Protecting Barbados from a Culture of Corruption

Dear Readers:

Government corruption is a major problem in many countries worldwide.  Governments who allow and engage in this practise essentially guarantee their citizens a miserable, fearful, or violent existence.  An examination of Government corruption shows that it is normally started by politicians and senior civil servants, and then becomes practised by companies and employees.

Once Government officials agree to receive bribes, then those businesses that normally do business with government, must either participate in the practise of paying bribes, or they may not survive.

Once a business has crossed that moral threshold of paying bribes, then they will likely demand that bribes be paid by those who wish to do business with them.  So the small service provider is forced to cross this critical threshold as well, and participate in this demoralizing practise.

Eventually, the cost of consumer goods and services will increase.  Consumers must therefore supplement their income in order to pay for goods and services.  Therefore, individual employees will likely demand that bribes be paid in order to give priority to specific work assignments.

The unemployed must therefore resort to violent robbery in order to obtain money to pay for all of the bribes, and responsible persons who do not participate in the corrupt practises will likely become destitute.

Government corruption is therefore started by short sighted politicians who have not learned from places like Nigeria.  Therefore in order to survive, every person must participate in the national culture of corruption.

Fighting Government corruption has become a principal concern among international funding institutions.  Many countries have enacted legislation to attempt to address this problem.  Both of our political parties have promised to introduce legislation in order to address corruption.  This is a good first step; however, the risk of it being an ineffective first step in Barbados is extremely high.

Effectively fighting Government corruption is, inter alia, dependent upon the cooperation of a senior civil servant who is aware of the practise, but who fears persecution.  Therefore, legislation to fight corruption will likely be ineffective if there is not adequate protection and incentive for those who are in a position to report corruption.It is therefore critical that Whistleblower or Disclosure Protection legislation is enacted at the same time, otherwise the problem of corruption will remain despite the proclamation of corruption fighting legislation.

Disclosure Protection legislation should include the following minimum provisions.  

  1.  A reward of 10% of any bribery money confiscated as a result of reporting a claim of corruption.

  2.  A penalty equivalent to the amount of the expected reward for any fraudulent report.

  3.  A compensation of 10 years salary to be paid by the employer for unfair dismissal resulting from reporting a legitimate claim.

 In my opinion, our political parties are interested in protecting us from the potential culture of corruption described above if they enact effective Disclosure Protection legislation.



2 responses to “Protecting Barbados from a Culture of Corruption

  1. I am not much of a fan of politics or politicians but I have some strong views on honesty. I hate dishonesty in any form so I find the thought of government corruption distressing.
    What I really think though, is that Barbados is starting to mature (it is 41 yrs old after all), and it is letting its expectations be known. It is refusing to be treated like a child any longer; it therefore expects to hear the reason why, not the usual ‘because I said so’ that a child often hears from a parent.
    We need to enact legislation in this country which makes the average citizen believe that the right thing is being done for the country as a whole.
    Where the climate is one of trusting that the government is doing the best it can and will see after the lowliest person in the population because he or she is a citizen of the country and the laws are applicable to all and sundry.
    I would be the first to admit that our laws pale in comparison to some others but we have to start somewhere.
    That said, the country is crying out for some openness and honesty. To know the true status of our books so to speak etc. We may very well get it sorted out some day. Indeed, we have to.

  2. Pingback: Structural Engineer Grenville Phillips III Knows Construction - But Little About Laws And The Rule Of Law « Barbados Free Press

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