Barbados Borrows Millions From Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) – How Much Will Be Siphoned Off By Corruption?

Barbados Has No Law To Prevent Government Officials From Awarding Contracts To Family Or Themselves!

Here we go again, folks. Like the BLP Arthur/Mottley Government before it, the DLP David Thompson Government of Barbados is tapping into international loans and money to finance projects when there are no rules about how the money gets spent – and no rules prohibiting the awarding of contracts to companies owned by government officials or their immediate family members.

Now that they have achieved power and hold the country’s cheque book in their hands, David Thompson and the DLP government refuse to implement standards that will prevent them from using their office for personal profit.

So who will be doing the “consulting” and the “studies” that go along with this big loan?

Don’t ask… because Barbados doesn’t have any transparency laws either!

Same old, same old…

Barbados Gets US$5 million IDB Loan for Standards System

Bridgetown — July 27, 2008 — Barbados’ national standards system will undergo a modernisation process to the tune of US$7.29 million.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, George Hutson and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Representative, Anneke Jessen, signed a loan agreement during a ceremony in the Ministry’s conference room, Reef Road, St Michael.

Government is providing US$2.29 million while the IDB will foot US$5 million.

Describing the venture as a priority for Government, Mr. Hutson said the project would strengthen Barbados’ National Standards Systems, upgrades to BNSI’s administrative areas, as well as its physical and technological infrastructure.

In addition, the Minister of Trade said globalisation and trade liberalisation have heightened the need for countries to maintain high standards.

“Changing international conditions, deepening regional integration, and the need to improve the competitiveness of local goods and services have underlined the importance of maximising quality and efficiency in the application and administration of national standards.

… continue reading this article at Caribbean Press (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

17 responses to “Barbados Borrows Millions From Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) – How Much Will Be Siphoned Off By Corruption?

  1. 451.56

    Give it a REST.

  2. no name

    BFP Please do NOT “give it a rest” until they do the right thing.

    Keep at it. We are behind you.

  3. Thomas Gresham

    Until the those involved in executive decisions with tax payers money, make some sort of disclosure of their interests, the pressure must continue to be applied.

    However, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB/IADB) is one of the multilateral developmet banks that takes corruption very seriously. The disbursement of their $5m loan to Barbados will be under great scrutiny by them, consequently I think you may be being too hard on the new government on this one.

    If I were looking for potentially corrupt ways of spending tax payers money, I would focus on a few other areas:

    1. Government or government-agency contracts with Clico or Clico-related firms like Rayside. Is Clico, the Barbados version of Hallburton?

    2. The amount of money to be spent by constituency councils, which are supposed to represent our local interests, but where the members are not elected, but appointed. I am surprised that this undemocratic sham has not come under more scrutiny. Will the government be appointing those running the new summer camps too – jobs for the boys – or let the civil servants do it?

    3. Kelman’s airport. Where is the feasibility study on something that could cost $25m or more?

    4. Plans surrounding the potential of a new $700m hospital. Advisory fees will be in the region of $7m. I saw Nexus, a London-based Hospital PFI firm referenced in the Advocate. Have the advisors been chosen? Has it been through a transparent and independent process?

    5. Where people have been appointed to boards without the requisite experience, (NIS, CBC, Invest barbados…) how much are we spending on new consultants to boards and what process has been used to ensure they have the requisite skills. I know of a couple occassions where a clueless chair has appointed an equally clueless advisor on a fat salary.

  4. Bimbro

    Keep hammering them, BFP!! until they accept decent, civilised standards of behaviour!!

  5. Bimbro

    Too, many Barbadians are simply, too COMPLACENT!!!!

  6. Barbados the Beautiful

    Thomas Gresham has it wrong about IADB supervising. If you consider past studies they paid for you will find they are either missing or useless and written by people who don’t know what they are doing and often make up statistics. Then when the study is finished nothing is done anyway.

    You can easily do a study for how things should be for 20 thousand. Why is the loan 10 million?

    What IADB should be doing on this one is setting the standards that need to be met and giving money when they happen. Otherwise have to agree with BFP that we will never see the money or what was done with it. But our debt will increase.

  7. WildyCoyte.

    Whoopee,more taxes for me and my family to pay as if Owen don’t have us sucking salt already..thanks David.

  8. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Setting Standards

  9. Elekshan time again!

    Maybe we should hold another election soon and vote someone else in?

    Maybe MIA?
    Maybe Richie?
    How’s about Owen all over again? didn’t turn out absolutely perfect
    and you were promised a rose garden…awwww..
    Give it a REST.

  10. D.Valle.

    Barbados borrows millions from IADB
    to save your axe from devaluation!!

  11. 2331.604

    The IDB may be harsh on apparent corruption, but they tolerate extreme inefficiencies and they often don’t know when operating agreements are compromised.

  12. crossroads

    Who is responsible for the Barbados National Standards System?
    Is it a Goverment only enterprise or is the private sector involved?
    Is it linked to NISE?
    Where dese coppers gine spen???

  13. reality check

    The Inter-American Development Bank is part of the problem. They have to appear as if they are helping out a new government but they themselves have no idea about demanding and insisting on transparency. They are accountable to no one themselves, except other country members.

    Maybe the story here BFP is how these World agencies like the World Bank, IADB etc and the International credit agencies such as Standards and Poor end up enabling and allowing no real accountability and fundamental change to occur?

    They, in turn, are propped up by International Banks who allow multi millions dollars of loans to countries who have no right to borrow and whose clients inevitably have to bite the bullet and write off these loans.

    It becomes an incestuous daisy chain that serves everyone but the little guy. Barbadian citizens do not benefit from more of the same and no accountability and transparency.

  14. Thomas Gresham

    This comes from the Ministry of Commerce website.

    The Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) was established in 1973 as a joint venture between the Government of Barbados and the private sector under the Companies Act. It is located at “Flodden”, Culloden Road, St. Michael and consists of administrative offices and a laboratory complex housing metrology, textile, engineering and chemistry/microbiology laboratories.

    The functions of the BNSI are:

    to prepare and implement national standards (specifications, codes of practice, glossaries of terms, methods of analysis) relating to structures, commodities, materials, practices, matters and things;
    to adopt and implement regional and international standards of interest to Barbados;
    to revise and amend these standards from time to time;
    to assist in the establishment of new industries to Barbados;
    to maintain laboratories for testing and conducting investigations or research as may be necessary;
    to provide calibrating facilities and be the custodian of the national standards of mass, length, capacity, temperature and electrical measurements;
    to encourage education and training in standardization and its related activities, and to collect and disseminate information on such activities;
    to promote quality assurance and simplification in industry and commerce;
    to certify products, commodities and processes which conform to the national standards;
    to promote the use of standardization activities as an economic tool;
    generally dealing with any standards-related matters.

    Act and Regulations

    The activities of the BNSI are given legal weighting by the following Acts and the attendant regulations:

    The Control of Standards Act, Cap 326A;
    The Weights and Measures Act, Cap 331;
    The BNSI Certification Marks Act, Cap 325A.

    There are currently 44 standards which have been made mandatory under the Control of Standards Act.


    The BNSI offers the following services to industry:

    standards development and information;
    quality management and environmental management;
    certification of products under the BNSI Certification Marking Scheme;
    testing of products;
    metrological (weights and measures) services;
    product development;
    soils and materials testing;
    technical advice for metrication.


    The Institution is headed by a Director with supporting staff. There are four departments: Administration; Specifications Development, Quality Control and Certification; Laboratory Services and the Library.

  15. Tell me Why

    Hi Bimbo, I am in your country enjoying the virgin beauty especially the ‘Garden of Eden’ look with all those beautiful flowering plants and clean state of the roads. I am laying low with my opinions about Barbados until I return to my humble dwelling.

  16. Capt. Nobody

    BFP you did a big mistake! You were backing this new Government just for the “change” and now you shout the scandal: this government is doing bad things “as the previous one”
    I respectely disagree about the fact that the previous Gov.t did bad things …yes we know that some cases of corruption were there …but they worked in a way that most( I don’t say “all” purposly…impossible to satisfy anyone) of bajan people got benefits. The economy had a serious growth. What kind of benefits we are going to get from this present Gov.t ?? More taxes ? Looks in this way…
    B.F.P. REPENT !!

  17. Rumplestilskin

    Barbados is borrowing from IADB?

    Why not get a handout from Iran as St.Vincent is doing?

    US$7 million for developmental projects?

    AND, the Iranian Ambassador to Cuba is to be the non-resident Iranian Ambassador to St.Vincent?

    This, on top of China courting St.Lucia.

    This, on top of President Putin, in response to the US missile installations of missile systems off its borders, stating that Russia must re-establish relations with Cuba, such that existed in the Cold War period (or should we say, the first Cold War chapter)?

    Things are heating up ’bout hey’.

    And our Government still wants to become entrenched in CSME, with Jamaica still not keen on the idea? And with Trinidad already having made a comment on a tri-state association being T&T, St.Vincent and St.Lucia (or Grenada, do not remember which).

    Although any Government has a sovereign right to establish whatever relations they desire to, especially with the world affairs as they are currently, caution should still be placed foremost.

    The point is, that we must be careful not to embroil ourselves in a quagmire of political animosity, even if only by association.

    Sorry people, but CSME is looking very shaky at the moment.

    My advice to the current administration would be to look carefully at our options and immediately slow down and be cautious on any further agreements as to CSME committments.