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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has accused the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank of having an anti-small island bias.

He levelled the accusation last week Tuesday amidst the saga triggered by the bank’s decision to declare misprocurement in the Yarabaqua River Defence Project.

The bank has demanded that Kingstown repay funds drawn down under a project it was financing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gonsalves said he was not asking the CDB to undo their declaration of misprocurement and he doesn’t want any bad relationship with the bank or its president, W. Warren  Smith, adding that there was mutual respect

“I ask that question though, to him: do you think the official at the CDB would have acted so precipitately and not pay the courtesy to call to the chair of the tenders board in Jamaica, Trinidad or Barbados?”

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Gonsalves said he asked Smith if he thinks that the official at the CDB would have acted “so precipitately and not even pay the courtesy to call the Tenders Board chairman if the procurement was done by the Tenders Board of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, or Barbados.

“He said to me he didn’t think that would make a difference. I say, unfortunately I think different.

“I don’t see a CDB official misprocuring without talking to the chairman of the Tenders Board where the procurement is done under the regulations of the particular country,” Gonsalves said.

He said that infused in many regional institutions is an anti-small island bias by some officials.

“You have had it in West Indies cricket for a long time and even now. You have selectors telling you or coaches…I have heard that they have said, ‘Well you see in the Windward Islands and St. Vincent, is bush cricket they play.’

Gonsalves said he cannot prove that there is an anti-small island bias in the CDB.

“But I feel it in my bones from my long years of experience that if it were a procurement agency of Jamaica, of Trinidad and Tobago, or Barbados, in the absence of fraud or corruption, they would have called the head of the tenders board.”

Gonsalves said he is not saying that the person who declared the misprocurement has this anti-small island bias.

“But I am looking for explanation, that’s why I say I pose the question, was it done deliberately or recklessly in not asking the chairman of the Tenders Board. But this is a standing caution to all entities, regional or international dealing with his government; it must deal with it with respect, and with our institutions.

“If we made a mistake, we will acknowledge it and the president of the CDB said they would acknowledge their mistakes too.

“Doesn’t mean they will acknowledge their mistakes publicly. They don’t have to do that. They could acknowledge it internally.”

The CDB declared misprocurement after it had given a letter of no objection for the award of the contract to Reliable Construction Service Ltd.

However, Bally and Bally Investments, one of the unsuccessful tenderers complained directly to the bank, after the Ministry of Transport and Works in Kingstown said that a second review it requested of the IBI Group, the consultants, also recommended that the contract be awarded to Reliable Construction.

The CDB said it declared misprocurement because Reliable Construction did not have the required financial information, access to financial resources, or specific experience.

10 replies on “PM accuses CDB of anti-small island bias”

  1. My to cent

    Can the CDB accused as The Government and people of SVG”Manipulation”?

    “Bias” or prejudice mean in favour of another one. They did award the project to any other country than SVG. Are we so dumb in profiling or big state against small state and this anti.

    Time to close the door on this Misprocurement issue ,it was weigh and found wanting. The standard by which the CDB award contact and finances was not met.
    Misprocurement is virus in all sector in SVG, until we eradicate it and honest in all manner of business. If not our name will always be in the mud.
    So stop the blame game.

    My two cent

  2. They say that “The jumbie knows who to frighten”! The arguments of Cricket has nothing to do with these past events. The simple fact of the matter is that the Gonsalves family administration got found out and was truly found wanting.

    Why can’t the family not just admit the truth that the repairs contract, for which they needed the Bank’s money, was awarded to a non-qualifying contractor over and above a contractor that did qualify, and that fact was against the lending institution’s “Terms of Reference”!

    Terms of Reference that the administration was quite familiar with. It is plainly dishonest to assume that all Vincentians could buy into this Gonsalves now overworked narrative of victimhood.

  3. Gonsalves attempt to discredit CDB and its top people is disgusting and disgraceful.

    Remember when he lied to the nation about the borrowing of money to bail out the state bank. Only to be exposed by a letter that he wrote to CDB. They have short memories, that should have started alarm bells ringing.

    Had the CDB not loaned us the money the collapse of the bank would have brought down the whole East Caribbean banking system.

    Our bank was in the state of collapse because of the continual raping of it over a number of years, a mini Venezuelan type matter.

    Everywhere you get these 21st Century Socialist you get these kind of problems.

  4. If the bank is not satisfied with the documents submitted by Reliable Construction then it has right to reject it. What is Ralph complaining about? The information submitted was false or lacking transparency – something the government of SVG lacks. Ralph should stock trying some of Trumps attitudes and admit the banks have the right to reject the proposal submitted by Reliable Construction. If Bally and Bally saw through this hoax; why didn’t the government people see that also?
    Lets’ face it: Now with this storm hitting SVG tomorrow one has to wonder if the project can withstand a storm if the builders are lacking experience and knowledge of what is needed. That million$$$ could be washed away in minutes and that would be a waste of tax payers money. The money could be spent on education and schools and that’s where Reliable Construction could and should be sent.

    1. The problem is even larger when you consider the fraud against the CDB was also a fraud against all the other bidders. Each bidder should be upset when you consider the time and money used in making a bid, each one of them were robbed. They should all be annoyed if they were not even genuinely considered.

  5. I am in agreement with the PM.No because your country is small your mind is.if the PM was to ask the CDB to finance the airport.That would of never happen.they came on board because he started it.So let me say to you Mr prime Minister thanks for being my mentor with regards to your breavery and determination to see what oders can’t see.and only you alone and you never make no one stop you.l am not a supporter of the ULP but I am inspired by a lot of things you do.brave Man talk.

    1. Mr Mac, the UK, EU and the US were all asked to fund the airport but all turned it down because it did not make financial sense or a good investment, and perhaps rightly so. Time will tell, time will tell.

      What we do know is that our children’s will still be paying for it in 80 years time.

      It took Cuba ten years to complete a three year project. Just like the medical centre in Georgetown they overran the projects at a huge cost to the Vincentian tax payer, all to please the political ego of Ralph Gonsalves. They also cost us a fortune at the airport destroying expensive plant and machinery through neglect and misuse.

      When you weigh everything up the Vincentian public were duped by mistruths such as when the airport was finished we would have no debt, and that Venezuela were paying the Cubans wages, that a collection of countries described as the coalition of the willing were paying for the airport.

      I turned out that not one of these statements were true. We have immense debt because the airport was funded via borrowing with interest. The Venezuelans never paid a cent towards the Cubans wages, SVG paid about $300, 000. a month for those wages.

      To this very day a large number of people who had their farmland confiscated by compulsorily purchase orders still remain unpaid.

      Then when you consider Gonsalves told the people he is here to finish the work of Maurice Bishop, who devised a plan to defraud the IMF, World Bank and foreign investors, what are we expected to think when the current CDB problem arises?

      Can we trust the word of a self confirmed and self declared liar in this matter, any than we could in any of the preceding matters.

  6. To fleer and jeer at the CDB management is inexcusable. Here is a man who has been accused of rape and sexual assault, admits to being a liar, and by his own admission once signed an agreement known to be unenforceable and unconstitutional. He rails against the CDB decision then compurgates with his son to excuse the contractor, he cannot yet be accused of contumacy because the matter is not before a court.

  7. May Almighty God come quickly to our aid and help us out of these our ongoing troubles. Just see where the P.M, Ralph Gonsalves and extended family draws their support from! The likes of Mr MAC! If the rest of the suffering country are not in deep dodo I don’t know what is?

    Charles Brockden Brown was an American novelist, historian, and editor of the Early National period. He they say, is generally regarded by scholars as the most important American novelist before James Fenimore Cooper and he wrote this Mr MAC, quote;

    “All men are, at times, influenced by inexplicable sentiments. Ideas haunt them in spite of all their efforts to discard them. Prepossessions are entertained, for which their reason is unable to discover any adequate cause. The strength of a belief, when it is destitute of any rational foundation, seems, of itself, to furnish a new ground for credulity. We first admit a powerful persuasion, and then, from reflecting on the insufficiency of the ground on which it is built, instead of being prompted to dismiss it, we become more forcibly attached to it.” Somnambulism And Other Stories.

    So you see Mr MAC, we can only ask you to go back to some form of learning institution for a little while as it may truly help you somewhat!

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