OBA Leader: Registrar Should Release Report

July 20, 2018 | 22 Comments

“The Parliamentary Registrar must release to the Public her Investigative Report into this massive breach of voters’ trust,” Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden said, adding that “we reiterate that the PR must release the Investigative Report if we hope to restore the Public’s faith in the Office of the Parliamentary Registrar.”

Background

Earlier this week the OBA alleged the PLP previously “obtained the private and confidential contact details, email addresses and phone numbers of voters” from the Parliamentary Registrar’s office. The OBA said the Parliamentary Registrar confirmed she would launch an investigation, with the Opposition asking the report be “released into the public domain immediately.”

The OBA’s press conference held earlier this week

Following that, Minister for the Cabinet Office with Responsibility for Government Reform Lovitta Foggo said, “It is unfortunate that the Opposition has chosen to attack the Parliamentary Registrar and the work of that office on the eve of the one year anniversary of the historic 2017 General Election.

“The timing of their media announcement is a clear attempt to diminish the success story that this Government will share with the people of Bermuda on efforts undertaken during our first year of Office to deliver on our promise of a fairer and better Bermuda.

“The Office of the Parliamentary Registrar is an independent arm of government subject, to oversight by the Governor. The Opposition is obliged to bring any complaints and/or allegations with respect to their work to the attention of the Governor.

“This Government continues to be committed to good governance, transparency, and fairness,” the Minister added.

The Parliamentary Registry Office also responded, saying “four days prior to the last General Election the OBA raised their concerns with respect to the sharing of voter information by the Parliamentary Registrar.

“Less than two weeks after the election, the OBA felt it necessary to write directly to His Excellency the Governor, John Rankin CMG, about this matter.

“The office of the Parliamentary Registry falls under the supervision of His Excellency the Governor, who has responded directly to the OBA regarding this matter.

“Therefore, as far as the Parliamentary Registry is concerned this matter was appropriately dealt with by His Excellency in his letter to the OBA communicating the results of the Parliamentary Registrar’s review.

“The points of the Parliamentary Registrar’s review, as communicated by His Excellency were:

  • “The Parliamentary Registrar did not issue any authorisation to share voter contact information and there was no evidence of infiltration of the voter database by unauthorised access
  • “The review determined that the provision of the information requested was approved in 2012 by the then Parliamentary Registrar acting in his discretion
  • “Once this information sharing was brought to the Parliamentary Registrar’s attention she took immediate steps to shut it down.
  • “His Excellency has more recently requested a correction of inaccurate statements made on the floor of the House of Assembly by the former Opposition Leader on June 8, 2018 in respect to this very issue. The request made by the Governor, is still an outstanding matter for action by the former Opposition Leader.

“Until such statements are corrected, the Parliamentary Registrar is not prepared to respond further to comments made via press release by the former Opposition Leader that builds on inaccuracies already released to the public on the floor of the House of Assembly.”

OBA Leader’s Comments

Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden said, “The Parliamentary Registrar [PR] conducted an investigation into allegations by voters that the Office of the Parliamentary Registry provided the PLP with confidential voter contact information across a five year period.

“The PR concluded that these allegations are true. Confidential voter contact information was provided by the Office of the PR to the PLP from 2012 to an unknown date in 2017: namely voters’ private email addresses and their personal home and mobile phone numbers.

“Yet rather than reveal the findings of her Investigative Report, the PR has instead released a brief explanatory statement, which explains very little.

“The PR must release to the Public her Investigative Report into this massive breach of voters’ trust.

“The Public needs to know why and who from the Office of the Parliamentary Registry has been providing the PLP with confidential voter contact information for a five year period.

“Unless and until the Public are shown the Investigative Report, some very troubling questions remain unanswered:

  • “How many thousands of voters’ private email addresses, home phones, and mobile numbers were improperly provided by the Office of the PR to the PLP?
  • “The current PR, Ms. Tenia Woolridge, says that it was the former PR, Mr. Randolph Scott, who approved the provision of the confidential data to the PLP. Why did Mr. Scott agree to provide confidential voter data to only the PLP when it was not also provided to the OBA?
  • “How did the PR, after her appointment in 2014 not know that confidential information continued to be provided to the PLP until some point in 2017, after the General Election? When was the information shut down?

“The current PR states: “Once this information sharing was brought to [my] attention [I] took immediate steps to shut it down”. If the current PR felt compelled to “shut it down” and stop the provision of confidential voter data to the PLP, why was this breach of trust not made public until voters complained about it?

  • “If there is nothing to hide, why is the current PR refusing to release her Investigative Report to the Public?

The Office of the PR states it has a duty to ensure the integrity of the voting process and compliance with our statutory responsibilities under the Parliamentary Election Act, 1978”.

“The current PR cannot just stick her head in the sand and ignore a decision which, on her statement, was taken by someone else in her Office. The provision of confidential voter information to the PLP continued to happen during her watch from her appointment in 2014 until 2017.

“Did she know about this breach of the Public’s trust or not?

“If not, why not?

“We already know from David Burt’s own admission at a press conference on the eve of the 2017 General Election that the PLP was still receiving confidential voter information in 2017:

“The information we received is the same information that we have received from the Parliamentary Registrar, I want to say … for the last ten years. The information we received does include that [email addresses], yes. We have a link that we download the information from that we have been downloading information from for the past seven or eight years.”

“Nowhere in her Statement does the PR explain how it could possibly be fair for the Office of the PR to provide confidential voter data to one political party, the PLP, but not give the same information to the OBA.

“Again we reiterate that the PR must release the Investigative Report if we hope to restore the Public’s faith in the Office of the Parliamentary Registrar.

“The public has a right to know why their private information was given to the PLP by the Office of the Parliamentary Registrar and what is going to be done about this massive breach of trust.”

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Comments (22)

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  1. What says:

    Oh shut up Jeanne! You and your boy Dunkely are so irrelevant and you continue to hurt our party! Just please shut up for all of our sakes in the OBA!

    • archie says:

      I am interested to know – are you not in the slightest bit concerned that there may have been an unauthorized breach of information? Tell me, would you be saying thing if instead of this saying OBA, it said PLP?

      • Double S says:

        Of course they’re not.

        Now if the big bad OBA procured their confidential information in such a manner then it would be an outrage and sign of an unethical Party who is not fit for leadership.

        But when the PLP does it, the OBA is unethical about its complaints about such actions and not fit for leadership.

        Just sheep being sheep.

      • watching says:

        The PR statement clearly says there were no unauthorized breaches.

        • Double S says:

          Then why did the new PR, upon her appointment, shut it down immediately if there were no breaches? And when she states ‘unauthorised’ she means it wasn’t hacked, not that the information was given away when it wasn’t’ supposed to be.

          Keep spinning though.

          • watching says:

            “The review determined that the provision of the information requested was approved in 2012 by the then Parliamentary Registrar acting in his discretion.”

            two different people made two different decisions at their discretion.

        • gotcha says:

          She admits it in her statement.

        • archie says:

          unauthorized being hacking … but it happened.

          Read this: The review determined that the provision of the information requested was approved in 2012 by the then Parliamentary Registrar acting in his discretion

        • Sheldon says:

          Don’t be confused “watching” by what unauthorized breach means. If I am in a “position of trust” at the bank and shared your business and balance details, how would you feel? If I worked at a doctors office and was in a position of trust, and blabbed to a friend about your current health, how would you feel. If I worked at the Police department and shared confidential information about a crime that you are connected to , how would you feel. None of these examples are unauthorized breaches because the person in trust wilingly shared this information. No unauthorized breach does not mean it was legal or ethical. All that means is that nobody hacked into the system, broke into the office, downloaded files illegally, but instead obtained this info from someone a position of trust. Huge difference.

  2. aceboy says:

    Doesn’t Bermuda have a Data Privacy Act? Does it not apply to the PLP?

    • gotcha says:

      Yes, there is a data privacy act, with ( I believe ) up to $250,000 in fines possible.
      But no, it apparently doesn’t apply when a government department uses taxpayer resources to gather information, and then secretly hands that information over to one political party (the PLP) in order to give it an advantage in an election. Apparently.

    • sandgrownan says:

      They’re in charge now, they don’t care what you think.

  3. watching says:

    Oh geez Jeanne is back on this. Who is she taking advice from?

    • Milk says:

      The Milkman is feeding her this erroneous information. THERE WAS NO BREACH! Get over it Jeanne! You and Dunkley are making us look stupid as a party! I don’t think I can vote OBA again if you people are still around!!!

      • Answer says:

        Private information that was collected by the government department was handed over to the PLP in order to give the PLP an advantage in the election.

        If you’re all fine with that you’re IDIOTS.

        • aceboy says:

          Of course they are fine with it. This is exactly why the PLP didn’t want Narinder Hargun as the AG.

        • Milk says:

          Pi$$ off mate! No matter what info they had it would never make me vote for them! My point remains that Jeanne and Michael are both on a mission to try and justify our LOSS instead of moving us ahead as a party! The more we look back the less we look forward. No reason to distract us with this crap! It’s useless, childish and frankly insulting to me as a lifetime OBA supporter!

          • Answer says:

            You pi$$ off. You make excuses for manipulating elections using government resources paid for by us, the taxpayers. If you’re ok with that you’re an IDIOT.

  4. Jeanne Atherden…What is the matter with her?
    Once her use is fulfilled, she wll be thrown away.There are so many examples of people who attempt to depart the U.B.P./O.B.A…Julian Hall, Wayne Furbert, Maxwell Burgess, Kim Swan, Gwyneth Rawlins.That list GOES ON.
    Come on, Atherden
    Nevertheless, get off of the stage, Atherden…take Moniz with you.

  5. southampton resident says:

    This would explain how my MP was able to call and wish me a happy birthday!

  6. Infidelguy says:

    Tonight in the HoA, the Premier read an article that was written in 2012 about the OBA having access to this same information. So both the PLP and the OBA had access to the information in the Registrar’s voter database.

    Both political parties are playing the voters in this country for fools! In my opinion, neither party is more trustworthy than the other. They’re all a bunch of hypocrites and liars!

    • Answer says:

      No, they both had access to some information. But the PLP had access to ADDITIONAL information, given to them in secret, from 2014 until it was stopped in 2017.

      Why can’t we all just see the whole report?

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