Andy Armstrong spills the beans about corruption and fraud

“Bravo Bravo, and again Bravo to Barbados Chamber of Commerce President”

by BFP reader “C7”

photo courtesy of The Bajan Reporter

The front page of last Wednesday’s Barbados Advocate stated BDS$566 million in fraud annually in Barbados. And on page 7 we saw a photo of Andy Armstrong in pensive mood, and repeating what William Layne said earlier: ‘you tend to get the most corruption and fraud where the public sector and the private sector intersect.’

You will notice, perhaps, the careful choice of the two words, “Public Sector”.

Well it was astounding to hear the president of the BCCI spill the beans – not that many of us were not already fully aware of the corruption.

We hope a lot more will be made of this brave Andyian submission. If will be interesting to see what the government block responds. Probably nothing will be heard and members of the press don’t have the courage to ask.

With no Integrity Legislation or Freedom of Information laws in Barbados, the corruption between the private sector and the government sector will continue. It must be horrendously bad for the President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce to mention it yet again.

Editor’s note: We ask our readers to head over to the Barbados Advocate to read their original article as it’s only fair. The link appears in our story above. Unfortunately the Barbados Advocate has a record of changing history by erasing or modifying their articles and news archives, so we have to print their entire article here to support our own article…

BCCI chief: $566 million in fraud per year

5/18/2011

By Amanda Nieves

It is averaged that the cost of fraud in Barbados is approximately BDS$566 million annually.

This is the word of President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Andy Armstrong. He was speaking yesterday at a workshop titled: ‘Fraud Schemes – How they are committed, how they can be found’ at the Hilton Barbados, put on by the BCCI and Areef Ali & Associates Business Solutions.

Based on calculations made by Armstrong himself, he said that fraud is a much more significant problem than the general public realises. Using facts from a report released by the United Kingdom (UK) National Fraud Authority, Armstrong said he was able to apply it to the Barbadian population and come up with figures that apply to this country.

“I tried to get an idea of how big of a problem it is and I checked in the UK, and the National Fraud Authority in the UK released a report on the 12th of February this year, and they estimate fraud in the UK to cost about £38 billion per year.

I adjusted for population and I converted to Barbados dollars and I came up with a figure of BDS$566 million a year – or roughly, $2 000 per person. If you look at just the working population, it is about $4 000 per person per year that fraud costs Barbados,” Armstrong explained.

The BCCI President went on to say that fraud is a widespread and significant problem, affecting not only the private and public sectors, but charities and individuals as well. He added that in Barbados, fraud seems to be most prevalent in cases where the public and private sectors intersect.

“I would imagine that the public sector is also very interested in getting to the bottom of fraud within the public sector, and I know when we had that launch, William Layne said that you tend to get the most corruption and fraud where the public sector and the private sector intersect. So where the private sector is looking for various permissions or whatever, where they are intersecting with the public sector, that is where most of the fraud tends to happen,” Armstrong stated.

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9 Comments

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

9 responses to “Andy Armstrong spills the beans about corruption and fraud

  1. 167

    The real problem is that corruption results in high prices, less money for the poor, reduction in spending on education, health, roads and the list goes on. But the average person sees it as just money being transferred from the government to the public servants and the private sector. In fact it is money being taken from all of us to make a few people very rich at the expense of the wider society. Even if Barbados is considered to the the least corrupt in the Caribbean, the sums involved($566 million) are so large that it boggles the mind. So much good could be done with that money to help the poor.

    I suspect that most persons in Barbados support the idea of “getting through”. It is expected that if you are in a position of power and influence then you should use that position to acquire wealth.

    This attitude stems from the feeling that if one individual does that take the money someone else will, therefore those who do not engage in the corruption are seem as fools.

    Businessmen also lobby for corrupt persons to be put in positions because the businessmen connection to the corrupted public servants provides an advantage in terms of getting licenses, approvals,goods through the port, etc.

  2. 167

    Corrections
    “if one individual does not take………….. seen as fools”

  3. anothermous

    How might this relate to the fiasco with the drugs at QEH and our non-integrity-legislated friends in Parliament?

  4. 167

    The broader question with corruption apart from seeking to put persons in place that are compliant, is the fact that policy decisions are made not to do the greatest good to the the greatest number of individuals, but rather to provide opportunities for the corrupt individuals to make as much money as possible.

    We the public need all the information, so that we can determine whether decisions are being made for the benefit of the few or the many.

    Until full information is available the corrupt decision makers can tell us all sort of lies and half truths and fool particularly the gullible and those who are engaged in hero- worship.

  5. 52

    If you think integrity legislation and freedom of information acts will stop this sort of thing you are mistaken. Just come up to Canada and watch Prime Ministers take money in brown envelopes from shady arms dealers, or try your luck at insider trading and get your wrists slapped. The only jurisdiction in the world that prosecutes these white collar crimes is the USA, and even there they throw money at bankers who brought the financial system to the brink of chaos.
    It’s not so much the laws that Barbados need passed, it’s the willingness to uphold those laws, and that requires a change in mind set by everyone involved, and that is a problem in wider society, not just in government.

  6. 167

    Jail and confiscation of property for corrupt politicians and public servants can do the trick. How we get to that, I will leave to the lawyers.

  7. Colin L Beadon

    How one would love to be able to reply in full volume on this corruption issue, but can only squeak bleakly to say that some grow immensely rich getting away with it, and leave many immensely poor because of it.
    Meanwhile screams for justice, float off like hot air balloons.
    Como asi, pues, la vida.

  8. Son Of Spam

    I have to laugh about Armstrong considering his ascension to Presidency in the Chamber is not really via election but pre-ordained and rigged by both Immediate Past President Glenda Medford & Business Development Officer Carol Charles.

    When Magnus Whitehead was kicked out as CEO in 2009 and Lisa Gale was installed 2010, first thing Glenda does is change phones from TeleBarbados to LIME – Gale has a Digicel number personally but must use LIME Blackberry. Ian Bourne was barely tolerated since he never chose to play ‘roll over’ like a good lap-dog (his sending releases to here and Underground was considered Infra Dig). Ryan Broome learned fast and is very quiet which is what they want in a good little toady…

    (Paragraph removed by BFP Editor for making unsubstantiated allegations that really went too far without more proof. If the author of this comment wishes to write an article and provide substantiation for the allegations, that’s okay with us, but there must be something to back up these kinds of allegations in this paragraph.)

    They have wasted so much money of the Membership on the website once with Xstream services and that was a travesty; then with COT Printery and it was HTML and so Content Management was limited now they are wasting, excuse me, spending a new tranche of funds with CaribByte? Do they really know what they’re doing? Corruption in Public/Private sector?

    Andy Armstrong has many motes to use Optrex with before he points to others, (End of sentence removed by BFP editor for same reasons as above.)

  9. just want to know

    so BFP can understand why Leroy Parris is not in jail, and CBC, a public owned Television Station, paid by taxpayers does not put anyone who is not in the present government mould is never on TV, especially on the evening news. What about light & power, everyone had their light bill this lately? What about minister of housing $10,000:00 for every house that is build? These are interesting things that are happening here in Barbados that we as taxpayers have to talk & think about.