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STATE ENTERPRISES GONE ROGUE? by Eugene Reynald

posted 14 Dec 2017, 07:12 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 14 Dec 2017, 07:15 ]
Image result for rogue elephantThere has recently been much mouthing from Parliamentarians – including Independent Senators, indicating that State Enterprises (SEs) went “rogue”, in accruing some half the debt of approximately $100b owed by citizens and their descendants. Implicit in the term “rogue” is that these SEs have been out of control and doing their own thing.

I submit the following baseline facts and truths to indicate why this could not be so and that the rogues are the persons who created and effectively direct the management and operations of these SEs.

Please note that i) I use the term State Enterprise to include all agencies of the State run by appointees of Cabinet and ii) I use the term PM as the collective for the “PM and his Cabinet” to reflect the reality that the PM is THE CABINET and the latter simply a ruse to afford the PM immunity from prosecution, control over the affairs of State, protection from accountability and secrecy in doing his do:

1. State Enterprises were created by Prime Minister Eric Williams and his Cabinet and used by all successive PMs to achieve their personal/political ends, which more often than not are not the same as those of the country and its citizens. We are today experiencing the effects of this corrupt use of public funds and patrimony and so will our descendants in the tomorrows.


2. These SEs were created primarily for, inter alia, i) avoiding the public record and accountability related thereto. ii) ease and secrecy in borrowing money and entering into contracts by the PM. iii) facilitating patronage and cronyism iv) getting around the public sector inefficiency and bureaucracy. v) Implementing projects favoured by the PM.


3. Financing for SEs is provided on instruction/agreement from the PM and such funds are expended as directed by the latter personally or through his line Ministers. The SEs account directly to the PM and his Cabinet through their line Minister only and not to anyone else, not even the Auditor General.


4. The Boards and all senior staff of SEs are appointed or approved by the PM and usually change when the latter and his regime do. The PM also has the sole power to summarily dismiss these Boards or to direct on the employment or firing of any SE staff member. All contracts awarded by these SEs also have to be approved by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.


5. Guidelines for the structuring and management of most of SEs were included in the Uff Commission Report. One of the more important guidelines was for the Board of most SEs to include a Technical Executive Director and a Financial Executive Director. Successive Prime Ministers have honoured these guidelines more in the breach than the observance. In short, contrary to what Jearlean John, Noel Garcia and others have said the recommendations of Uff and his Commission have been ignored and instead most Boards continue to be made up of party hacks and/or sycophants who are there to carry out the instructions of the PM.

6. From the aforementioned can be deduced the obvious that most of the 45 billion in debt accrued by SEs (and that figure I am sure is grossly underestimate and increasing daily) came about because these SEs were not compensated for work carried out on instructions from successive Prime Ministers or from corruption and inefficiency which took place under the “watchful eyes and direction” of these Prime Ministers.


7. There is also a CLICO-like structure operating between/among these SEs and their parent Company managed by the PM. In this structure they all owe each other and collectively owe many persons/organisations in the private sector. Liability for all this debt is carried directly or indirectly by citizens of the country.


This debt is increasing, the scale is unknown and it is being supposedly managed by a PM (himself being managed and claiming to be like Caesar’s wife) who, while praying for an oil or gas boom, is blaming anyone or anything he can find or imagine for all that is going wrong. What is worse is that truth and facts are being hidden from the public amidst a litany of evidence suggesting that corruption, incompetence and waste is out of control in the parent Company that he as PM was elected to manage.


8. The dishonesty and incompetence of party hacks who sit on the impotent Joint Select Committees (JSCs) supposedly overseeing the functioning of these SEs is expected. What is unexpected, should not be and offensive to the intelligence of citizens is for so called Independent Senators who sit on these same JSCs to chorus with these party hacks in telling citizens that JSCs went rogue in accruing their massive public debt that citizens and their descendants are now being called upon to pay. These JSCs – in all they do and did not do, were and still are instructed and managed by our Prime Ministers.


9. The Beetham Response was not an isolated one and there are now rumblings and fears being expressed by the “one percenters”. These factors along with others are suggesting that centre cannot hold for long.
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