Wednesday 1 April, 2020

Contract renewals have new government feeling shackled

Dale Marshall, Attorney General

Dale Marshall, Attorney General



This is how the Mia Mottley-led administration is describing a move by the previous government to renew contracts with agencies, companies and Heads of government officers before their deadlines.

During yesterday's press briefing at government headquarters, Bay Street, St Michael, Prime Minister Mia Mottley along with Attorney General Dale Marshall and other officials made extensive mention of how many contracts had been renewed in a number of ministries despite the fact that their end dates are no time soon.

“This was an attempt to be able tie any new government’s hands with the appointment of personnel or the renewal and development of contracts and leases. In every instance the CEO of the National Cultural Foundation, his contract was renewed the week before elections with respect to other offices in government [this renewal occured] literally ministry by ministry,” she said. Mottley continued along the vein that it also occurred within the Nation Sports Council.

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“These egregious contracts have been signed without reference to whether performance has been obtained by the people or not. I must say to you that you cannot literally renew contracts without an appropriate reference to if the person has performed accordingly with the terms and conditions of the contract,” she said.

“This is not fair to the people of Barbados. This the financial equivalent to what has happened on the South coast to the people of Barbados. Over 100 permits to taxis, buses and ZMs have been renewed as well,” Mottley added.

Attorney General Dale Marshall said that this conundrum with contracts was taking up a lot of ministerial time which could be used to address other issues. He made mention of a five-year lease issued by the National Conservation Commission which was extended until 2029.

“You can’t simply give a lease until 2029 without the opportunity to terminate it in 2029. Ministry after ministry we are seeing the renewal of contracts for CEOs where our government would want the opportunity to review the performance of those persons,” Marshall explained.

He mentioned the Transport Board’s general manager had her contract renewed for a further three years.

“Good judgement would suggest in circumstances where we have had major issues with the Transport Board that with an outgoing administration would want to give us the flexibility and the same thing is showing up in just about every ministry,” he added.

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