Too much incompetence, complains Marshall
Government agencies, businesses and other institutions in Barbados are plagued by incompetent persons.
That charge was made this afternoon by acting director of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies, Dr Don Marshall, who insisted that incompetence existed at all levels.
“When we talk about poor service, when we talk about being stuck in the groove, not being innovative, not embracing continuous innovation and so on, we are talking about the reign of the merchants of doubt, we are talking about the reign of incompetents,” he declared at the business luncheon of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Hilton Barbados today.
“They reign supreme, they sit on the file, they pretend to have knowledge, but they have credentials . . . [and are] expected to deliver us out of the morass,” he argued.
“We have to accept, finally, the dictum that Napoleon gave to his generals. It’s quite controversial, but I’m going to say it: ‘never attribute to malice that which cannot be explained by incompetence’. We don’t want to admit it, but institutional Barbados is beset with a set of incompetent persons.”
His position found favour with prominent economist Sir Frank Alleyne who contended that some workers with degrees were replaced by people who only had a secondary school certificate.
Sir Frank suggested that some of these degrees were merely decorations.
“You can take somebody who can hardly spell his or her name and once they are popular, you can be elected to Parliament . . . and you can become minister. So who is going to run that ministry? It is the permanent secretaries,” Sir Frank told the business leaders.
“But the permanent secretaries . . . have to take the responsibility for making whoever is the minister believe in his mind, that these are his policies and go to the Cabinet and defend them. That is my concern about Barbados . . . that I worry about; that the quality of public democracy has declined,” said the Government economic advisor.