Barbados Advocate Editorial Humour – “Present Administration At The Forefront Of Efforts To Implement Integrity Legislation – Since 1976”

Once again, I just don’t know how to take an editorial in the Barbados Advocate. When the writer says that the BLP has “has remained at the forefront of efforts for (integrity legislation) implementation” and offers as proof the BLP’s 1976 manifesto, I don’t know if the Barbados Advocate is mocking the Prime Minister or not.

They are a very confused bunch over there at the Barbados Advocate.

Check it out for yourself…

Turnaround On Integrity

IT IS ironic that talk-radio is pushing the subject of integrity legislation without acknowledging that the organisation which constitutes the present Administration initiated and has remained at the forefront of efforts for its implementation.

In fact, even before the Constitution Review Commission under Sir Henry Forde’s chairmanship made the appropriate recommendation in its Report to Parliament in 1998, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) had been pressing the issue. The General Election manifestos of 1976 and 1981 confirm this. As Prime Minister, the late J.M.G.M. Tom Adams had argued for its enactment, but it ran into stiff opposition, not least from the late Errol Barrow who contended that there was no need for such law, since anti-corruption legislation was already on the Statute Books.

The proposal was just as vigorously resisted in the Senate where Independent Members protested mainly on grounds that the legislation would adversely affect wives, chairmen of statutory boards, Senators, senior public servants and others.

Sir Henry’s response

The response by Henry Forde, Q.C. to Barrow’s objection was that although anti-corruption legislation existed it was archaic, and was therefore being updated to include new prevention provisions in the Integrity Bill.

As Senator Nigel Barrow explained in the Upper Chamber, a select committee could address the objectors’ concerns. No parliamentarian would sit on that committee. However, Parliament was dissolved before that meeting could take place and the matter did not come up again in the next Session after the Democratic Labour Party regained power. Fortunately, it was given renewed prominence in the Forde Commission’s Report and there seems to be another switch in the Opposition’s position (Errol Barrow had also refused to introduce an Aliens Landholding Bill, but now the DLP is calling for one).

The original Integrity Bill, drafted by Mr. Justice Errol Chase, put Barbados ahead of other Caribbean countries in terms of preparation to introduce Integrity Legislation. Barbados was setting the standard, but even when the BLP spoke about it on public platforms there was trenchant political opposition to the concept. Either ignored or misunderstood was provision for lawmakers to use a blind trust, a feature of legislation in Canada, the United States and other jurisdictions.

How the system works

An MP hands over his or her assets to a trust company or person with power of attorney, who manages them during the MPs tenure in Parliament. The trustee provides an agreed amount of income without divulging profits from investments, etc., and makes returns for tax purposes.

All assets are then turned over to the beneficiary when the individual ceases to be an MP. This is a commonsense way to avoid possible conflict of interest where, for example, an MP may be able to determine who gets contracts for goods or services. There is integrity legislation throughout the Caribbean, including Trinidad & Tobago, but that country has widened its provisions to include Judges, senior public servants, chief technical officers, counsellors, etc. Sadly, its implementation has not always been met with approval because it has not been applied in a non-partisan manner.

Given the stout resistance previously mounted against integrity legislation, one is entitled to ask whether the scales are now coming off some people’s eyes, like Saul on the road to Damascus.

… read the original article here.

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

17 responses to “Barbados Advocate Editorial Humour – “Present Administration At The Forefront Of Efforts To Implement Integrity Legislation – Since 1976”

  1. Rumplestilskin

    Maybe the Advocate editorial cum Administration support propaganda IS actually right and the inability to have this legislation enacted despite years of a large majority just reflects sheer incompetence on the part of those BLP’ers trying to enact.

    Cannot have it both ways.

  2. 31years

    The Barbados Advocate effectively ‘belongs to’ the Barbados Labour Party.
    Propaganda like this should come as no surprise.

    And besides… y’all think that Integrity Legislation easy to put together?
    Look how long it has taken us, so far..THIRTY ONE YEARS!

  3. Pogo

    What a joke. Just recently we saw BLP take 5 days to pass a change to the constitution that hides their sins but after 30 years they can’t seem to get around to passing a law that would let the voters know what it going on?

    We are surprised that the Advocate did not recommend that the political parties will need at least another 30 years to get this job done.

    We love the moaning about not wanting to impose upon their spouses, lovers, children and friends and to stop them from being part of the thievery.

    The real story is that there is still more that they can steal so no rush to stop themselves.

    The DLP are no better. If they were sincere in this we would be seeing a draft law already to go as soon as they are elected. Over 30 years they have had lots of opportunity to pass integrity laws.

    It seems integrity and transparency laws are a sticky wicket for our politicians.

  4. Jerome Hinds

    Pogo.

    I agree with you and others on this site that both the BLP & DLP have failed to satisfactorily address the issue of Integrity Legislation.

    However, a read of the story in the link below tells of the challenge some countries experience where the legislation exists, in this case the Bahamas.

    http://www.thenassauguardian.com/national_local/295135790308821.php

  5. True Native

    Don’t pass the buck, Jerome. What happens in the Bahamas happens in the Bahamas. THIS IS BARBADOS! (Sorry for the capitals!). Let the DLP put the wheels in motion to start the Integrity Legislation – NOW.

  6. Jerome Hinds

    True Native,

    I am not passing the buck. Like you and others who have made the call on this BFP site we want this legislation in place.

    In response to the BFP article on Friday 30 th March 2007 , titled ” Attention Barbados Offshore Investors & Transparency International….” I engaged the DLP on this issue and they responded,

    In the interest of clarity and my views on this issue I have reproduced those postings below.

    ___________________________________

    Questions posed by me to the DLP on their blog and their responses regarding Integrity Legislation.
    ************************************

    Jerome Hinds

    March 30th, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    ” This incident brings the whole question of transparency and accountability right again to the fore. ”

    ———————————————————-

    DLP after recognising the foregoing what is the DLP philosophical and policy position on Integrity , Transparency and Accountability legislation ?

    Can the public of Barbados get a defintive position from the DLP on this issue before we get to the tail spin of an election Campaign?

    When would a DLP government introduce such legislation ?

    The first 100 days, first term in office ?

    What guarantees can the DLP give the citizens of Barbados that the DLP will implement and uphold such legislation ?

    Have the DLP already begun the process of benchmarking such legislation against what is happening in countries with such legislation ?

    I await your prompt response.
    **************************************

    dlpbarbados

    March 31st, 2007 at 2:16 am

    Hi Jerome

    The Democratic Labour Party through its political Leader and President has indicated that the party if given the opportunity to form the next government of Barbados will put in place accountability and transparency legislation in place.

    The party has to examine of course the different models across the Commonwealth to adapt that which is most applicable to our situation.

    *************************************

    Jerome Hinds

    March 31st, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks for your prompt response.

    My questions:

    Would it be impracticable to ask all current DLP candidates in the upcoming election to DECLARE their interests / assets as the first steps towards such a process….??

    Wouldn’t all DLP candidates sign a Code of Conduct…..??

    How would signing such differ from signing a DECLARATION of assets / interests…??

    The Barbados of 2007 has a more SOPHISTICATED electorate…influenced by Global Politics and Events….!!

    DLP…just think of the Enron and Scooter Libby cases….!

    *************************************************

    dlpbarbados

    March 31st, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Hi Jerome,

    A code of conduct is a voluntary measure, which all candidates in an election can be called upon to sign. This code will simply spell out what is the most decency approach to take in the political arena, re the opponent and the acquisition of resources, among other issues such as the bribing of the electorate. That would be a first step. A more embracing concept would be putting in place Finance Election Laws and Regulations above and beyond those found in the Representation of the Peoples Act.

    A declaration of assets would demand of those persons who are doing such to state their gross worth as well as their liabilities. In some jurisdictions these matters are handled by a Legally Constituted Commission called an Integrity Commission whose job is to police the legislation. In such instances the citizen do not have access to the knowledge to what is declared, The citizens have to rely on the integrity of the Commissioners.

    We firmly believe that there is no turning back from the process of integrity legislation and making Politicians and Public Servants more accountable and transparent in their management of the affairs of state.

    ************************

    BFP Cliverton comments…

    Fine, fine words by the DLP. Same as the fine, fine words by so many over the years – DLP and BLP have both promised integrity legislation over the years at various times.

    Too little, too late.

    To the DLP… Why didn’t you have legislation ready to go two years ago? Like the BLP, you never recently mentioned the words “Conflicts of Interest”, “Integrity Legislation”, “Transparency” until the Barbados Free Press started pushing in January of 2006 – and even then it took you almost a full year.

    Fine, fine words.

    Cliverton

  7. True Native

    Thanks for your response, Jerome. Just as an aside, Cliverton is a “fine” one to talk about “fine, fine words” when many weeks ago we were promised the expose on the money laundering and it ain’t seen the light of day yet. What say you, Cliverton?

  8. Futuristic

    and so(ten years into our future) we ‘now have’ the integrity legislation we so longed for, in 2007, in the months prior to the Landslide Election later that year that swept the DLP back into power.

    And we still have no enforcement to back it up.
    The necessary declarations are made, but there is no way to check up on the veracity thereof.
    READ THE BAHAMAS ARTICLE – that is the thrust of it…that they have their cute laws, but they don’t amount to much, becoz the declarations can’t be checked/verified! Understand,now?

    Bajans like PASSING Laws: it makes them feel good, and lawful and righteous. awww.
    but Bajans don’t like enforcing laws.

    Bear this in mind, that laws are toothless ink-words on paper that count for Zip, unless there is a force backing them up.
    The lawless LAUGH at your precious little laws and statutes.
    Only the humble-up Middle Class, with mortgage millstones around their necks “respect” the law. Most other people handle it as an operating expense…just ask any drug dealer!
    You think he lies awake at night pondering the consequences? riiiiight!

  9. No - Name

    This is what is happening with the relationship between the Barbados Gov’t and Karimath, The Trinidadian with substantial investment on the island. He has significant interest in Ionics the desal firm on the island and is currently building houses for the Giov’t. This same man Karimath was just fired by BIDC in relation to the building in Newton. He was arrested in Trinidad in relation to the Airport scandal and has a very shady past including well documented awarding of the contract for the desal plant in Point Lisa in South Trinidad.

    As I have memtioned in another posting Karimath and the like are the type of people Owen Arthur Associates with…people who are very involved in bribes…most likely he is doing business in Barbados because he has heard of the reoutation of Owen and his ministers.
    Had the BIDC done their due deligence Karimath would not have been awarded the contract because they would have known about the many problems he has caused major projects in Trinidad. I doubt very much the Gov’t will be able to get back their money from him. If they don’t we will have another white elephant in Newton. Thanks to Owen and his genius Ministers.We need deliverence.
    Anyone interested in researching Karimath can do so by using the search menus of the Trinidad Express, Guardian or Newsday.

  10. John

    31 years

    The 31 years from 1976 to 2007 does not even address the 15 years from 1961 to 1976 when the integrity legislation was in embryo and the politicians were cussing one another over each others doings.

    Sanke Price has a good article tracing the progress of integrithe legislation fro 1961 but the Nation does not have it on line … a pity

    Each one of our politicians knew what the other was about so they raised cain when it suited them. Then when they realised that they might get stopped they backed off …. we let them get away with it.

    Integrity legislation can’t be hard to come by. Countries all over the world have it. We are copycats by nature, why not just copy somebody’s, ….. guess they will claim next that this is copyright infringement and they don’t want to be seen to be in breach of international law.

  11. media

    it is a shame the way media in barbados tow the government line. they should instead be at the forefront of exposing government corruption. when the birds were in power in antigua bajans would joke about bird island. well the media there led the criticism of the government’s corruption and along with the people there succeeded in throwing them out. the new government introduced integrity legislation recently. we have to contend with mouthpieces for a media. the nation headline today about world cup ticket sales is sickening.

  12. reality check

    True Native

    While I am disappointed that BFP is several weeks behind in their promised money laundering articles, they are part time bloggers that have other lives and do not charge us for this incredible valuable service that is not available with any other media service.

    Futuristic

    While what you say about enforcement
    is absolutely true and critical to meaningful legislation, part of introducing solid legislation is also putting in an independent enforcement body with teeth and the ability to take peoples power away or jail time for failure to accurately disclose.

    To throw up your hands and compare politicians to drug dealers is very depressing. I think the little guy needs to be protected and a cynical ( maybe realistic ) approach leaves us with no hope. Where is the kool-aid? We can and must demand better! Find your backbone. I am sure its there.

  13. Andrew

    True Native
    April 15th, 2007 at 12:51 pm
    Thanks for your response, Jerome. Just as an aside, Cliverton is a “fine” one to talk about “fine, fine words” when many weeks ago we were promised the expose on the money laundering and it ain’t seen the light of day yet. What say you, Cliverton?
    ————————————————-
    Yes , what say you Cliverton????

  14. Sick and fed up Sylvan

    The Advocate is the great ass-licker of the Barbados Labour Party. Its owner was given a national honour a few years ago. It was a baffling choice because no one can say what he has done in publishing and the media before taking over the Advocate. What is the circulation of the Advocate? That is what they should tell Barbadians instead of keeping it as a closely guarded secret. Go into any gas station any day and you will see the large pile of Advocates next to the empty Nation stand. Barbadians clearly are saying how they feel about the Advocate by not buying it. It is full of poor grammar and bad English. Those are the things they should be worried about instead of trying hopelessly to make the BLP’s every wrong look right.

  15. Cur-kuh-lation

    Advocate figures used to be around 10,000 copies per day, average.
    ————————–

    JUST heard Cricket commentator Tony Cozier say that Kensington attendance figures were just over 15,000.
    For a venue capable of 27,000 this is not great. Earlier I thought I saw it lookin like aound 80-90% full, but me eyes deceiveth me, it would seem.

  16. Jerome Hinds

    Cur-kuh-lation

    April 15th, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Advocate figures used to be around 10,000 copies per day, average.
    ————————–

    JUST heard Cricket commentator Tony Cozier say that Kensington attendance figures were just over 15,000.
    For a venue capable of 27,000 this is not great. Earlier I thought I saw it lookin like aound 80-90% full, but me eyes deceiveth me, it would seem.
    _________________________________

    Cur-kuh-lation

    It would be 80 % – 90 % full if the number of tiger dolls & blown -up Kangaroos were included in the count…..!

  17. Andrew

    Cur-kuh-lation

    I might be wrong — please correct me if I am, but it seems to me that the cameramen were instructed to focus on the nearly filled stands.

    Funny enough, no one told the batsmen, and they continually struck the ball in the direction of the empty stands.

    Naturally the camera followed the ball and exposed the real situation.