When a Government Minister’s husband is awarded a $300,000 contract for work he has no experience doing – That’s Corrupt!
The current DLP Government says it is taking steps to sue the husband of a former Minister in the previous Arthur/Mottley BLP government – over the non-fulfillment of a 2004 government contract for the removal of asbestos roofing from government units.
Naturally, the BLP Government Minister’s husband was paid $300,000 of your tax dollars despite complaints of shoddy work.
Some will hail this move by the DLP Thompson Government as some sort of great milestone or victory for integrity in government. Some will say this proves the current Thompson DLP government is serious about fighting corruption.
Ha! Not so fast, children!
It’s all a sham for the purposes of political publicity and we can prove it – so read on.
Nothing will really happen, so don’t get your hopes up. This is not some fundamental change in the behaviour of government. It’s more of the same politics that we’ve heard all along from the Thompson government. “Going to do” this. “Going to do” that. “Thinking about” this or that. But real change or real action about government corruption? Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.
Don’t forget friends – this is the same David Thompson who waved around a “campaign donation” cheque made out personally to then Prime Minister Owen Arthur and corruptly deposited into Arthur’s PERSONAL bank account. In the end, Thompson did nothing about that because the DLP and the BLP have a gentleman’s agreement that only harsh words will be spoken. Nobody will be charged with any offense because the DLP don’t want the same treatment when they are once again in Opposition.
And you can take that to the bank, friends… after all, Owen Arthur did!
The current story about BLP Government Minister of Housing, Lands and the Environment Liz Thompson and her contractor husband Cecil McDowald is actually old news that was known as far back as 2005 when the DLP (then in Opposition) made a big deal about it. The papers covered the story and the DLP Opposition knew the details back then.
So why did it take until now to announce “GOVERNMENT HAS instructed its attorneys to pursue all legal means to recover about $300 000 paid to the company of a private contractor and husband of a former government minister for work done at Kensington Lodge, St Michael, five years ago…” ??? (Nation News: Govt wants money back)
That’s simple, my friends. The government strategically held off and then played the issue like a surprise in a card game. Note the government doesn’t say it has filed a lawsuit, or actually DONE anything. The government announced it had “instructed attorneys”. OH…. Why didn’t it happen back in January of 2008? Why now?
The answer is: The DLP government is announcing this now because it is convenient for them to do so. They undoubtedly have all kinds of dirt tucked away that will be released when it is politically expedient. Nothing will happen, but it sure gets people talking for a month or two! Then… it will fade away just like all the other dirt that the government discloses but does nothing about.
Gosh the Thompson DLP government thinks everybody is stupid – just like the Arthur/Mottley government thought too.
And the worst part of it is that even today the yellow-bellied-pee-in-their-own-pants editors at The Nation don’t dare to print the name of the former BLP Government Minister whose lover of four years and soon to be husband was CORRUPTLY awarded the government contract in 2004.
As our friend over at Living in Barbados blog says “Does it look like a piece of rotten fish? Does it look like ‘business as usual?” Ha! The answer “yes to both observations”.
Here are a few quick thoughts about this story that is an indictment of the two major political parties and the Barbados news media…
– It was not illegal for Minister Thompson’s spouse to receive big government contracts back in 2004/2005. There was no law against this, and there still isn’t.
– Back in 2004/2005, it was not illegal for the Barbados Government to arbitrarily award fat government contracts without due process or transparency. If a Government Minister’s husband put in the highest bid and it was accepted… so what? It’s corrupt and immoral, yes – but not illegal. That is still the case today that no law prohibits such activity by Government Ministers and civil servants or their families.
– The current DLP Government said they would introduce a Ministerial Code and Conflict of Interest standards IMMEDIATELY upon taking office in January 2008. They lied to get your vote. Get over it.
– Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley told the papers yesterday that “there were several grey areas in the entire saga, including the manner in which the company was awarded the contract in the first place. He said the company had the highest bid, was not even on the Environmental Engineering Division’s list of preferred contractors for the removal of asbestos roofing, and had no history of dealing with such specialised work.”
– Minister Lashley knows very well that no laws were broken because there are no laws. He knows that his government has failed to put integrity legislation and conflicts of interest standards in place just like the BLP.
– So any potential court case is simply about the quality of the work… and five years later, good luck taking that to trial. I guarantee that no photographs or evidence gathering was done at the time by the BLP against Liz Thompson’s husband, so Lashley can forget about a win in court.
Besides, the Chief Justice of Barbados, David Cathcart Simmons, is an old friend and fellow Cabinet Minister with Liz Thompson! Cha! For a whole lot of reasons, this case against Liz Thompson’s husband is going to go nowhere fast and Minister Lashley knows that full well.
It’s all a show, my friends. Just a scam.
To the Cowardly Nation News Editors
Why didn’t you print Liz Thompson’s name in your article? What are you afraid of?
If you are afraid of being sued, why didn’t you ask Minister Lashley why the DLP Thompson Government hasn’t changed the defamation laws as they promised to do within 100 days of being elected?
Why didn’t your reporters ask Minister Lashley about his government’s failure to “Immediately” implement a Ministerial code and conflicts of interest standards?
Why didn’t your story point out that Barbados has no laws prohibiting the awarding of fat government contracts to the family members of Government Ministers?
Why didn’t you ask if any other government members or their families were ever awarded government contracts?
Talk about useless!
Here’s the Nation News article folks, in case they take it down like they have so many others. Wade Gibbons is a good man and a good journalist, but he works for Cowardly pee-in-their-pants editors. Don’t blame him…
Govt wants money back (click title to read the original at The Nation)
GOVERNMENT HAS instructed its attorneys to pursue all legal means to recover about $300 000 paid to the company of a private contractor and husband of a former government minister for work done at Kensington Lodge, St Michael, five years ago.
Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley told the DAILY NATION yesterday his ministry was intent on recovering taxpayers’ money paid to Creative Business Services in 2004 despite the unsatisfactory removal of asbestos roofing from Government units.
After several complaints about the quality of the work from occupants, the contract with the company was terminated in November 2004. Though workers from the National Housing Corporation (NHC) had to undertake substantial remedial work, Creative Business Services was still paid $311 351.85, according to a Government release then.
Lashley told the DAILY NATION yesterday there were several grey areas in the entire saga, including the manner in which the company was awarded the contract in the first place. He said the company had the highest bid, was not even on the Environmental Engineering Division’s list of preferred contractors for the removal of asbestos roofing, and had no history of dealing with such specialised work. He said a comprehensive file had been prepared on the matter.
Lashley also revealed that so far Government has had to compensate a number of residents who complained of missing items during the period their roofs were being removed. Government has also had to compensate some residents for water damage to household items caused by problems to their roofs after work by Creative Business Services.
A release by the NHC on August 28, 2005 claimed it had awarded the contract to Creative Business Services because it was the “lowest bidder” and that two other companies – Hazardous Maintenance & Engineering Services and Island Caribbean Services – had put in bids which exceeded the NHC’s estimated cost of $435 000.
The NHC also indicated then that Creative Business Services experienced difficulties in executing the contract due to constant rains, the insistence by Wesley Hall School that no work should be undertaken during school time and the inability to get access to houses to do internal work because residents were not available at critical times.
Efforts yesterday to locate Creative Business Services’ general manager Cecil McDowald were unsuccessful.