PLP Call For Good Governance Act To Be Passed

January 12, 2016

“Broadening the definition of corruption, mandating greater openness and transparency, and implementing severe penalties for public officials convicted of corruption offenses, will help to restore confidence that Bermuda has zero tolerance for anyone who views the public purse as their personal cookie jar,” Opposition Leader Marc Bean said today.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Bean said the PLP endorsed the Commission of Inquiry into the Auditor’s report as ”it is important that the truth be revealed, and if any wrongdoing has occurred, that it be exposed” and “anyone engaged in corruption, malfeasance or insider dealing must be exposed, convicted and punished to the full extent of the law, whether they are UBP, PLP or OBA.”

Mr Bean said they “call on the government to join with us in the passage of a Good Governance Act, intended to “widen the definition of corruption to ensure that the unethical is also illegal,” create tougher sentences for those convicted of corruption, introduce restrictions preventing government officials from profiting from insider information, connections or Ministerial activities after leaving office, require all political donors and donations to be made available to the public, legally mandate that all MPs and Senators declare all financial interests including trusts, and more.

PLP Bermuda Jan 12 2016

“While we support the commission based on our desire to see openness, transparency, and good governance, there are several concerns we must raise,” added Mr Bean.

“The procedure which precedes a Commission of Inquiry is normally that the Public Accounts Committee will look into a matter, following which, a report is presented to Government to which Government responds. This is then debated in the House of Assembly, after which a Commission is launched.

“Additionally, the 3 month time-frame is neither fair nor realistic. This short time-frame opens the Commission’s findings to potential allegations of either a whitewash or a cover-up, depending on a person’s bias. The nature of this Commission requires a thorough inquiry. From our perspective a timeframe of 6 to 9 months is more realistic.

“Also of note is that in one week, the Premier was not interested in pursuing any investigation into this matter, however, the next week he is moving forward with this inquiry. This sudden change is not only intriguing, but makes us question the intent of this inquiry from the perspective of the Premier.”

Mr Bean also said that “there is unfinished business related to Commissions of Inquiry in Bermuda” as “last year, the PLP, supported by the OBA’s Suzanne Roberts-Holshouser, voted to have a Commission of Inquiry into the seizure of land and displacement of St. David’s islanders. A majority of Members of Parliament voted for this Commission of Inquiry, representing the will of thousands of Bermudians.”

“Yet the Governor has refused to act on the will of the people’s duly elected representatives. This is unacceptable and we urge the government to act on this long standing, painful chapter of our history,” continued Mr Bean.

“Additionally, with our desire to see a Bermuda that works in the best interest of all Bermudians, it can be expected that future Commissions of Inquiry will be carried out to investigate current Governmental affairs as well, including jet-gate and waterfront fiasco.

“Rumour, innuendo and allegations have plagued successive governments and must be addressed, the guilty parties, if any, identified, exposed and punished to the full extent of the law.”

Mr Bean’s full statement is below:

The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party to the surprise of some, have endorsed the OBA’s Commission of Inquiry into the Report of the Auditor General on the Consolidated Fund of the Government of Bermuda for the Financial Years ending March 31 in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

This inquiry has received our support because it is important that the truth be revealed, and if any wrongdoing has occurred, that it be exposed.

Our position is that anyone engaged in corruption, malfeasance or insider dealing must be exposed, convicted and punished to the full extent of the law, whether they are UBP, PLP or OBA.

Today we call on the government to join with us in the passage of a Good Governance Act, intended to:

  • Widen the definition of corruption to ensure that the unethical is also illegal
  • Create tougher sentences for Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Civil Servants and private citizens convicted of engaging in corruption
  • Introduce restrictions preventing government officials from profiting from insider information, connections or Ministerial activities after leaving political office.
  • Mandate full transparency and openness in Political Campaign Finance, requiring all political donors and political donations to be reported and made available to the public.
  • Legally mandate that all MPs and Senators declare all financial interests including trusts, and provide information on any financial or non-financial benefit which might reasonably influence their actions.  And further introduce legal penalties for failure to disclose or attempts to conceal interests.

Good governance protects the public purse, protects the interests of Bermudians, raises the standard of governance and enhances investor confidence.  Good Governance is good for Bermuda and good for Bermudians.

While we support the Commission based on our desire to see openness, transparency, and good governance, there are several concerns we must raise.

The procedure which precedes a Commission of Inquiry is normally that the Public Accounts Committee will look into a matter, following which, a report is presented to Government to which Government responds. This is then debated in the House of Assembly, after which a Commission is launched.

Additionally, the 3 month time-frame is neither fair nor realistic. This short time-frame opens the Commission’s findings to potential allegations of either a whitewash or a cover-up, depending on a person’s bias. The nature of this Commission requires a thorough inquiry. From our perspective a timeframe of 6 to 9 months is more realistic.

Also of note is that in one week, the Premier was not interested in pursuing any investigation into this matter, however, the next week he is moving forward with this inquiry. This sudden change is not only intriguing, but makes us question the intent of this inquiry from the perspective of the Premier.

As we push for tougher penalties, greater openness and transparency, and a higher standard of governance through the passing of the Good Governance Act, we must keep in mind that there is unfinished business related to Commissions of Inquiry in Bermuda.

Last year, the PLP, supported by the OBA’s Suzanne Roberts-Holshouser, voted to have a Commission of Inquiry into the seizure of land and displacement of St. David’s islanders. A majority of Members of Parliament voted for this Commission of Inquiry, representing the will of thousands of Bermudians.

Yet the Governor has refused to act on the will of the people’s duly elected representatives.  This is unacceptable and we urge the government to act on this long standing, painful chapter of our history.

Additionally, with our desire to see a Bermuda that works in the best interest of all Bermudians, it can be expected that future Commissions of Inquiry will be carried out to investigate current Governmental affairs as well, including jet-gate and waterfront fiasco.

Rumour, innuendo and allegations have plagued successive governments and must be addressed, the guilty parties, if any, identified, exposed and punished to the full extent of the law.

The PLP’s approach; broadening the definition of corruption, mandating greater openness and transparency, and implementing severe penalties for public officials convicted of corruption offenses, will help to restore confidence that Bermuda has zero tolerance for anyone who views the public purse as their personal cookie jar.

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  1. Double S says:

    For the Waterfront deal, the Commission should be enacted with to clarify just how this no-name developer was awarded such a massive contract in the first place? The starting point of the inquiry should be based of the Ombudsman’s report which indicated malfeasance in terms of the awarding of the contract which was corroborated by a CoH councillor. This inquiry then should be extended to cover the Par-La-Ville deal in which the same no-name developer who had $18mn transferred to his personal account while simultaneously losing our parking lot to an overseas firm who is now represented by a lawyer who was disbarred for dishonesty!

    But one must ask as to why would the PLP, just last month, withdrew their House tabled motion of enacting a Commission of Inquiry regarding the rescinded Waterfront deal (to cheers from the PLP benches), but now say they will enact one if voted into power?

    So after 2,000 pages of revealed emails, a 200+ page Deloitte Report and a UK Letter of Entrustment, the PLP still think there is some merit in enacting a Commission of the airport deal? This is the most transparent capital project we have probably ever experienced. So it is no wonder why the PLP are suspicious. Just too much transparency I tell you and it should be investigated even further.

    Jetgate didn’t involve tax payer’s monies and as such isn’t eligible to be reviewed under the auspices of a Commission of Inquiry. From what I understand is that such Commissions are solely for any malfeasance by a public official (inc. civil servants) and the abuse of their power and taxpayer dollars.

    • Dont forget de airport.

      • Ringmaster says:

        While any right thinking person would agree with the basis of Marc Bean’s comments, by raising this matter in such detail clearly shows he knows a lot of what happened between 1998 and 2012. Ombudsman Reports, Auditor General Reports and the like confirm this. However by saying he would, if elected, start Commissions of Enquiry into matters since 2012 is merely creating more innuendos and rumours, presumably for political purposes. Is he suggesting for instance that PAC with their never ending investigations into the proposed new airport are failing in their job?

  2. serengeti says:

    “anyone involved in insider dealing must be exposed, convicted and punished”…

    Mr Roban likes the sound of this?

    Why did he resign again?

    • yess says:

      I can’t believe people sit here and talk down against the PLP on every article. I am ashamed of my community and fellow citizens.

      These forums are an embarrassment to the lovely island of Bermuda.

      • Zevon says:

        It’s the PLP that’s an embarrassment. Even half the PLP shadow cabinet can’t stand Bean.

        • Wake Up Bermuda says:

          Just imagine if that crew was governing Bermuda?? Their friends would all form construction companies, and the PLP govt would pay them all twice!!….for crappy work to boot!! Then they would pay their lawyer friends huge bucks to draft legislation a 5 year old could do, rather than giving it to the govt lawyers to do.

          • impressive. says:

            Thats a whole lot of assumptions there,,

            • Zevon says:

              So what about serengeti’s question. Why did Roban resign again?
              Just in the context of everything ‘unethical’ being made ‘illegal’, and ‘people involved in insider deals being convicted and punished’.

      • I agree wholeheartedly. Generally, the ones who talk down the P.L.P. are oba/ubp supporters. They do not care one iota about the P.L.P.All they want is for their dysfunctional and cold-hearted party to flourish!!!!They want US to vanish, but we are going NOWHERE!!!

        • Shush says:

          You were doing so well. You’re sort of right though. The ones who talk down the PLP are the ones who would like to see Bermuda flourish once again, and not be dragged further into debt by self-serving “politicians’ who couldn’t care less about Bermuda, much less the PLP, purely themselves.

          Don’t be fooled again. Don’t be blinded by color.

        • Jus' Wonderin' says:

          If you really believe that then I feel sorry for you.

          !. You can’t determine if someone is an OBA supporter just on this, how do you really know?! You shouldn’t assume it makes you an…you know what your mother taught you!

          2. A lot of people care about the PLP/UBP, and wished they were doing better (white people and expats included) because inevitably it would be a better Opposition and another party to choose, etc. There are some GREAT members in the PLP/UBP just sometimes the ones at the top or with all the power make all the mistakes, directional and philosophical, but that’s party politics for you.

          3. It’s more like the PLP/UBP nowadays anyways, your sayings don’t really ring true anymore. Sorry to burst that closed bubble you live in.

          4. Who is US?

          5. Dysfunctional and cold-hearted party? Sounds more like the PLP/UBP to me! The PLP/UBP is pretty dysfunctional right now if you ask me lmfao!

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Serengeti was very kind. Could have been very specific on the comment. Those who remember, remember.

      • People have been talking down against P.L.P since its inception, and will ALWAYS be talking down against them, even if they find a cure for Cancer. That’s why I’m convinced some Bermudians are brain damaged, regardless of the F!@#ups U.B.P./O.B.A do, they will always have a high % of loyal white voters to solidify their interest, but some voters….Brain Damaged.
        Here it is U.B.P.’ers where crying corruption and cedar beams, etc and now we have a Leader who says he’s cleaning house and he still gets no credit.
        It’s like the Tea Party Republicans would never give credit to Obama, it’s the nature of the Beast.

        • Speaking of Obama, during that excellent speech, notice the Tea Party hater in the back of him.
          Priceless.
          LMFAO

          • Double S says:

            You don’t support Pres. Obama.

            Pres. Obama is pro-gay rights and same sex marriage.

            Pres. Obama is pro-immigration (both illegal and legal).

            You are the antithesis of Pres. Obama.

            You are Bermuda’s Tea Party whether you realize it or not.

    • Anon Ymous says:

      Interesting that following a certain falling out that Mr. Bean wants to “ensure that the unethical is also illegal”

  3. Navin Johnson says:

    Did anyone read this without laughing?

  4. Bugle boy says:

    And the rest of his experienced cabinet is where…???
    Oh right … they resighed. .

  5. pot puller says:

    Where was he a couple years ago when his party and mentor wer in power.
    Oh never mind,

  6. jeremy deacon says:

    is the picture of the shadow cabinet!? :)

  7. Ed Case says:

    I thought Just For Laughs was last week?

    • inna says:

      Never ending laughs with that bunch of jokers pictured above !!

      • The greatest jokers of all are: that dysfunctional, anti-Bermudian group of gypsies!!!!

        • Jus' Wonderin' says:

          If anything it’s your beloved PLP/UBP that’s the dysfunctional party right now it seems. Try again….

  8. Joe says:

    This a joke the guy just dont give up. Brah just let it go. I laughed the whole time I read it. Like they said a bunch a jokas in this pic lollll

  9. swing voter says:

    jokes? laughs? funny? …..that photo op is not good for Bermuda Politics…..where is everyone that matters? The crap that happened to Jennifer Smith has turned out to damage the party. Just ask the supporters of ousting Jennifer how they feel about that now. Un-earned Egos will be the ruin of the PLP

  10. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Laughable!

    • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

      This press conference deserves a place in the 2016 edition of RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        They are off to a good start. There will be more.

  11. Toodle-oo says:

    If the PLP is earnestly pushing for all of this now it can only be a sign that they know they’ll never ever be the Government again .
    There is no other possible reason .

    • jt says:

      Still, it would a wise precaution to firm things up before the next general election.

  12. Bermuda says:

    Bermuda Kings of Comedy

  13. Toleratate says:

    Don’t know where to start???? It could, (and should) be looked at it from a direction that this fraction of the PLP is fully behind sorting out the mess from the AG Report and move on with a clean slate (throwing the old guard under the bus).
    However I am mystified as half the faces where around when ALL the alleged misappropriations of funds, and other rumored dodgy transactions was happening; (in one capacity or the other). Why are they NOW trying to look all high and holy?

    If it’s too good to be true; it usually isn’t.

    • Toleratate says:

      Also throwing the Governor into it, “Yet the Governor has refused to act on the will of the people’s duly elected representatives”, when really clarification was requested (thus a bold lie); does not give me a warm trusting feeling.

    • Dockyard Lackey says:

      Maybe they have managed to dispose of all the evidence. Only reason I can think why they would be pushing this out now.

  14. Betty Boop says:

    Come on PLP, is this what you’re offering the electorate? CHEEZE, go home will you?

    • ….and the disastrous oba/ubp should go home FIRST!!!!

      • hmmm says:

        the OBA have been a success ! when they stop being a success they will be sent packing.

      • New Bermudian says:

        Responses like this are akin to, ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ or ‘I am rubber, you are glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.’ Facts are that the PLP led us to this precipice. The OBA (not the UBP, that’s so old and entirely juvenile) have their hands full. Full of an entitled population for starters, but I will say they lack a direction in terms of prioritization. Part of that is the shambles they were left, part, but not all. Can we please have some objective, thoughtful, constructive commentary instead of this asinine bickering, please? And some recognition of actual facts would be awesome. Thanks.

  15. bluebird says:

    These PLP/BIU byes have already emptied the “COOKIE JAR”.
    They left the Children and Granchildren of Bermuda over $2BILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT.
    Beside they are still collecting from the Government “PURSE” of which government has to still borrow $220Million dollars per year to pay them.
    Besides there benefits and Pensions.
    And maybe we should not mention the just under “HALF A MILLION DOLLARS PER DAY IN INTEREST”

  16. bluebird says:

    Now where is your press conference on “HOW” we are going to tackle this Huge Debt that the PLP/BIU left.
    I still can’t find one of them trees where the money grows on it.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      And being a bird you would know where that tree is if it existed.

  17. facts says:

    Race relations is so bad in this country!

  18. La-Verne S says:

    The same old same old response from you foreign and local fools!

  19. Y-gurl says:

    Best laugh today! PLP calling for a good governance act

  20. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Long overdue legislation,house cleaning from top to bottom,all monies in the Public Purse,all Public Officials,from all elected officials scrutinized and brought to accountability,Happy New Year Bermuda.

  21. C James says:

    PLP calling for good governance. Like a bank robber calling for security!

  22. Public floggiñg would be nice too…autonomous investigation and jail for perjury…purgery….< that right there….ducking stool…stocks and rotting vegetables supplied at nine and three for half an hour should anyone care to take aim……anyone caught extorting through it$ use should be publicly executed!

  23. And …well land grabbing defined and properties and money restituted!

  24. Double S says:

    For the Waterfront deal, the Commission should be enacted with to clarify just how this no-name developer was awarded such a massive contract in the first place? The starting point of the inquiry should be based of the Ombudsman’s report which indicated malfeasance in terms of the awarding of the contract which was corroborated by a CoH councillor. This inquiry then should be extended to cover the Par-La-Ville deal in which the same no-name developer who had $18mn transferred to his personal account while simultaneously losing our parking lot to an overseas firm who is now represented by a lawyer who was disbarred for dishonesty!

    But one must ask as to why would the PLP, just last month, withdrew their House tabled motion of enacting a Commission of Inquiry regarding the rescinded Waterfront deal (to cheers from the PLP benches), but now say they will enact one if voted into power?

    So after 2,000 pages of revealed emails, a 200+ page Deloitte Report and a UK Letter of Entrustment, the PLP still think there is some merit in enacting a Commission of the airport deal? This is the most transparent capital project we have probably ever experienced. So it is no wonder why the PLP are suspicious. Just too much transparency I tell you and it should be investigated even further.

    Jetgate didn’t involve tax payer’s monies and as such isn’t eligible to be reviewed under the auspices of a Commission of Inquiry. From what I understand is that such Commissions are solely for any malfeasance by a public official (inc. civil servants) and the abuse of their power and taxpayer dollars.

  25. Bermy Boy says:

    If the PLP made a hotel they would knock down the 1st floor and expect it to stand up. That hotel is the Bermuda economy.