To Members of the Press:
The Annual General Meeting of Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union will be held on June 18th 2011 and will be a watershed as a large number of fed up and concerned members will be there to let their voices be heard.
The major issues are:
- Two cases of fraud which are being covered up by the Management, Board and Supervisory Committee. These fraud cases were not reported to the external auditors or to the regulator as required by section 215 of the Cooperatives Societies Act. Indeed the CEO and Management did not follow the procedures set out in their own anti-fraud policy — which should have seen the Internal Auditor immediately alerted and the necessary investigations conducted. Two staff members have lost their jobs so far and dozens of members whose cards were created by one particular individual are at risk. While these two staff members are no longer with the organisation, there is evidence that they did not act alone. The members are therefore concerned about any involvement by others including supervisory and management staff.
- Excessive travel by Paul Maxwell, a member of the Board who is also Treasurer of BPWCCUL, a Director of CAPITA, a Director of BPW Financial Holdings and was recently named as CEO of CAPITA. These also represent major conflicts of interest. He is already booked to attend conferences AFTER he vacates his seat on the Board on June 18th in contravention of a Board Policy which was used to get rid of then member Mr. Caswell Franklyn. Mr. Maxwell was instrumental in bringing down Mr. Franklyn now is completely ignoring the rule he created to oust Mr. Franklyn at the time.
- The recent naming of Mr. Maxwell as the successor to Ms. Clorinda Alleyne – current CEO. In a recent memo to the Board, she named Mr. Maxwell and another member of staff Natalie holder as her choices to succeed her. Ms. Holder as General Counsel if she is interested would be fine but the naming of Mr. Maxwell is offensive to the members. The Credit Union management positions are not part of Mr. Maxwell’s fiefdom to be handed down from one friend to another. AT this stage we would recall the fact that Mr. Maxwell contrary to the organisation’s policy used the CEO’s and other BPWCCUL vehicles while he served as President with no regard for the organisation’s rules.
- Excessive travel by a member of Staff – Tracia Pounder (search for photos of her travels on facebook. She (as a supervisor) has travelled more than any member of staff including the Chief Executive Officer during the last year. Only one other person has travelled more and that is Mr. Maxwell.
- The ineffectiveness of the Supervisory Committee. this committee is chaired by Cedric Murrell, the chairman of CTUSAB, VP of the NUPW, Chief Air Traffic Controller, Director of NISE, deputy Chairman of the St. Philip South Constituency Council, Regional Executive Director with the International Association of Air Traffic Controllers. He also plans to run for the Board – How can this represent good governance? How can he assure members that he will have the time needed to be an effective Director? There is a conflict between his role as a leading trade unionist and the potential role as employer/Director of Barbados’ largest Credit Union.
- The fact that Mr. Maxwell encouraged a Kieva Cadogan to run and mis-led members into supporting her as a Director when he knew that she was a BANK INSPECTOR at the Central Bank. Under the Financial Institution’s Act, CAP 324A at Section 52, as the owner of CAPITA, BPWCCUL is subject to regulatory authority from the Central Bank. How can she therefore sit as a Director of BPWCCUL and effectively perform her role as a Bank Examiner? In past years the Central bank has actually carried out examinations of BPWCCUL in association with the substantive regulator. Ms. Cadogan should do the decent thing and resign as a Director. The Central Bank Governor should also be asked to explain this clear conflict.
- The fact that one Director Ms. Marilyn Mapp works outside of Barbados in Grenada (as Finance Officer of the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network) and therefore cannot attend Board meetings with any regularity. Our information is that she has not declared this information to the Board and while she travels back for a few meetings (4 during the last year) she also travels on behalf of the credit union regularly notwithstanding her very poor attendance.
- Why does the credit union have to pay for nearly the entire Board to attend a short 1 or 2 hour ceremony to formally launch a 7 or 8 million dollar business in St. Lucia (CAPITA Launch on Friday). Could the Credit Union not be adequately represented by one or two Board members and a couple Managers??
- Well-documented relationships between prominent Board Members and members of Staff who are rewarded with oversees trips to conferences as a result of their compliance with Directors’ requests
- The fact that the Credit Union President Mr. Terrol Inniss went on a birthday bash to Hawaii unknown to most Board Members. It was the Credit Union Executive Society’s Symposium 2011: A CEO/Chairman Exchange. It was held at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa from February 6th to 12th.
- The Concerned members also wish to know whether a Group Strategic Plan has been devised to streamline the operations of the Group?? If not why not?
- We also wish to know when was the last appraisal of the Chief Executive Officer carried out by the Board? Given the concerns previously expressed by the regulator was an appraisal done this year? If one was not done is it the Board’s intention to continue to pay the CEO their share of the profit-sharing plan in the absence of any documentation of their performance?
- What is the status of the Credit Unions Investment in Cooperators General Insurance?? Was this investment approved by the Registrar in keeping with the requirements of the Act in terms of such investments? If not what sanction can be imposed on the members of the Board?? Was this a prudent investment given the credit union’s existing investments in Insurance Corporation of Barbados?
BPWCCUL Concerned Members Coalition