Bribery suspected

Private sector links perceived palm-greasing to difficulty in getting things done

The umbrella agency of private sector organizations in Barbados has stopped just short of admitting that some of its members engage in bribery and corruption.

While making it clear he did not have any evidence that business people were bribing politicians as claimed on Monday by former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons, new Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) Charles Herbert said in any case, if there were an easier way of conducting business here, there would be no need for bribery.

“It is very hard for us to know how much of it [corruption claims] is true. What I would say is, when there is an ease of doing business, bribes go away, because you don’t need a bribe to get something done quickly. The minute there are delays, it opens the door for bribery because there is something to bribe you to do. So we can get rid of it by solving the ease of doing business,” Herbert told Barbados TODAY in an interview yesterday.

Speaking Monday on the talk show Down to Brass Tacks on the Starcom Network, Sir David charged that there was a high level of corruption in Barbados, which was being swept under the carpet.

While he did not cite specific examples, Sir David said there was evidence to suggest rising incidence of corrupt practices both at the private sector and Government levels, with the business community offering bribes to people in the public sector.

“The bribers are usually the people in the private sector. All the big international companies that get exposed from time to time, they would have bribed the politician who is then held up to ridicule and exposed and often a lot of them get away. They are the ones in the wrong. You have to look at the briber and the “bribee,” the former Member of Parliament for St Thomas said.

In response, Herbert suggested that there was a culture within the public sector that encouraged bribery. Insisting that any form of corruption was wrong, the BPSA head spoke of the difficulty faced by businesses in getting things done.

“It is difficult to do everything. It takes three days to get a liquor licence; it takes a month to get an amalgamation through Corporate Services; it goes on and on. Everything we do is difficult to do,” Herbert said.

Therefore, he said, some within the business community might feel that in order to keep their businesses afloat they had to circumvent the system by offering kickbacks.

In fact, Herbert said, some members of the private sector were able to get things done which others found difficult to achieve. But, while bribery might be suspected in some instances, he was not prepared to point fingers at anyone.

“We don’t know if it is because they push harder than us, because they know somebody that we don’t know, or if they are bribed. We don’t know. So unless you have actually paid a bribe yourself, then you don’t know if bribing happens. “It is a tacit innuendo to spread; but the truth is, if it barks like a dog, smells like a dog and walks like a dog, it probably is a dog, though you can’t prove it.” Herbert said.

8 Responses to Bribery suspected

  1. jrsmith August 18, 2016 at 5:16 am

    This would only be news to bajans who live in la, la land. With they heads in the clouds and they fingers up they backsides..
    As I was blasted by quite a few when I said (Political Corporate Corruption ) has fully reached our shores..

    We have corruption in Barbados because lots of people are protected, people who play holylier than thou the ones with the clean faces and dirty hands.. for anything to be done these corrupt people need to be arrested and exposed, but this will never happen in Barbados because you cant trust any one they are all at it….

    Check out certain people how they live on bajan wages never left inheritance , never win the lottery look at they life style…

    To date a (Senior Police Officer ) ( Justice of the peace) (BPSA Mr ,Hubert ) ,how can you not be mad and vex that this continuous corruption just keep coming at us and nothing is being done, Barbados soon would be like lots of other black countries in the region and around the world, if a police stop you for speeding he just push out his hand give him few dollars and that system works…..

  2. Tony Webster August 18, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Today’s Foolish-Question-time, trildren:-
    F.Q.1: Which is the worse, the briber, or the bribee?
    F.Q.2: Who to charge, only the one providing the “motive”…the “first move’?
    F.Q.3: if bribery was indeed- according to a former C.J.- “normal” hereabouts and nowabouts- and inflicting great and lasting pain on the socio-economic corpus of this young country …and needed to be eliminated, how wouldst one grasp the devilish nut of this E.N.M. (Entrenched Nutgrass Menace), and remove it totally? Perhaps, find a B&H (brave and honest) A.G or other great leader; ; a B&H lawyer; a B&H “arm of de Law”; a B&H DPP; a B&H member of the Judiciary; a whole B&H jury; and a lot of BHC’s ( Brave, Honest citizens) to cry out in one voice to provide all them big-brains folks with the moral impetus and support to actually DO SOMETHIN?? Or are we condemned (sorry) to await all of those mentioned…to have first “safely” retired?

    Winning such a landmark case would create a tipping-point, a foundation and a deterrent, to provide a little hope of a future without such a pox on the fair face of this country. N’est pas?

    Yes, please doan adumbrate me no mo’…I know I is talking B.S., and nothing, absolutely nutten’ so… will happen. You see, it all S.I.T.H., (Starts In The Home)…and no-one, and no country, will ever (sucessfully) legislate morality.

  3. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner August 18, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Bribery or whatever ya want to call it has been around in Barbados for many a years and don’t expect it to stop thats how the place works and remember money talks and b/s walks.Aint saying it right because only certain well connect powerful people benefit to the dismay of the bottom feeders on the economic ladder.

  4. Smiley August 18, 2016 at 8:14 am


  5. BoboTheClown August 18, 2016 at 8:35 am

    It all stared at the beginning of time . Eve is to blame . Innocent Adam would have probably left that forbidden fruit alone ,but he was bribed (in a way) by Eve and Lucifer with idea that they could do better if they wanted to .
    It is happening in Barbados more frequently than anyone in authority is willing to admit. Why? Because many in authority are benefiting financially or being favored when it’s time for promotion.Just take Clearing of goods and/ services at the Port.Some folk can get their merchandise cleared without hassle ,if a few bucks are passed ,while others are given the proverbial hell ,unless of course you know what to do.
    We have Cops that are protecting criminals in Barbados often informing them of a pending raid .This is a known fact.
    I am sure that i am not alone in seeing and hearing that there are certain establishments in Barbados where Police on duty pulls up and walks in make a food order and walks away with food drinks etal. without paying a penny because of some underhand work he has done or is doing for someone at the Shop .
    BoBo knows a bribe when he sees one . And i have seen many .

  6. Peter Thompson August 18, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    The major corrupt practices like the Cahill & the Del Mastro deals have nothing to do with speeding up bureaucratic processes Charlie, as you well know.

    Furthermore, businesses need to stop paying bribes in ALL instances. Speeding up slow bureaucratic processes is an unethical excuse, as you well know of course. If you suspect a competitor of bribing to gain competitive advantage you MUST make your suspicions public; anything less is to be an accessory to those corrupt practices.

  7. harry turnover August 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    The doors to corruption in Barbados were FLUNG OPEN by ERROL WALTON BARROW the right honorable Premier on the 30th.November 1966 when those in charge didn’t have to report to a fella.

  8. The Negrocrat August 19, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I hope wanna now see why nothing is being done to make doing business easier. The they would be no need to give these corrupt brutes money under the table.


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