The Government of Barbados is on a mission to ‘purge’ the country from the ‘stain of corruption’ in all instances that it may be occurring.
Attorney General Dale Marshall, joined the Prime Minister, Mia Mottley on Sunday as she addressed the from her official residence, Ilaro Court and explained that while the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was in opposition, they were not totally aware of the levels of corruption in the island by the then ruling Government.
He explained that it was only now that they were in power that they had made various ‘startling’ discoveries and were meticulously gathering information to clean up the messes made.
“It was difficult for us to make a clear assessment being in opposition at that time… We’ve gone through file after file and have found a number of startling things.” He said.
This address to the nation of Barbados was not the first time that the now ruling party had leveled accusations towards the now out of power Democratic Labour Party (DLP) who lost the 2018 May elections by a landslide.
In fact Marshall, had revealed that just three months after going into office, they had uncovered several instances of corrupt practices on a seeming daily basis, including those made by the Central Government, by state-owned enterprises, by Ministers and that all of the decisions pointed towards personal gain being a motive.
The Attorney General (AG) told reporters at that time that government would be reviewing the books of two statutory corporations who he believed played in creating the ‘stain of corruption’ within the island, but that the process would be slow and ‘painstaking’ since they were looking over a decade of government and political activity.
On Sunday the AG highlighted a case where a million dollar invoice was settled in one day, which fell on the eve of the general election and asserted that the previous administration had lost many millions of dollars because of corruption.
“In many instances, contracts were awarded without any tender… There was another glaring set of circumstances and it related to the matter of exorbitant professional fees and legal fees which could not be justified by any reasonable measure…” He said.
“It was clear to us that this was all part and parcel of a whole attitude where Government was there not to benefit large numbers of Barbadians, but a chosen few.” He continued.
In light of this, Marshall said that there was a variety of efforts being utilized to address this issue, including allowing people to provide whistle blowing information, where they can come forward, speak to the authorities and even admit their ‘ part in the misdeeds and hopefully be able to purge themselves from the stain of corruption.”
Prime Minister Mia Motley reinforced her administration’s position on the issue by also urging Barbadians to play their part in ridding the island of the corruption cancer.
“We will need to be disciplined, we will need to engage in sacrifice… because corruption is a cancer that literally takes away money and resources, that takes away from spend on those people who actually need it.” She said.