BWA tops list of highly indebted state entities

The embattled Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has come in for unflattering mention in this year’s Auditor General’s report.

In fact, based on the results of a survey on the indebtedness of state agencies, the BWA has earned the dubious honour of coming out on top.

In his report, the Auditor General expressed concern that about 50 state agencies’ accounts were not included in Government’s financial statements. However, he said based on a survey of 28 entities, liabilities in the amount of $1.4 billion were recorded.

This includes $266 million for the BWA, which was broken down into $162.5 million in loans, $46.9 million in payables and $57.2 million in pension liabilities.

This has nothing to do with the Barbados Workers Union’s demands for payment of over $30 million in increments, which are due to 830 unionized workers who staged crippling protest action in March to force the BWA’s hand.

The embattled BWA has also recently been grappling with severe water challenges that have left residents in the north and east severely hamstrung.

Also listed among the highly indebted state entities are the Barbados Agricultural Management Company at $244 million; Barbados Conference Service Limited at $50 million; Barbados National Oil Company Limited at $176 million; Barbados National Terminal Company Limited at $90 million; the Barbados Port Inc at $133 million; the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation at $94 million; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at $196 million and the Transport Board at $172 million.

Among the entities which did not submit information as requested were the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, National Housing Corporation and the Sanitation Service Authority.

The Auditor General, who also highlighted the fact that only three of the 20 Government ministries submitted revenue statements in accordance with the Financial Management and Audit Act, expressed strong concern about the under reporting.

He said it could result in Government, the public and other stakeholders not having a comprehensive view of public finances, which also affects decision-making.

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3 Responses to BWA tops list of highly indebted state entities

  1. dave May 26, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Nothing more to be said . It is past the time for words -way past !! Well well rahsoul well !

    Reply
  2. Alex Alleyne May 26, 2016 at 7:57 am

    SOME OF THOSE WORK MEN THAT CHANGING THE OLD WATER METER AND INSTALLING THE NEW DIGITAL METER ARE DOING A VERY POOR JOB. THEY DO NOT PUT BACK THE SHUT OFF VALVE THAT WAS THERE BEFORE. MOST OF THE TIME THEY LEAVE AND SOME PART OF THE WATER LINE IS LEAKING. ON YOUR SIDE OR THE BWA SIDE.

    Reply
  3. Sue Donym May 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Those figures re Transport Board and QEH are staggering, but the BNOCL payables are curious, when it’s considered that we were told this is one of the entities holding its own and supposedly cash rich. Not sure how much one can conclude from just this as there is nothing to indicate whether this is the net liability position, or whether there is a schedule of deposits, receivables and other assets that might paint a different picture.

    In any case, how can ministers preside over entities that simply refuse to complete and submit financial reports – most glaringly National Housing whose ministry is headed by an accountant! In much the same way I am at a loss as to how we can confidently boast of Tourism success when key agencies like BTMI are not reporting – how do we compare investment against return?

    This speaks of either heads of departments/ministries so lax that they either don’t know or don’t care what goes on OR a way of life that is so entrenched that work is unlikely to ever be done.

    But what madness is this when year after year ministers are going into Parliament and defending their ministries and MPs supporting estimates, when they are not even informed estimates, but just numbers presented to make a case to the public.

    And the big one: just waiting to hear what this lot will tell the electorate and to see if they have the guts to use words like accountability, transparency and integrity – ever again!

    Reply

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