What Side Deals Have Already Been Struck For These Babies?
Pardon us for being a bit skeptical about the duty payable and final destination of the 81 new BMW autos that were imported to Barbados for use by Cricket World Cup officials and other “special people”.
In an effort to head off some of the questions that were being raised, a spokesman for the local organising committee provided a little explanation to the CBC that, in our opinion, raises more questions than it answers. The CBC for some reason didn’t do any real follow-up on how it is that millions of dollars of automobiles appeared by magic and have such an uncertain future …
No big government bill for BMWs
Wednesday, 03 January 2007
The plan to bring nearly seven dozen leased BMW vehicles to Barbados for ICC World Cup 2007 will not leave government footing the hefty bill.
Chief operations officer with the local organising committee, Vancourt Rouse, made this clear to CBC today, as he discussed the 81 BMW’s being imported to transport dignitaries and officials of the ICC.
Concern was expressed in some quarters that government would be footing the leasing bill during the four months when the luxury vehicles will be in Barbados.
Mr. Rouse, explained that, under the leasing arrangement between ICC and BMW, if Barbados does not meet the return deadline for the vehicles, Warrens Motors, as BMW agents, will be responsible.
… read the source article at the CBC (link here)
So Many Questions, So Few Answers
Once again folks, you must forgive us for being a bit, ummm, what’s the word? Suspicious – that some side deals have already been cut by the government to somehow have a few of these BMWs paid for on the public pocket.
We learned from an article in The Nation News (link here) that the BMWs are being provided by BWM “free of charge for 120 days” and that the government is negotiating a “soft entry” (read little or no duty). According to the same article, one of the options being considered is that “government will have the first option to purchase the vehicles after the World Cup” at “factory prices” (Whatever “factory prices” means. What does that mean exactly? Maybe I’m stupid and I’m the only one who thinks that could mean just about anything?)
And which government persons (or their family members heh, heh, heh) will end up with a BMW?
Guyana Opts For An Open Process & Sale For Cricket World Cup BMWs
With BMW being an official sponsor of the Cricket World Cup, many of our neighbours are faced with the same situation of what to do with the vehicles and how to ensure that the public interest is protected. President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana has opted to make the process open and public. According to the Nation News…
President Bharrat Jagdeo opted to buy the vehicles and sell them back on the local market “with the taxes so we would recover the money and much more”, he said.
He added that in a couple of weeks, advertisements for their sale would be in the public domain, “so if you want to own one of these BMWs, you could put in a bid and you can give us your money now. We sign an arrangement and as soon as CWC is over, we will deliver the vehicle to you”.
If only the government of Barbados was more transparent about this type of dealing, we citizens wouldn’t have to keep our hands on our wallets all the time. Without integrity laws and freedom of information legislation, there can be no trust of the government.
The BMWs are not problem here – it is the lack of laws to keep the piggies in their place that is the problem.
Thanks to the BFP reader who sent the photos of the BMWs in the compound at Dacostas and Musson at the Spring Garden Highway. You didn’t say if it was ok to use your name, and without that specific permission we will never reveal a contributor’s information. If you would like credit for the photos, then please send us an email… and thanks again!