The Barbados TODAY Inc published a series of articles on September 5, 6, 12 and 14 in our e-paper, which attracted public comments on our online media platform.
It has been drawn to our attention that the articles and public comments conveyed the false impression that Sir David Simmons and his daughter Lynne-Marie Simmons charged and were paid exorbitant and unreasonable fees for a legal opinion to the Board of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).
The facts are that Ms Simmons had obtained the BWA’s approval to consult with her father on the legal opinion, given his previous experience in similar matters as former Chairman of three statutory boards, an Attorney General and a Member of Parliament for 25 years. Upon completion of the opinion, Ms Simmons submitted her invoice for professional services, based on a preapproved hourly rate, for $15,200.00, and not $120,000.00 as was published in Barbados TODAY articles.
Furthermore, our article on September 5 – BWA Workers not entitled to five per cent pay hike – Sir David, reported that the legal opinion stated that the employees of the BWA “are not entitled to a five per cent hike.”
We accept, however, that the legal opinion stated at para 6.1 that although the employees were not entitled as of right to a salary increase, merely because public officers on the Civil Establishment had been accorded such an increase, nevertheless, at common law, having regard to previous practice on the part of the BWA, the employees may have had a legitimate expectation of an increase.
We acknowledge that the articles listed and public comments have caused Sir David Simmons and Ms Simmons grave offence.
The Barbados TODAY Inc welcomes the opportunity to set the record straight and unreservedly apologize for any hurt, distress and embarrassment experienced by Sir David and Ms Simmons.