BAPE Barbados Association Of Professional Engineers Exposes Biased Nation News Article – More Government Spin Spin Spin

barbados-flyover-scandal.jpg

Flyover Articles Proof Again That You Can’t Trust The Nation News To Be Accurate, Impartial or Professional

Last Saturday, the Nation News published Road Review – an article that purported to inform Bajans about a “top-level” meeting between officials from the Misery of Public Works and the supposed builder of the ABC / Flyover project, 3S (Barbados) SRL.

We say “supposed builder” because there are so many companies flying around Barbados these days that the mention of a company name in the newspaper is no guarantee that the government contract is actually with that company. As we saw with the prison contract, the name of the company said to be building the prison changed more frequently than my baby’s diaper – so bear that in mind the next time somebody tells you that “3S” is building the highway and flyovers.

Nation Newspaper Requested Permission From The Government To Cover This Story!

Anyway, back to the Nation News article. You have to remember that this is the “newspaper” that needed permission from the government to cover the story of fraud allegations against the President of the company that is building the flyovers. For ELEVEN DAYS the entire Barbados media was petrified to report the story that Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground had been covering. Even after the blogs published court documents, the cowardly lapdog Barbados media remained silent.

It was only when Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground published printed editions that the Nation News covered the story.

See BFP’s stories..

TELL YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS: Barbados Media Hides 3S Fraud Scandal From Bajan Citizens

Triumph Of The Blogs’ Print Editions – Nation News Shamed Into Reporting Fraud Allegations Against Barbados Flyover Contractor, But Their Carefully Managed Story Still Communicates A Lie

So there’s not a whole lot to say that the Nation News can be trusted to accurately report on this or any other story involving government wrong-doing or incompetence. The paper is truly a yellow-backed cowardly dog that would rather beg for advertising bones from the government than fulfill its duty to the public.

As we said a month ago…

… This joint refusal of ALL the Barbados news media to cover a story of national importance about allegations of fraud and secret kickbacks by a man who is in charge of our national highway and bridge project is unforgivable.

At best, it shows that there is no freedom of the press in Barbados. At worst, it shows a conspiracy by all the major Barbados news media to hush up what should be a crisis of credibility for the Barbados Government…

… from BFP’s TELL YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS: Barbados Media Hides 3S Fraud Scandal From Bajan Citizens

This Is Professional Journalism?

One would think that after being so embarrassed by a couple of amateur blogs for failing to cover a major story that The Nation News might decide to take a more professional approach. After all, we are talking about another way-over-budget major infrastructure project where, once again (like VECO) the government’s chosen contractor has corruption and kickback allegations actually filed in a court for all to see.

Bajans have a right to expect the largest newspaper in the country might take an interest in such an important story, and send a reporter to cover any meetings or happenings. You know… to ask questions and make firsthand observations like real journalists do.

What do we get in the Nation News? The battle of the press releases…

The October 13, 2007 Nation News article Road Review was written by a master of spin. Readers were left with the mistaken impression that the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers had participated in the press release and that all their questions about ABC Highway and Flyover project were answered in full by the government and the contractor.

To not let this false impression stand, BAPE was forced to issue their own media release that exposed the fact that the government and 3S are stonewalling Barbados engineers and refuse to have open meetings where the government cannot limit the agenda and the questions that will be asked!

So yesterday, October 17, 2007, the Nation News published a story BAPE Still Awaiting Answers which is as much of a condemnation of the one sidedness of their original Road Review story as you are likely to see.

Again, the story is written in such a manner as to cause readers to assume that the Nation News actually had a journalist interview BAPE President Roger Blackman – when all they did was lift quotes from the BAPE press release.

Folks… this is one of the biggest stories of the year – a major infrastructure project, way over budget, corruption charges filed against the government’s chosen contractor, no tenders let for the project in the first place and the project was given to a newly-formed company that hadn’t built anything before. Not to mention that all the Barbados news media covered up the story for eleven days until forced by the blogs to act.

And the lapdog Nation News still doesn’t dare to send a reporter out to ask real questions! How pathetic.

Here is the BAPE press release. Compare it with the Nation News article BAPE Still Awaiting Answers – and then ask yourself… Is this good enough journalism from the largest newspaper in the country?

BAPE Press Release – ABC Highway Expansion Project
10/16/2007

The Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE) wishes to categorically reject reports which appeared in the local press on 13th October, 2007, purporting to summarise a joint statement from the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) and contractors following a meeting held between the MPW, BAPE, 3S, their PR specialist and some of their consulting firms.

The facts are that after BAPE’s recent position paper, a meeting was convened and chaired by the MPW’s Chief Technical Officer on the 11th October, 2007, to discuss our published concerns about the ABC Highway Expansion project. BAPE has on more than one occasion expressed serious concerns regarding the planning and execution of this major infrastructural project. However during the meeting, the chairman advised that matters relating to the way the project had developed could not be dealt with at the level of that meeting. The highway project team expressed their confidence in the design of the highway and sought to address some of the concerns that were raised. BAPE however considers that many of these concerns, some of which relate to matters of public safety, still remain.

BAPE had previously issued an invitation for 3S and the project team to give a presentation on the project at one of our monthly luncheons, or at a session convened specifically for this purpose. Thus far, this invitation has not been accepted. BAPE again, publicly extends this offer to give 3S and the project team the opportunity to present on the main design features of this important project, and be available to respond to questions from the engineering fraternity in Barbados. We believe that this will help in bringing a greater level of transparency and accountability on this project, which will have a major impact on all Barbadians.

THE BARBADOS ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS
Roger Blackman
President

For some real journalism about the flyover scandal, try the article from Barbados Underground: Flyovers In Barbados Revisited~Barbados Association Of Professional Engineers (BAPE) Stick To Their Guns

23 Comments

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23 responses to “BAPE Barbados Association Of Professional Engineers Exposes Biased Nation News Article – More Government Spin Spin Spin

  1. Jerome Hinds

    Looking at the link below……does the layout of the highway look familiar……?

    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/html/20071017T200000-0500_128417_OBS_EDITORIAL_CARTOON.asp

    What we in Barbados surely do not want is the deplorable state of the road !

    However, something tells me……that we might end up that way !

    WHY……..????

    Remember that story that broke recently…….where the contractor doing the ABC road works in Barbados……was the same one charged for FRAUD involving a road works project in JAMAICA….?

    BINGO……..that is the CONNECTION !

  2. Anonymous

    none of this is surprising

  3. james

    Maybe not suprising, but the fact that the government tried to spin this so blatantly, knowing that BAPE would come back at them both in the mass media and online, makes them look, at the very least, foolish.

  4. A WISHFULL THINKING VOTER WHO WANTS A CHANGE FOR HONESTY IN GOV"T IS THERE SUCH A THING WITHIN THE BLP

    As was posted on the BLP website trust you will give me room to post on yours as well.

    WOW this site is almost as hot as BFP and BU.
    I never thought that I would have seen views that are so anti gov’t on this site as they are.
    Is this just me being silly or are these cries indicative of the real issues in our island?
    What about this talk about corruption and dishonesty in Gov’t it seems to have some grounds for discussion as there seems to be a massive amount of money being overspent in every project that this gov’t has undertaken in the last five years each one seems to have suffered the same fate money being thrown at it with simply no accounting for these mega funding.
    Is there any truth to this story making the rounds that you Mr Arthur , Nicholls and Bannister held the countries builders to ransom by requesting a 7 % commission to be paid to you all for the awarding of the contract? I have this on good authority of a lawyer that this is the case if so you should all be ashamed of yourselves.
    This Road works contract why have you chosen to award it to a proven and known crook in ythe form of DANOS it is not a doubt but rather a know fact that he is guilty of fraud in operations in Jamaica in something called the Jamaica Kickback Agreement do we have a BARBADOS KICKBACK AGREEMENT in place here as well for you three to benefit from Mr Arthur?
    Why in both these massively awarded contracts are two companies that are before the law courcts in the two countries of their birth for charges ranging from corruption, fraud and bribery things that are all to familiar to you Mr Arthur and your gang of goons.
    Wealso understand that the West Coast Sewage Treatment project is held up because of yet another request for yet another commission payment to You Mr Arthur , Bannister and Nicholls should this be the case it is a disgrace to the Barbadian people to have work being delayed while you all fight for commissions.
    On the subject of fighting Mr Arthur please ease up on Mottley before you drive into another biting frenzy, you really already scorned her by saying that ASSCOLL is behind you in the pecking order, if Mottley had an ounce of sense or decency she would put you out to dry and let you see how much help ASSCOLL would be to you, once she put you out to dry I would sit out the next election and return as leader of the BLP in your absence and lead the party to victory single handed.
    On the subject of ASSCOLL funny things are obviously taking place at HARDWOOD HOLDINGS and you seem powerless to do anything about them does this have anything to do with your own involvement and your own level of corruption ?
    We shall await your statement of intent to arrest the corruption and dishonesty of this Gov’t and put those behind bars that have stolen from us even if that includes you Mr Arthur we need things done to save this country from falling further into the mire and hell than it already is in.

  5. YUM YUM I like it!

    BFP

    Please could you tell us if this post above in from WIV?

    If so, can I ask him:

    “….is there any such thing in the DLP?”

  6. Wishing in Vain

    Sorry as much as I would like to take credit for it I can’t.
    But I do agree with a lot of what was posted there.
    I have no doubt that there is gross corruption and dishonesty within this government.

  7. Jerome Hinds

    No Name , Frankology , Wishing in Vain…….I empathise with you all.

    But let us all face it……… a CORRUPT regime like this BLP one will NEVER admit to it’s INFELICITIES.

    Furthermore, even when the weight of the evidence is in the public domain……this BLP regime can ALWAYS be counted on to adopt deflective tactics.

    The last ” People Business ” episode on Sunday 14th October 2007 was a case in point !

    How was it possible in a technological advanced Barbados of 2007………with so many issues of Squandermania & Financial Extravagance SWIRLING around in the public domain……and Owen Arthur can appear on a LIVE national television programme…….and not one member of the public given an opportunity to question him……?

    Was this not an opportune time to resume the long – awaited ” Conversation with the Nation(als) “….Owen Arthur…..?

    All Barbadians were subjected to during that WASTED 2 hours was a pot of PALAVER from a DRUNKARD…….and a JOURNALIST who has been the beneficiary of government funds of $ 10,000.00 in 2000 from the Higher Education section of the Ministry of Education !

    These funds were given as a GRANT ( by the then Minister of Education Mia Mottley) to assist Peter Thorne with financing a journalistic course of study.

    Anyone who get close enough to Peter Thorne ask him which course of study he pursued…..or were this funds ” pay back ” for his journalistic efforts to destroy the DLP during the 1999 General Elections….?

    That is how this BAREFACED LAMPOON PARTY ( BLP )……operates….!

  8. centipede

    what I would say about the squandermania and the excessive amount of money paid for jobs, is… the gov’t is collecting SO MUCH money off the VAT and other taxations that it like … easy come, easy go.

    We have massive taxation and massive spending, like money going out of style. And very little is being done to relieve the plight of the people.

    Your ‘average person’ CANNOT make ends meet on the salary they work for vis-a-vis the cost of living.

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if the Govt took the VAT off of food items? Hey this may even happen… elections coming….

  9. reality check

    Anonymous

    Nothing like changing the subject to a Swiss travelogue.

    Get your own blog or ask BFP to cover a specific section on what small countries have their act together.

    This is deliberate off topic sabotage worthy of any BLP operative

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

    BFP Comments

    Hi Reality Check

    Here we are in the wee small hours and the BLP operatives are still at it. Hey… good thing I’m working nights and am able to get to a PC at least once an hour. Its pretty slow tonight where I work so no problem.

    Cheers!

    Marcus

  10. Frankology

    I have been reading the 2006 Central Bank of Barbados Annual Report which have in a special section containing the BOLT arrangement The bank states since “BOLT” funds are raised through private capital markets by private or semi-private entities, the funds are generally more expensive than publicly raised funds.

    The report continue inter alia “The Government of Barbados and 3S Structural Steel Solutions, LLC, USA, have executed a Memorandum of Understanding in respect of the following:

    The design and construction of overpass bridges (flyovers) at major road junctions along sections of the Adams – Barrow – Cummins (ABC) Highway (not more than 6);

    The road improvement works, including widening and resurfacing of sections of the ABC highway (from D’Arcy Scott Roundabout to the Garfield Sobers Roundabout);

    The supply and installation of a traffic synchronisation system; and,

    The undertaking of a Bridgetown Traffic
    Study Review.
    The project will be owned for a period of 25 years by ABC Project Corporation, a company established specifically for this purpose to raise financing for the project and to hold the project site on lease from the government. During the said project period,

    ABC Project Corporation will sub-lease the said project to Government and be entitled to receive the sub-lease payments. At the end of the contract, the infrastructure will be transferred to the Government”.

    Since it was a known fact about the scope of work as entered in the Central Bank 2006 Annual Report, why would Minister Mascoll or 3S Barbados SRL George Siddall fool the public of a new scope of work in the magnitude of double or triple costing.

    What we the public would like to know, is the cost breakdown of (1) The Jersey Barriers; (2) The Bermuda Triangle, and (3) Labour cost due to the overtime factor based on the resiting of individual Utility Companies cabling.

    This is the same information that I was enlightening the public within my posts.

  11. Frankology

    This section was unfortunately deleted in my above post. My apologies. Frankology.

    “The supply and installation of a traffic
    synchronisation system; and,

    The undertaking of a Bridgetown Traffic
    Study Review”.
    The project will be owned for a period of 25 years by ABC Project…..

  12. Frankology

    Anonymous, what this above blob have to do with the BABE issue or the Highway issue or even Barbados issue. If you don’t know what to write, you can do more reading, but do not waste blog space unnecessary.

  13. Velzo

    BFP,

    Were you really created by the DLP as alleged in the BLP column today?

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

    BFP Replies

    Silly statement on their part, but we will address it formally this afternoon. The ONLY way the BLP feels they can neutralize us is to make us partisan. The one thing they just can’t have is that we are merely a bunch of non-partisan citizens who are fed up with both corrupt parties… which is what we are.

    We have been calling the DLP piggies in waiting for our entire existence – almost 2 years, and saying that it is the system that needs changing otherwise a DLP government will be as corrupt as a BLP government. We have even called Thompson corrupt for not instituting integrity rules for his party.

    But the BLP must ignore all that. They have to. They just can’t have it that the Barbados Free Press is citizen run!

  14. Wishing in Vain

    The charge has no basis whatsoever, maybe because the BU and BFP are hurting them to the core.
    All they need to do is to start responding to the claims by all of us on these sites that we want to know about the extent of their corruption and dishonesty in office.
    They need to start looking at their creditability and their honesty in office and should they do so they may help to erase the apparent feeling that their party is grossly corrupt and has made money on every public works contract that has been awarded, and the fact that Bannister, Shorey, Nicholls and Arthur are the main recipients for these actions and these contracts, lest we forget his cheque the tripling of the cost of prison and road works the fact that both of these major contracts are have been awarded to frauds and ones charged with bribery, remember both VECO and DANOS are before the courts for fraud, corruption and bribery.

  15. bajanbat

    Unfortunately BAPE jumped right off the deep end with their comments/criticism of the highway project. That is right up the street for the ‘anti BLP’ faction who seem to be sweeping our airwaves at this time.
    The highway is NOT a disaster waiting to happen.
    Gimme a break!

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

    BFP Replies

    Tell THAT to the future generations that will have to pay the cost for decades and decades. And don’t forget that a big part of that cost is due to the “corruption factor”.

  16. Frankology

    Unfortunately, BAPE jumped right off the deep end with their comments/criticism of the highway project. That is right up the street for the ‘anti BLP’ faction who seems to be sweeping our airwaves at this time.
    The highway is NOT a disaster waiting to happen.
    …………………………………………………………………..
    Bajanbat, The disaster is going to be 25 years down the road for our grandchildren to pay. Please note that I am not for the BLP or DLP, I am for the unfortunate masses that might be afraid to open their mouth. The reason we are sweeping the airways is due to the silence of the BLP and DLP regarding this project. Someone must do the talking.

  17. Wishing in Vain

    When projects such as this one and the Prison triple in cost from the orginal quotation does it not beg the question what really going ?
    Or we need for it to become six times the cost before we question the gov’t actions or inactions or the ability to commit fraud and corruption ?
    Then we we flash around to look at the issue of HARDWOOD HOLDINGS another gov’t operation that is stealing away millions from us the taxpayers withour a word in anger being said by the PM, DPM the AG none of them have the balls to tell ASSCOLL that he is out of place and dishonest, it has taken the efforts of civil minded citizens and the opposition to bring him to order.

  18. just my 2 cents

    BFP your reply to Velzo is interesting. Your did not explain that you are more than one person each with a different perspective on politics, family and life. The degree of moderation by robert for instance is different from marcus etc.

    you do sometime tend to show a bias… may not be intended but you do and generally it is against government…. thats fine no one can quarel with you for that ,as there are some things that need questioning. However whenever there is a “battle” in the discussions on the blog you generally blank/block/ban the pro government voice… I guess you can say its your blog you can block whomever you please. But then we get BFP also making wild accusations such as Adrian Loveridge being silenced by government… yes you said that.. but a check would have shown the anti government activist was quietly off island on vacation.

    your actions whether intentional or not tend to give a pro opposition/ anti government slant. Moreso with one moderator than the other.

    just my 2cents

  19. Wishing in Vain

    Mabey & Johnson in Papua New Guinea
    In 2004, the Serious Fraud Office in the UK was investigating allegations that British bridge manufacturer Mabey & Johnson paid bribes to win a lucrative contract to build 116 bridges in Papua New Guinea.

    The SFO is accountable to the British Attorney-General and investigates and prosecutes serious and complex fraud cases.

    The company stated that it does not pay bribes or any other form of unlawful inducement stating that it has a comprehensive anti-corruption policy with procedures which are vigorously enforced.

    The Guardian said Mabey & Johnson stood to reap a STG 10 million (K61 million) profit from the PNG deal, which was snapped up in 2001 by the then Morauta government through a STG 31 million commercial loan provided by Deutsche Bank and guaranteed by the UK’s Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD).

    Officials within British government circles have confirmed that Mabey & Johnson applying for cover in respect to phase 2 of the
    program but ECGD is yet to decide on whether to provide cover for the next stage.
    Report Bribery in International Trade

    ——————————————————————————–
    It is a crime for companies from all the major trading countries to pay bribes overseas to foreign public officials.

    Whilst surveys show that bribery is still commonplace, especially in sectors such as construction, defence and utilities, reports of bribery remain low.

    To date there is only limited information available on where and how to report foreign bribery offences.

    Reporting the crime to national enforcement authorities involves the following steps:

    1. deciding where to report the offence: host or home country;
    2. (if home) identifying the home country of the company or individual involved;
    3. identifying the relevant authority to which to report the offence in the home country.

    The attached report contains some of the relevant contact points and will be updated on an on-going basis.

    If you know the home country of the company or individual embroiled in the bribery allegations, but can’t identify the relevant national authority then another option is to contact the commercial section of the home country embassy in the country in which the offence took place.

    If you don’t know the home country of the company or the individual involved you could report the offence to the OECD Anti-corruption Division: anti-corruption.contact@oecd.org

    In addition to reporting the bribe-payer, it is also possible to report the solicitation to BribeLine (https://www.bribeline.org), a reporting system established and managed by TRACE, which is a non-profit membership association of commercial intermediaries and multinational companies. The aim of BribeLine is to compile information on incidents of solicitation and to use the aggregate information to gain a better picture of solicitation around the world.

  20. Wishing in Vain

    MABEY’S SIDE: Comes now an unsigned email from which I presume to be Mabey and Johnson, the British builder of allegedly overpriced temporary Bailey bridges in the countryside.

    Some of these World War II-vintage steel spans reportedly valued so far at £429 million (P39 billion) have been called “bridges to nowhere” by critics because no roads connected to them at the time they were built in isolated places.

    Interest in M&J and its bridges, as well as its contacts who pushed the projects directly with Malacanang, was whetted again after the UK-based Guardian reported that M&J was being investigated by the British government for its operations in the Philippines and Iraq.

    In its email, M&J said we should not pay attention to the Guardian report because it quoted, among other sources, opposition Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who it said was “politically biased, highly polluted and lacks credibility.”

    That is a lame argument — to say that the accusations cannot be true because they were made by a member of the political opposition.

    * * *

    TESTIMONIAL: To prove that the hundreds of bridges it has built did not lead “to nowhere,” M&J said it collected 63 testimonials from officials of localities where those Bailey spans were thrown.

    It gave as sample a letter from Mayor Rodolfo dela Torre of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, dated Sept. 7, 2005: “The municipality of Sibagat is very fortunate to have two permanent bridges under the Tulay ng Pangulo program. (They) are currently being used by people from various barangays. In fact, heavy equipment and other means of transportation can easily pass the bridge and transport agro-products to the main road, down to commercial centers. The bridges are built of permanent materials that cater to economic development.”

    M&J said there was no space in its email “to quote all those testimonials but they are there for everyone to read.”

    * * *

    PRICING: On the question of pricing, M&J said: “The claim of the Guardian that the British firm, Mabey & Johnson, had grossly overpriced the materials it supplied for the bridges, with loan guarantee from the British government, is utterly baseless. The Mabey bridge program had been evaluated by the British government and found to be the cheapest and most effective value for money.

    “As for the bidding requirement, where there are no bidders the sole supplier is awarded the contract, in this case, Mabey & Johnson. While the Philippines has six other foreign suppliers, its awarding also considered the company performance. In fact, following bilateral protocol, the country providing the financing usually designates the contractor and the supplier. In this case, the British government, which financed the project, designated the supplier, Mabey & Johnson, after exhaustive due diligence.

  21. Jerome Hinds

    We really hope that this NEFARIOUS BLP government will heed the advice of BAPE…..or else every Barbadian may have to INVEST in a wheel barrow and shovel…….!

    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/html/20071022T200000-0500_128574_OBS_EDITORIAL_CARTOON.asp

  22. Wishing in Vain

    Let me now be explicit. We are heading for disaster. If we are struck by a major hurricane tomorrow, we can expect approximately 75 per cent of our houses to be severely damaged. There will be national disruption. Emergency services personnel will abandon their duties if their homes are damaged and their families are exposed. Employees will abandon their responsibilities if their homes are damaged and their families and neighbours are exposed. The economy is at risk of grinding to a halt. Mortgage companies will expect owners of damaged homes to honour their mortgage payments. Insurance companies may go bankrupt. It was all avoidable.

    Is it too late? No. Since we have not yet been struck, the Government still has an opportunity to demonstrate more leadership in this critical issue.

    Grenville Phillips II Chartered Structural Engineery

  23. Rumplestilskin

    If not done before, will the flyover designs now be reviewed in light of potential earth tremors and what will the assessment parameters be?

    Unfortunately, I surmise that we will now hear of additional overruns in building the ‘shock protection’ at the base of every column, similar to those used overseas that allow the columns to move and thus protect the overall integrity of the structure.

    These can be expensive and require complex and specialised enginerring knowledge.

    Ah well, there goes another $100 million.

    Ain’t it grand?