Tag Archives: Barbados Integrity Legislation

Afra Raymond: Secret shareholders fuel corruption by public officials

bribery.jpg

Afra Raymond’s new post about the Integrity Commission of Trinidad and Tobago shows that what Bajans know is true – when Public Money meets Greed in an atmosphere of no or inadequate integrity legislation, the taxpayers always lose.

For over 30 years successive Barbados governments have promised integrity legislation, and like fools we keep voting the same crooks into office even when we know they are lying to us.

In Trinidad and Tobago, at least the people forced the passage of integrity legislation. In Barbados the politicians don’t even pretend to listen to the people.

Integrity Strategy

The Integrity Commission is continuing its efforts to revise the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA) to give greater effect to its anti-corruption work. I fully support those efforts.

The key challenge is to discern how Public Officials commit the corrupt acts the Commission is meant to reduce. It is therefore necessary to conduct a scrupulous examination of Commissions of Enquiry and other Inquiry (eg LifeSport) Reports & evidence; Auditor General’s Annual Reports; as well as the leading international learning on these questions.

Once the main methods of corrupt agents are discerned, it will then be necessary to consider how the existing powers of the Commission might be deployed in tackling those and if there are new powers needed…

… continue reading at Afra Raymond’s blog: Integrity Strategy

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

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

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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

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

Afra Raymond: When corrupt politicians reward their supporters with Public Property

afra raymond CMMB

“Given that our political parties receive financing from business-people, how will those party financiers be rewarded?  In a situation which properly controls the award of State contracts for goods, works and services, how can they be rewarded?

The answer is Public Property.”

You must visit Afra’s website and read his post None So Blind.

And while you’re at it, consider the situation in Barbados where it is not unheard of for a Minister of Government to end up living on land that was confiscated from private ownership – supposedly to be used for a public purpose. Nothing was ever done about then BLP Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke, and nothing ever will be…

“No Integrity Legislation exists in Barbados. As a result, powerful Government Ministers like Mr. Clarke do not have to declare their assets or explain how it is that, as a Member of the Cabinet that approves the expropriation of privately-owned lands, a Minister of Government comes to live upon a choice building lot that was forceably taken from an owner – using the full power of the Government.”

… from the BFP article Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated Land

 

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

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

When this article was first published in July of 2012, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite was still lying to the people that his DLP government really intended to enact the long promised Integrity Legislation.
That was then. Today Brathwaite and the DLP don’t even bother to promise. They lied, we elected them. They lied again and we elected them again. Bajan politicians: laughing all the way to the bank… in Switzerland.

Barbados Free Press

Integrity Legislation has no chance and Adriel Brathwaite knows it!

Hey folks:

The Bajan news media isn’t carrying the real story. The Nation and the rest are repeating the government line like they rely upon the government advertising to survive…

Oh… wait… The mainstream Bajan news outlets do rely upon government advertising to survive! Do you think that impacts their editorial decisions? We think it does and that any citizen can see that our news media isn’t giving us the truth. Here at BFP we say that the Bajan news media sold their souls a long time ago and consequently the public is fed a version of the news that is less than citizens deserve.

Attorney General Adrel Brathwaite says:

“Legislatively, we have the anti-corruption legislation which is before a joint committee of Parliament. We had promised that we would have that done before the end of the year. It’s…

View original post 2,772 more words

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TED Talk: The kill decision shouldn’t belong to a robot

Technology always brings unforeseen social changes

In Barbados we have zero transparency, zero accountability and the ruling political elites can do pretty well what they want. Author Daniel Suarez’s TED presentation predicts that as autonomous weapons become cheaper and more lethal, smaller governments and developing societies will have an advantage over larger, more developed societies. It seems far fetched to imagine Barbados wielding autonomous weapons and drones – but maybe not. Suarez also talks about private interests using the same weapons. Considering the Columbian and Mexican crime cartels, that’s not such an impossibility either.

The above YouTube video is brought to you by those friendly folks at Samsung. That’s right, the same folks that make your phone also make and deploy automatic killer machine guns for a very reasonable US$200,000 each. Just set ’em and forget ’em…

“This raises the very real possibility of anonymous war. This could tilt the geopolitical balance on its head, make it very difficult for a nation to turn its firepower against an attacker, and that could shift the balance in the 21st century away from defense and toward offense. It could make military action a viable option not just for small nations, but criminal organizations, private enterprise, even powerful individuals. It could create a landscape of rival warlords undermining rule of law and civil society. Now if responsibility and transparency are two of the cornerstones of representative government, autonomous robotic weapons could undermine both.

Now you might be thinking that citizens of high-tech nations would have the advantage in any robotic war, that citizens of those nations would be less vulnerable, particularly against developing nations. But I think the truth is the exact opposite. I think citizens of high-tech societies are more vulnerable to robotic weapons, and the reason can be summed up in one word: data. Data powers high-tech societies. Cell phone geolocation, telecom metadata, social media, email, text, financial transaction data, transportation data, it’s a wealth of real-time data on the movements and social interactions of people. In short, we are more visible to machines than any people in history, and this perfectly suits the targeting needs of autonomous weapons.”

Watch Daniel Suarez’s entire TED Talk here.

Thanks to an old friend for the suggestion.

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

Integrity Legislation has no chance and Adriel Brathwaite knows it!

Hey folks:

The Bajan news media isn’t carrying the real story. The Nation and the rest are repeating the government line like they rely upon the government advertising to survive…

Oh… wait… The mainstream Bajan news outlets do rely upon government advertising to survive! Do you think that impacts their editorial decisions? We think it does and that any citizen can see that our news media isn’t giving us the truth. Here at BFP we say that the Bajan news media sold their souls a long time ago and consequently the public is fed a version of the news that is less than citizens deserve.

Attorney General Adrel Brathwaite says:

“Legislatively, we have the anti-corruption legislation which is before a joint committee of Parliament. We had promised that we would have that done before the end of the year. It’s my hope that we can get it within a month or two.”

… from the Nation article AG spells out crime plans

Listen, Brathwaite: that’s a lie. Your government said they would put forth the anti-corruption legislation four years ago – within 100 days of being elected.

So your statement is a big fat lie. Liar.

Now let’s talk about what happens even if your government passes the integrity legislation in the next few months: It will never be proclaimed as law before the next election because it will die in the Senate. You know this, you liar. You know this legislation will never become law. You also know the Freedom of Information legislation that you promised is rotting in its grave. The conflict of interest rules and Code of Conduct that the DLP promised to implement from day one were the first two promises to die.

Liar.

Integrity Legislation is four years and more past due. It is dead, dead, dead.

Liar.

Here’s what Brathwaite told the Nation. Please read it at their website, but we have to reprint the whole thing here because the paper has a history of deleting articles to change history. Too bad…

AG spells out crime plans

A drug court is on the cards and anti-corruption legislation may be agreed in a month or two. Just as important, says Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, the Government is moving on legislation to boost the offshore international sector which has been hit by competition from Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and The Bahamas.

He also dealt with crime, the Police Force and complaints against lawyers in an interview with THE NATION’s North American Correspondent Tony Best in New York last week.

What are some of the things you want to get done before the next election?

Brathwaite: Legislatively, we have the anti-corruption legislation which is before a joint committee of Parliament. We had promised that we would have that done before the end of the year. It’s my hope that we can get it within a month or two. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press

One thing Owen Arthur will NEVER say…

“I have never had an offshore bank account while a Member of Parliament.”

Good old Goin’ wid Owen is challenging the DLP to “hurry up and bring integrity legislation to the floor of Parliament.” I guess somebody finally told him that the DLP are four years late with their promise. Of course, four years late with Integrity Legislation is nothing compared with the BLP never doing anything about it themselves for the 14 years they were the government.

Former Prime Minister Arthur is also upset that David Thompson accused the BLP of corruption and diverting money to offshore accounts but never charged anybody with anything – it was all show and shouting for the election…

“The members of the Barbados Labour Party and I went through an election with harsh charges of corruption being levelled against us. And we had to endure a lot of nastiness about offshore accounts and a lot of foolishness.”

… Owen Arthur in The Nation article Bring it on!

Now you’ll notice that Owen doesn’t deny that he or any of his fellow BLP members had or have offshore bank accounts. Do you see what I’m talking about? Saying that talk about offshore bank accounts is ‘nastiness’ and ‘a lot of foolishness’ is not the same thing as saying “I have never had an offshore bank account while I was a Member of Parliament.”

So let’s hear from Owen $ Arthur. Let’s hear him clearly say to the press…

“I have never had an offshore bank account, whether in my name or another name, while I was a Member of Parliament.”

Go ahead Owen. Let’s hear you loud and clear…

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Barbados Government raids public pension money to fund collapsed Four Seasons Resort project

“This is not about saving the Four Seasons project: it’s about using NIS pension funds to protect private investors who are already in. Who are these private investors?”

In 2009 Avinash Persaud said Four Seasons was all about trust. We trusted. Look what happened. (click photo for large)

Newspaper reports say the Government of Barbados is about to take your pension money from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and loan it give it to the developers of the collapsed Four Seasons project. (Nation report here)

The $60 million dollar “investment” is necessary because no further private money wants to “invest” in the project.

Why don’t private investors want a piece of a project that Finance Minister Sinckler says will yield “massive returns”?

The answer is simple: Private money wants nothing more to do with the project because they believe it is not a viable investment.

Private investors examined the risks, possible profits, projected revenues, tourism projections, project management, and the likelihood of success or failure and determined that only fools would continue to “invest” in the collapsed Four Seasons boondoggle.

“To whom the benefit?”

When Finance Minister Sinckler makes the official announcement later this week, he will talk about the construction jobs and future employment prospects of a re-started Four Seasons project. He will talk about the fact that Barbados government money is already into the project and that we risk that “investment” if we don’t put in more. “In for a penny, in for hundreds of millions” is apparently the motto of the Sinckler government.

(I’d say “Stuart government”, but there’s no proof that Stuart has been running the government up to now, and as for next week, who knows?)

The one thing that Mr. Sinckler will NOT talk about is conflicts of interest. He will not name the investors who are at risk, and who will benefit from the gift of public money. He and his fellow MPs will not declare if they or their close family members have anything to do with the project: as investors, suppliers, contractors, creditors or in any way will benefit from the bailout using your pension funds.

A few questions for Prime Minister Chris Sinckler…  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments

WE TOLD YOU SO: Anti-Corruption legislation buried in dark hole

During the 2007 election campaign, the Democratic Labour Party promised to introduce Integrity Legislation and a Freedom of Information Act within 100 days of taking office. They put that in writing in Pathways to Progress, in press handouts and in newsletters and emails.

The DLP also promised to introduce a Ministerial Code of Conduct immediately upon taking office. They put that in writing too.

“Hello BFP folks…

The Ministerial Code takes effect immediately after a DLP government is elected. The Freedom of Information Act and Integrity legislation will be dealt with in the first 100 days in office…

Best regards
Reudon Eversley
Communications Director
DLP General Election Campaign 2008″

The DLP Lied

David Thompson lied about it. Freundel Stuart lied about it. Every DLP candidate lied about it.

You can say that the electorate was naive or ready to believe the DLP lies about Integrity Legislation because after 14 years of BLP corruption we were desperate. You can say the electorate was ready to be deceived, but it doesn’t matter.

We believed the DLP. We truly did. We had faith in the DLP candidates as people. We elected the DLP candidates and leadership because we believed their promises. We believed IN the DLP candidates as people of their word.

The DLP promises about what we called “ITAL” – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation – were a big part of why Bajans elected a DLP government. That much was admitted at the time in the news media and in comments from foreign observers.

It has been over four years since those promises were made, and three years and seven months since the DLP Government took office and immediately broke their first promise by not implementing a Ministerial Code of Conduct on the first day.

Now we read in The Nation “The Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) wants Government to move quickly to redraft the Prevention of Corruption Bill, 2010 and get it back on the front burner” within six months.

DLP Strategy to make Integrity Legislation fail

We at Barbados Free Press earlier said that the inclusion of the private sector in the proposed Integrity Legislation was a DLP strategy to cause the legislation to fail, so they could blame it on the private sector. We said back in October, 2009…

A DLP insider reveals how David Thompson and his gang intend to sabotage Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws by expanding the promised laws to include private citizens and corporations.

This, of course, will throw a spanner into the works of any legislation. After if fails to pass due to public outcry, Thompson and his fellow piggies at the public trough will say, “Well, we tried our best.”

…from the BFP post Prime Minister Thompson’s new strategy for avoiding Integrity Legislation, FOI: “Private sector must be included in this legislation”

We also said that the DLP would delay the Integrity Legislation until just before the next election, so they could blame the BLP opposition for shooting it down or delaying it. That way the DLP would get to use Integrity Legislation for two election campaigns in a row while retaining all the benefits of not having the legislation in place while they are in government. A neat trick if they can pull it off.

It looks like we were correct. That’s unfortunate because we would rather have been proven wrong.

Member of Parliament William Duguid “No Barbados politicians will vote for Integrity Legislation”

It’s also unfortunate that the only politician who told the truth about the Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information was the Barbados Labour Party’s William Duguid, who was quoted on another blog saying that Integrity Legislation will never happen because no politicians of any party will ever vote for it. Duguid is moving to Canada so it doesn’t matter to him anymore if he speaks the truth.

Welcome to Barbados folks! Same old, same old ’bout hey. Continue reading

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

Trouble on Sir David Simmons’ Turks and Caicos Integrity Commission?

click for large cartoon!

Silence from Turks and Caicos Governor and Sir David Simmons as TCI Post says two Integrity Commission members have resigned…

“I was surprised to hear that a progressive and mature country like Barbados has no integrity legislation to hold its politicians and public servants to account…”

“David Simmons was Attorney General for years, then Chief Justice. He did nothing to deal with the problem…

Yet the British Comatose Governor of the Turks and Caicos appointed David Simmons as the Chairman of the newly formed Turks and Caicos Integrity Commission. In his new role he is to enforce integrity in public life. Why was David Simmons appointed to enforce something that he could not do or never did for himself or his own country in spite of his many High profile positions, which go to the very heart of the rule of law, justice and integrity? Continue reading

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Dear Prime Minister – Your promises got you a shot, but you’re blowing it

When you lack accomplishments on your own, you have to feed off the success of others.

When you lack accomplishments on your own, you have to feed off the success of others.

DLP delivers Circuses to the Barbadian masses

“Immediately introduce integrity legislation requiring

• a declaration of assets by public officials,
• a Code of Conduct for Ministers,
• a new Freedom of Information law,
• amendments to the Defamation laws and
• new constitutional provisions to rationalise
the powers of the Prime Minister.”

… from the DLP’s 2007 “Pathways to Progress” election manifesto

These things which were used as political bait and ammunition to differentiate the DLP from the BLP have ..what’s the term.. ah yes.. fallen by the wayside (if you read this Ryan Brathwaite, take note buddy), in favour of lavish celebrations, promises of support, ambassadorships, and sports and youth policies, while elected officials who no one can catch nary a sight of since the election, get fat doing NOTHING for our money.

I will not touch the cost of living, roads, or jobs right now. I may well be charged for inciting riot.

The PM would like to think that these memorable events will count as having proven his worth come election time, but they will not. The youth vote came out last year in a BIG way. It will come out again, just like last year, armed with facts and a scorecard with many incompletes and absent MPs.

The DLP will get a rude awakening I believe. Right now I cannot say they will lose, but articles like this will continue to be written every month, every year, especially in light of proclamations which spit in the face of poor people who are in need. (see the article in the Nation with the crowd outside of the Welfare office).

People aren’t stupid, and promises may get you a shot, but that’s it.

The voting youth run tings now and they don’t need your cornbeef, even the yardfowls have diversified their diets to include some truth. They will be persuaded by results.

You have precious little to show thus far Mr. PM…

… from The Good, The Bad & The LOL article Doing Nothing Never Looked So Good

Photo of Ryan Brathwaite from our friend at Cheese on Bread blog

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

When there is a lack of will to punish wrongdoers, the world pays attention

UPDATED: June 10, 2010

Friends, we’d like to mention once again that we are well into the third year of DLP Government and not a single person has been charged with any corruption-based crime. Therefore, it’s not going to happen.

We told you that the two major parties had an agreement in place. We were correct.

Here’s an article from last year that might make you think about the song and dance you’ve been accepting from the DLP…

barbados-3a-piggies

For almost two years now, David Thompson and his DLP comrades have been declaring that they will hold people “accountable” for wrong-doing.

The list of wrongdoings is long, and for the mostpart the main culprits are known. When we think of Hardwood Holdings, the Barbados Tourism Authority, Hotels and Resorts, Dodds prison, the dozens of major contracts let without tender and – most infamously – former Prime Minister Owen Arthur depositing into his personal bank account a (cough, cough) “campaign cheque” that was “accidentally” made out to him personally… Well, just how many instances of wrongdoing and law breaking do you want?

But as Barbadians have come to realise, not a single person will be charged by the government of Prime Minister David Thompson.

Not a single lawsuit will be launched to recover public monies that ended up in the accounts of members of the former BLP government and their supporters. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information

The Barbados Problem: Unethical behaviour & conflicts of interest are legal

City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union Limited Members Learn About Conflicts of Interest The Hard Way

Holder says nothing wrong with $250k untendered contract to old friend Dowell

"Ethically-challenged" Lynette Holder says nothing wrong with $250k no tender contract to old friend Oral Dowell

Some COB members are upset that their board awarded a quarter-million dollar contract to an old friend and “just resigned” board member Oral Dowell – without tender or notice.

Ethically-challenged COB President Lynette Holder arrogantly says that no laws were broken so Credit Union members can shove their concerns where the sun doan shine.

Listen to Holder’s slippery, slimy response in the paper…

Holder told the SUNDAY SUN the board was not guilty of any irregularities or financial mismanagement.

“There has not been anything untoward as evidenced in our [annual] report,” Holder said.

… from The Nation article COB defends money-spending

And why shouldn’t Holder behave with that kind of arrogance? Barbados government officials have been giving the “it’s not illegal” excuse for decades – all the while refusing to implement laws that make such conflicts of interest illegal. Slippery devils, indeed, these BLP and DLP politicians!

Hey… look at the St. Joseph’s Hospital mess. Never mind the millions of dollars missing and wasted, we had a government contractor simultaneously building the hospital and doing private work on the home of a Minister of Government, Dr. Brandford Taitt. The St. Joseph’s Hospital Commission had to say “no laws broken” because that slimy rascal Taitt didn’t break any laws. Ha! There were no laws to break, that’s why Taitt walked from disgrace right into the Senate!

Meanwhile, the Barbados DLP government sails along and (once again) announces that it will be another year or so until we see Integrity legislation. Maybe. If.

I am so tired of being deceived by David Thompson, Mia Mottley and the rest of them. They can and did change the Constitution in an afternoon to get their hands on Cricket World Cup money (that disappeared anyways), but try and get the politicians to do anything (like pass integrity legislation) that restricts their ability to feed at the trough and you suddenly become aware that Thompson, Mottley and the gang have an agenda that has nothing to do with raising up Barbados. For them, it is all about the mighty dollar in their own pockets.

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

Barbados Free Press Posts Article Three Thousand (#3000)

Welcome to BFP’s 3,000th Article!

Barbados Free Press StatsBarbados Free Press published our first article on January 17, 2006, and right away we let the world know where we stood on Integrity, Transparency and Accountability of elected and appointed public officials in Barbados.

In that article, Prime Minister Owen Arthur Opens a New Can of Paint – To Cover Old Corruption, we took the first shot across the bow of a corrupt BLP government led by then-PM Owen Arthur. The article also mentioned the controversy over the flyovers, a company called 3S Structural Steel Solutions LLC, of Maryland USA and said…

The last thing that Barbadians need is a “public relations programme” instead of an open accountability about where every dollar is spent.

Prime Minister Arthur is correct: the cartel must stop misusing their political offices and connections for “personal material gain.” Only time will tell if the Prime Minister is really serious about stopping the corruption, or whether, like a used car salesman, he really means “Give her a new coat of paint and some sucker will buy it.”

We followed up the very next day with an expose, Barbados Tender Process Corrupt? that told how the $120 million dollar flyover project had been awarded without being put out to tender. On our third day, January 19, 2006, we expressed our hopes and doubts about the newly appointed Leader of the Opposition, David Thompson. About David Thompson, BFP said

“…will Mr. Thompson (whom this writer greatly respects) remain true to the principles he so ably espoused earlier that day? Will he be able to ignore the siren call of easy money that has corrupted so many in the current government?”

Barbados Blogs Hounded Prime Minister Arthur & Opposition Leader Thompson On Integrity Legislation For Two Years Leading Up To The 2008 Election

As our long term readers know, Barbados Free Press hounded Prime Minister Arthur and the BLP Government for two more years on integrity and competency issues.

Dragged Kicking & Screaming Towards ITAL

David Thompson & DLP Dragged Kicking & Screaming Towards ITAL

At the same time we urged Mr. Thompson to break his silence on ITAL – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation – and to declare that if elected his government would implement ITAL forthwith. We chided Thompson and the DLP to introduce Integrity Legislation while in Opposition to shame the government into action, but Thompson and his members remained silent until the last minute.

In the final weeks of the January 2008 election contest and with everything in the balance, David Thompson and the DLP finally came out in favour of ITAL. Although we were skeptical that Thompson’s last minute “cut and paste” declaration taken from an internet website was merely an election ploy, Barbados Free Press declared for the Thompson and the DLP.

After all, Thompson and the Democratic Labour Party promised in writing to implement ITAL within 100 days of forming a government, and to implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct immediately upon forming a government.

The rest of the election, as they say, is history.

Some people, perhaps many, believe that the island blogs were responsible for the DLP’s last minute Integrity Legislation promises and in fact, that without the island blogs and Thompson’s 100 day ITAL promise – the BLP may have succeeded in gaining an unprecedented fourth term.

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson Promising Integrity Legislation

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson Promising Integrity Legislation

Three and a half years later, Barbados still lacks Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation

So here we are in June, 2009 some three and a half years after Barbados Free Press published our first article (that was viewed by I think seven people on the first day). We are about to welcome our six millionth visitor. Thompson’s “implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct” promise was dead the minute he took office. His “ITAL in 100 days” promise is now overdue by almost a year and a half and anyone with half a brain can see that integrity is the furthest thing from the DLP Government’s concerns.

Most telling, it is still legal for Barbados Government Ministers, and elected and appointed government officials to receive gifts – even money – from companies that do business with the government. It is still legal for elected or appointed government officials to award government contracts to themselves or their immediate family.

The issue of gifts, contracts and conflicts of interest standards could easily be declared as policy by Prime Minister Thompson – as he promised to do immediately upon forming a government. Such a policy declaration does not require legislation or discussion, and it is exactly what David Thompson promised to do IMMEDIATELY upon becoming Prime Minister.

Why didn’t Thompson do as he promised in writing?

Die hard DLP supporters don’t want to face that issue. They are too busy enjoying the spoils of their election victory.

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Cayman News Media Uses Freedom Of Information Request To Monitor Cayman Islands’ Ministry Of Tourism Expenses

“A trip to Washington, DC, for the first ever annual Caribbean Tourism Summit last June cost the Cayman Islands’ Department and Ministry of Tourism nearly CI$200,000.

And the Department of Tourism US sales meetings held in Miami in February cost $50,287.

The information comes from a recent Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Tourism. Although travelling abroad for such trips is commonplace, some people have questioned the expense….”

… from the Cayman Compass story Tourism Trips Queried

Cayman Islands Tourism Ministry Spent US$244,000 To Attend Caribbean Tourism Summit In Washington

Barbados Tourism Ministry spent… OH… YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO KNOW!

Freedom of Information legislation (FOI) is no magic solution to stopping the kind of corruption and abuse recently pointed out by the Auditor General of Barbados, but it is a necessary first step in ensuring transparency and accountability by elected and appointed government officials. That is why successive Barbados governments, including the current DLP administration, have refused to pass Freedom of Information legislation.

In the Cayman Islands government officials have three months to respond to a FOI freedom of information request — and they do so because there is rule of law. They may not always respond quickly or happily or completely as they should, but they respond because they know they must obey the law. As a result, the citizens of the Cayman Islands and their responsible news media have a basic tool to assist in keeping the politicians honest or discovering abuses.

Barbados Citizens

Barbados Has No Freedom of Information Legislation

Barbados citizens were promised integrity, transparency (FOI) and accountability legislation (ITAL) by David Thompson and the DLP during the 2007 election campaign. The government of then Prime Minister Owen Arthur was defeated and David Thompson was elected largely on the basis of promised integrity and Freedom of Information legislation. Many Barbadians believe that the call for integrity and FOI legislation by the blogs was the tipping point that denied Prime Minister Owen Arthur a fourth term.

And yet here we are almost 2 years later and it is still legal for Barbados government officials to award government contracts to themselves and their relatives. We have no Freedom of Information legislation. We have no Ministerial code of conduct or conflicts of interest laws. It is still legal in Barbados for government officials to accept gifts from government contractors and land developers who need permissions.

The one thing David Thompson didn’t lie about is that fatted calf now being shared by DLP supporters.

Things are the same in Barbados as they ever were. Until our politicians are shamed into adopting modern integrity, transparency and accountability laws, Barbadians and their news media will remain as they are: like mushrooms kept in the dark and fed horse manure.

Thanks to an old friend for alerting us to this story.

Further Reading

BFP: Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit


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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption