Daily Archives: September 20, 2006

Wonder of Wonders! – Barbados Nation News Covers DLP Integrity Legislation Speech

Barbados Media Had Ignored DLP Integrity Legislation Announcement

Last Sunday, DLP candidate and executive member Chris Sinckler spoke at a DLP rally and delivered a major policy position – promising that the DLP will institute Integrity Legislation and ongoing audits of public expenditures.

Although their reporters were present, neither The Nation Newspaper nor the Barbados Advocate chose to even mention the Integrity Legislation policy, and so the people of Barbados – including yours truly – remained unaware that last Sunday, the DLP publically declared that Intergrity Legislation will be a major issue in the forthcoming election…

…Until, of course, the Barbados Free Press published DLP Leader Gives Major Speech – No Mention Of Integrity Legislation, Conflict of Interest Rules etc… on Monday, and then a second article also on Monday, Barbados Free Press Reader Says DLP Meeting Started With Integrity Legislation Speech

Now, after three days of the Barbados Free Press and our readers talking about what happened on the weekend, The Nation News has finally decided that the DLP’s Integrity Legislation might be worth mentioning.

Golly… wonder what happened over at the Nation’s newsroom? Did they just wake up… or like so many others, are the Nation’s editors starting to smell something new in the wind this season?

Barbados Media Ignores Ongoing BLP Government Integrity Scandals

Do you suppose that the Nation News might now start sending some reporters over to the Land Registry to see how a certain Minister of Government came to live on government-expropriated “public housing” land?

Nah… probably too much for the citizens of Barbados to hope that their big old media might actually do some investigative digging about conflicts of interest and such.

Oh well… at least the guys and gals over at The Nation News are starting to smell that new breeze…

From The Nation News (link here)

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Dems Promise “Better to Come”

A NEW Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration will be placing greater emphasis on transparency and accountability.

This was the word from Chris Sinckler, who led off his party’s public charge during its political mass meeting on Sunday night in Quakers Road, Carrington Village, St Michael.

He said the DLP would be focusing on measures to combat wastage and squandermania, much of which he claimed had taken place over the past 12 years under the incumbent Barbados Labour Party administration.

Sinckler, a member of the DLP’s executive council, listed projects with problems ranging from GEMS, the flyovers coming for the ABC Highway, to Government’s office complex at Warrens.

He also pointed to both the Urban and Rural Development Commissions as areas where there had not been an efficient application of resources.

It was against this background that Sinckler, who is expected to be the party’s candidate in St Michael North West in the next general election, highlighted three specific things which the Dems would introduce to eliminate these problems.

They would be integrity legislation, an audit for public services (different from the one done by the Auditor-General), and expenditure surveys.

He said integrity legislation was particularly necessary for leaders, while the public services audit would allow for accountability on how resources were spent.

This is a system in place in several African, Asian and Latin American countries. Sinckler added it also helped to build accountability since it would involve both the politicians and technocrats.

With the expenditure surveys, also used in a number of developing countries, there was no need to wait on the Auditor-General to do an annual report, he said. Departments must follow and map expenditure of their various programmes to know how money was spent and if services were delivered.

Since it was not always an issue of money but how service was delivered, Sinckler added it was important to look at procurement rules to ensure transparency.

He said the entire system needed an overhaul – not just a case of throwing more money behind a project, but efficiently allocating resources.

Sinckler, who unsuccessfully contested the St Michael Central seat in the 1999 general election, told his audience that the Dems were on a mission, promising that “better can be done, better is to come.

“This is no time to fool around. I’ve decided to re-enter politics at this level, not to stay in Opposition, but to win.”

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Hot Issues, Politics & Corruption

Case Clearing In Barbados Courts Makes Me Nervous

The courts in Barbados are a little backed-up right now, but the Chief Justice has the answer – Toss Out Cases Without Hearing Them!

Chief Justice Sir David Simmons is concerned about the backlog of both criminal and civil cases before the courts in Barbados. While we understand the need for the Chief Justice to occasionally step in and kick some bu… “politely prod the system” where lawyers are dragging their feet, we are very nervous about the wholesale tossing of cases as a method of reducing the backlog.

From The Nation News (link here)…

…Phase I of the Backlog Reduction Project involving civil cases in the system since 1990, had 66 of the 127 cases retired. Another 18 cases were listed for trial while in the remaining 43 cases, adjournments were sought.

(Chief Justice Sir David Simmons) warned attorneys that during the second phase of the project for cases from 1990-2005 where only documents had been filed, a notice would be published in the newspapers after which they would dispose of the cases.

Which Civil Cases Will Be Tossed By Sir David?

The wheels of justice often turn very slowly – with civil cases sometimes taking years to reach trial. But is it a good idea to toss older cases simply because the courts do not have enough resources, physical space, judges and support staff?

The rule of law and an independent judiciary are probably the most important foundations that we have – because without them, nothing else can work.

We have said it before, and we will say it again – whatever the professional qualifications, wisdom and personal integrity of Chief Justice Sir David Simmons, it looks bad that he was a powerful member of the ruling Government one day, and then Chief Justice immediately thereafter.

Please understand that I am in no way suggesting that Sir David will not perform his duties in an unbiased and professional manner. What I am saying is that Sir David’s appointment lacked the appearance of impartial appointment. How can a man be a powerful member of government on one day, and then be expected to judge cases involving his old government friends the next day?

It just looks bad.

So Chief Justice Sir David Simmons is already operating under a professional handicap. With this in mind, we had all better hope that none of the cases thrown out by Sir David during this “cleanup” in any way involve lawsuits against the government.

It would just look bad – but I sense that very few people in the Barbaods Government are aware of the important concept that not only must justice be done – it must also be seen to be done.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Bye Bye Bwee

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BWIA Says “So Long”

I don’t care if the flights were always late, or if the equipment was not exactly up to date – I’m going to miss Bwee.

BWIA was one of the last Western operators of the 707. Long after everyone else had scrapped the old Boeings, Bwee’s last “three sisters” still flew the Bridgetown-Heathrow route until noise regulations in the UK made it impossible with the old engines. (BWIA never did re-engine their 707s. It was easier to lease newer aircraft than to look after the old girls)

Dad always loved the old Boeings, and one of my fondest memories as a child is of him waving and smiling from the top of the stairs and then patting the side of the aircraft as he boarded for his last flight in a 707. (Miss you dad.)

Peter Wickham also says goodbye to Bwee in The Nation News (link here)

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism