Shadow Attorney General Trevor Moniz said their main concern with the Good Governance legislation that will be debated in the House of Assembly today [June 15] is that “You can have all the rules and regulations you want, but if you do not follow them, if you do not have the will to enforce them, then they won’t matter.”
Premier Paula Cox previously tabled the second phase of the Good Governance legislation in the House of Assembly. 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 and to extend whistle blower protection.
The Bill also seeks 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.
Mr Moniz continued on to say, “This has been a serious and ongoing problem within this Government as the Auditor General indicated two months ago when she warned that public officials would continue abusing public funds until they are held to account.
“The problem is real, as the Premier herself alluded two months ago when she introduced the first of her pre-election good governance measures saying the new rules would ensure “abuses will be a thing of the past.”
“For good governance reform to work, you need real commitment and belief. The programme put forward by the PLP Government has been half-hearted and late, with little real follow-through – where is Freedom of Information?
“The OBA will support the legislation only because it is a step in the right direction. But what Bermuda really needs is a leap in the right direction,” concluded Mr Moniz.
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