Premier Tables Bill To Increase Good Governance

May 25, 2012

Earlier today [May 25] in the House of Assembly, Premier Paula Cox tabled the second phase of the Good Governance legislation.

The Bill makes provision for Ministers to be appointed to hear an application or appeal on behalf of another Minister who has a conflict of interest, to extend whistle blower protection, to increase the period within which offences can be prosecuted, and to create an offence of collusion whereby parties seek to improperly exert influence in order to obtain a contract.

Premier Cox said, “In addition, we have strengthened the Financial Instructions Regulations and the Procurement Code of Practice, which will soon be gazetted, by including additional provisions, such as:

“Extending and expanding on the description of conflict of interest when awarding contracts; Enhancing the processes to ensure that money paid to vendors, contractors and organisations receiving grants is being used for the purpose for which the money was authorised.”

The Premier’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon,

I am pleased to announce that I have today tabled the second phase of the Good Governance legislation.

You will remember that in January 2012, I announced that I would table the second phase of the Good Governance legislation in the next session of Parliament. This bill includes the following amendments:

The Bill makes provision for a mechanism whereby a Minister can be appointed to hear an application or appeal on behalf of another Minister who has a conflict of interest.

To extend “whistle blower protection” to persons, e.g. vendors and contractors that are not covered currently in the Employment Act;

To create an offence of collusion whereby parties seek to improperly exert influence in order to obtain a contract;

To increase the period within which offences can be prosecuted.

In addition, we have strengthened the Financial Instructions Regulations and the Procurement Code of Practice, which will soon be gazetted, by including additional provisions, such as:

Extending and expanding on the description of conflict of interest when awarding contracts;

Enhancing the processes to ensure that money paid to vendors, contractors and organisations receiving grants is being used for the purpose for which the money was authorised.

Our work in this area continues and has yielded positive rewards. As I disclosed in my Ministerial Statement on progress on public sector reform, the Governance and Service Delivery Unit which will drive forward my good governance agenda and, with the help of Management Services, the Office of Project Management and Procurement and Internal Audit, hold line Ministries to account more closely for the delivery of their policy and service objectives.

Working together, these groups will ensure that the principles of good governance are being adhered to and strengthen procedures to ensure that any abuses will be a thing of the past.

I must also remind you that the principles of good governance apply to all public authorities. This means that both the Office of Project Management and Procurement and Internal Audit have oversight of procurement in all quangos to ensure that best practice is consistently adhered to.

It should also be noted that the Financial Instruction internal procedures and the Civil Service Code of Conduct is also being updated to reflect both the legislation and the penalties for non-adherence to good governance.

This Bill will further enhance good governance and transparency and will further underscore the message that this Government adheres to the high standards of ethical behaviour – transparency and accountability; fairness and equity; efficiency and effectiveness; respect for the rule of law.

I will now take your questions.

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Comments (34)

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    I may be wrong but is not good governance something that the PLP promised to provide way back in 1998? I mean, the UBP had messed the Island up so bad, according to PLP mouthpieces like Rolf Commision, the UBP "had failed & failed miserably".

    So, what do we have now?

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    • Yup says:

      Seriously....all of this shows is that since 1998 there has been crap governance...for which Paula Cox was happy to be a Cog In The Wheel.

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  2. Concerned says:

    Send their butts to Supreme Court if they screw up - premier has dragging her anchor through the grass.

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  3. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Now we have our own black government that "had failed & failed miserably" and that hurts us even more because it is our own who are hurting us worse than whitey could ever have.

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  4. hmm says:

    Well done Premier. Very timely and important legislation.

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    • Family Man says:

      It took 14 YEARS!!

      Anybody seen PATI? She's been missing for so long ....

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      • Mad Dawg says:

        PATI....oh yes. I remember getting a leaflet delivered to my door about PATI. That was when Alex Scott was Premier. It said they were for open government and were introducing PATI to create transparency. What a sick joke that was. Another broken promise.

        Cox waited until taxpayers had been drained for years by the Friends and Family plans. Too late lady.

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        • Yup says:

          If this was not an election year, would we be hearing anything from the Cog????

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    • Mr Cranky says:

      Timely? They've been dragging their feet on this for years. Too interested in diminishing the coffers.

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    • PH says:

      This must be sarcasitc. This government has dragged its heels so badly on this matter the shoe has fallen off.
      They do not want Good governace, as that leads to accountability and with too many "cogs" in the wheels who could you blame?

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  5. Laughable says:

    Too little, too late....

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  6. terry says:

    Supreme Court, Black Government. Screw up.

    When the election is called, do something.

    The mess is such.

    Will be same for many years but someone has to clean it up. And be labeled.

    Blessed day to all.

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  7. Argosy says:

    The new provisions appear to not apply to Government Ministers!

    Right, got it!

    Waste of time.....the law doesn't apply to those who say "don't you know who I am."

    Anyway, there's not much left to steal now after 13 years of having the PLP in charge. The coffers are empty!

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  8. Bermywan says:

    Oh this thread should be interesting.... *grabs popcorn*

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  9. joe says:

    Do we really need legislation to allow a Minister to stand in for another Minister to adjudicate on an issue in which that Minister has a conflict? Who determines the conflict? Surely common sense dictates that now.
    This is childish.

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    • terry says:

      Friends and Family.
      Don't you soon to be desponents get it.

      Harvard.......

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  10. Cox must Go says:

    Cox must Go

    Cox must Go

    Cox must Go

    Cox must Go

    Please save us from Cox, Minors, Blakeney, Michael Scott, Weeks, Wilson, Bean (Rastaman)

    Cox must Go

    Governor please help and save us from this oppressive regime

    Cox must Go

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  11. Mountbatten says:

    They remind me of the Catholic Priest , who watch each others backs .

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    • pepper says:

      Cox , please call an election so we can vote you out !!! some candidates for the up coming election SUCK..... and in your heart you know who they are... so please do the right thing and resign...

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  12. New Bermuda Slogan says:

    I hope this becomes a slogan for tshirts and bumber stickers - "Cox must Go" its quite catchy as she is clueless and useless, she only looks down in the ground, no confidence to lead an overseas territory

    COX MUST GO!!!!!!!!!

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  13. pebblebeach says:

    More Cogwash...save it Madame Premier...should have introduced it years ago...must be an election looming...not fooled at all...

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  14. really the "best"? says:

    so basically she is saying that she doesn't trust any of her Ministers

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  15. Truth (original) says:

    What annoys me is that the legislation is already in place to deal with those who would plunder the public purse. What we DON'T need is more legislation regurgitating legislation that already exists. What we DO need is the fortitude and moral courage to prosecute those who are guilty of theft.

    All the legislation passed in the world means nothing if you are unwilling to punish them when the laws are transgressed.

    I'm still looking for this "testicular fortitude" that I keep hearing so much about.

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  16. star man says:

    An election is looming... this is all part of the great PLP Dog & Pony Show.

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  17. Hmmmmmm says:

    The is waffle. This legitimises backscratching between ministers and adds ZERO good governance.

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  18. Victor says:

    Methinks the lady just does not get it - legislate as much as you want and throw more red tape all over those who follow the rules but none of it changes any public servant's honesty or integrity, or lack of these as the case might be. Madame Premier, get rid of the parasites leaching off the backs of honest, hard working Bermudians and none of this is necessary.

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  19. Grouper says:

    After 14 years Please Leave Parliament, Cox Obviously Goes...

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  20. 32n64w says:

    PLP - Betraying Bermudians since 1998.

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  21. Mad Dawg says:

    I love how the max fine is $10,000. One of them can skim that much in an average week.

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