Barbados Flyover Builder Jonathan Danos Posts Photos On flickr – But Not A Word About His Involvement In Corrupt Activities With Mabey & Johnson

Year 2000: Her Majesty awards MBE to Jonathan Danos "for services to export in Central and South America"

Year 2000: Her Majesty awards MBE to Jonathan Danos "for services to export in Central and South America". In 2007 Danos would testify that he participated in corrupt activities with others working for British engineering firm Mabey & Johnson - bribing Jamaican and Panamanian government officials .

Jonathan Danos Participated In Corruption for Years – According To Jonathan Danos!

As Mr. Danos no doubt would agree, once the manure hits the fan it is difficult to avoid getting some on you.

Jonathan DanosAnd Jonathan Danos is now covered in manure after the admission last week by his old employer, Mabey & Johnson, that the firm engaged in corrupt activities when bidding for public contracts in Jamaica and Ghana. The company was prosecuted by the UK Serious Fraud Office and will be returning to court on July 17, 2009 for sentencing. (BBC article: Firm admits overseas corruption)

The activities of Mabey & Johnson and Jonathan Danos came to light when M & J launched a lawsuit against Danos – alleging that he had taken a secret commission from the secret commission that M & J was paying a Jamaican politician for influencing that government’s purchase of bridges. In other words, the crooked company alleged that Danos had stolen from them while doing their corrupt deals!

Although Danos denied stealing from the illegal payments to government officials (got that?), he did confirm in his own court documents that he was part of the Mabey & Johnson corrupt team that bribed politicians in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Panama.

No honour among thieves, apparently. (You can read about the lawsuit and see court documents filed by Danos and Mabey & Johnson at the Guardian article: Court battle over secret export commissions claims.)

How Much Did Jonathan Danos Pay In Bribes To Barbados Politicians For The Flyover Contract?

After falling out with Mabey & Johnson, Jonathan Danos formed his own company – 3S Structural Steel Solutions. When the Owen Arthur government awarded the flyover project to Danos’ company, it did so without putting the project out for bidding. Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and the gang simply awarded the contract then valued at BDS$120 million to Jonathan Danos.

Gosh… Owen Arthur must have taken a shine to Danos for some reason – especially considering that Danos’ company was brand new formed in 2005 and had never built anything at all, let alone flyovers and highways. But for some reason the government awarded the contract to Jonathan Danos. Of course, the project skyrocketed from $120 million to $360 million or so. When the story of the Danos lawsuit over secret commissions broke in Jamaica, the Barbados news media hid the story from the Barbados public for almost two weeks. You can read about it at BFP’s President Of Barbados Flyover Contractor 3S Structural Steal Solutions Being Sued For Fraud, Kickbacks In Jamaican Bridge Project!

Barbados Government Empowers Corrupt Government Contractors & Politicians

People like Jonathan Danos are able to operate as they do because politicians in developing countries typically operate with little or no effective public oversight or accountability. In Barbados, successive governments under both the DLP and BLP have refused to enact laws that would prohibit public officials from receiving gifts from government contractors or otherwise engaging in, or profiting from, conflicts of interest. Barbados has no integrity legislation, conflicts of interest standards or freedom of information laws – and it is still legal for government officials to receive gifts from government contractors or even to award government contracts to their spouses and family members.

Corrupt Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke on Danos' flickr page

Corrupt Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke on Danos' flickr page

Jonathan Danos flickr photos

Mr. Danos has posted selected photos at his Jonathan Danos flickr account – and some of the photos are very interesting. A photo taken July 22, 2006 shows then Public Works Minister Gline Clarke speaking at 3S Structural Steel Solutions press conference. As our longtime readers will remember, Gline Clarke built a house for his mistress on land that his government had expropriated from private ownership for the announced purpose of “public housing”.

It doesn’t get much more corrupt than that, friends!

Other photos show Jonathan Danos hanging out in Panama, but of course he doesn’t mention the corruption scandal about his work in that country either! (See the article Mabey Bridge Scandal Continues To Grow.)

Have a look at the flickr photos of Jonathan Danos here – and while you’re at it, just remember that people like Danos are empowered by politicians like Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley – who have both refused to pass integrity legislation, conflict of interest standards and freedom of information laws.

UPDATE: Jonathan website.


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

10 responses to “Barbados Flyover Builder Jonathan Danos Posts Photos On flickr – But Not A Word About His Involvement In Corrupt Activities With Mabey & Johnson

  1. graft and its implications

    keep your eye on the fine on this one BFP.

    Five out of eight Directors resigned but did they have knowledge and will they face some form of censure as well?

    Will their names be posted in posterity on cyberspace?

    Although consulting or management fees paid, not for work, but for influence are a way of life in third world countries, many of the of the old Barbadian families will tell you that the first payment is the beginning of a very slippery slope downward. You have them but then they have you.

    It becomes a kind of incestuous daisy chain of pervasive influence peddling and stealing from the treasury and the taxpayers. At the top of this food chain are the lawyers.

    No one person feels strong enough to change the system so they become part of it or look the other way.

    Politicians with good intentions like Irene Sandiford-Garner become neutralized almost immediately and start spouting nonsense which they know or ought to know is complete fiction.

    Oh the tales that the Goddards, Williams and others could tell of daily business life in Barbados!

    Where are the young, practical Obamas of Barbados?

  2. paul sealy

    Was talking to a custom officer in town yesterday and he was telling me that nothing in Barbados will ever change as far as politics is concerned,no politician in Barbados will ever see a jail cell,the citizens will always be over priced in every sector to keep the elites happy and there is talk about “another jail” to be built..yup..guess the elites can see the future and the only good investments are jails right now..makes you wonder nah!!!

  3. clicker

    I wonder if this is the first time the Queen awarded an MBE for acts that were later found to be criminal?

  4. 2009

    Everytime I hear about this Danos guy…….I bawl about the LEGACY of Owen Arthur !

    What a SHAME !

  5. iWatchya

    It is a shame that itegrety is a complete joke in Barbados. These polititions do not seem to care that they are all being painted with the same brush.

  6. The Ethics Police

    What is a responsible government?

    In the last 15 years of Parliamentary democracy in Barbados – have our governments been open, transparent and accountable with us as the ELECTORATE?

    What about financial probity?

    In the last decade, we have witnessed ministers of government becoming “millionaires” including our former PM Owen Arthur.

    Under the oxymoron – “FREEDOM OF INFORMATION”, the peoples of Barbados are calling for financial probity into the shady dealings of its “PUBLIC SERVANTS” which includes corporate gifts, monies earned from consultancies, directorships, contracts to spouses and other family members and kickbacks from individuals and/or companies doing business in our country.

    In the United Kingdom, “a compulsory register of members’ interests had existed since 1974, but the committee, chaired by Lord Nolan, tightened the regulations on what information MPs are required to submit to the register.”

    “Lord Nolan’s Committee also recommended on 8 July 1997 that there should be a criminal offence of “misuse of public office”, applying to ministers, civil servants, police, magistrates, and judges who seek advantage from their public position.”

    “In a press release by Lord Nolan coinciding with his Report on Standards in Local Government, stressed that the new offence would apply to all holders of public office (including MPs and councillors) and would encompass misconduct beyond only bribery and corruption.“ (BBC News Oct. 2008)

    In the following article written in the UK broadsheet The Mail on Sunday – British MP’s are now forced to declare their financial interests outside of Parliament.

    In the voluminous text on “CONSTITUTIONAL & ADMINISTRATIVE LAW” by Hilaire Barnett, 4th Edition, the arguments for transparency in public life are far-reaching politically for members of any government.

    Sir Richard Scott argues that “commercial confidentiality is an accepted reason for the denial of information but in his view, it does not excuse the refusal of information or the provision of information – the proposition that it is acceptable for a minister to give an answer that is deliberately incomplete is one which, in my opinion, is inconsistent with the requirements of the constitutional principle of ministerial accountability. Half the picture can be true…But the audience does not know that it is seeing only half the picture. If it did know, it would protest.” (Scott Report p.422)

    “A strong democracy can only be a legitimate label if the electors are able to express their views on the basis of adequate knowledge of government activities: – ‘A failure by Ministers to meet the obligations of ministerial responsibility by providing information about the activities of their departments engenders cynicism about government and undermines, in my opinion, the democratic process’.” (Scott Report p.425)

    Law Lord Hailsham expressed the view that “in a democracy that there should be a balance in the invasive advanced inquiries into the private lives of public figures (1975) but at the same time recognizing the real risks of corruption in public life which ‘is hard to define’…’harder to detect and almost as catching as smallpox’ (p.201). It must, however, be conceded that when the standard of conduct is lowered and the esteem of a government damaged by lack of integrity, then some action is needed.”

    In the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, there is the suggestion that “maladministration” could include “bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inaptitude, perversity, turpitude, arbitrariness and so on” (734 H.C. Deb., col.51 (October 18, 1966). See also “The Citizen and the Administration” (Justice 1961), para.72.

    The reason why the Barbados government maybe refusing to pass laws that would enshrine transparency, accountability and integrity may be due in part to a “culture” of “maladministration” acquired from previous governments.

    Hilaire Barnet further argues that “the personal financial probity of ministers, their parliamentary private secretaries and other members of parliament is regarded with much seriousness. Under the law and customs of Parliament, members MUST declare their financial interests in the Register of Members’ Interest and make public declarations in debate or committee proceedings of any interests they hold which may affect their impartiality.”

    “The holding of directorships, ownership of shares, consultancy positions and receipt of gifts all raise issues concerning integrity and fitness for office. Ministers of the Crown must give up any public appointments or directorships on assuming office. Further, they must divest themselves of any financial interests on assuming office where that interest might give rise to conflict with his or her ministerial responsibilities.” (Questions of Procedure for Ministers, Cabinet Office, 1992, revised 2001, paras. 103-27).

    The Ministerial Code states that – “Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises or appear to arise, between their public duties and their private interests, financial or otherwise.” (para.113).

    So when ministers are blatantly ignoring the spirit far less the letter of the law regarding what is proper conduct – it is time for public accountability even if that means protest, civil action or legal recourse in the courts.

    To quote from The World Bank Initiative on parliamentary ethics which provides a pivotal component of the good governance agenda that is being actively promoted through its institution embarked on in 2006, working in partnership with the London School of Economics and the CPA, a study was intended to ensure Codes of Conduct for Members of Parliaments in Commonwealth countries. According to the report some key results from the study showed the following:

    • 56.60% of Commonwealth countries have a ministerial code of conduct but only 49.06% have a code for Members of Parliament;
    • 64.15% of Commonwealth countries have regulation on registration of interests for MP’s;
    • 44.12% of countries that regulate MP’s conduct have enforcing entities that discretionarily decide the type of sanctions for code violations; and
    • 30 counties currently have donor‐driven parliamentary strengthening programs.

    In quoting the study, “it supports the insight that in many Commonwealth countries there may be a gap between enacting (ratifying ethical regulations in a document) and applying an ethics regime. Even though further study is needed to unravel the working of the ethics regimes within specific countries this study provides insight on the need to advance on a more profound analysis on the effectiveness of donor initiatives for parliamentary strengthening in some Commonwealth countries.”

    The study also found that “countries with a long tradition of democracy, just as much as fledgling representative governments, can have a formalized ethics regimes and codes but this regime is not a proxy for, nor the best indicator of, a high level of transparency or integrity. It can serve as a complement to formal anti‐corruption legislation or as a focal point for development initiatives to change a country’s culture. Nonetheless, if its enactment is not based on a profound conviction that corruption must be eliminated, it may pass unnoticed because a formal ethics regime does not necessarily lead to a real ethics regime.”

    The Role of Parliament in Curbing Corruption –

    “World Bank anti‐corruption efforts emphasize strengthening “horizontal” accountability at the government level through building up the judiciary, audit institutions, ombudsman offices and anti‐corruption agencies, while at the same time putting emphasis on “vertical” accountability to citizens through the media and civil society. World Bank Initiatives seek to assist parliament in playing a positive role in anti‐corruption efforts through building parliament’s capacity to play their oversight role and encouraging networks of parliamentarians dedicated to good governance and combating corruption.”

    Through their oversight function, “legislatures have the power to hold government to account for their actions and policies. Specialized committees in particular have emerged as critical tools for oversight of the budget process and spending of public monies. In many parliaments, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) serves as the ‘audit committee’ of parliament and as such is a core institution of public financial accountability along with the legislative auditor or Auditor General (A‐G) (who normally reports directly to the parliament and the PAC or, in some cases, may be an officer of the parliament.”

    “In order to promote good governance through greater transparency and accountability, WBI and many of our partners are increasingly focusing support to PACs and other relevant committees, as well as interrelated institutions such as the A‐G, watchdog bodies such as independent anti‐corruption commissions or bodies that provide expertise and support to parliament such as parliamentary budget office’s (PBO).”

    Click to access FinancingPoliticsCurbingCorruptionandParliamentaryEthics.pdf

    Our politicians flout the law and the conventions enshrined within international bodies under the pretext of national sovereignty. But willful ignorance is no excuse of the law.

    As Charles Taylor sits in the Hague giving evidence in his defense on the atrocities he created in Liberia – I am looking forward to the day when Caribbean politicians will have to face public justice for their high crimes and misdemeanors.

  7. The palace hands out OBE’s, MBE’s and Knighthoods based on the recommendations of the government of the day…

    It is hoped that the Civil Service would have done their homework as they make recommendations to the Cabinet Office and the PM.

    There is always that 10% chance that someone bungles the process and scum fall through the net…

    Her Royal Majesty (Live Forever) is a gracious, charming and tireless champion of public service and duty – something many of us would do well to emulate…

  8. J

    If as they say a thief from a thief makes God laugh. The Almighty must be chuckling at the stupidity of his wayward children.

  9. Sing-a-song

    You don’t think it ironic that the very people who probably funded Charles Taylor and purchased his blood diamonds now sit in judgment over him for crimes against humanity?

  10. The very said “ones” who deposed and hung Saddam Hussein and is currently trying to get rid of Hamid Karsai – the same cabal that is trying to ratify the Lisbon Treaty and install Tony Blair as the President of the United States of Europe; the said ones who are feverishly working toward a “One-World” government, with one economic currency and one global religion – yes, you’re right….The very said ones!!!!