Barbados law requires 4 week response for new radio station approval – 74 weeks later, Paradise FM still waits

How to chase away business from Barbados

The Barbados government talks a good line about wanting to assist investors and business people. They talk a good line about the wonders of doing business in paradise.

And then there’s the reality…

Mr Terry Bent – Having finally calmed down from speaking to the Secretary of the Broadcasting Authority yesterday, I can now give you the latest update on our progress, or lack thereof.

Paradise FM Ltd filled in a 9 page form in July 2008. In May 2009 we were finally interviewed for 45 minutes. Now, over 6 months later, they apparently want us to answer further questions, which they decided upon 2 weeks ago , but have not yet sent to us!

I pointed out that the Law states it should take 4 weeks from receipt of application to making a decision (including the interview) and was told they had changed the law. I asked for a copy and was told it had not been approved yet, so I said “So it has not been changed yet” and was told it had in their eyes! I asked what the new timescale was, but they could not answer!!! (Because they have not changed it yet)

…read the full story at The Bajan Reporter Paradise FM has been waiting

Why Aren’t We Surprised?

Hmmmm…. maybe Mr. Bent didn’t hire the right “consultant” before putting in his application. You know how important it is to have the right “consultant” to “advise” on new business ventures in Barbados. “Consultants” make the process go smoother…

Unless the public steps in like with Matthew Kerins and his waterpark adventure. According to Mr. Kerins, he paid some 2 million dollars in “consultant fees” and then Prime Minister Owen Arthur met with Kerins and gave his blessing for the Caribbean Splash water park on the Graeme Hall watershed.

The public had other ideas though and Mr. Kerins lost his “consultant fees”. A word to the wise about “consultant fees” in Barbados!

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments

13 responses to “Barbados law requires 4 week response for new radio station approval – 74 weeks later, Paradise FM still waits

  1. Adrian Loveridge

    Almost daily (again this morning) we hear repeated enthusiastic calls to assist SMALL businesses from Government Ministers and others.
    Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that it will be the small businesses that create employment and generate revenue for Government in the foreseeable future.

    Even more disturbing is that Mr. Bent’s niche radio station will be geared towards TOURISM and with the closure of over 13 restaurants and numerous attractions/activities this year, isn’t this
    an enterprise we need to encourage.

    DOMESTIC tourism is finally getting some attention on Barbados with the BHTA’s Staycation programme and our own re-DISCOVER Dining intiative.
    Paradise FM could have played a critical role in developing this sector both in terms of residents and visitors.

    This endless practice of putting well intentioned willing entrepreneurs through every hoop and hurdle over protracted periods has to stop if we are ever going to maximise our true potential.

  2. Hope Springs Eternal

    While it may be relevant that Mr. Bent has not greased enough palms to move things along, I believe the main problem here is that Mr. Bent is the “wrong colour”. The very idea of a white owned radio station operating in Barbados! Horrors! An independent radio station with an owner and employees who can’t be threatened and controlled?! Horrors! I can just imagine the shock waves that Mr. Bent’s application must have sent down through the beaurocratic ranks. Dem whities ein gine knuckle under to any government hack tellin dem wuh dey can an caan say! Dey may even ask white Bajans to speak on de airwaves! GawBlime!
    Mr. Bent, I wish you every success and Good Luck with your bold venture………you will need it.

  3. reality check

    Mr Bent is going to require a course in meditation
    or is that a course of medication ( tranquilizers )?

    He is very lucky that they have even given him an interview 9 months after the application submission. Now as for an actual license—- that will be likely somewhere between 10 years and Never.

    Barbados desperately needs money and capital flowing into the country to create real long term jobs and this will only happen when the country is headed by young Barbadians who understand the business needs of a country and who understand that investors need clear rules and respect.

  4. Hants

    Terry Bent wrote “Please, Please do it, it will either help or drive them mad, if they get 500 messages tomorrow they will not be able to forget to post the new questions!”

    It will be interesting to see if this approach to “problem solving” works.

    Suggesting we email the Prime Minister’s Office to help him get approval for a radio station is not a good idea. It will just get the staff at the pmo” bent out of shape.”

  5. Thanks for correction guys, was half-asleep at that point, oops!

  6. Anasa

    We need to stop electing political yardfowls and pimps to Boards who cannot think independantly.

  7. Wise Investor

    Bim has corruption like any other place in the world, full stop.

  8. Observer

    The Elias group (Bubbas) was given a liscence to operate a FM radio station. I also heard that Habib Elias is a very good friend of the PM. A mere coincidence?

  9. Sargeant

    Sometimes I can’t believe the things I read when it comes to doing business in Barbados. The mind boggles at the submission which reads “I pointed out that the Law states it should take 4 weeks from receipt of application to making a decision (including the interview) and was told they had changed the law’.

    If this is the law then surely the law is an ass and perhaps that is why it was changed. I can’t believe that any Gov’t would have a law on the books where they will approve a broadcast license after a 4 week interval including the application period. I don’t know the merit of Mr. Bent’s request but to expect a broadcast license after 4 weeks is ludicrous unless of course we start handing them out like so many temporary drivers’ licenses. What does “aimed at the tourist market” mean in relation to a radio station? Do tourists come to Barbados to listen to any radio? Do they care what is being played on the radio when they are there? I think it is high time that the BBA/Gov’t take a long look at the number of radio stations in Barbados and determine whether they are living up to the conditions of their broadcast license or whether they add any value. Too many of them play endless drivel all day.

  10. Perhaps Terry should stream audio on the net and do like Michael Callender?

    This problem with sourcing capital and entrepreneurs is nothing new – one popular businessman told young folk how he had two side businesses.

    In one sideline, he was looking to refurbish a property but needed funds.

    For his other line of work he does repairs for specific machinery – when an evaluator wanted this guy’s services, the then young entrepreneur says value the area at so-and-so.

    The man is shocked, ‘Why that’s twice what it’s worth, I can’t do that’

    Without missing a beat, the fellow replied ‘Well I can’t fix (etc.)’ Whereupon he promptly got the evaluation he sought.

    The entrepreneur literally took this to the bank, asked for a loan of “half” of what the place was worth, revamped it and sold it for three times the original price. The youths asked if that isn’t lying, he stated no he was creative in applying his services.

    In a next scenario, a man I know used an actual funeral as an excuse to go to the bank and say he had to buy the coffin (knowing full well he had nothing to do with the departed) and other expenses.

    He got the money with minimal delay and had a start-up outlay to build his empire…

    I told these stories to say why do folk have to stretch their imaginations or edit the truth for seeking capital to commence businesses?

    There are so many hoops to pass before you can even smell the gold ring, that you end up applauding guys like those for finding clever ways to get money, rather than chastising them for pulling a hustle!

  11. reality check

    Sargeant

    The issue appears to be a continued flawed and unresponsive process that denies the smooth flow of capital in and out of a country thereby denying the creation of jobs.

    While your question of whether Barbados needs another radio station is a valid policy question to be debated, the abuse of the process by unelected
    bureaucrats to carry out what is clearly mandated means that the system is broken.

    What is the point of having laws on the book if another level of government chooses on its own subjective criteria not to implement those rules in a diligent manner.

    Barbadians continue to get the signal that there is no reason to show up at the polls which is exactly what the existing trough politicians and lazy unresponsive self appointed bureaucrats want.

    Thompson should have picked up the phone and called this investor and apologized or explained the delay. Leadership starts at the top. You can bet that never happened.

  12. Anasa

    We may not be as corrupt as some of the other Caribbean Countries but we are surely getting there thanks to our political parties. The DLP and BLP the only difference is the first letter in their names. We elect some very POOR RAKEY representatives who doing some of the same things the last party did. The PM lacks the political will to make a difference. Poor PM trying with his weak ministers. The ministers worth their salary are Chris Sinckler, Donville Inniss, Freundel Stuart and Esther Suckoo the rest want dismissing.No integrity legislation, Banks killing you with charges, persons still buying drivers license,politicians staying in rooms costing $1000US nightly and DLP still operating like if in oppostion and BLP apposing for apposing sake. May God help us!

  13. Hope Springs Eternal

    Observer, no coincidence. Haloute and Elias got everbody in dey back pocket and hold enough secrets to cause some serious damage.