Tag Archives: Barbados Freedom of Information

Barbados Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is a LIAR

Adriel Brathwaite Barbados

It’s an old story, an old lie, but it’s still true that Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and his DLP gang lied to get elected and then lied again to get re-elected.

They said they would put Conflict of Interest rules in place immediately upon election. They lied.

They said they would pass Integrity Legislation within 100 days of election. They lied.

They said they would pass Freedom of Information laws. They lied.

Brathwaite is a liar.

And we’re going to continue telling like it is.

Come and get us Brathwaite. YOU ARE A DAMNED LIAR.

And here’s the proof…

Barbados Attorney General admits Integrity Legislation is dead, dead, dead

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

The real reason greedy Bajan political elites want to dump the Westminster parliamentary system

Even the Captain of a floating wreck lives better off than the crew!

Even the Captain of a floating wreck lives better off than the crew!

submitted by Not Michael Carrington

“Rare indeed is a Barbados Cabinet Minister without a bank account in New York, London, the Caymans or Zurich.”

Every few months we hear rumbling from our esteemed political elites that the Westminster parliamentary system is somehow “obsolete” or that it no longer fits a modern society.

Speaker of Parliament Michael Carrington recently said the Westminster system “pits Government and Opposition inexorably against each other in aggressive, contentious and oftimes seemingly unnecessary confrontation.”

Mr. Carrington has it only half right. The two parties often go at it aggressively and unnecessarily, but not because of the Westminster system – it is because they feel the need to put on a show for the electorate to create the illusion that something is happening. The politicians certainly can’t have the public judging them solely upon actual accomplishments because, well, that just wouldn’t do. This would happen no matter what political system Barbados chose. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Uncategorized

Anna Druzhinina murder: Persaud appealing sentence, Barbados Court stonewalls journalist

BFP:

Zero Transparency or Accountability from Barbados courts…

One is not permitted to take notes or record in courts in Barbados, even public criminal proceedings. The press is gagged until after the trial is over. Then one cannot get any transcripts of the proceedings, motions, and findings.

Over a year later and I am still waiting on the High Court’s registrar’s office to provide me with DPP Leacock’s recommendations for sentencing of the two murderers of Anna Druzhinina, one in 2010 and one in 2012. They got manslaughter for hanging her.

So what is the definition of transparency?

Amy L. Beam, journalist and BFP contributor

Below article originally published on February 13, 2013…

Originally posted on Barbados Free Press:

Anna Druzhinina Murder

Censorship and a Travesty of Justice

By Amy L. Beam, Ed.D

As of today, I have waited over one month for the chief registrar in the court’s registrar’s office to provide me with the written statements of DPP Leacock in the sentencing recommendations for McCollin (2010) and Persaud (2012). In common parlance, this is known as stone-walling. Silence does not mean I’m finished with this issue.

Also, I was told at the court house that Persaud is appealing his sentencing.

So Barbados is a country with complete judicial secrecy. In the courtroom I was not allowed to have paper, pen, or recording devices. Now I have been refused ALL documents relating to both of the convicted men.

“The case is over, the verdicts and sentencing have been rendered, yet the documents are being kept secret. Does Barbados seal documents after a murder or manslaughter trial? Is the international community taking…

View original 67 more words

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Grantley Adams International Airport refuses to account for public funds. No transparency. No accountability.

Freundel Stuart Barbados Tourism

Freedom of Information stillborn in Barbados

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

In the editorial column of another publication recently, the writer seized on what I thought was a very pertinent question. ‘How much of the enormous government taxes tacked onto flight tickets actually go toward the maintenance of our airports?’.

In the case of our own airport, Grantley Adams International (GAIA), the taxpayer may never know the answer, because even though the facility is wholly owned by Government, it feels no obligation to publish its annual audited accounts for public scrutiny.

“A polite request made a few days ago for the airport’s latest fiscal statements, met with a deafening NO!”

While its difficult to draw any direct similarity, I wonder if ‘we’ the taxpayers had been able to view the accounts of another Government entity, the ill-fated Hotels and Resorts Ltd (GEMS) in a timely manner, perhaps then more pressure could have been brought to bear, to prevent the hemorrhage of hundreds of millions of dollars. So to try and calculate any comparison between the amount of taxes paid by departing passengers and what proportion GAIA Inc., retains towards operational and capital costs is almost impossible.

I also posed two other questions to the airport public relations department., and asked if direct air to cruise ship and in-transit passengers paid the same amount of ticket taxes as other travellers, but sadly did not receive a response.

This lack of accountability and transparency does nothing to enhance the wider understanding of the industry and the various contributions made by the many component players.

I will however compliment GAIA Inc., on the statistics section of the their website. At a glance you can compare, on a monthly basis the numbers of embarked and disembarked passengers, those in-transit and transfers, together with cargo, number of aircraft movements etc. Especially interesting is comparing the airport disembarked figures with long stay visitor arrivals figures on the CTO website.

Preliminary stay over arrivals for July were 51,253, down 12 per cent for the same month in 2011,  while  the airport disembarked number was 84,734, a variance of 33,481 or over 65 per cent.

August long stay visitors numbered 43,191 which represented a decline of 13.6 per cent over 2011, but with 77,601 disembarked passengers, a differential of 34,410 or around 79 per cent more.

As transit and transfer movements are shown separately, I think the discrepancy in these figures have to be explained. Are they residents returning home, people flying in for visas for the day and not occupying accommodation or who? Clearly, it could make a massive difference with the sustainability of airlift.

The gaps get even bigger in the winter months. As an example in January, 101,738 disembarked passengers yet only 52,619 long stay visitors. In fact, if you average the first eight months of 2012, the number of disembarked passengers is nearly double that of long stay visitors. What also appears inequitable, is that the same rationale for recovery of costs that is applied to the airport, does not seem to apply to the seaport.

We are told the stated justification of massive hike in departure or services fees, is to cover the true costs of GAIA Inc. But if the BOLT financed Sugar Point Cruise Terminal becomes a reality, will the repayments be totally funded by port fees and other charges directly related to servicing the cruise ships?

So many questions, so few answers!

8 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

International Press Institute reports how Barbados politicians lied about Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information, Defamation law changes

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his DLP promised Integrity Legislation. They lied. That was a slimy thing to do!

UPDATED: January 22, 2013 (pinned to top. scroll down for newer)

Have another read of this folks and remember that the promised Integrity Legislation will not become law before the next election.

Time to vote for ANY INDEPENDENT!

Here’s our original story first published October 15, 2012….

Lying corrupt DLP, BLP politicians will not pass Integrity Legislation

The just-released International Press Institute report on Barbados tells the sad history of how the DLP – Democratic Labour Party lied about Integrity Legislation just to get elected. The report is dated last June, 2012 and now that we are well into the political campaign for the next election we know the truth: there will be no Integrity Legislation put forward by the governing DLP. It was all a sham to get elected in 2008.

“The government and the population know that Barbados’ Defamation Act is a relic of the colonial past and that it hinders freedom of expression. IPI believes that when the country’s politicians are aware of the situation and have already attempted to change it, half of the work is done. We are optimistic that there is still enough time before the January 2013 elections to implement the new legislation.

While several news outlets now say that the people in Barbados were misled and that the Freedom of Information, Defamation and Integrity Legislation is an outstanding debt, IPI believes that public opinion can be changed. Barbados’ leaders have the opportunity not only to change these reports, but also to make history, as those who make this decision will have ushered in a more free, transparent, and democratic country.”

… the last two paragraphs of the Report on the IPI Advocacy Mission to End Criminal Defamation in Barbados (PDF here)

Former BLP Attorney General confirms no plans for Integrity Legislation

Barbadian voters remember former BLP Attorney General Dale Marshall as the one who hilariously gave a clean bill of health to VECO’s operations in Barbados after a 25 minute conversation with representatives of the company. This was after a series of scandals showed that Alaska-based VECO used bribery of politicians as a standard operating procedure to obtain government contracts.

The Owen Arthur led BLP government awarded VECO the contract for the new Dodds Prison even though the company had never built a prison before. Everything was done in secret and that’s the way Dale Marshall, Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and the BLP like it. Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information dead on DLP Government’s 4th anniversary

Remembering the DLP Victory on January 16, 2008

Do you remember the pride we felt? For the first time Bajans had hope that we could free ourselves from the corrupt cartels that anonymously purchase our elected representatives’ loyalty with massive amounts of “election support”.

With the election of the DLP Democratic Labour Party, Barbados would now have the integrity legislation, freedom of information access and conflicts of interest rules so citizens could effectively monitor where our tax dollars were spent and hold our elected and appointed officials accountable.

The corruption of the previous BLP government caused a citizen rebellion at the polls in January of 2008. With no restrictions, no rules, no reporting and no transparency the “election support” money flows freely in Barbados politics and the favours are returned by the successful politicians in the form of government contracts… which ensures more “election support”. It is a viciously corrupt circle that politicians have the power to break – but none will.

David Thompson, Freundal Stuart and all the DLP candidates promised they would implement laws and policies to change all that. True, it takes more than laws and rules to change a legacy and culture of corruption, but without the laws there is no beginning and no hope. Thompson and the DLP knew that new laws and rules were the foundation of any change and they promised to establish those laws.

Remember the joy?

Here’s what one DLP supporter had to say at the time…

Yardbroom

January 16, 2008 at 9:36 am

This election was won because the people of Barbados had an opportunity, – denied in the recent past – to really see what goes on in Barbadian politics.

The Blogs played a decisive part, and you BFP was as the vanguard, no praise is too high. What BFP did was expose the underbelly of Barbadian politics. There was then a reason, for Integrity Legislation and your “constant position” on the subject meant it had to be addressed. The DLP responded to the wishes of the people, as they had to, and as a result we awake this morning, 16th January 2008 to the change we had all hoped for – at least on this blog.

Sadly, “Yardbroom” and most of the DLP diehards haven’t been seen too much around Barbados Free Press since a few months after the election when they realized that Bajans had been fooled again. Too bad the DLP supporters’ fervor for Integrity Legislation and Accountability disappeared with the DLP’s election victory. And disappear it did!

Here we are four years later with no Integrity Legislation, no Freedom of Information, no accountability, no rules about Conflicts of Interest or election funding transparency.

David Thompson and the DLP lied to us to get elected. They promised to “within 100 days” introduce Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information, amendments to the Defamation laws, checks and balances on the Prime Minister’s power and to “immediately upon election” introduce a Code of Conduct for Ministers.

Instead, the DLP borrowed the CLICO business jet, protected Leroy Parris from prosecution and put him in charge of the CBC to influence what news Bajans would hear. The DLP did that in exchange for “election donations” from CLICO – paid for with policy holders’ money. That’s as corrupt a scenario as anything the BLP did.

Thompson and the DLP lied. Four years later there can be no dispute.

Waiting in the wings for the triumphant return are Owen Arthur and the corrupt Barbados Labour Party – who sucked the treasury dry during their 14 years in power. What they didn’t sell, they stole.

Corrupt DLP or Corrupt BLP: Who will you vote for?

Some say that the choice between DLP and BLP is the only choice voters really have. I say we have another choice: the “Anybody but” candidates. Please let me explain my thinking…

Between the DLP and BLP, it really doesn’t matter who you vote for. There is no real difference in policies or performance. As a result, for decades politics in Barbados has largely been about tribal politics: it’s about which gang holds the best shows, and distributes the most corned beef and beer. That is a pretty sad picture of Bajan politics but I don’t think that anyone will challenge it.

The only way we can change things is to depower the DLP and the BLP – so here’s the plan…

Take their money. Say nice things to whatever party you normally support. Don’t do a thing differently until election day…

Then, walk in and vote for Anybody but DLP and BLP.

No, we’re probably not going to send many independents to Parliament (but if we could, that would be wonderful!) – but what we can do is to disrupt the circle of corruption, upset the “predicted” results and take comfort that you’ve spoken far louder than if you simply hold your nose and vote DLP or BLP.

Time to punish the DLP and the BLP: take their money, dance and party – then vote for “Anybody BUT”

13 Comments

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

How much is Barbados paying GOL Airlines to fly to the island?

Tourism Minister Sealy does a little dance

The headline in The Nation states “Sealy clears air on Gol lure“. The “So and so clears the air…” headline is a big favourite of government and the news media because it says to a gullible public “Well, that’s explained then. Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.”

Whenever thinking Bajans see that “Clears the air…” headline, the red lights and alarm bells should start going off. “Clearing the air” is usually a smokescreen and once you realise that you find that the air is usually anything but “clear”.

Minister Sealy was responding to opposition charges that the DLP paid GOL some US$200,000 in January to fly half empty airplanes from Brazil to Barbados. Although Sealy denies the amount, he truthfully says that Barbados has guaranteed revenue for GOL Airlines and that it is hoped that this “investment” will pay off in the long run.

Okay, I can see this type of an arrangement being a legitimate strategy to open up new markets, but we are uneasy about the ability of our government and bureaucrats to properly make cost-benefit decisions. As Minister Sealy himself points out, the BLP government paid Air India US$300,000 to make one disastrous flight to Barbados and also arranged the $10 million dollar debacle involving hiring the Carnival Destiny for Cricket World Cup.

Our government is non-transparent and with the previous disasters we simply don’t trust Minister Sealy or anyone anymore to tell us the truth. Minister Sealy is still hiding the truth because he only denied the alleged amounts but didn’t state the facts.

But really… what can you expect from a government that promised to implement Freedom of Information legislation within 100 days of being elected: three years ago.

Minister Sealy: you and your DLP government lied to us before. Why should we believe you now?

Here is the article from the Nation. You should read it at their website here, but as usual we’ll reprint the entire article because the Nation has a habit of changing history… Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Freedom Of Information, Politics