A media release and a damning report by the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers would not have happened a year ago.
That is the assessment of two of the professional engineers who spoke with Barbados Free Press and provided BFP with two different draft reports last week – well before the “official” media release yesterday.
As mentioned in BFP’s October 6, 2007 story Secret Report: Barbados Association Of Professional Engineers “Grave Concern About Public Safety Of Flyovers And ABC Highway Expansion”, the association yesterday released a statement that, while focusing on the project, is in fact as hard-hitting a condemnation of the Barbados government’s mismanagement, incompetence and corruption as we have seen from a non-partisan professional association.
Here are the final words of the statement…
These queries simply serve to underscore the primary concern BAPE has held from the inception of this project, namely the absence of a technical and economic feasibility study preceding the project.
Perhaps the time has arrived when designs for significant public project be made easily accessible (e.g. via the Internet) for critical review prior to their construction. The environmental and social impact studies for these projects should be made similarly available.
BAPE is mindful of its obligation to highlight issues which it believes present a potential threat to public safety. The design of all projects, particularly large, public infrastructure projects, should be critically reviewed before construction starts.
One likely outcome of the failure to ensure the project has been planned using sound technical and financial principles is an increase in cost beyond the planned budget, when deficiencies must be corrected, or additional work is forced to be added to the scope.
President – BAPE
BAPE Executive Are National Heroes
Every citizen of Barbados knows what courage, determination and sense of duty that it took for the BAPE to produce such a public statement. From our sources we are aware of the incredible pressures that the BAPE was under as government attempted all weekend to have the media release gutted.
In our oppressive culture where there is a well-founded fear of reprisal from the government, more and more citizens are speaking out with the best interests of our country and our fellow citizens in mind.
While there is no doubt that the recent rise of citizen journalism on the internet has accelerated this process, the simple truth is that the vast majority of Bajans are so sick and tired of government corruption that the floodgates are cracking. Our culture is changing. Citizens always knew there was corruption, but they are now finding the courage and the outrage to demand transparency and accountability of public officials.
Make no mistake: this is a huge cultural change. Elected and appointed public officials ignore it at their peril.
The Nation News reported on the BAPE’s statement with the article BAPE Fear. The article has been (of course) toned down somewhat and is short on detail.
You really owe it to Barbados, yourself and the courageous folks at the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers to go to their website, download the PDF and to read their report in full. (BAPE website link here. PDF Report link here)