Barbados Free Press

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.