Folks, we received this anonymous email that we should all treat as rumour – but here goes anyway…
That said, if the information is genuine it is further confirmation that the government intends to ram Integrity Legislation through without the promised public discussion.
Usually governments do this so they can pass some half-hearted or flawed legislation without public scrutiny and then when the laws are found to be full of holes, they say “It is done, stop your complaining.”
And that is exactly what we fear: Integrity Legislation from the Thompson government that has an agenda of not making it too effective. (Neither Thompson nor Mottley want to have to lock up any friends, you know!)
We must remember that last June, Senator Orlando Marville, chairman of the new Governance Advisory Board that is supposed to be creating and implementing ITAL – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation – promised the following to the citizens of Barbados…
– Three town hall meetings will be held in addition to meetings with the media, the social partners, and other specific stakeholders in August.
– The process and materials will be placed online (Internet)
– Considerable public participation during the discussions in August.
You don’t have to believe us folks. Check out our article and the links to media articles quoting Senator Marville. (see BFP’s Barbados Government Says Integrity, Freedom Of Information and Defamation Laws In A Year Or So – Or Maybe Two Years)
August came and went and we never heard another word about public consultation. Now we get this anonymous email – that once again brags about ITAL coming, but seems to indicate that we, the public, should not participate in the process. According to this DLP insider, Bajans should just shut up and take whatever is imposed upon us by a condescending government…
After much back and forth by BFP and BU on the subject of Integrity Legislation and the Freedom of Information Act, I am indeed very pleased to report that a full suite of Legislation is being completed and so far the Cabinet has seen and has approved the New FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT with the drafting of the INTEGRITY LEGISLATION nearly complete.
It is expected that circulation of both of these drafts will done prior to the Christmas break of Parliament and will be passed into law very shortly thereafter.
I trust that this will settle everyone’s nerves and will address the concerns of the people of Barbados, the gov’t of Barbados, the Opposition of Barbados and both BU and BFP.
The DLP promised that they would address these issues and they are doing what is required to make this a reality but on the other hand, as was the case at BFP making a daily issue of it with their silly remarks has done nothing to hasten the pace at which the work of those involved in the drafting of the legislation can perform it has happened at its own pace.
The work was carried by a group of well respected persons and it is hoped that at the end of it all that all the expectations will be served.
Not to be neglected is the new Freedom of Information Act this will present a whole new dimension to journalism and provide for more flexability in their reporting and interviews.
I trust that this will assist in given you some idea as to how far along and how serious the Gov’t is with these new pieces of legislation.