Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Dominica government and the EC$ 749 797 garbage bin fiasco

By Jason Richards

The government of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is reeling from allegations of wrongdoing surrounding the purchase of 2 700 (Roughneck 32Gal Non-Wheeled) garbage bins.

At the center of the controversy is the payment by the Dominica government of EC $ 749 797.22 to Andre Dowel Sr. of Logistical Supply Solution, a Pennsylvania based supplier for the purported purchase of the bins.

garbage bins
Garbage bins like the one pictured were purchased by government for over US$100.

Following questions raised by the opposition United Workers party (UWP) in the country’s parliament, it was revealed that an invoice dated April 22, 2008 for the 2 700 bins at a cost of US $102.19 per bin was submitted to government.

On May 9, 2008 two separate payments totaling EC$ 749, 797.22 was made to Mr Dowel of Logistical Supply Solution. The whole affair came to light after government presented a supplementary budgetary appropriation to Parliament that included the payment of the bins.

The bins eventfully arrived in Dominica on September 24, 2008, and was finally cleared from the Customs on April 16, 2009 after government paid EC$112,400 in VAT payments.

The garbage bins were subsequently turned over to the Roseau City Council, which is headed by a high ranking member of the ruling Dominica Labour Party, Roseau mayor Cecil Joseph. Residents of Roseau were required to pay EC$30 for each bin.

Over the past week, talk radio was inundated with discussion on the issue, with many asking for an explanation from the prime minister.

At a news conference in Roseau earlier today, former prime minister Edison James called on prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit to explain to the Dominican people why his government paid US$102.19 for bins that can be purchased at a retail value of about US$ 15 in the United States.

He also called on government to explain its relationship with Andre Dowel Sr who just last year was paid well over EC$275 000 for the importation of fertilizers.

For its part, the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) through its leader Judith Pestaina in a tersely worded statement called on the prime minister to among other things “explain why was the request for such a large sum not tendered in keeping with the guidelines for transparency and probity in office.”

She also questioned why the funds were “paid in advance and kept for almost a year before the bins arrived in Dominica.” The DFP leader also questioned why the government was dealing with a company that is obviously not registered in the United States.

The prime minister has so far not responded to any of the questions raised by the opposition.

A preliminary query to the Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau revealed that no such company was listed with the state. The company address and name listed on a copy of the invoice provided to this writer was given as:

Logistical Supply Solution

67 Kings street

Pottstown, PA, 19464. E-mail to a friend

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Well well well. This is the beginning. We can say goodbye to the good ole Dominica and welcome to the Caribbean's Nigeria!!! CORUPTION indeed, money laundering certainly.....
I pray to God that the eyes of the people will be opened to what is happening in our country and refuse to accept that level of deception and corruption. How do you justify spending so many millions on gabbage bins when our people are going hungry. God help us.
Reminds me of the old African practice of asking your overseas supplier to overcharge you and put the overpaid amount into a hard currency foreign account. They perfected it to the point that no actual goods were shipped but overseas payments made nonetheless: B/L's, invoices, certificates all perfectly in order but faked! Hard currency would then be smuggled back into the country and exchanged for local currency at black market rates, thus fueling inflation, devaluation and a systematic plundering of foreign reserves. Do we now to start looking for payments in respect of goods and services that were never supplied!?
It hurts to see any remaining respect for our country being squandered with our name in disrepute
Skerrit is clearly stealing from the Treasury. I assume Dopwell is storing the extra for him.

Be warned that the US government has been asked to investigate to see if the money can be traced back to the PM and his cronies. Somebody will take a jail for that. No way will we allow our treasury to be raided!!!
Even if this is not coruption, how do you justify subsidizing gabbage bins to the people of Roseau. You may as well subsidize, rice, chicken, fish etc.
Roosevelt Skerrit is like "Christophine". He is in all corruption sauce..
We are not going to let Skerrit & Cecil get away with this open fraud this time around. And what gave them the impression that they had gotten away with earlier breaches of the people's TRUST? "Time is always longer than twine."
Just checked with the Better Business Bureau of Pensylvania. They have no record of this company being registered in their state. A complaint has been placed with the State Attorney General to see what kind of information they can provide on Mr. Dowel Sr. Stay tuned.....
I sincerely hope that the writing is on the wall for this government. I honestly had enopugh. Every day questionable deeds of this government surfaces straight in the face and Tony Astaphan is allowed to run like a puppy to dig up government files to attempt to put a good face to his saga. No wonder when he travels out of Dominica he tells his friends that he is fed up of defending and bailing out this government mess. We have the on going DBS stealing of limited funds, fraudulently by high ranking board members involving the mayor who is also the deputy leader of the Labour party, now he is on vacation in Sweden. How far to go and "cool out....", is the heat on? Dominicans at home and in the disapora please begin to spread the word about that that this government MUST GO...and let us prepare for good government. My god, these guys put in place the IPO, very late too, but the question is who is going to guard the guards. Dominicans stand and be firm, be prepared for chnage
Boy lets called this garbage gate-----Skerrit and his 'boyz' are going , going gone!!!! Let cut through the chase and Let the games begin folks----watch out Skerrit is about to book a flight to Monaco. Chavez is about to cut him loose because he is about to loose power is of no good to him-----lets the games begin-

Astaphan is about to cut him loose--let the games begin.....because the writing is on the wall.

--good riddance
Hahahahahahahahah, one hundred years doe the theieves, one day for the police! There is much more to come. Wonder what the Skeritt apologists. The defenders, the co-cobspirators will do when the deck on cards really start stumbling down. We should allow them to bail off the sinking ship, they knew all along what was cooking in the pot, but they were getting their share of the mess. They are all crooks, don't accept their I DID NOT KNOW EXCUSES> THEY ARE ALL LIARS AND COOKS LIKE SKERITT. OUR JOB NOW IS TO FIND OUR WHERE THEY STORED THE CASH.. Yeah, this is little Nigera, no doubt about it.
This Song by Jaunty of St Lucia, "Bobol list" in fitting for "Corruption Christophine" and his cronies. What a shame!!!

Jason,correction , the name is Andre Dopwell (not Dowell). It is a well known name in St, Vincent and you can get a report on this individual from the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia where he is registered as the Pottsdown Cab company.
This is absurd..outrageous...A waste of money.These are the same garbage Bins that can be found at WALMART for $29.88 and at HOME DEPOT for about the same with a few dollars less, in the US.
All this to me is just a waste of tax payers money and an election Ploy.
Guys..Please use a name for ease of cross reference, too many anonymous. The plot certainly thickens. I spent the better part of this evening trying to reach Mr. Dopwell, so far without success. I'll keep trying. It appears that there is an answering service to one of the numbers.

So far there are three seperate companies listed at the same address in Pottstown (1) Taxi-services; (2)EPA Environmental Services and (3) Logistical Supply Solution.

It appears that (2) is owned by Andre Dopwell JR; (3) is not registered anywhere and (1) rings endlessly. Why would a taxi servive not pick up.

Here is the interesting part. The invoice to the Prime minister for immediate payment had the instructions to "Pay to Andre Dowel Sr." The question is would someone asking for a check of close to US$300 000 make a mistake with his name? (I have a copy of the invoice)

So there is in fact an Andre Dopwell listed at the address; but why Andre Dowel. I can understand someone making a mistake by missing out one letter in his name but two?

Another point, the invoice instructs to pay to Mr Andre Dowel and no where is the company listed except in the letterhead--go figure!

In any event I will try again to reach Mr. Andre tomorrow and report back as soon as i hear his side of the story about where he purchased garbage bins for US$102 (F.O.B).

We will also ask him whether he is related to Minister Colin McIntyre as it has been reported locally....Stay tuned!!!
So Skerrit trying to make his FORTUNE on the backs of poor malaway. Give a BROKE BOY from Vielle Case money and power and that's the result!!!!
It is very sad that in every poor country you find politician stealing from the people openly and yet we emulate and prostulate these leaders. Our Pm is corrupt to the bone and has even corrupted tyhe minds of those who know better. Where is the integrity, who is to protect us when in tghere are men and women we thought who held the highest honour of respect. I am sorry they have lost it all and will come to haunt them in years to come. What would be your legacy then, supporting a corrupt PM amd his government. It is a shame we have come this low. This government must go
Thank goodness for the Internet since we can research for ourselves to confirm or deny the Governments side of the story. Not even a registered company, what a shame. I want to get on the Bobol list since I need money now. Where I can apply for the bobol list? Again where is the local media to expose the corruption and due their duty to educate the public who can make an informed decision on who to vote. I want the DLP to be removed from office but the opposition is weak. The opposition does not even have a website with their manifesto and gaols. The UWP has a website but the just says Not Available or Will be soon Updated for the past months. The opposition needs new younger faces not recycled faces who have been in office before, had their chance and failed the people who voted them in.
Skerrit by maintaining a stony silence is making the matter much worse for himself, he is going on the maxim "that when there is no clear option the best thing is to do nothing" commonly known as the ostrich syndrome, there is no 5th amendment in Dominica and the uk law lords have stated that silence can and is seen to be a measure of guilt, someone is over 500k richer on the backs of poor Dominican's and from what is plain to see is that Dopwell will not be keeping that profit all to himself, in the uk the following cahrges would be brought against those accused, false accounting, money laundering, false represntation, fraud and deception, missuse and abuse of public office, commonly known as malfeicance each carry a long term in one of her Majesties hotels in the Uk, but hey this is Dominica. and you have to prove your case a lot of people in the Uk and elsewhere are interested in the result good luck
Time Magazine of May 25 has an interesting article about the increasing number of applicants to business schools, the concern about the future of the profession, and "a broader rethinking of the balance between doing well and doing good that could reshape the economy and the workplace in coming years". A new Oath of Honor was instituted by the Thunderbird Business School, which says:

"As a Thunderbird and a global citizen, I promise I will strive to act with honesty and integrity. I will respect the rights and dignity of all people. I will strive to create sustainable prosperity worldwide. I will oppose all forms of corruption and exploitation. And I will take responsibility for my actions. As I hold true to these principles, it is my hope that I may enjoy an honorable reputation and peace of conscience."

On the same token, does any member of our current and/or future leaders know about the review of thier professional oath?

These stories coming from Roseau are very disturbing and unsettling. I suppose we will have to wait to see all the evidence before a final judgement is made. But where there is smoke there is fire. I hope this is not the tip of the ice berg. As you know 9/10s of an iceberg is below water.

If these allegations prove to be true then Mr.Skerrit has no where to go but to resign beacause he cannot govern effectivley and further plunch the country into a tail spin.

I think we may be in big trouble in Dominica. Mr. PM you should know that if there is unrest in the streets of Roseau you will be held responsible.
A party is strong but it is interest and people who make it so. Is it that the opposition may be weak or that weak and vulnerable people fall for handout and are bought. Freedom party website will be out within days, I heard, so i am looking out for that. I agree, labour party should get......we must get on board to save our country
Why dont you all wait for the PM to explain before condeming?
I agree, I think we are in deeeeeeeeeeeep trouble in Dominica. There is corruption staring you in the face and I cannot beleive that people who appear to be intelligent enough are callng the radio stations and are in a mood of denial, covered faces and say it is not true and that PM is good and nice guy and Lennox Linton has a problem. You blind labourites who are still not woken up to reality, focus on the message and the damage being done to Dominica, to YOU, your Children and those to come.
The PM is now running all over looking for an audience to feel comfortable and ended up at the House of Nyabinga at the African Liberation day celebrations and announces and pronounces in an attenpt to buy Rasta by suggesting that he wil give $30,00.00 to next year`s event, and he will further approach the Ethiopian government to wave visa restrictions to travel to Ethiopia. Why insult the integrity of the Rasta people and of Black people. This is a blatant attempt to buy votes and put himslef in good book. Watch it, the PM is planning one of his devious trips and looking for an excuse to go to Ethiopia, to add to his many travel earnings and running away from the real economic situation he and his government has created in Dominica. What a clown, what a scarlet pimpernel. It costs about $12,000.00 to ravel to Ethiopia via London and one wil need another $10,00.00 for pocket money, hotel, food, taxi etc. Alos , whjat is a the benefit of going to Ethiopia apart from saying I have been there. I advise rasta to think hard. Please do not be one of those to be bouht and sold cheaply by the PM, slavery long gone PM. nuff respect please. Take the money an dput in beter use. By the way, how did yo single handedly approve this money, where it coming from. Who advises you on economic and investment development. Dominicans, rasta, please kick out this PM and Labour government. Enough worries on the BIn and DBS saga.
Wait and explain what? Are you guys serious. Explain how you can give some person Dominicans tax payers money, when Dominicans going hungry. Yes explain that; why he TIFING the money.....I can't wait to hear the explanation. Hopefully he does it from the rest up in StockFarm.
Dear P.M. :

- you approved the purchase of these bins
- you also approved payment for these bins

Please, do not insult us Dominicans any further by stating now that you have launched an investigation. There is no need for that, prolonging our pain and obfuscating the issue. You know the answers and what we need is an "explanation", from YOU!!
The other brother is right when he wrote what he did in the other peice the Skerrit response garbage, no need for fancy auditorial investigations all Skerrit needs to do is to disclose the details of the missing dopwell bank account, the recipient bank paper trail will show who has the missing $500,000 and how it was done he is also right in that the Dominca Police would help Mr Skerrit to clear his name but as we Dominicans know that will never happen truth to power. and I heard the joke as well over the chinese purchase of our home chindom province well done rosee
Imagine Skerrit asking the Director of Audit and Accounting Officer to investigate this Garbage Bin Bobol. The Director of Audit is a card carrying member of the Labour Party and has been a frequent caller on the radio in defence of the government mismanagemnent of the Economy. If this was not such a serious matter I would really laugh hard. I bet you the report from the Director of Audit will blame somebody but NOT Skerrit.

We seem to think that Skerrit ahs a bone of integrity in him. He does not and he cannot now find a fall guy so lets so what happens this time. Imagine Tony Astaphans was busy calling a fictitious James Moe Green to find details of the Company from which the bins were purchased FROM THE PRIME MINISTERS OFFICE. The same Prime Minister who is the Minister of Finance and from whose Ministry the money was paid. I wonder what the excuse will be when it is shown that Andre ANDY Dopwell had alos supplied us with FERTILIZER when his BROTHER was servinga s Minister of Agriculture without any Tender.
I think the PM, Colin and the boyz have made enough money...TIME to move on. Dominicans your vote in the next election will be the most important one you'll ever have to cast in your lifetime.....
Skerrit MUST resign now....no self investigation business...if not, the next Govt. will surely make sure he and his cronies land in the calaboose.
we have no checks and balances in dominica. the president should be voted by the people of d.a. so tat when these matters come up he represent the people not the prime minister or the opposition.the prim minister the president and the speaker of the house are all one big family. no backbone . i am really disapointed in all of the them but they must remember that they have a higher authority to answer to. 5/ 27/09
there is a lot of talk about a criminal investigation over the bobol bin garbage scandal, according to the law and you may not be aware of this but your passport will clarify it, it is the duty of every citizen to abide by the laws of any country you visit, likewise your own. did you know also that it is the duty of each citizen to report to the police any crime that they are aware of. the impotence of the integrity comission is very clearly demonstrated thus far, NOTHING! yet they took oaths on the holy bible, to perform their duties without fear or favour oh dear, they need to examine themselves or they will merit the scorn already pointed in their direction, the police themselves will be aware of all of this too and they are bound and ruled by the same laws that we are, or do the police have to wait for permission from someone like the president in order to perform the duties as is expected of them by the people that they serve.
Are you surprised? I'm not. Simply disappointed to the point of being enraged as I witness my nature Isle, mother of all beauty, truthful, honest and green, the reason for our indigenous living, being prostituted. The constant shame being brought unto Dominica is uncalled for. Another test for - 'law-abiding' citizens, the justice (or is it injustice system) of this land, the investigative arm of the law enforcement agencies, lawyers, and all honest Dominicans. Surprised?? Do not be. That is the order of the day. A section of the society sadly accepts such questionable deals and Bad business. Such Cowboy-style governance seem normal. There have been several examples of bad business involving 'high ups' nothing happens. The BIN SCANDAL is yet another example. In Dominica only peti-wisi is brought to justice.
Surprised !! Don't be. Those scandals were expected.

So the Roseau City Council don't have the capacity to order rubbish bins? Rubbish!!! Even if the Ministry of Finance was providing the funds, why couldn't Dominica Solid Waste or the RCC itself do the purchasing. What is so difficult for a City Council, if $$ are available, in this age of technology,to purchase 2700 bins for keeping Roseau and environs clean. Would RCC be transparent? How much does the Council know about the scandal?

1*1 # 2 at all times. Only if you are counting in base 10, that 1*1= 2. The apologists say nothing wrong was done. That's free
enterprise. That's business. So even when dealing in base 10, for them
1*1 = 4. Others who have adopted ostrich-like behaviour and immersed in pure partisan politics vacillate so much that today 1*1 =2, but by next day 1*1 =4. A stubborn divorce from the facts. Dominica is presently catching at a straw. The country is drowning. Throw in the life belt. A perpetuation of Mental slavery in Dominica so that such activities by unscrupulous persons can be swept in the dust bin.
It really seems that the politicians and the people who still surport our present government are trying to make history repeat itself in Dominica.
This is becoming a bit to much. While everyother person is try hard to make ends meet it seems that there are other who more than oppening there hands. I hope we all rememeber where that brought us in the past.
The pm should resign those kind of behaviour can not be tolerated in goverment so when those poto trying to save skerrit tell them to save themself skerrit read all kind of letter but not one letter from the RCC why you want to know why because RCC never order no bin he say the bins was for roseau now all country people buying how much, the bin bobol is just the begining there are much to come JAIL FOR THEM THEY MUST LOST
In my humble opinion, I am truly DISAPPOINTED in the Prime Minister and the Members of Cabinet. I have several issues with this matter and one of them is: Where were the "intelligent" members of the Government when the PM decided to make such a ludicrous purchase in the name of the Roseau City Council? This latest scandal cannot be thankfully blamed on Ambrose George who was the usual scapegoat for all the Labour Party's "mistakes". As far as I am concerned, I as a young woman WILL NOT BE VOTING anymore in this country!!! I also believe that all the young people on whose backs the last election was won, should withhold their votes, stand up and show these greedy politicians that you cannot use the people and then fool them with nice words and sweet smiles!! Hungry mouths are not filled with words, rather your office should have been used to create job opportunities, create educational opportunities, shelter the homeless (labour, uwp, freedom, pappy-ites). Why not do like the St. Lucian government and provide the collateral for students applying for student loans, bond them so that they come back to work and pay back the loans, but nonetheless give them the opportunity???? I am honestly fed up with all self-serving politicians who use the people of this country to fill their bank accounts and provide their close friends and famillies with "kickbacks". TEACH OUR MEN AND WOMEN HOW TO FISH...DON'T GIVE US FISH AND MAKE US COME BACK AND BEG!! And stop using your positions to manipulate young women into sleeping with you so that you could make a way for them!! Don't forget, Europe went through the age of enlightenment, it is not too late for Dominicans to be enlightened. I sympathise with Lennox Linton, I intend to join the likes of you who work hard everyday to bring the truth to our people. In time to come...Dominica will be free of all parasitic, lying, deceiptful men and women who encourage us to wear our ignorance like "badges of honour". Peace and love to us all!
Hopefully the prime minister and his croonies will eventually do the right and honest thing and that is to resign.He gave a speech and as far as I can say leaves for more questions than answers.
His speech was lacking substance and credibility.He knows that asking for an investigation from the director of audit was not going to produce anything substancial.He knows exactly what happened with the money,he knows he cannot blame anyone when he never asked for specifications on the bins.
Most of all,he read all communicaes,but where is the letter from the city council making request for assistance with the bins?There was never any request and that all adds up to the corruption.
Please Mr. Primer Minister do the most honourable thing,ask the President to appoint an independent commission and have a full scale inquiry into the matter.In the mean time step aside to allow for this investigation.
it a shame that a young man who seem to have leadership potential allows himself to be draged down to the political gutters in that manner, what is this saying to our youths who aspire to lead this country, this man cannot be a role model. Hats off to the journalist to brought this to light and we are still waiting on carlisle jno baptiste to tell us about the error he spoke about on Q95, BBC shopuld be ashame to have a journalist whom cant seem to answer the questions base on his investigations
This is my point, never again must Dominicans take a 31 year old and put to run and attempt to manage our country. Skerritt is a total failure and has brought Dominica down to a level of shame and disrupte. The labour party has no substance, credibilty, lacks vision and direction. We need leadership and change NOW

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