Barbados Attorney General Tells Some New And Old Whoppers About VECO Jail Project

Dale Marshall Spins The Excuses He Thinks He Needs… The Prison Was First Priced In Indian Ruppees, Or Maybe Bugarian Levas… Or Mia Mottley Was Just Playing Around

It may be an ongoing national tragedy, but you have to love the comedy surrounding the new prison as the Government of Barbados does everything it can to divert attention from the issue of corruption without actually being transparent or accountable.

IF the government really intended to be transparent about the whole mess, they and / or VECO would start the process by first answering the question…

In the last ten years, how much money or any other benefits has VECO or it’s subsidiaries or it’s agents given to members of the BLP government or their families or associates in any way, shape or form?

And while you’re at it Dale, how about this one too…

Are any of the subcontractors or consultants employed on the prison project at any stage (acquisition, design, suppliers or construction – anything) associated in any way with members of the government, their families or friends?

Marshall Talks About Only Certain Pieces Of The VECO Contract – But Don’t Ask To See It!

Todays Nation Newspaper proudly quotes Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall as saying that VECO is responsible for covering all cost-over-runs. Marshall said…

“If this project went over budget by a $1 or by $1 million or $100 million, under the contract it was Veco’s responsibility to cover all cost over-runs,”

The article contains further humour…

“Marshall said if the project came within budget, of the cost savings that normally went to the company, 50 per cent must be returned to Government.

He said Veco’s fiscal activities would also come under close scrutiny as all accounting records of the building contractor must be made available for audit if requested by Government…” (link here)

Cost savings on a project being run by the Government of Barbados? Please… pick me up off the floor if I start to hyper-ventilate with laughter!

Oh ya, we get it… the same government that refuses to audit or be accountable for GEMS Hotels or Cricket World Cup expenditures is assuring us about the prison: “Doan you worry nothin!

What Is The Deal With The Prison?

In today’s Nation News, AG Dale Marshall indicates that “the cost of the prison was around US$140 million (BDS$280 million) and not $100 million [the currency was never identified], as he had initialled a document last June (2006) for that amount.”

Way back on June 29, 2005, Mia Mottley announced that VECO had been awarded the prison contract and the price would be “$100 million” … ‘Mottley said Government would have to await the completion of the designs to quantify the finance of the prison, but she estimated it would cost around $100 million’.

This is the same trick they pull all the time – award the contract with blanks all over and “we’ll settle the price later when we’ve factored in all the bribes.”

Would you purchase a new car or house without knowing the price in advance? Our government does it all the time. Witness the recent Kensington Oval debacle where we are supposed to believe that our government “invested” a hundred million dollars to build a stadium on land owned by someone else – without a written contract! Please, Mr. Marshall… spare us the insult of assuming that we buy into these absurdities.

Why Would VECO Invest Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To Build On Land They Don’t Own?

Bill Allen, the former CEO at VECO, was a big crook who bribed politicians to get his way – but nobody could accuse him of being a fool. Do we really think that VECO would finance the prison with it’s own money, build it on land that it doesn’t own and hope that it gets paid for the next 25 years?

Somebody is guaranteeing the whole deal, and that somebody is the taxpayers of Barbados. See how easy it is for the Barbados government? They spend like hell but it never appears on the books. Prisons, flyovers, roads, ports… anything they want they rent – trading our children’s futures for instant gratification and secretly topping up those all-so-important personal Swiss bank accounts.

The Attorney General’s walk-through of the new prison was as much spin-sham as his declaration that he took a morning and looked into the whole VECO scandal – but none of it touched Barbados.

Hey… Mr. Marshall… Dale, old friend… Do you or your family members have any bank accounts or assets outside of Barbados? Has VECO ever given you or your family members anything at all? Any trips? Any stock tips? Anything at all?

What’s that you say? “You’re not allowed to ask that. None of your business so I’m going to ignore the question.”

That’s what we thought you said, Dale.

Found On The Web…

Barbados Prison Update (From VECO’s website May 2007)

Commonwealth (a VECO company) is pleased to provide an update on the Prison Project in Barbados. The construction of the Prison complex is now in excess of 80% complete and on schedule for completion later this year. The site has enjoyed an excellent safety record with no Loss Time Incidences after more than 500 days of work involving crews up to 500 workers. We are currently projecting the project will be completed on budget.

Commonwealth has a contract to design, construct and own the prison for a period of 25 years after which ownership will transfer to the Government. Under the terms of the contract, Commonwealth will have no involvement in the operation of the Prison. The Government of Barbados will continue to have sole responsibility for the Prison operation, including staffing.

… from VECO’s website (link here)

Daily Nation – 29th June 2005

‘Mottley said Government would have to await the completion of the designs to quantify the finance of the prison, but she estimated it would cost around $100 million’.

‘Meanwhile, sources revealed that the second bid was submitted by a consortium made up of Jada Builders, Rotherley Construction, Rayside Construction, C.O. Williams Construction, Williams Industries, First Caribbean Bank, Barbados National Bank and mega-billion dollar British construction firm Carrilian, which builds and operate prisons in the United Kingdom. That proposal carried a price tag of approximately $120 million in a 25 year BOLT – build, operate, lease and transfer – arrangement’.

From The Nation News June 29, 2005 – US Firm To Build New Jail At Dodds


Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

9 responses to “Barbados Attorney General Tells Some New And Old Whoppers About VECO Jail Project

  1. John

    If Veco has up to 500 workers on the prison at Dodds and it is coming to an end, why do we need 600 Chinese?

    These workers have brought this project in under budget …. according to Dale so Mike Pemberton should be jumping at the opportunity down at Paradise.

  2. Littleboy

    Even if Mama Mia meant US$100million, and Marble Mout Marshall now quotes a figure of US$140million; is that not an increase of US$40million above the original cost?
    What then does he mean by “… if the project comes to a lower than projected cost…”; does he think we are stupid!!!
    The damn thing is already OVER BUDGET.
    Anyway, we already have their number so when elections are called he will join his mentor George Payne in the law partnership.

  3. Paradox

    Hey John!’Paradise found’,that must be the ‘dream’ when Mr. Pemberton discovered ‘Paradise’.
    Is it true his Ex-wife once owned Villa Nova?
    Lets get back to the above topic. A man said to me a few days ago, “Politicians are some of the biggest liars any one can find and if a politician happens to have a law qualification,don’t ever trust him/her as far as you could throw him”.
    At the end of all this, Barbados is the looser.The bright sparks running the Government would have gone off into the sunset enjoying their sweets, and waiting for the moment to come for one of his mates to recommend him as a national hero. If we had proper legislation, and if proven in a court of law 50 years later like in other countries,that he stole from the nation, he would be jailed or shot, depending on the country.
    They know at the end of the day there is no case to answer, so why not make a few bucks now, while the ‘going is good’. You would have heard the term, “here today gone tomorrow politician”.They know there is no hope tomorrow.

  4. For Mia Mottley to make an announcement in Parliament about the cost of our new prison and “forget” to mention whether it is in Barbadian currency, as it should be, or U.S. dollars just shows how incompetent she really is.

    Such an egregious mistake would get any employee in a company accountable to its directors and shareholders, fired for such a basic error.

    In Parliament the country’s finances are dealt with in our national currency unless specified otherwise. Mia knows that perfectly well.

    She can shrug it off without a blush because she has her minions in awe of her pompous bombast. And we have to tolerate such crap because the High and Mighty can do no wrong!

    At least until the election….

  5. Justice for Dale

    The old tourist trap move is a whopper. You know the one where the tourist is charged and when he goes to pay in local currency the taxi driver or whoever says thats US dollars. Dale Marshall should try his nonsense on his mentor and patron George “Hats” Payne. He might get a letter like the one Roy Morris received. Payne would have to borrow letterheads from MM Lynch the Liar.

  6. Straight talk

    Does this mean that the Bajan consortium also quoted in US$.
    If so , why?
    If it’s so, that makes COW et al’s offer of US$62.5m even more of a bargain.
    Less than half price!
    Why was it rejected in favour of this crooked American firm?
    Methinks Marshall conveniently accepted my whimsical idea of Mia now thinking in the currency of her newly adopted country, as opposed to that of the nation of which she is Deputy Prime Minister.
    The whole scenario stinks.
    Publish the original contract signed by Mia in our name.
    Let’s be shot of these incompetent blowhards and get a professional independent Contractor General, responsible for every GoB project above $500,000 (Bajan!!).

  7. Wishing in Vain

    What a ramble Marshall has led us on, only to return to same position really how much have you lot collected out of this in bribe money???
    What I also want to hear is what is the monthly cost to be paid to VECO to for the operation of this prison??
    John is right when he ask if the project is near complete and they have 500 people employed why then does Pemberton need to go offshore to hire??
    This also smells of corruption to me as well, what is Owing’s role in Paradise and what has he promised the Chinese leaders in exchange for their money??
    Is it a free access into Barbados on the grounds of building workers?

  8. Wishing in Vain

    So here we have the lies the local construction company fails to get awarded the contract because their quote was $ 25 million to high when their quote was submitted at $ 120 million but these crooks are getting it at $ 280 million and now reportely in excess of $ 300 million, these figures were quoted in Bds $ as this is the currency of the country.
    What a load of bull no wonder Lynch is saying it is Barbados’s finest hour of theft and corruption

  9. Sundowner

    A fisherman told me yesterday, that come judgment day, if God really is a Bajan, he’s going to look at whats going on in this country, be so confused he’ll shake his head and light a spliff…………