Impotent and Frustrated Barbados Auditor General Rages Against The Political Machine – And Bajan Culture

UPDATED: March 13, 2010

Folks, read what the Auditor General had to say last June and then ask yourself: Has anything changed since then? Has anyone been charged?

Original article as published June 9, 2009…

“There is general consensus that something has to be done. How we go forward from here, I am not too sure that we know how to go forward. But we concede that something has to be done. It just cannot keep going on like this all the time

… Barbados Auditor General Leigh Trotman talks about zero accountability for corrupt and incompetent government officials in The Nation article Trio’s Call

Auditor General Leigh Trotman’s Unprecedented Media Statements Reveal His Disgust For Two Corrupt Barbados Governments

Barbados has a serious and deep-rooted problem with corruption that is eating away at the health of our society and polluting the thinking and behaviour of coming generations. Rather than fighting this trend, our leaders empower corrupt individuals through refusing to hold them accountable. In a culture of corruption where sharing the fatted calf is the expected prize of an election victory, all parties are frightened to throw the first stone.

Both the current DLP Thompson administration and the past Arthur/Mottley government have done everything they can to shield corrupt and incompetent individuals in government from being held accountable. According to the current Auditor General’s report, government officials now have so little fear of the Auditor General that they often don’t bother to respond at all to official demands for documentation and records. (eg: Auditor General’s Report 2008, reference 3.157 page 79)

In his recent Nation News interview, Leigh Trotman says what he feels he can get away with and calls upon the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Public Accounts Committee and the Director of Finance to please do something! One can almost see the cricket bat in Mr. Trotman’s hand – such is his frustration at his own impotence to make a difference in this society.

Barbados Auditor General’s 2008 Report Another Exercise In Bashing His Head Against Concrete

The latest annual futility by the Barbados Auditor General is now posted on the official website, but as any Barbadian can tell you – aside from a flurry of newspaper articles and blog posts – there will not be any action taken to hold any individual responsible for wrongdoing or incompetence revealed in the report.

As usual the Auditor General’s Report is fodder for some name-calling in Parliament and some tongue-clucking in the press, but no person will be charged with any offense, no person will lose their job and no missing or overpaid funds will be recovered.

You can take those truths to the bank – and that’s exactly what many appointed and elected government officials do because not only is the likelihood of being caught very low, perpetrators are never NEVER held to account even if they are caught.

As a matter of fact, it is highly likely that no real investigation of the Auditor General’s revelations will be commenced or ordered commenced by any Barbados government authority – including the police, the Public Prosecutor, Public Accounts Committee or the Director of Finance. Certainly the Prime Minister will not order or request any real investigation or accountability for wrongdoing, incompetence or abuses – even by persons in the last BLP government.

Our Bajan Culture Of Non-Accountability

Theophilus Barrow's Home AFTER Judy Thomas Approved Payment For Rebuilding!

Theophilus Barrow's Home AFTER Judy Thomas Approved Payment For Rebuilding!

When Hurricane Ivan went by here in 2004, the home of Theophilus Barrow was destroyed. Judy Thomas, Director of Emergency Management Services, was responsible for managing a $4 million dollar emergency fund. Director Thomas paid money to contractors for rebuilding Mr. Barrow’s home without checking to see if it had actually been rebuilt or even at a minimum demanding a statement of completion with a photograph of the work done and a sign-off by the home owner.

Heck, she didn’t even call the owner of the home!

Nope, Director Thomas just paid out that money. FOUR YEARS LATER it finally came out that the money paid out for Mr. Barrow’s new home is missing. The home was never rebuilt, Ministry of Home Affairs had no clue, and Judy Thomas wouldn’t talk about it.

Oh, we had all kinds of government vows to hold someone accountable, but as usual those vows faded into nothing. Director Thomas came through without a scratch even though she obviously lacked even the basic level of competence to be the director of any government agency. Failing to account for money is taken most seriously in most western governments, but not in Barbados.

The story of Theophilus Barrow’s home is only one of many like happenings in Barbados, but the government officials who lose, fail to account for, or are otherwise careless with millions of dollars NEVER lose their positions. Never.

Go ahead – read this year’s Auditor General’s Report. Read them all. See the millions upon millions of wasted and unaccounted-for funds over the years and then know this: Not one person has ever been charged or dismissed as a result of the Auditor General’s revelations. Not one person.

Five or six people publicly dismissed from government service for incompetence or failing to account for funds and a few big-ups in jail for corruption would fundamentally change our society. People would actually start to believe that there was RULE OF LAW for all…

We will continue this article tomorrow with these thoughts…

Why Does Barbados Have A Culture Of Zero-Accountability?

How Our Culture Of Zero Accountability Is Damaging Our Economy

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11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

11 responses to “Impotent and Frustrated Barbados Auditor General Rages Against The Political Machine – And Bajan Culture

  1. Paradox

    BFP:
    Surprise surprise!

    The questions are:
    Why has the Auditor General decided to speak out now and not earlier; is he close to retirement; has the dishonesty got worse; why did the print media wrote the article?

    In the UK, the print media named and shamed those in government. Can it happen in B’dos? So many questions.

    All ‘right thinking Bajans’ wishing to make a difference and would like a future for their children should start looking NOW to a NEW POLITICAL PARTY based on ‘ITAL’.

    It seems clearly that either of the two main parties have got the GUTS to change.
    The time for CHANGE is NOW… is the ONLY way forward.

  2. Roxanne

    I read the Ag’s report and am surprised how little detail it contains. It could name names but he doesn’t. If you ask me, he’s part of the problem too.

  3. reality check

    a breath of fresh air from these three but if they don’t go and find like minded people to run against the same old same old—nothing will happen and their crying will be for naught.

    Start making alliances and supporting people who not only care but are capable of sticking to their guns.

    By the way BFP it is not a machine but rather an inert brick wall of oozing patronage, stench and corruption.

    getting in will be relatively easy compared to the house cleaning that will need to go on starting with the bureaucrats, Law Society, DPP etc.

  4. MANJAK

    Sir,
    Let’s be charitable here for argument sake.
    One senses the rage and fury of the the Auditor General Leigh Trotman (or one would like to think so anyhow) at the corruption he has unearthed at the heart of the Bajan state..
    Maybe he is not that surprised, for an apparatchik like himself close to the Bajan governmental bereaucracy he must of had a sense of this stench way before he had been catapaulted into the elevated post that he now occupies.
    So he identifies the quangos the DPP/PAC and the Director of Finance that are suppose to look after the financial interest of the Bajan taxpayers but have singularly failed to do so. He bemoans the fact that corrupt practices of troughfiteering and thievery has gone on. So what does he do, he writes a report.

    Not one of the political class takes a blind bit of notice. From the Bajan establishment a resounding silence reigns. David Thompson and his gang despite their prostestations during the elections and immediately after about the crookery and malfeasance of Mia Mottley/Owen Arthur and their vile crew does nothing since the report was put into the public realm.
    The fatted calf after all is still to be shared amoungst the DLP cheerleading yardfowls and the moneywo/men who bankrolls the party.
    No prominent Bajan or anyone of standing in the society be it the hypocrital pulpit pimps encased in their dog collars who usually who can be relied upon to share with us their biblical wise words takes a stand. They too are struck dumb, no going to hell in a handcart for these political gangsters.
    No member of the Bajan business class, not an NGO’s or the press have exhibited any revulsion at this demeaning of our politics.
    There has been no call for a guillotine on the heads of these slimebags whom it would appear mean to take my homeland into the cesspit of a bananna republicdom.

    One dissagrees here with Paradox, the solution cannot be a new political party based solely on a policy of ITAL…….that surely is never going to be enough to garner critical mass to ascend to political office, not in a tribal BLP/DLP Barbados anyhow.

    So until a radical democratic force (PEP not withstanding) is organised that can splinter usunder this duopoly, we are left with ridiculing them, countering their reactionary politics, putting forward alternatives and and importantly publicly exposing them at every turn.
    A huge unblinking spotlight must be kept constantly upon them. They are nothing but two legged rats and cockroaches, and they leave the most obnoxious slime trails in their wake. No quarter can be given.

    We may of course wish to adopt the slogan of Oliver Cromwell who in1653 said to the British Parliament, “make haste, ye venal slaves, be gone. Take away the shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
    In the name of God, go”.

  5. Liberty

    True freedom of the press is the only solution to cleaning up government and its agencies.

  6. Johnny Postle

    The auditior General is admirable to have presented these already known revelations to John Public. What he needs to do now is present what most bajans are waiting for and that is: the names of culprits involved in the scams and schemes of government spending. Unless someone becomes radical enough to expose the corrupt-ters in the corruption, the under handing deals and money pass on’s will continue. The circle of crooks and thieves must be exposed once and for all.

  7. Avatar Gurl

    With all the talk, can anything be done?

    Nope!

    Just hide in our holes and hope that the moles don’t go digging for us!

  8. Pingback: Cayman News Media Uses Freedom Of Information Request To Monitor Cayman Islands’ Ministry Of Tourism Expenses « Barbados Free Press

  9. paul sealy

    Unless you are a block boy selling drugs,drug importer(mostly block boys trying a thing(weed)not the big ups bringing in their cocaine on yachts)housebreaker,rapist,crop thief,illegal dumper,murderer or a simple supermarket items thief you will never see what the inside of a Dodds cell looks like,ask any politician.

  10. Micah

    I am not sure what laws protect the Auditor-General, but I am sure that if he starts naming names then someone will be filing a lawsuit to tie the matter up in court, or other influences will be brought to bear against him somewhere in the background. It seems to me that if he writes the public report, has the supporting information on hand including names to hand over to the DPP, relevant Ministry officials, or whoever, then his job is done and the other agencies should kick in and do theirs. If that is not happening, then clearly the intent to do anything further is not there, and there are seemingly no laws to force further action. If there are such laws, they are not being used. And I for one would not be surprised if that is the case.

  11. What will they think of next

    “Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe”

    I would bet all of the tea in China that if they were child abuse claims against Muslims, Barbados Free Press would be ranting and raving, but not a word about the sins of the catholic church.

    could skin colour have something to do with this?