Grenada accountant defeats PM in BK court motion

Go Lean Commentary

Grenada BK 2“He who does nothing makes no mistakes” – Old Adage.

The contrast of this “Old Adage” is also true: “No risk, no reward”. So “he who does a lot, risks a lot”. These truisms bear to ask the questions:

• When the risky endeavors fail, who is it that pays?

• Who should be held accountable?

The answers to these questions align with the foregoing news article; this is the subject matter of bankruptcy (BK).

The book Go Lean … Caribbean delves deep into the matter of bankruptcy processing for the Caribbean region. This book is a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the economic optimization of the 30 member-states constituting the Caribbean region. The CU is proffered as a super-national administration, a federal government for these states. Strategically there are 3 prime directives of the CU:

1. Optimize the economic engines so as to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.

2. Establish a security apparatus (including emergency management) around the economic engines so as to mitigate the eventual emergence of “bad actors”.

3. Improve Caribbean governance.

The tactical plan for this roadmap is a separation-of-powers for this federal government versus the governmental administrations of the member-states. Based on anecdotes similar to the foregoing news story, there should be little objection to elevating bankruptcy processing away from local control. It is obvious that locally, there is too much temptation for favoritism, cronyism and corruption.

(We are not levelling any accusation of corruption towards Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell. This is just an acknowledgement that bankruptcy processing exposes different vantage points and priorities).

By: Caribbean News Now contributor

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — Prime minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell has lost his bid before the High Court in Grenada to have local chartered certified accountant Garvey Louison removed as liquidator of the Grenada Today newspaper.

Mitchell had argued before that court that Louison had failed to comply with his duties, failed to indicate the location of assets, lost interest in the matter, and had caused undue delay in bringing the matter to a close.

In his defence, Louison argued that Mitchell had no evidence to support his claim, that Mitchell hid behind the frock of a legal secretary at a law firm to bring his allegations before the court, that the legal secretary had no standing before the court and that he had complied with the duties set out in the liquidation order and that of the Companies Act.

Justice Mohammed held that to remove the liquidator the applicant must have good standing, good grounds, and provide sufficient evidence to move to court.

The judge questioned the legal standing of the secretary, one Uthlyn George, to make the accusations that she filed by way of affidavit. The law is clear regarding the production of an affidavit. An affidavit is supposed to contain facts that are within the deponent’s own knowledge and belief and where it is not, it must set out the source of the information and belief or it would be hearsay.

The deponent failed to set out who informed her or what was the source of her information and belief in making allegations that were not in her direct knowledge. In particular regarding the allegations of delay, she failed to set out the details of such delay.

In addition, Mitchell did not provide a reason why he could not file the affidavit himself and had to use Uthlyn George.

It was held that, whereas the court can remove a liquidator in the circumstances where it was satisfied that the liquidator was inefficient, lacked vigour or was biased in the discharge of his duties, there was no evidence in this case to support the removal of the liquidator.

Local observers had claimed that, at some point, Mitchell was expected to move against Louison based on several articles the business consultant and former Auditor General, Accountant General and Permanent Secretary, Finance [Ministry] had been writing in the media.

Grenada Today was put into liquidation in 2009 as a result of two charges of criminal libel brought against the managing editor, George Worme, in connection with a letter published by the newspaper accusing Mitchell of bribing voters in the 1999 general election.

Caribbean News Now – Online News Source – April 19, 2014 –

Grenada BK 1The foregoing news article relates that the issue of receivership of the insolvent Grenada Today Newspaper is a “touchy” subject, requiring checks-and-balances. In this case, the Grenada High Court became involved to adjudicate the matter.

While there is already a process for bankruptcy in all Caribbean member-states, the need to elevate this processing to a federal level is undeniable; to bring balance/fairness to creditors and avoid abuse by debtors. This is alluded to in the foregoing article.

The Go Lean roadmap envisions federal bankruptcy courts, with branches throughout the region, having exclusive jurisdiction.

These CU entities will manage bankruptcies for individuals, firms (for profit & not-for-profits), election campaigns and even governmental agencies (municipalities, public-private consortiums and central/national governments).

The CU will be the relief of last resort, the bail-out provider. Also, the first responder for encroachments of Failed-State indicators.

The CU mandate for bankruptcies is to lean towards reorganization, rather than outright dismissal of legitimate debt. Creditors may have to take a “hair-cut” (minor loss). The federal courts will then appoint direct receivership to Trustees (usually accountants and/or lawyers) to facilitate the processing of the bankruptcy obligations.

An efficient process for bankruptcy is vital to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) – these stakeholders require protection and accountability. The definition of FDI is risk. With risky efforts come success … and failure. This requirement is pronounced early in the book’s Declaration of Interdependence (Page 13) with these statements:

xxi. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation … to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xxiii. Whereas many countries in our region are dependent Overseas Territory of imperial powers, the systems of governance can be instituted on a regional and local basis, rather than requiring oversight or accountability from distant masters far removed from their subjects of administration. The Federation must facilitate success in autonomous rule … within the geographical region.

The goal of the CU is to elevate Caribbean life, culture and economy. This requires a new community ethos: investment in our people, by our people. There will be hits-and-misses, successes and failures. The CU roadmap is to hope (and build) for the best, but also plan for the worst. We will provide support services (incubators, shared systems, “cooperatives”, angel investors) to aid the entrepreneurial hopes and dreams. But we must facilitate the failures as well. We must methodically “wine down” failed enterprises and failed endeavors, so as to dissuade any fear of failure, rather to promote the “audacity of hope”.

So the subject matter of bankruptcy affects economics, security and governance. The solutions to effect change in the region are detailed in this book Go Lean … Caribbean as community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocates; as follows:

Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-arounds Page 33
Strategy – Inviting Foreign Direct Investments Page 48
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Separation of Powers – Federal Bankruptcy Courts Page 90
Implementation – Ways to Better Manage Debt Page 114
Implementation – Ways to Impact Elections Page 117
Implementation – Ways to Promote Independence Page 120
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices Page 134
Planning – Lessons Learned from 2008 Page 136
Planning – Lessons from Detroit Page 140
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Credit Ratings Page 155
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Student Loans Page 160
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Reforms for Banking Regulations Page 199
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to ImpactBritishTerritories Page 245
Advocacy – Ways to ImpactDutchTerritories Page 246
Advocacy – Ways to ImpactFrenchTerritories Page 247

The Go Lean roadmap will make the Caribbean a better place to live work, and play. Caribbean stakeholders will make mistakes; but when we fall down, we will not stay down. We will get up, turn-around, reboot and recover. Our people deserve this continuous effort.

Download the Book- Go Lean…Caribbean Now!!!

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