What is Darwin Dottin doing for the people of Barbados?
That was a key question on the lips of Democratic Labour Party (DLP) officials as they lambasted the government-appointed crime-consultant whose tenure last year coincided with Barbados’ bloodiest year on record.
Attorney General Dale Marshall since then has defended the appointment claiming that Dottin has been serving the country well.
On Sunday night, former President of the Young Democrats, Curtis Cave and DLP General Secretary Guyson Mayers tore into the former commissioner of police and other government consultants whose fees, in their opinion ought to be banished from the public payroll.
But Dottin bore the brunt of the attack as critics noted it was during his administration that the police force faced a record 35 murders back in 2006.
“You cannot bring back the man as a consultant who had the previous record on murders,” Cave told a packed room at the George Street auditorium.
“At that time, I believe the Attorney General was Dale Marshall or the current Prime Minister. The combination of these three characters is clearly not very good at all.”
When asked for his take on Dottin’s accomplishments after his appointed back in February last year, Guyson Mayers, a former head of the Police Service Commission soundly condemned the “cloak of secrecy” surrounding the appointment.
“Nobody has seen him, nobody has heard from him since then, nobody knows what he is doing and therefore I do not know if he is working for the government of Barbados or the Barbados Labour Party… I don’t know what he is doing so I cannot comment on whether the money is well-spent,” he admitted.
On Monday, however, the AG took to Voice of Barbados radio to declare that Government is pleased with the ex-commissioner’s “efforts” but argued Dottin had no duty to report to the public.
“Mr Dottin is engaged as a consultant by my ministry. He reports to me and through me to the Prime Minister. I don’t think there has ever been an instance in the history of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) that any consultant ever spoke to the public about what they were doing. I expect more of this but I keep saying that Barbadians need to stay the course. We have put an awful lot of resources into crime fighting and we are making significant strides with a number of the cases.
Meanwhile, DLP President Verla DePeiza, also sitting on Sunday’s panel on Crime, Youth and Opportunities, conveyed her concern about the issue of government consultants on a much wider scale.
She argued that the consultancy fees contained in the 2017/2018 estimates by the DLP when compared with those under the current Prime Minister reveal an “explosive escalation” in costs by hundreds of percentage points. Even more worrying for DePeiza is the lack of disclosure about the identity of the consultants.
“We do not know who the majority of the consultants are. We keep hearing rumours. At least in relation to the former Commissioner of Police, he was introduced to us, but the majority of the other consultants, we have no idea who they are, what they are supposed to be doing, how much they are being paid, whether they are supposed to issue any reports, conduct any research or anything of that nature,” said DePeiza.
She added: “We do not know what their terms of reference are, what their remit is and in most cases we don’t even know what they are being paid. What I can say in relation to former Commissioner Dottin is that we can see there have been no results since his appointment and whatever it is that he is being paid, the monies very clearly could be redirected to some purpose, because right now we cannot see any purpose for his being a consultant for this government.”
Meanwhile, Cave, suggesting many of the consultants are wealthy supporters of the ruling BLP challenged them to prove they had the country’s best interest at heart by offering their services for free. [email protected]