Cayman Islands Pass Freedom Of Information Law – Time For Bajans To Stop Crawling On Their Knees To The Massa

owen-arthur-slave-massa.jpg

Barbados Will Never See Freedom Of Information Laws Under The Current Government – And We Have The Same Doubts About Thompson’s DLP Too

The Government of the Cayman Islands has passed a Freedom of Information law that enshrines the public’s right to access most government records – including the records of government owned companies.

The leaders of both major Barbados political parties would be well advised to read the words of Cayman Islands Government Minister Kurt Tibbetts – because they represent exactly the type of transparency that Bajans want – especially every time we see the lavish lifestyles of many, even most, of our current government members…

“As a result of public input, greater emphasis has been placed on the general principles of maximum disclosure and releasing information in the public interest. These principles provide the foundation on which Government can begin building a new culture of openness,” Tibbetts said and added. “For example the scope of the bill ensures that Government ministries, portfolios, and statutory authorities are all defined as public authorities and even Cabinet is not excluded from a Freedom Of Information request.”

… read the entire story about the Cayman Island’s new Freedom of Information legislation at Caribbean Net News (link here)

Let’s Start By Making Demands – Not By Crawling To The Massa Begging For Something That Is Rightfully Ours!

Our friends at Notes From The Margin first picked up on the Cayman Islands story earlier in the week, however we are rather surprised by the luke-warm-gruel-in-the-mouth position taken by NFTM. It sounds like something right out of a Nation News “Excuse me for mentioning this, don’t want to bother you oh Great One” editorial…

“We in the Margin support (Freedom of Information legislation) on general principles and we also would ask both parties in Barbados to implement such a law. I believe this has been a regular feature of political manifestos on both sides of the house however it does seem to be one of those items (like a second TV station) that falls between the cracks.”

Excuse Me? Freedom Of Information Laws Are At The Same Level As A Second TV Station? What Are You Smoking?

Citizens’ ability to access their government information is a foundation of democracy. Without this right of access enshrined in law, citizens are unable to effectively hold their elected and appointed government officials accountable.

Politicians and governments know this.

That is why the current Barbados government and all past governments have chosen to not pass such legislation.

Oh sure – they talk about it, muse about it, discuss it like they really are thinking about it… but actually do it? Never.

It is time for Barbadians to get up off their knees. The government works for us. It is OUR information. OUR property. OUR money that they spend without any accountability at all.

Get up off your knees and demand what is yours.

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10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

10 responses to “Cayman Islands Pass Freedom Of Information Law – Time For Bajans To Stop Crawling On Their Knees To The Massa

  1. notesfromthemargin

    It wouldn’t be BFP if it wasn’t criticising us for being too moderate 😀

    Nice one guys!
    Marginal

  2. BFP

    Hi Marginal

    Only returning the favour! 😉

    The wonderful thing is that we and Barbados generally are now having these conversations and talking about things that weren’t talked about before.

    We may disagree upon which path to take, but I suspect that we are both trying to get to the same standpipe.

    Cheers!

    M

  3. notesfromthemargin

    “The wonderful thing is that we and Barbados generally are now having these conversations and talking about things that weren’t talked about before.

    We may disagree upon which path to take, but I suspect that we are both trying to get to the same standpipe.”

    Well at least there’s SOMETHING we both agree on 😀

    Marginal

  4. jamaicangirl2007

    We have something similar here…the Access to Information Act…but the truth is….what sense does it make when one doesn’t understand what the information means. It is usually written in language unknown to the common man…..

  5. New Massa, Same Plantation

    The photo is so true. Begging the new massa for what is ours by birthright.

  6. A newly elected PDC Government shall among its first acts of public business bring together at the right time and in the right ways those Barbadian citizens, businesses, and entities, as well as those approved non-Barbadian people and entities interested in the promulgation and passage of a Freedom of Information Act for Barbados.

    Such an Act shall define the great extent to which Barbadian citizens, businesses, entities and other approved non-Barbadian people, businesses and entities in Barbados, shall be able to, and in the soonest time possible, greater/access, greater/secure and greater/possess information, data and/or reports pertaining to the affairs of government, including the courts of Barbados, or any private sector entity or social organization established in Barbados, and to which those who are seeking such information, data and/or reports must have or must have had an active or participating interest or stake in such. Public or private access to such information, data and/or reports will be almost guaranteed other than if by accessing, securing and possessing this information, data and/or reports there will come about specified breaches in national security, personal security, confidence, breaches of the peace, etc.

    Where NO information, data and/or reports would be currently available to those who are requesting such information, data and/or reports on any given matter from that government or private or social organization, whose duty it would be to provide such information, data and/or reports, this governmental, private sector or social organization shall be compelled within a given time to produce such information, data and/or reports for the benefit of those persons, organizations, or entities seeking such.

    At this time, PDC is absolutely committed to introducing and passing such legislation whenever it becomes government of this country. As that, right now, some members of the public are direly in need of certain types of information related to the recent performance of the Gems Hotels, but cannot seem to get this type of information from the Gems Hotels themselves. Some members of the public are also still direly in need of information as to why Mr. Winston Cox was fired as the Governor of the Central Bank some years ago. Why Mr. Ronald Toppin resigned as Minister of Consumer Affairs some time ago also. Yet, no reasonable official information being given up to now for the removal of Mr. Cox and for the resignation of Mr. Toppin, when information on such things should long have been forthcoming!! In regard of the Government, there shall be the repeal of the Official Secrets Act so that information, data and/or reports about the government can be far greater accessible than now within the context of the future enactment of such freedom of information legislation.

    The truth is that the general business/affairs of the government, of private secor organizations and of other social organizations in Barbados are a part of those who are deemed to be in whatever ways critical and integral to their (the organizations) functioning and existence. As a result, these persons, businesses or other entities in Barbados who are of such great importance to the functioning and existence of such organizations, must be given greater/legal rights as a basis for being provided with information, data and/or reports from those same organizations concerning their operations and which in net terms can only lead to the strengthening of the relationships between those same organizations and those said persons, businesses and other entities in Barbados.

  7. Hants

    To …..The peoples democratic congress…….. This is a blog where contributors interact through their comments.
    Posting lengthy political statements is probably not effective in this forum.
    Shorter versions of your contributions may induce more of us to read them.

  8. J. Payne

    Even— in still being tied to Britain the Cayman Islands are progressing now faster than Barbados which is “independent”. As you can see they have a great deal of autonomy still.

    In the words of the former Premier of Bermuda…

    “With the Americans to feed us and the British to defend us, who needs independence?” —
    http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/2005/03/08/sanders.shtml

    I think its pretty cool that you can find all of Bermuda’s laws online…
    http://www.bermudalaws.bm/

    Yet you goto Barbados’ site and not-a-one…
    http://www.lawcourts.gov.bb/

  9. J. Payne

    Another thing I thought of which I feel most Barbadians should have access to is annually an annual list of *who* or *what* organisation have been granted tax free status. I recall O$A saying that the Barbados Cricket body would no longer be charged VAT (As stated in the Nation Newspaper.) However it is unknown how many hush-hush deals like this are made to other individuals or private organisations.

    A list each year should be published and aired by the government publicly on who has been granted that or similar status for the previous year.

    I reason that if each entity was such a ‘worthy cause’ to be given tax free status in Barbados the public either wouldn’t or shouldn’t care when it is revealed on that list. For individuals that don’t want to be in the public eye in having tax free status, don’t take that status with the government from the giddy-up.

    There are probably many people across Barbados either as friends or family of the government in power that have access to VAT free status and some could be using without the public knowledge nor consent.

  10. To …..The peoples democratic congress…….. This is a blog where contributors interact through their comments.
    Posting lengthy political statements is probably not effective in this forum.
    Shorter versions of your contributions may induce more of us to read them.