You’re fired!

Board hangs on despite minister’s demand for its resignation

The troubled state-run Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) could be thrown into further chaos, with the entire board of directors having been asked to resign.

Official sources told Barbados TODAY that more than a week ago Minister of the Environment and Drainage Dr Denis Lowe had demanded the resignation of the entire board, chaired by Margot Harvey.

Neither Lowe nor Harvey would comment on the development, with the chairman referring Barbados TODAY to the minister, who in turn simply refused to discuss the matter.

However, SSA sources said Lowe was apparently unhappy with the performance of the board.

The official sources also suggested that Lowe had not taken the matter to Cabinet, therefore, the board has stayed put, at least for the time being.

One source told Barbados TODAY the SSA was in disarray, and Lowe’s demand was not expected to improve the situation.

This development comes as the authority searches for a manager to replace acting head Roslyn Knight, while mounting financial problems have led to the near collapse of a controversial deal reached with private haulers last October to improve the island’s waste collection.

With the pile up of garbage reaching tipping point, and the SSA unable to put sufficient trucks on the road, Government had reached a deal with five private truckers to clear the garbage.

The arrangement, which was for six months in the first instance, has since been extended.

However, at least one of the five private waste haulers has already pulled out of the arrangement and two of the four remaining private contractors are likely to follow suit.

The head of Simpson Trucking and Skip Services Inc Charles Read earlier confirmed to Barbados TODAY that his company had pulled out of the public-private sector garbage collection plan because the waste collection agency owed his company tens of thousands of dollars in overdue payments.

The deal was also criticized by the National Union of Public Workers, which saw it as a means of privatizing the SSA via the back door.

Social activist and attorney-at-law David Comissiong had also challenged the state agency over the deal, threatening legal action in a letter dated October 22 last year.

“On the face of it, the decision that the Board has made to put this privatization scheme in place is so financially outrageous and so detrimental to the financial interests of both the SSA and the citizens and taxpayers of Barbados that it appears to constitute an unreasonable or irregular or improper exercise of discretion and/or a breach of or omission to perform a duty,” Comissiong had written.

“The purpose of this letter therefore is to draw the ugly and outrageous implications of this decision to your attention, and to hereby request that you provide me [and by extension all of the other citizens and taxpayers of Barbados] with a written explanation and justification of this decision, so that we — the citizens and taxpayers — can make our own assessment of your rationalization and determine whether further action [including legal action] is required. I now hereby call upon each of you to do his or her duty as public officials accountable to the people of Barbados, and to provide the said requested written explanation/justification within 14 days of your receipt of this letter,”  he said in the letter, which Harvey acknowledged in correspondence dated November 7, 2016.

However, in an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service three months later, Lowe had declared the private waste haulers programme a success.

It was in that interview that he also suggested that while the programme had been useful in terms of assisting the SSA with waste collection, it might have run its course, explaining at the time that the SSA was in a position to sustain between 20 and 24 trucks on the road daily.

However, the programme was extended, albeit at revised fees of $300 per hour, VAT inclusive, down from the previously agreed rate of $350 per hour plus VAT.

22 Responses to You’re fired!

  1. Meakai September 19, 2017 at 12:34 am

    I am not pleased with the performance of this Minister and I would like him to hand in his resignation immediately.

    As a matter of fact don’t bother. Minister Lowe, YOU ARE FIRED!!!
    Collect yuh green paper and left de people place.

    Guard, escort him to the gate! AFWOTAM!

  2. straight talk September 19, 2017 at 2:24 am

    The minister is the one to go and he should have gone every since.

  3. BIGSKY September 19, 2017 at 3:29 am

    You Sir Mr.Minister is an #$%&^,instead of purchasing the trucks, you pay out taxpayers money by the bagful, to then end back up in the said position in which you started,that is, no new trucks and lots of trucks needing repair.Your doctorate probably is in Foologogy.

  4. Sunshine Sunny Shine September 19, 2017 at 4:08 am

    low lowe. The real waste in aöö of this.

  5. Sunshine Sunny Shine September 19, 2017 at 4:09 am

    low lowe. The real waste in all of this.

  6. Tony Webster September 19, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Quick: blame someone else! He will have to beg anyone mad enough to accept an appointment to the shiny new ( and brokes) board, to serve as the replacement whipping-boys.

  7. Harry September 19, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Wrong person fired!!!! until Lowe is removed the situation cannot improve.

  8. DE September 19, 2017 at 7:59 am

    The man is a joker, who continues to get paid to become a bigger fool. Look at the island as it becomes a forest. Trees growing along side the road and the grass have sidewalks invisible.
    He is a waste of tax payer’s money. He like some of the other should be charge for robbery and should be made to pay back the treasury all their salary from 2013 and discard their pension.

  9. Chris hill September 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

    We need a report on the physical and mental health of the minister because this pot calling the kettle black behavior and the loose use of the public funds is a serious problem.

  10. Alex Alleyne September 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Only if it was this easy to have the same for most of you Minister who have FAILED.

  11. Bajan boy September 19, 2017 at 10:05 am

    All of this private/public sector activity just like the Ministry trucks at Transtec is to furter full their guts. Mark my word Gos is dealing with them for they have all been unkind to the inpoverished caribbean people at their hands. He is making life better for them. This man is a disgrace.

  12. Donild Trimp September 19, 2017 at 11:19 am

    The comments from everyone here confirms my assertion that Barbados is a Banana republic.

    The SSA is under the Portfolio of this Minister. To be blunt, he is the Boss. It is within his power to fire every employee at the SSA.

    Can anybody tell me how any employee can remain on the job after being fired by the boss who co-incidentally is a Minister in the ruling Gov’t?

    It is clear to see why Barbados is in the sorry state it is. A bunch of lazy employees with total disrespect for authority.

    I am a sticker for authority and if the Boss say you are fired, it means you are fired.

    Who is in charge here, the workers or the Minister?

    SMH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ernesta Catlyn September 19, 2017 at 11:29 am

      You are the Bozo – a Minister does not hire thus cannot fire

  13. Donild Trimp September 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    @Ernesta Catlyn –
    Educate yourself.

    I am sure you are one of the lazy employees responsible for the mess Barbados is in right now.

    A Government in power can do things that illiterates like yourself cannot comprehend.

    Once again, educate yourself and rid yourself of the entitlement mentality.

  14. JM September 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    @Donild Trimp…” Nothing is more dangerous in the world than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity “- MLK jr. You sir, seem to qualify,with honors,in both fields!

  15. Donild Trimp September 19, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    @JM –
    You also seem to be one of the lazy entitled Barbadians responsible for the sorry state Barbados is in at the moment.

    You lack the intellect to understand the finer workings of a Government in power.

    Continue to live in your world of ignorance, laziness and disregard for authority.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine September 20, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Oh just shut up. People like you are the reason why Barbados gone to the dogs. Where is your loyalty.

      • Donild Trimp September 22, 2017 at 1:26 pm

        @ SSS – another entitled ignoramus.

        Defending the incompetents at the SSA. Maybe you are one of them.

        Do not back down Minister Lowe.

        Fire the non-functioning incompetent Board. Get rid of the dead weight. Bring in new vibrant people with progressive ideas to get the SSA up and running again.

  16. Loretta Griffith September 20, 2017 at 1:48 am

    I do not expect the prime minister to micro manage, but manage he must when things seem not to be going right.
    I am all for getting rid of dead weight. We need production.

  17. Donild Trimp September 20, 2017 at 7:59 am

    @ Ernesta Catlyn –
    @ JM –
    If I am not mistaken, you two also argued that the Governor of the central bank could not be fired by the Minister of Finance.

    Can you remember what happened with that one?

  18. Joe Public September 22, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    @Donald Trimp
    Your trolling skills are horrible. You calling people illiterate but seem to have little grasp of sentence structure and grammar yourself! If you are not going to present a more intellectually ratified alternative to the debates, why bother to comment at all?
    You must have too much time on your hands. Don’t you have a job or some kind of work to do?

  19. Donild Trimp September 25, 2017 at 10:54 am

    @ Joe Public –
    OK smart ass, I will hazard a guess that you are also one of the lazy incompetent entitled Barbadians bringing down this beautiful country.

    Show us where you have a “grasp of sentence structure and grammar” by posting something sensible.

    Any defender of the lazy non-functioning SSA Board is not worth debating.

    I see you as another nincompoop existing under the self belief that you are intelligent.

    Take a hint. YOU ARE NOT.

    How is that for sentence structure? Surely a person with your limited intelligence will get it.


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