UPDATED: Former DLP Cabinet Minister Branford Taitt: Ministry People Are Directors Of Companies Receiving Government Contracts

Updated: January 11, 2009

Back in February of 2007, former DLP Cabinet Minister Branford Taitt revealed that Government officials and insiders form companies on the side and then award government contracts to their own companies.

In the “It takes one to know one” department, Mr. Taitt’s statement should be taken as accurate because he was involved himself in corrupt activities whereby a government contractor worked on Taitt’s home at the same time he had been awarded a government contract under Taitt’s Ministry of Health. Oh… and yes, there were missing materials galore from the St. Joseph Hospital construction site that probably ended up in Taitt’s home. (You can read about Mr. Taitt’s personal corrupt activities in our article Brandford Taitt, Ted Stevens: Two Crooked Senators – One In Alaska Faces Charges, One In Barbados Is “Cleared” Because We Have No Laws Against His Corrupt Behaviour.)

In Their First Year Of Government, David Thompson and His DLP Refused To Make The One Simple Policy Change That Could Have Stopped Much Of The Corruption

With a simple policy statement Prime Minister Thompson could have sent a message of integrity throughout the government. Without passing any laws or any consultation at all, Mr. Thompson could have declared the following…

“It is now government policy that no government contracts are to be issued to companies or other government suppliers that are owned wholly or in part by an elected or appointed government employee or official or their immediate family members.”

Instead, Prime Minister Thompson chose to let the corruption continue and here we are after one year of DLP government with the sad realisation that only the faces on the piggies have changed: the government trough is still open for business!

Original Article As Published Feb 21, 2007…

A FEW DAYS AGO the Nation Newspaper printed an article by Albert Brandford that provides some coverage of the rising call for Integrity and Transparency Legislation in Barbados.

While the article is largely milquetoast and says it is “strange” that both the major parties are unwilling to pass integrity legislation (ed: Brandford must be joking!) it is at least a start that the Nation News is talking about the subject of government accountability – even if the intent of the article is to quiet the increasingly noisy multitudes.

The article has a rehash of the Prime Minister and others explaining that Barbados has no need for such legislation because such corruption just doesn’t go on here. (more humour!)

Then, throwing a bone to the dogs (that is us, the public) Owen Arthur and the old politicians say, “Well, I guess we could TALK about it.”

DLP’s Branford Taitt Drops A Bombshell

Smack in the middle of the article though is a bombshell dropped by former DLP Cabinet Minister Branford Taitt – who tells publicly for the first time from an insider’s view about an insidious form of corruption that has become all too common in the last few years…

Government officials and insiders form companies on the side and then award government contracts to their own companies.

Once again, no names are named because The Nation News wants to look like they are doing a good job for the public even if they are a good doggie for the ruling BLP.

But we’ll take it one step at a time. Sooner or later, the majority of the public are going to ask (if they haven’t already) … “Where is the investigative reporting by the Nations News and the rest of the Barbados media?

Here is the quote from The Nation News…

“I am sure that we would insist on capturing some of the new methodologies that have been born in this present administration,” he said. “The whole concept, for example, of the [state-owned] company. There is a new methodology that has grown up where companies are formed and if you did an indepth examination you would find that there are companies that have been formed with directorships of people who are currently in ministries, and those same companies are dealing with the same ministries.

That is the methodology which has emerged in the last 18 months, andit is a frightening thing because it smacks of corruption.”

… former DLP Cabinet Minister Branford Taitt in The Nation News article Checking On Our Integrity

44 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

44 responses to “UPDATED: Former DLP Cabinet Minister Branford Taitt: Ministry People Are Directors Of Companies Receiving Government Contracts

  1. Jupiter

    BFP

    I am asking because I am not too sure.

    The Nation Newspaper inserts in the middle of the article what we on BFP have been saying for a long time – all these BLP ministers have formed companies with persons fronting for them,and then award themselves contracts that come under their ministerial portfolio.

    The tendering process seems to have gone through the window.

    My question is: Could the newspaper go further and list the names of companies that have ministers and/or their families as owners or directors?

    Could the Nation also list the contracts that have been awarded by these companies?

    Are there any laws that could prevent this?

    Surely that is legally o.k.?

    ****************

    Comment by Marcus

    Hi Jupiter

    Of course the Nation News could list companies that have Ministry officials as directors – without commenting upon the ethics of the people involved. Just a simple statement of fact would shine so much light on this festering nest of thieves… but then the Nation News wouldn’t get their favourite little doggie biscuits in the form of all the government advertising money that is thrown their way.

    Perhaps Mr. Taitt can email us the company names and the people involved? BFP will print them!

    Marcus

  2. BFP

    Comment by Marcus

    Hi Jupiter

    Of course the Nation News could list companies that have Ministry officials as directors – without commenting upon the ethics of the people involved. Just a simple statement of fact would shine so much light on this festering nest of thieves… but then the Nation News wouldn’t get their favourite little doggie biscuits in the form of all the government advertising money that is thrown their way.

    Perhaps Mr. Taitt can email us the company names and the people involved? BFP will print them!

    Marcus

  3. Jupiter

    Thanks Marcus.

    I know the nation crew check into this site,so I hope they are reading and will show some gumption and do something for us the people who have caused them to get rich- do something for us for a change.

    A little investigative journalism is all we ask for.

  4. Corp.

    It has long been known that Ministry trucks are allowed to shackle out in disrepair,
    and then the needed trucking services are handed out to a trucking concern owned by Mia (I’m told) – and even if it ain’t owned by Mia, it’ll be owned by other Ministers who own these companies that (somehow) are ..aahh..”well-placed” to take up any slack in equipment failure generated by deliberate neglect,etc.
    Good scheme, eh?

    Are there any laws against it!

    You’ll notice I wun’t even grace that rhetorical ‘question’ with a question-mark…!!

    ………………….

    By the way, did U notice that they’re finally doing Rendezvous Hill?
    and the whole of Rendezvous Road?

    Ever since someone kindly painted every single pot-hole on the hill,
    Gov’t. seems to have been embarrassed enough to kick into gear! – wow! Kudos to the artist!

    And speaking of kicking into gear..
    now that C.O.Williams is doing the paving,
    (in usual no-nonsense C.O.W. style)
    the B’dos Water Authority is now furiously doing a whole backlog of (so far neglected?) works all along lower Rendezvous Road,
    before the sweet stuff gets laid down.

    Dayrells Road is STILL an unholy MESS!

  5. De Orginal

    Ahh we now understanding where the problems lie in our country. If we had laws which would a address accountability, integrity and transparency in public offices this would not happen without serious sanctions. A good place to start would the local organising committee of World Cup Barbados Inc. and the awarding of contracts there. Would love to hear what the auditor general have to say about them next year. Should make interesting reading. World Cup Barbados will make Gems a boy scout.

  6. Pogo

    There are two daily newspapers in Barbados.

    If they both stand together and publish the unvarnished truth then neither one need fear that advertising revenue will be moved to the other.

    How about it Nation and Advocate? Make a stand. Compete with each other by telling us the truth. Barbados will be better off for it and you can take pride in being true journalists.

  7. John

    Check out this front page story in the Nation today.

    What is your take on the position of Mr. Archer?

    http://www.nationnews.com/story/306967917621486.php

  8. John

    For me, it looks like he received a proposal while in his substantive position, vetoed it, then after he retired or resigned well …… I think I will stop there as my pressure is rising.

    Please tell me I am misinterpreting this story.

  9. Saunna

    I do not see anything wrong with it. It will not stop me voting for the BLP.

  10. BK

    It happens all the time people’s ideas are stolen and implemented in some other form or fashion. The onus will be on the guys to prove in court that Archer is implementing an original idea given his privilege as the Chief Technical Officer.

  11. Velzo

    I think Branford is raising a larger point that is being missed. We are not talking only about corrupot Ministers. What he seems to be saying is that the government forms a company like BTII involved in tourism investment projects and then appoints civil servants in the Ministry of Tourism, for example, to sit on the Board of Directors. Then the company gets involved in projects relating to tourism investment. How can that civil servant give independent advice of a policy nature to the Minister when they are so intertwined in the process? Don’t talk about conflicts of interest. Or the issue of Audits.

    This is a very valid point that Branford Taitt has raised and needs investigation because it is a corporate structure pursued by this corrupt government with a passion. And the only thing they pursue with passion is corruption!

  12. Jupiter

    Couldn’t a quick search of the registry show the names of these companies and their directors etc.

    That’s a start for sure.

    I’m not sure which dept deals with the awarding of gov’t contracts – is it Central Purchasing?

    Who has oversight for these contracts?

    I don’t know if someone out there has the information and could perhaps help BFP build a case – if the Nation refuses to do it?

  13. Wishing in Vain

    Name them and add them to my listing it will make very good reading-: Here we have a more comprehensive list of the whos who of Barbadian corruption please feel free to add to the list -: Nicholls, Bannister, Shorey, Arthur, Cox, Hobson, Wilkinson.
    The level of corruption that is taking place in this administration is unbelieveable, there is stealing at every level and with many benefiting, from the PM and his cronies all the way down the chain of command, it appears as if it hardly worth saying anything any longer as nothing seems to make any difference.
    My fear now is if they feel that they may not win the next election will they escalate the level and magnitude of the stealing.
    I think this may already be happening if it is not why then have they ordered and paid for over
    $ 8.5 mil in airconditioning systems for the QEH and Judicial center ?
    This is for somewhere that is not likely to be finished until 2009 or later is it that someone needs to cash in on their commission before the administration changes?
    Can you really tell me that under normal conditions that this amount of equipment can be lying around for years waiting to be installed?
    I smell a rat in this one I don’t about you, but when this amount of money is involved and when I see the arrangement it does not look goo to me.

  14. e

    open letter to vivian gittens: despite xamount of government revenue your paper receives does albert branford have to write about clyde mascoll every sunday. pleeeease there are hundreds of political and social issues that need tackling. i am fed up of buying my paper to see branford writing about mascoll. if he is mascoll lapdog let him get a pimp pick with the blp like ezra alleyne and clyde griffith. steupps

  15. Jupiter

    Wishing in Vain

    Are you sure about that $8.5 m bought in air – conditioning units?

    Was it from Owen Arthur’s brother – Richard Arthur’s company?

    If it is true then it must mean that this is money left over from the money spent on the sterilising machines that were badly needed,and the elevators and X-ray machines,and water heaters,gloves,toilet bowls,beds and basic items that were requested for a long time – got to be money left over from these purchases.

    On the subject of pilfering being the reason for lack of items at the hospital – I think if you did a quick check of the providers of hospital supplies ie private sector companies – you will see a lot of them are refusing to continue to send supplies to government because gov’t owes them millions and millions of dollars – and Companies need their money to continue in operation.

    The only persons who get paid up front are owen.mia,liz,lynch,wood,shorey,hallam nicolls etc etc

    By the way who is Bannister – ie his full name,place of business etc

    Also wishing in vain – add Peter Harris name to that list.

  16. Wishing in Vain

    Yes Jupiter no doubt on the value of this equipment $ 8.5 mil for units for two locations QEH and Judicial centre in the island now for a project two years down the line??????
    What is the background on this Harris guy is a political clown as well?

  17. Saunna

    Not that I am saying the matter with Archer is true, but the white owned banks in Broad Street do this sort of thing all the time. They look at your plans, tell you that they are not workable, deny you a loan, and then give the plans to their white friends who incorporate them into their businesses and the Bank Manager gets a cut of the revenue which is generated.

  18. reality check

    directors do not show one everything

    why do you think that Barbados is one of the few jurisdictions that does not have to show the current status of all beneficial and legal shareholders of a company? This does not include consultants, fee arrangements ( wink, wink ) and the like.

  19. John

    The companies act of 1982 which replaced the one of 1910 removed the requirement of a ye

  20. John

    The companies act of 1982 which replaced the one of 1910 removed the requirement of a ye

  21. John

    The companies act of 1982 which replaced the one of 1910 removed completely the requirement of a yearly return of shareholders.

    The 1982 act was modified either in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s to require that returns be made for all legal shareholders, not necessarily beneficial ones.

    It is interesting that in the period after the 1982, the offshore banks, insurance and other companies increased.

    What I found when I looked at some of the offsore insurance companies named as being registered here in the AIG insurance scandal, was that some of them had been wound up, apparently around the time of the new requirement to register the legal shareholdes.

    There may be no connection, but this really set me thinking.

  22. John

    Must have pressed the wrong button!! Sorry.

    Man, I will never get the hang of this infernal machine, … which is not my usual one. Even that one drives me round the bend sometime.

  23. Agent Orange

    John, FYI re: the Global Media Services lawsuit. That road sign project was proposed to TCP since ’95, by a private sector Barbadian marketing company. You can verify this with their office. Global Media Services are wasting their time and the courts time. But I suppose their lawyers haven’t done due diligence at TCP because they would be denying themselves some hefty fees. As for conflict of interest with Mr. Archer, that is up to his concience.

  24. Jupiter

    To the most corrupt government ever in the history of Barbados -the BLP Government:

    Listen to what Kenny Anthony former prime minister of St Lucia had to say when he was in office:

    “If a politician has $10.00 in the bank,then he must give account to the public for it.Anyone who insists on privacy must stay away from politics.”

    N.B. St Lucia has integrity legislation in place – and thus Kenny Anthony was able to say that because of this legislation he knows he has to declare all his assets – which includes gifts.

    Reported in the Star newspaper of St Lucia.

    Thankfully the newspaper publishers in St Lucia are not like their counterparts in Barbados – and they ask tough questions.

    So Kenny Anthony found himself recently facing some tough questions from journalists – re a brand new Prado Jeep given to him as a gift from a group of young businessmen from his constituency.

    The question being asked was this a “quid pro quo’.

  25. John

    Saunna

    That’s why we are miles away from civilised status.

    A bank puts an officer in place and represents to a prospective borrower that anything said will be confidential.

    The bank has deep pockets and can be held to account in the real world. One successful suit here will cause pandemonium in banking circles if such as what you describe is going on.

    Problem is, is the judiciary up to it?

    How banks deal with this is that the offending officer is asked to resign. I have heard of the theft of ideas before but could never be satisfied it was for real. However, I have heard of a bank officer helping a prospective borrower to qualify for a loan, …. for a fee. He was asked to resign, …. I understand from 2 banks as he repeated the offence!! A thief is a thief is a thief…

    On the other hand, it is pretty hard to prove that an idea is original. Still, a bank must have some sort of procedures to protect both itself and a prospective borrower.

    Guess I have cooled down a bit as it is quite possible as Agent Orange has pointed out, that the idea is not original.

    However I suspect the technology of 1995 and 2007 are very different and although the idea of replacing signs may be old, the way of doing it may not be comparable.

    Anyway, time will tell.

  26. bajejun

    I agree with you BFP , Integrity legislation is needed, and we as voters has to make this an issue, and force these politicians to face this fact or risk not walking those steps to parliment. enough is enough, we have to dictate what we want.

  27. Memories...

    Barbados now…reminds me of what St.Vincent was like, back in the late 1970’s – a small isolated Law Unto Itself.

    I used to hear stories about St.V. that dropped my jaw.
    That was back in the days when Barbados was a respectable island nation.
    That is no longer the case.

    Barbados is a can of worms!

  28. WorMe

    Come again. Just returned from Saint Vincent.. Its about 50 years behind Barbados. SVG economy sits on four pillars marijuana, ganga, marijuana and finally ganga. Gonzalves is strange.

  29. Jerome Hinds

    bajejun ,says,

    ” I agree with you BFP , Integrity legislation is needed, and we as voters has to make this an issue, and force these politicians to face this fact or risk not walking those steps to parliment. enough is enough, we have to dictate what we want ”

    Well David Thompson in a quote in the Nation news of 2007-02-22 from his New York trip, reiterates his call for such legislation if the DLP is elected.

    We need the hear the DLP party espouse more on this before getting too excited…!!!

    New York is cold now…so we cannot be so sure if these are words to warm the body or the mind…..!!!

  30. Wishing in Vain

    Does anyone know what the common threat is when these names are put together-: Washington, Johnson, Nicholls, Arthur??
    Bet you would never guess.

  31. Jupiter

    A minister in Grenada resigned when the journalists exposed a wife beating incident involving he and his wife.

    The minister of immigration was forced to resign over his fast tracking of residency permit for the late anna nicole smith

    FRANKLYN KHAN -Minister of transport and chairman -the PNM party and Eric Williams – Minister of Energy were dismissed from the cabinet over allegations of wrong doings which are now matters in court.

    Can you tell me why Owen who wants to be recognised as a good statesman of the region not practise the same policy here?

  32. BK

    Can you tell me why Owen who wants to be recognised as a good statesman of the region not practise the same policy here?

    ====================================

    Are you comparing beating with biting? Man stop comparing dunks with breadfruits.

  33. Jupiter

    BK

    How do you know the person involved was bitten and also beaten?

  34. Wishing in Vain

    Anyone guessing the connection here???

  35. Tudor

    Wishing, tell us tell us!

  36. Tudor

    Alright Wishing I give up, what is the threat?

  37. insider

    “Does anyone know what the common threat is when these names are put together-: Washington, Johnson, Nicholls, Arthur??”

    WiV can you add any more names and give us a clue?

    Are Shorey and Wilkinson in there too?

    Oh give us a clue, nuh!!

  38. Mike

    They are all tied into the 1000 new slot machines to be run by the american Washington with payments for Nicholls for putting the deal together with Owing.What a bunch of crooks this bunch is.

  39. Joe

    Question: who are the Bajans involved in Global Media Services? If legal action is pending surely we will soon know their names? Nation and Advocate, are you taking note? Citizens are recognising the signs of the times.

    They want to know.

  40. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    Are you people kidding me. You honestly think if you pass ITAL that this will nip in the bud, once and for all, the level of corruption within the civil service? There will always be away of getting around it. What is needed is to take the tanticles of politics out of the police, judiciary and major institutions of influence and let these agencies be able to execute their power without fear of reprisal. But you have a system where lawyers can steal clients money and simply get disbarred whilst others got to go up to Dodds and await trial. Also it is time that civil servants salaries reflect their qualifications. How the heck you expect people with pHD’s and masters, with the expertise to progress the causes in this country into new endeavours and innovations, when you want to pay them next to nothing. Also if the politicians cannot keep their hands out of the cookie jar you honestly expect that the civil servants will not want to do the same? YOu think it is good feeling knowing that I got ‘Lynched’ by the first Noel, “King Arthur” and “Mama Mia” who now washed from head to toe in ” Sir Grantleys” most of which, if not all, did not drive a stroke to earn. ITAL ain’t going to change a thing all I will do is tell the crooks to finee a new way of overcoming the hurdle.

  41. Beefcake

    On a potentially related topic, how will $30 million be spent on a public relations campaign to teach people how to drive properly to improve traffic flow?

  42. reality check

    Beefcake

    1 million educational videos and lectures

    29 million consulting fees for politicians and friends.

    don’t worry—it will all be spent

  43. JBlunt

    Att: BFP

    In the dying months of the last BLP administration one the bloggers to this blog, Royalrumble wrote a piece in which he basically charge that neither Thompson nor the DLP, if they won the government, would have done anything to quell this perceived corruption amongst our politicians.

    Can anyone at BFP find Royalrumble’s comments and post it for our readers again please. I think it would make good reading now. Maybe Wishing in Vain and the others on this blog who are now appearing so disappointing that after a year of DLP rule nothing has change, no legislation on corruption as promised, in fact things seem to have gotten worse

  44. Straight talk

    JB:

    To the thousands of disappointed electors lured by the DLP promise of change, we have to say we were warned, but our hopes, though springing eternal, were eclipsed by reality.

    The winds of change became an embarassing wet fart.