accountable for their wrongdoings why not Barbados?

    Like

  34. Hal Austin December 18, 2016 at 3:38 PM #

    Let me say I believe the Guyana-born DPP is an honest man of the highest professional integrity. That is why officer Gittens is out on bail and his case is not yet listed for the suspected killing of a neighbour; why the Estwick/Marshall gun row is still unresolved; why a Scandinavian can shoot his son and escape any charges; while people can be on remand for over ten years and when they try to get damages the government (the DPP and attorney general, our top legal officers) can oppose the case.
    If you want to see who buys political influence in Barbados, just look at the back-room boys and girls in the constituencies and people who makes late night trips to Cattlewash and attorneys’ offices during general elections.
    But, law in Barbados is not for sale, just ask our highly ethical Guyana-born DPP. Just wait until the Chinese and Muslims strike.

    Like

  35. Jeff Cumberbatch December 18, 2016 at 3:48 PM #

    @ Miller,

    One does not really create “independence”, although it might be possible to create the circumstances that should conduce to such independence, such as inviolability of salary, statutory provision of not being answerable to anyone, etc. True independence comes from within the individual!

    As it is, the CG in Jamaica is appointed by the GG after consultation with the PM and the LOTO. The renewal of appointment is similarly made.

    Agreed re freedom of information and ITAL.

    Reform of the legislation may become necessary, but this would be by simple and not special majority.

    Further agreed re Republic and reform/repeal of the Senate.

    Like

  36. NorthernObserver December 18, 2016 at 4:00 PM #

    Gazer….no mixup. CEO’s in turnaround situations usually get 2 years with 6 month reviews. The politicians get 5 years and no reviews?? Annual elections will force them to be accountable or potentially suffer the consequences. Instead of manifestos being 60 pages with 1,350 items, they will be 5 pages with 5 items for each ministry.
    The continuity is within the civil service.
    The business people who use incentives will be cautious for the government can change rapidly. They are no longer buying 5 years of attention.
    For those who say they cannot get anything done in a year, don’t worry they get little done in 5 years.
    If you wish results you must structure to get results.

    Like

  37. David December 18, 2016 at 4:02 PM #

    @Hal

    With all his warts as identified by you it is not fair to blame the DPP for Gittens being out on bail -a scheduling matter for the registry. Estwick/Marshall matter occurred within the precinct of parliament and therefore attracted the attention of the Speaker of the House and Committee of Privilege. The Bjerkham matter…

    Like

  38. Gabriel December 18, 2016 at 4:09 PM #

    If EWB was alive that fellow would have been deported from Barbados long time,for the offence of taking instructions from a foreign power to subvert the course of justice.Bajans have a saying…..pint pots turn down,gill pots turn up.Furthermore,let us not forget the issue of Philip Nicholls.Arrested,jailed,denied unencumbered overseas travel,loss of business,family,home,acquaintances.Then after 5 or 6 years,no charges laid.And this creature remains in employment in this country of bewilderment.There oughta be a law.

    Like

  39. Hal Austin December 18, 2016 at 4:30 PM #

    David,
    Anyone accused of a serious violent offence will not (should not) get bail without consultation with the prosecution authorities. If that is the case, then the criminal justice system is worse than I previously thought.
    An alleged violent threat, taking place in the precinct of parliament, does not prohibit the police from intervening with or without the authority of the speaker the and the master at arms.
    In the matter of Bjerkham, the only witness is dead. In my view the case should have been put to a jury to decide. A key decision should not have been made on the narrative given by the suspect, even is there was ballistic evidence. All that is for the court.

    Like

  40. Well Well & Consequences December 18, 2016 at 4:59 PM #

    Dompey…ask Fruendel the prime minister, Mia the opposition leader, the attorney general Adriel Nitwit, the DPP Charles Leacock. …all corrupt so they are bound to have the answers, they all turned Barbados into a cesspit of corruption and lies.

    Like

  41. millertheanunnaki December 18, 2016 at 5:11 PM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch December 18, 2016 at 3:48 PM
    “One does not really create “independence”, although it might be possible to create the circumstances that should conduce to such independence, such as inviolability of salary, statutory provision of not being answerable to anyone, etc. True independence comes from within the individual!”

    However in as much thread of legalese and circumlocution you wish to tie your counterargument, the reality is that in an incestuous society -with Barbados being the ‘ideal’ model- the problem is not the comprehensiveness or strength of the existing legislation but one of pure ENFORCEMENT.

    Which Contractor-General in 2×4 Barbados who was once a member of the political party in power whose contract-award actions are under investigation and is married to the cousin of one of the alleged wrong doers would put his neck or life on the line for the sake of independence and the morality his job demands?

    Barbados is nothing more than a little fiefdom of the Prime Minister (from any side of the political class) and his ruling party. Just look at the parody that passes for Westminster-style governance.

    Just look at the private behaviour the contractor-general in that august chamber ‘Speaking’ from his throne of impartiality. Wouldn’t you end up with candidates of moral ilk for the post of your contractor-general?

    Like

  42. BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 6:09 PM #

    Vincent … Again for the forty sixth time …

    The light bulb was NOT developed thru iterations made to the candle. No amount of tweaking the West Minster foolishness will ever deliver the required result.

    If Democracy is about proper representation, polling by geographic location will never ever achieve that. Even when there were only the Planters, the Merchants and a Labour force, geographic polling was a useless and illogical exercise.

    The proper spending of the two point two billion dollars a year of tax payers money requires that the various interests that represent Barbados to be rporperly present in the decision making process. The Parties have monopolised ALL of the availability of seats at the table, and the Parties represent the same interests .. which include the Chinese

    Like

  43. Bush Tea December 18, 2016 at 6:49 PM #

    @ Jeff
    What do you not understand by “the best option right now….”
    Bushie never said it would work perfectly.

    Just as we managed to find a Judge who had the guts to get the thieving Speaker to return that poor old man’s money … who knows, we may find another one sometime who may be willing to lock up a thieving politician…
    Hope springs eternal…..

    Anyway, Bushie has provided, ad nauseam, the prescribed community-centric solution to this issue. It is called the Supervisory Committee. We have been using it successfully in our credit unions now for 40+ years …and it works almost FLAWLESLY to keep idiots and incompetents in check.
    Ask Caswell for a list of the ‘successful politicians’ currently ff’ing up the country …BUT WHO were previously dismissed by the Credit Unions through the actions of various supervisory committees, thus protecting Bushie’s money.

    But who is interested in something that has been successfully applied by Black locals for black locals, using black locals? Let find something from Jamaica or Canada or Singapore…

    Like

  44. vincent haynes December 18, 2016 at 7:08 PM #

    Baffy

    Sounds good…but where has itworked….Bushies posit onthis thread shows a workable solution.

    Like

  45. BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 7:30 PM #

    Well do the Bush Tea thing … What is clear is that spending 2.2 billion dollars a year of tax payers monies can no longer be left to a hand full of Party hacks with a business agenda

    Like

  46. Bush Tea December 18, 2016 at 7:30 PM #

    @ Vincent
    .Bushies posit on this thread shows a workable solution.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    How long before you figure out that it is your intransigence on other thread, that prevents you from assimilating the workability of Bushie’s OTHER posits?

    Bushie’s glass is not half-full …. you are as blind as a damn bat….
    Cheeze-on-bread Man!!!

    Like

  47. millertheanunnaki December 18, 2016 at 7:42 PM #

    @ BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 6:09 PM
    “the proper spending of the two point two billion dollars a year of tax payers money requires that the various interests that represent Barbados to be rporperly present in the decision making process. The Parties have monopolised ALL of the availability of seats at the table, and the Parties represent the same interests..”

    Baffy, it seems you have been able to convert at least one BU contributor to your model of governance for the spending of taxpayers’ money.

    With kind permission of a really ‘frustrated businessman’ here is what he had to say @
    Frustrated Businessman aka ‘Nation of Laws’ my ass. December 16, 2016 at 10:56 AM
    “I would go further.
    Check the Yellow Pages under ‘Associations’. Pick any 21. It would be best if they were relevant to the ministries they would be tasked to oversee but not necessary. Mandate the chosen associations to have internal elections to send up their senator.
    Voila, the democratic process is preserved, less yardfowls, more people who actually know their job, less political bullshit.
    Barbados has degenerated at all levels of society due to lack of management oversight and consequences.”

    Mr. Wax Museum, your model of governance does indeed have some intellectual appeal to those who subscribe not so much to the operationally defective plasticine label of “Democracy” but more so to the rigidly ordained form of governance where a selected few are given a mandate to rule the many.

    “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

    Like

  48. vincent haynes December 18, 2016 at 8:25 PM #

    Miller

    ….and thats the point….who guards the guards….Baffy sees everything as black and white,no inbetweens.

    Like

  49. BAFBFP December 18, 2016 at 8:32 PM #

    Vince .. SOmet’ing wong wif you … Black and White is a vote by location, a first past the post, a simple majority vs the rest .. Which of any of that is represented by what I have ever said…? Maybe you should read more and say less ..!

    Like

  50. Pachamama December 18, 2016 at 8:59 PM #

    We would like to know when the so-called leaders, especially the 30 who sometimes reside around the precinct of Parliament Buildings, are ever going to have an abiding fear for the people.

    When they are to awake every morning and wonder if during that day the people will rule that immediate justice is warranted.

    In the absence of a daily and ‘healthy fear’ of the population corruption can’t but continue.

    Fundamentally, we would prefer their disempowerment and the empowerment of a flat governance system with ordinary people never having to surrender their powers to any set of elites, anywhere.

    A flat co-operative model.

    But we are open to the ideas of Bushie and Baffy to achieve this. And would be guided as such if needs be. In the interests of national unity.

    Certainly, if the objectives we share could be achieved with less ‘forceful’ means we are also willing to withdraw a proposal having to do with a particular antiquarian device. LOL

    But given that there is no difference between ‘corruption’ and ‘government’, in the case of Barbados, we are not now persuaded that anything less than a sharp knife, not a scalpel, is able to excise this cancer of institutionally corruption and mal-administration.

    Indeed, we may very well have to kill the body, itself, to rid us of the disease.

    Like

  51. Sunshine Sunny Shine December 18, 2016 at 9:56 PM #

    Like

  52. Alvin Cummins December 19, 2016 at 9:26 AM #

    Miller;
    “Barbados has degenerated at all levels of society due to lack of management oversight and consequences.”
    Therein lies the rub. You people; who have displayed so-called “love of land”-unless you really do love your country-depend so much on rumour, innuendo, doom and gloom, presumption of guilt, without substantive evidence, and who depend on your own political biases; intent on obtaining the reins of power, by any means, would prefer to see the island “sink”, without trying to prevent it.
    Sorry, old bird, things seem to be developing in spite of; and despite, your best efforts. Tourism is maintaining its record; up 16% over last year, spend is increasing, and the debt load is decreasing without having to go to the IMF, as you would like.. Despite the problems, things are getting better-lots of rain- so the water problem will continue to improve-, pot holes are being repaired; although I saw a case where the “pot-hole fillers”, filled half of a pot-hole last week (promised to take a picture), and custom workers are on a go-slow. These things happen in any developed, and developing, country. Toronto experiences problems with pot-holes, although the pace of repairs is faster than here. The sewAGE PROBLEM IS BEING TACKLED, AND THE BUS SERVICE JUST NEEDS TRAINING OF PERSONEL AND STRONG handling. In Toronto in my area, we have a scheduled 24 hr. service. a bus passes outside my apartment at twenty to the hour. I can get out of bed at twenty to three in the morning, and see a bus pass within a minute or two before or after twenty to three. That is the discipline and responsibility that the drivers working for the TTC display. They AWAYS were the designated uniform…can this be enforced with the ZR culture we presently have? As they used to say: “Tell that to the Marines”.

    Like

  53. Alvin Cummins December 19, 2016 at 9:32 AM #

    Pacha:
    “Indeed, we may very well have to kill the body, itself, to rid us of the disease.”
    Sounds much like a parasite that desires to commit suicide, for by killing off the body you kill your only source of life.
    Think clearly man/woman. Be less emotional.

    Like

  54. Pachamama December 19, 2016 at 9:57 AM #

    @ Alvin

    For an old man you are such an idiot.

    Have you no ability to read hyperbole into anything

    Or must we, like you, to be a straight-laced colonial boy, with an unsophisticated mind.

    Like

  55. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2016 at 10:46 AM #

    Alvin is a clown who believes he cannot survive without politicians and corrupt government ministers….. 50 Years a Slave Accepting of Corruption…in his moldering mind, to survive ya have to be afraid to dismantle the programs of the evil and corrupt leaders.

    Mother Earth will rejoice when he is gone with his disrespect for all that is right and just.

    Like

  56. NorthernObserver December 19, 2016 at 10:54 AM #

    Alvin
    “and the debt load is decreasing”, which fantasy movie have you been watching????? I know its Christmas time, and the TV is full of Disney.
    Whether Bim is borrowing from itself or others, it is still borrowing….and borrowing = debt. The debt, whether you wish to call it a load or a loan, is increasing. No need to call the IMF, Bim has its own Fund, its called the NIS.

    Like

  57. David December 19, 2016 at 11:01 AM #

    The ACs are yardfowls.

    Alvin do you read the Auditor General reports that span both administration’s? There is a good measure to judge improvement. Almost all of our state agencies have been late producing audited financial including the NIS.

    Like

  58. BAFBFP December 19, 2016 at 11:09 AM #

    Should one throw out the baby with the bathwater when the baby is still born …? Hell yeah

    Like

  59. David December 19, 2016 at 11:23 AM #

    @baffy

    Now be practical the draconian change you have been advocating will not happen. What is the fallback position? How can you work within the system to move change.

    Like

  60. BAFBFP December 19, 2016 at 12:10 PM #

    No falling back, moving forward towards a truly representational democracy …

    Discourage the Parties by encouraging the independents.

    VOTE INDEPENDENT or NOT AT ALL

    Like

  61. millertheanunnaki December 19, 2016 at 12:36 PM #

    @ Alvin Cummins December 19, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Alvin C,
    It is said that old age can be a fountain of wisdom for those with clean hearts but can be a cursed prison to fools.

    It is clear you are wearing the aging hat of folly.

    Although I was quoting from a contribution made another blogger (Frustrated Businessman aka ‘Nation of Laws’ my ass @ December 16, 2016 at 10:56 AM)
    from the sound of it I could have been regurgitating what was said in the 2008 elections by that dangerous lying party which tricked the Bajan electorate into believing they were living in hell and salvation was on its way under King David and his band of morally upright Christian soldiers.

    But karma is a bitch and what your party sowed back then (seeds of deceit and discord) it is now reaping in the whirlwind of despair and decay.

    Do you really feel the increase in tourist arrivals is entirely due to the DLP administration? This trend is taking place right across the Caribbean especially in Cuba.
    So what’s the use of having more people visiting but your foreign reserves dropping like the bodyweight of an untreated AIDS victim?

    If your debt is falling why increase the borrowing ceiling to give you room to saddle future generations with debt and no associated infrastructural assets to justify its incurrence?
    Just like the issue of privatization, both you and the other lot of acs (accredited cretins) will soon be jumping on the bandwagon heading to the IMF door when it is soon announced by that DLP wizard of finance and economics, the stinking liar.

    You already have a convincing set of alibis: blame the BLP; blame the international recession and the credit rating agencies for turning Barbados into a financial junkyard; blame the sewage situation on the South coast which the BLP refused to fix when money was flowing like the shit floating in the swamp.

    You can pick any one from the hat of the scapegoat except the one labeled IMF (It’s My Fault).

    Don’t blame the miller for the IMF scaremongering. The IMF bogey has already been brought into the house of that devilish labour party (dlp) by one of your very own, Dr. Justin the son of Robin.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Vincent Haynes December 19, 2016 at 2:27 PM #

    Bushie

    Chuckle….do not get carried away with my posit that you had a workable plan copied from the credit unions operation…….it is workable because it has proven traction…….your other posits are like Baffy’s sugestions….not proven and impossible to do so.

    Like

  63. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2016 at 4:31 PM #

    http://ow.ly/WS2S307h5qX

    If Legarde is removed as IMF chief,, because of that guilty plea, they may get someone even more brutal.

    Like

  64. William Skinner December 19, 2016 at 4:33 PM #

    We need quicker justice. The Auditor General should be given powers to pass on evidence of corruption to the Criminal Investigation Department. The CID findings should then be given to the Attorney General then from there to the DPP.

    Like

  65. Vincent Haynes December 19, 2016 at 5:02 PM #

    Bushie

    I just came across an item saying that the credit unions jointly hold approx BD$1.4B and that begs the question as to where/who is holding it?

    Of bigger consideration is that it would not be in their interest to see the bimmer devalued,so why not use your influence and convince them to mobilse forex earning projects before the country collapses……not in tourism though…….time for all hands on deck.

    Like

  66. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2016 at 6:39 PM #

    “The CID findings should then be given to the Attorney General then from there to the DPP.”

    And that is where it will all go to hell, they are too corrupt to do anything after it leaves CID…Adriel Nitwit is useless…DPP is also corrupt. …nothing can happen with them in place.

    Like

  67. vincent haynes December 19, 2016 at 7:24 PM #

    Folks…..a turn around has occured…second consecutive year of growth by theeconomy according to the news…..2016…1.04percent.

    Like

  68. millertheanunnaki December 19, 2016 at 8:25 PM #

    @ vincent haynes December 19, 2016 at 7:24 PM

    Don’t believe in any Alice in Wonderland reports about growth in the economy. Who is responsible for collecting the data and reporting the statistics about growth in the economy? According to Mark Twain (or more unreliably Benjamin Disraeli): “There are Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

    Choose your ‘pick’. Voodoo economics as practised by the witchdoctor Worrell is the order of the day.

    Barbados is primarily a transactional-based (importing, distribution and retailing) economy with VAT and other consumption based taxes a major beneficiary of these economic activities.

    If there is real growth in the economy then by extension there should be real increases in the collection of taxes in those areas of increased economic activity (not any long overdue collection of arrears).

    The acid test of any real growth in the economy is the trend in the foreign reserves which really is the lifeblood of the Bajan economy. No increase in the reserves means there is no extra blood to supply the various organs of economic activity.

    But what do you expect from the current government propaganda machine? That the economy is still in hospital and will require the direct care of Dr. IMF in the coming weeks despite all the ‘shit’ talk about recovery?

    If there is recovery why the need to increase the debt ceiling by $ 1 billion to send the wrong smoke signals to the rating agencies and potential investors?

    Take that long talk about economic growth with a pinch of salt for the medicine of propaganda to go down the hatch of commonsense while seeing it in the same light by which the doctor who is the GM at the BWA diagnose as the cause for the overflow of sewage on the South coast; the tampering of the manholes by the residents of the area.

    “If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there”
    “Well, I never heard it before, but it sounds uncommon nonsense.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

    Like

  69. Alvin Cummins December 19, 2016 at 11:53 PM #

    Miller:
    You said, inter alia:”…tricked the Bajan electorate into believing they were living in hell and salvation was on its way…”.
    Isn’t this exactly what you are doing, except you are preaching doom and gloom without proof. I still see lots of expensive things being bought. The statistics about the growth in the economy does not come from government. There is no doubt that tourism is increasing. The Norwegian Breakaway has begun sailing in every week and that ship brings four thousand tourists every time it comes. Newer ships have also begun putting the island on its itinerary. That is truth; no avoiding it, even though it hurts you to see that despite your attempts at discouragement more and more tourists are coming. An extra thirty thousand persons from the diaspora came in for Independence, that has to have added to the forex position. Don’t rush the brush. All will be decided in the fullness of time.

    Well Well, bring PROOF!

    Like

  70. Alvin Cummins December 19, 2016 at 11:56 PM #

    Pacha,
    Hyperbole is wasted on me. I don’t even have a mins(according to Miller and Well Well) for it to be sophisticated. Come to me straight, and I will give you a straight answer. And facts remain facts.

    Like

  71. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2016 at 3:38 AM #

    Alvin…I dont need to bring proof….their actions speak for themself.

    Something you will never understand.

    Like

  72. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2016 at 3:41 AM #

    …their own actions and lack of, speaks loudly for them. Alvin..ya just like useless Fruendel, he needs to bring proof that he is a real prime minister and not the pretender his actions are showing everyone that he really is.

    Like

  73. Maurice J. J. Mayers December 20, 2016 at 1:58 PM #

    “Bushie has provided, ad nauseam, the prescribed community-centric solution to this issue. It is called the Supervisory Committee … Ask Caswell …”.

    Right, yeah. We recall your Supervisory Committee from exactly three years ago. The BUPsters “enlist” some people from “the top 50” organizations in Barbados, who then elect a randomly capitalized NATIONAL SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE whose membership is randomly set at 12.

    Prominent among the myriad things that make this idea laughable is the certainty that any governing body “enlisted” in such a way will include a fair number of assholes, wingnuts, single-issue obsessives, geriatric illiterates, and the kind of authoritarian one-agenda cranks who think that feeble efforts to reproduce Barbados’s national symbol in a public place during a civic anniversary is a sure foreshadowing of Satan’s rule on Earth.

    Grow. The. Phuck. Up.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: