“Lashley’s Governance Called into Question” BY DALE MARSHALL Q.C. & M.P. – DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, Barbados Labour Party
As a consequence of the charges made by former Chairman of the National Housing Corporation, Marilyn Rice-Bowen that Minister Michael Lashley continues to bypass the Board on a number of NHC projects in contravention of the established rules and protocols, the Barbados Labour Party is calling on the Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart to explain to the country why the Cabinet chose to revoke Mrs. Rice-Bowen’s appointment rather than hold Minister of Housing, Michael Lashley accountable for his conduct.
Mrs. Rice-Bowen made it clear that in spite of all efforts to correct this impossible situation the Minister continued with his behaviour. The most recent example of which she gave was at Forde’s Road Clapham.
As a former chairman of the NHC and a former Attorney General, I can confirm that her understanding of the required standards of governance of the Corporation is absolutely correct.
She also confirmed what the Barbados Labour Party has been saying for some time that the Minister is failing to respond to the urgent needs of small contractors. Minister Lashley’s record is one of consolidating wealth in the construction industry in the hands of one or two large companies.
Barbadians will know that two of the largest NHC projects, Coverley and Country Road are being done by the same group of companies.
Barbadians must also be appalled that there is no contract in place for the housing project at Constant between the contractors CLICO and the NHC. What is so special about CLICO that the former Chairman of the Board could not get them to sign a contract to protect the interests of the NHC?
In spite of all the controversy surrounding the affairs of CLICO the Government has failed to protect, not only the policy holders, but now the tax payers. This further confirms what the whole of Barbados already suspects – it seems the DLP Government is in bed with CLICO.
Mrs. Rice-Bowen, as a long-standing member and former candidate of the DLP must be commended for her courage and public spiritedness in holding fast to her principles and standing up for what is legally and morally right. Unfortunately her colleagues have chosen yet again to make her the sacrificial lamb.