“One of the major complaints against the new David Thompson administration in Barbados has been that, although it won power mainly by promising to do something about the entrenched corruption in the previous Owen Arthur administration, it had appeared to have forgotten the issue”
Janine Mendes-Franco quotes Don Mitchell MBE, on Harvard Law School’s Global Voices (link here)
Don Mitchell has been a voice for integrity in government for years – even before it was fashionable to say the words “integrity” or “conflicts of interest” – and he is nobody’s fool.
That said, his latest Corruption Free Anguilla article ‘Barbados’ about the continued promises but zero action by the Barbados DLP Government is too kind and optimistic. Mr. Mitchell has forgotten that this Barbados government promised to adopt a Ministerial Code on the first day it assumed office, but then did not.
Mr. Mitchell has forgotten that Prime Minister David Thompson could have declared on that first day that no government contracts would be issued to companies that are owned by the immediate family of a government official or where a government official has an interest in a company.
Prime Minister Thompson could have issued that order on the first day, and he could issue the order tomorrow if he was really serious about integrity in government. There is no need for him to wait for legislation, he could implement this single change as a matter of government policy and he could do so immediately.
This “Government Advisory Board” that Thompson appointed to “look into” integrity legislation has no address, no phone number, no email address and no public face or method by which citizens can communicate with it.
It is smoke on a windy day.
Barbados Free Press will continue to remind people that words are only words. Words are not action.
As to transparency and conflicts of interest, one of David Thompson’s first official acts as a newly-elected Prime Minister was to borrow the corporate jet of a company that does business with the Barbados government – and to refuse to release any details of the costs and arrangements.
When it comes to integrity in government, David Thompson’s only real action has been to create a conflict of interest by borrowing corporate bizjets from friends who do business with the Government of Barbados.
Respectfully, we suggest that Don Mitchell should re-write his article.
Corruption Free Anguilla blog: Barbados
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