FLYING FISH & COU COU: System that’s not adding up
TROUBLE IS BREWING between committed staffers and their relatively new boss at a highly indebted statutory corporation. The issue revolves around his reorganisation of how the agency’s main revenue collection department will function.
Cou Cou understands that this sweet-talking general manager has established a unit, with no name but directly under his authority, and decreed that the revenue earned by the corporation should only flow through that and not the sales and marketing department as previously done.
The objective, as explained to Cou Cou, is to ensure that as the leader of the organisation he would have direct knowledge on a day-to-day basis of its financial performance, and would be able to craft strategies – orthodox and otherwise – to raise revenue.
The goodly gentlemen apparently justified this approach as more dynamic and in keeping with private sector thinking of having a revenue collection department that can be more responsive to clients’ needs in a tight fiscal environment. That way, it would be able to make, or take advantage of, any deals and not be hemmed in by the antiquated way of doing business similar to how the department normally functions.
Cou Cou understands the experienced administrators within the sales and marketing department did not like the move one bit, and expressed their reservations. For their honesty they were labelled as not being team players.
The staffers, though, are convinced the system is flawed because since it was put in place, deals have been made and money paid into the department supposedly as the revenue earned from them, but without written contracts.
Cou Cou was told that this glaring flaw was clearly exposed recently when a loyal customer, who had made an arrangement under the new rules, called into the sales and marketing department asking about his contract as per usual. In innocence, a staffer sent him a contract that the department had written up internally for their guidance based on the funds paid in. However, the customer was reportedly outraged that the sum quoted in the document was less than he had paid.
Cou Cou understands the boss has intervened and is handling that matter.
This development has left many staffers at the cash-strapped corporation whose services filter into most Barbadian homes, lamenting that after more than 50 years in operation and despite changes in governments, little has improved at the entity.
Just in case of early elections
THE STATE of the economy will be the most decisive factor as to whether Barbados will have an early general election or not.
This is the consensus among political operatives on both sides of the divide.
Those who suggest an early election told Cou Cou it would come about if things get worse. That is, if there is another downgrade due to continuing high and rising debt, revenue collection maintaining its downward trend, and the Central Bank keeping up its printing of money to bail out the Government. In that scenario, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart would have no choice but to go to the polls before a possible devaluation.
On the other hand, Stuart could maintain the status quo if the sale of the Barbados National Oil Terminal goes through, and Hyatt Hotel can start. Both would see the influx of much-needed foreign exchange into the economy.
The political scientists have consistently said that Stuart will not do this, but in the meantime the Opposition is positioning itself just in case there is one. All of their candidates are now in place and are expected to be presented to the public at their annual conference today at Lester Vaughan School.