Of Tooth and Tongue

Our detractors keep insisting that we should stop writing about the ISO 9001 international management standard, because the public is generally unaware of it.  Only in the politically partisan world does one stop educating the public about benefits that they do not yet understand.  Only in that world are proven failed initiatives promoted, while proven successful ones are rejected.

That the public is uneducated about the ISO9001 management standard is an indictment of the established press, who ignored it in favour of failed management initiatives.

The Public Sector Reform initiative was created with fatal flaws.  Every year, it failed to improve public services.  Yet, every year, it was promoted and funded.  The National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE) was also created with fatal flaws.  Every year it proved to be a failure, and every year, it was promoted and funded.

The judiciary is a national disgrace, and the CCJ keeps reminding us that it is a regional embarrassment.  Rather than implementing the ISO system and actually manage the judicial system properly, we have, for the past decade, been talking about implementing some form of mediation and other initiatives.

The government is now ignoring the Public Sector Reform, closing the NSRL and the Productivity Council, and embarking on a new management initiative that can best be described as ‘Management by Talking’.  However, it is the same failed management approach that we have been trying for the past 4 decades.  Its direct opposite is the ISO approach of ‘Management by Doing’.

The BLP’s propaganda directive is to keep repeating the phrase ‘lost decade’ in reference to the DLP’s obvious mismanagement of the economy.  However, it is more accurate to speak of a lost 2 decades, with one decade being managed by the BLP and the other by the DLP.  We should remember that it was approximately 20 years ago when the BLP structurally damaged Barbados’ economy.

The established media appear to have received their orders to ignore this and other facts unfavourable to the BLP.  Therefore, the public is generally unaware that there is little difference between the level of gross mismanagement by the BLP and the DLP.  By our detractors’ reasoning, that is reason enough for us to stop mentioning it.  For the record, a section from 13 Oct 2009 Moody’ report follows (capitalised emphasis mine).

“Barbados’ KEY DEBT INDICATORS have been on a deteriorating path OVER THE PAST DECADE, and are now at levels that compare poorly with other countries in the same rating category,” said Moody’s Vice President – Senior Analyst Alessandra Alecci. “While the global crisis has clearly exacerbated this trend, the worsening of debt indicators OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME suggests that structural issues are at play.” .. “These include a steady increase in expenditures, INCLUDING OFF-BUDGET, as revenues have remained at roughly the same level in terms of GDP.”

The political administration that led the government during the decade prior to 2009 was not the DLP.  To my knowledge, Clyde Mascoll was the only person in Barbados who was warning us of these “off budget” corrupting no-bid contracts being awarded, and the increasing unsustainable debt.  However, when he became a B, the BLP’s bad debts were somehow magically transformed into good debts and our watchdog economists conveniently lost both tooth and tongue – until the re-election of the DLP.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

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