UPDATED: 12:05pm March 26, 2006
Scroll down re – reader identifies “Richild” as the correct spelling of Ms. Springer’s first name…
A source within a government office tells us that a “good friend” of Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley (shown above) has been receiving rather outrageous government “consulting” contracts for at least the last three years – and maybe much longer.
The “good friend” is Richild Springer – daughter of Sir Hugh Worrell Springer, Governor-General of Barbados from 1984 to 1990. Springer now lives in Paris, France, and journeys back to Barbados once or twice a year when she receives government contracts to “consult” – usually about dancing, culture and choreography.
Our source says that a two-week contract has paid as much as Barbados $30,000… and that Ms. Springer has also been a house-guest of Mia Mottley.
Yes, that’s what we said… “Thirty-thousand Barbados Dollars” for two weeks of ‘consulting’. The source also maintains that while Richild Springer was once a professional calibre ballet teacher, her advanced arthritis means that the only “choreography” she could do these days would be while sitting in a chair or leaning on her cane.
Our source also reports that rumours are flying that this “good friend” situation has been threatening to boil over for a while, and in fact, was a factor in Mia Mottley’s apparent demotion during the last cabinet shuffle.
“If this story got out, the Prime Minister couldn’t very well ask Mia Mottley as Attorney General to investigate herself for wrong doing!” …says our source.
So, Deputy Prime Minister Mottley… what is the story? Has the government of Barbados ever made any sort of payment to Ms. Springer? What for? How much? When? Did you ever suggest, approve or have anything to do with awarding the contract to your “good friend” ?
If the source has everything totally wrong, just say so, Ms. Mottley. Just say so.
(By the way – do any of our readers have any other photos of Richild Springer?)
UPDATED: 12:05pm March 26, 2006
One of our readers clarified that Ms. Springer’s first name is correctly spelled as “Richild” and directs us to the website of the Barbados National Cultural Foundation.
The Barbados National Cultural Foundation website has this to say about Ms. Springer…
“- Ongoing workshops conducted by internationally acclaimed dancers-like Barbados-born Richild Springer (resident in Paris), France’s Pascal Couillaud and Jamiaca’s Barbara Requa and L’Antoinette Stines-have generated increased demands for local dance studios.”
The questions now become…
– Was Richild Springer in fact paid $30,000 Barbados each year for 2 weeks work?
– Was Springer also paid travel, meals and residence expenses?
– Was Springer paid these expenses while staying as a house-guest of Mia Mottley?
– What did Springer do? How many hours of work, where and when? How was this audited? Were members of the public present? Who are the students? How many years has this been going on?
– Considering Springer’s arthritis, just how much dancing is she capable of?
The Central Bank of Barbados lists the average per capita income as US$7,350.00. That means that Richild Springer is being paid two-year’s annual income for an average Barbadian for just two weeks of “consulting”… plus expenses, of course.
Some of our additional questions and answering excerpts from the NCF website…
Where did the Barbados National Cultural Foundation come from?
“The National Cultural Foundation is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament in 1983. Its mandate is to oversee the cultural landscape of Barbados…”
How Many Friends of Government Now Feeding At This Trough? …
“Also during the early years of its operations (1984 – 1995) the head of this organisation was called the Director, a term which was subsequently changed to Chief Executive Officer in 1994 to reflect the new role and expanded focus on the business of culture.
There are now Cultural Officers, rather than Officers attached to zones, for each artistic discipline, namely: Visual Arts (which encompasses Fine Art and Craft), Literary Arts, Music, Dance and Theatre Arts and Research.
In addition, the Foundation now has an eight-member internal Management Team comprising: the Chief Executive Officer, Manager of Administration, Financial Controller, Chief Cultural Officer, Senior Business Development Officer, Technical Officer, Marketing Officer and Corporate Communications Specialist.”
So What is the Primary Mission of the NCF? …
To fuel the development of culture through training, research and the creation of opportunities in cultural industries.
The Role of the NCF
The NCF’s two major roles are: developmental and commercial. In its developmental role, the Foundation uses culture as a tool for national development fostering and supporting the various art forms and new cultural products. In its commercial role, the Foundation is responsible for the promotion, production and hosting of cultural festivals and associated events that are considered economically viable or socially acceptable. A key part of this function now includes the responsibility for the staging and execution of major governmental and national events.”
(I see… tax money for “staging and execution of major governmental and national events.”
Who Is on The Board? …
Mr. Al Gilkes Chairman
Mr. H Adrian Cummins Deputy Chairman
Mrs. Carol Nicholls Member
Mr. Hal Gollop Member
Mrs. Beverley Alleyne Member
Mrs. Denyse Menard-Greenidge Member
Ms. Alissandra Cummins Member
Mr. Oliver Jordan Member
Dr. Ikael Tafari Member
Ms. Carla Springera Member
HEY…. Is “Carla Springera” as shown on the website really “Carla Springer” and related to Richild Springer? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
hmmmmmm….. Shona can dance – and probably a lot better than Richild Springer at this stage. If Shona had a relative on the Board of Directors, could she get some of that easy money too? Where might she apply?