Pub­lic left fum­ing af­ter BRA lock­out

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - News - Rachelle Agard

by rachel­lea­gard @na­tionnews.com

Mem­bers of the pub­lic vis­it­ing the Bar­ba­dos Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (BRA) in The Pine, St Michael, yes­ter­day were made to wait an ad­di­tional hour and a half af­ter open­ing hours be­fore they were able to con­duct busi­ness.

Cus­tomers ar­rived as early as 7:30 a.m., ex­pect­ing the of­fice to open at 8:15 a.m., as in­di­cated by a sign posted on the doors, but they, along with staff mem­bers, were pre­vented from en­ter­ing.

Irate cus­tomer Ryan Brath­waite told the Week­end Na­tion he ar­rived at 8:30 a.m. and saw about 60 peo­ple stand­ing out­side.

“We were in­formed by the guard that the su­per­vi­sor had not ar­rived as yet, and as a re­sult the build­ing could not be opened. The guard was also stand­ing out­side. Around 8:50 a.m. some­body came and opened the door and staff mem­bers en­tered.

“Those of us on the out­side were hop­ing that busi­ness could be con­ducted shortly there­after. We re­mained out­side, the guard went in and re­turned to say the su­per­vi­sor had not ar­rived and busi­ness could not start,” he said.

He added that it rained about 20 min­utes later and when cus­tomers asked to be let in to shel­ter, they were re­fused.

Re­ports reach­ing the Week­end Na­tion were that an 82-year-old man in the line col­lapsed.

“He seemed to be suf­fer­ing from a bit of heat ex­haus­tion. The am­bu­lance ar­rived and he was at­tended to. His daugh­ter also came,” Brath­waite said.

Patrick New­ton, an­other an­gry cus­tomer, said he ar­rived an hour be­fore open­ing.

“The su­per­vi­sor only just walked through the door at 9:40 a.m. A man col­lapsed on the pave­ment and I had to call the am­bu­lance for him. This can’t be good enough.

“Rain came down and we all had to be in the rain,” New­ton said.

Harold Davis said he went to the Pine to avoid go­ing to Oistins but was met with the long lines, some­thing he had “never ex­pe­ri­enced so bad here be­fore”.

In re­sponse, the BRA’S man­ager of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pub­lic re­la­tions Carolyn Wil­liams-gayle said in a state­ment: “This morn­ing, the su­per­vi­sor on duty at The Pine had to leave im­me­di­ately on ar­rival to deal with a fam­ily emer­gency.”

She said the ma­jor­ity of li­cens­ing trans­ac­tions re­quired su­per­vi­sory in­ter­ven­tion so The Pine lo­ca­tion could not open un­til a su­per­vi­sor came to cover the op­er­a­tions there.

In an at­tempt to “safe­guard and se­cure the lo­ca­tion dur­ing that time, tax­pay­ers were not al­lowed to en­ter the of­fice”.

(Pic­tures by Rachelle Agard.)

A long line snaked down from the en­trance to the cashier area of the Bar­ba­dos Rev­enue Au­thor­ity’s of­fices at The Pine, St Michael, yes­ter­day.

Harold Davis wait­ing out­side the Bar­ba­dos Rev­enue Au­thor­ity.

Patrick New­ton was not happy hav­ing to wait at The Pine yes­ter­day.

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