UPDATE: The author of this story (Bajan Bullets) sent us this clarification saying that we had misunderstood his article and that the DLP government would be releasing the ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) for public scrutiny…
BFP I believe you have misinterpreted an important component of my message to you last night. In the article on your site you say that “his government has decided to dispense with the previously announced process to ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) – specifically the public consultations with stakeholders and the town hall meetings.” This is not what my message said.
My message simply said that the legislation would be laid in parliament ‘thereafter’. The use of the word thereafter does not imply IMMEDIATELY thereafter, simply any time after it becomes available.
In fact, I assume that Thompson’s statement of “will be available within the next few weeks” was a statement referencing the availability of the legislation to the public for scrutiny.
Please accept this email as correction of this issue. Thank you for your prompt attention.
OK… we’ll see. So far starting on January 16, 2008 and continuing until now, the Thompson government has broken every single promise it ever made on ITAL – including the promised August Town Hall meetings. Folks… the so-called “committee” doesn’t have a website, phone number, email or a physical address!
Did the DLP read our article last night and will now release the proposed ITAL for public inspection because of the blogs? (As happened with the Throne Speech)
Bajan Bullets says he/she is “assuming” that Thompson will be following through with a public process. We hope that Thompson does keep his promise…. at least this once.
We received the following from an anonymous BFP reader “Bajan Bullets”, who may or may not be non-partisan as indicated in the letter – but we tend to believe the writer, who has done an excellent job of breaking this important story.
Of particular interest is the fact that, according to the overview provided by Prime Minister Thompson, his government has decided to dispense with the previously announced process to ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) – specifically the public consultations with stakeholders and the town hall meetings.
Instead, the draft legislation will go straight to Parliament without the promised public consultation or “stakeholder” input.
This seems to confirm our September 7, 2008 article Transparency The DLP Way where we reported that the so-called Integrity Committee failed to conduct any public meetings in August as promised – and doesn’t even have a phone number or address to receive public comments.
Our reader is “encouraged” by Prime Minister Thompson’s statements in Toronto, Canada, but we at BFP are a bit jaded with his promises.
We guarantee you one thing though: Thompson and his DLP government will not be introducing a Ministerial Code anytime soon. The chowing down at the piggy trough is too tasty right now!
September 20 – PM Addresses DLP gathering in Toronto Canada
Last night, at a dinner hosted by the DLP Toronto branch in Canada, Prime Minister David Thompson delivered the Keynote address on the topic of ‘A Better Barbados’. Of significant interest was the focus of the Prime Minister’s speech – integrity, accountability, and freedom of information legislation.
According to the PM, last Thursday the Cabinet was presented with a draft of the proposed freedom of information legislation. He also promised that integrity legislation would be available “within the next few weeks” and would be laid in parliament thereafter.
Of deep concern to many Barbadians is the length of time that it has taken to get to this point in the process. As one such Barbadian, with perhaps an above average interest in the issue of ‘ITAL’ legislation, I was indeed comforted and encouraged by the Prime Minister’s address. While I understand that politicians are masters of rhetoric, and while I am not one to normally assign relevance to a ‘gut feeling’, there was a real sense of sincerity, concern, and purpose in the address.
Although space and time do not allow me to go into any detail, a number of the surrounding issues were addressed. The delay in getting the legislation passed was addressed through emphasizing the importance of its accuracy, suitability, and long-term effects and the fact that those considerations require in-depth analysis and careful wording. Unfortunately, one major concern was not addressed – that being the failure of the DLP to follow through with its promise of a Code of Conduct for all Ministers.
A number of other topics were mentioned briefly, including plans to generate funds towards the establishment of a new hospital by calling upon the untapped resources of non-nationals residing in Barbados. The full details of such a plan were not outlined but it should be of interest as it develops.
I hope that this short note encourages all concerned Barbadians in the same way that I was encouraged. I am still a firm believer in actions counting for more than words and as such I trust that we as a country will continue to hold the Prime Minister accountable for the promises he has made. However, I believe that the speech was significant in that the overriding focus was integrity, accountability, and freedom of information legislation – a clear sign that the efforts of these blogs and like-minded Bajans are beginning to bare fruit.
*The Prime Minister was reportedly in Toronto for a meeting with the Consuls General from Canada, Miami, and New York as well as other diplomats in North America to discuss Barbados’ plans for addressing the current economic situation as well as for developing strategic plans for the region.
**This writer is not affiliated in any way with the BLP, DLP, or any other political party within or outside of Barbados.