“A trip to Washington, DC, for the first ever annual Caribbean Tourism Summit last June cost the Cayman Islands’ Department and Ministry of Tourism nearly CI$200,000.
And the Department of Tourism US sales meetings held in Miami in February cost $50,287.
The information comes from a recent Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Tourism. Although travelling abroad for such trips is commonplace, some people have questioned the expense….”
… from the Cayman Compass story Tourism Trips Queried
Cayman Islands Tourism Ministry Spent US$244,000 To Attend Caribbean Tourism Summit In Washington
Barbados Tourism Ministry spent… OH… YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO KNOW!
Freedom of Information legislation (FOI) is no magic solution to stopping the kind of corruption and abuse recently pointed out by the Auditor General of Barbados, but it is a necessary first step in ensuring transparency and accountability by elected and appointed government officials. That is why successive Barbados governments, including the current DLP administration, have refused to pass Freedom of Information legislation.
In the Cayman Islands government officials have three months to respond to a FOI freedom of information request — and they do so because there is rule of law. They may not always respond quickly or happily or completely as they should, but they respond because they know they must obey the law. As a result, the citizens of the Cayman Islands and their responsible news media have a basic tool to assist in keeping the politicians honest or discovering abuses.
Barbados Has No Freedom of Information Legislation
Barbados citizens were promised integrity, transparency (FOI) and accountability legislation (ITAL) by David Thompson and the DLP during the 2007 election campaign. The government of then Prime Minister Owen Arthur was defeated and David Thompson was elected largely on the basis of promised integrity and Freedom of Information legislation. Many Barbadians believe that the call for integrity and FOI legislation by the blogs was the tipping point that denied Prime Minister Owen Arthur a fourth term.
And yet here we are almost 2 years later and it is still legal for Barbados government officials to award government contracts to themselves and their relatives. We have no Freedom of Information legislation. We have no Ministerial code of conduct or conflicts of interest laws. It is still legal in Barbados for government officials to accept gifts from government contractors and land developers who need permissions.
The one thing David Thompson didn’t lie about is that fatted calf now being shared by DLP supporters.
Things are the same in Barbados as they ever were. Until our politicians are shamed into adopting modern integrity, transparency and accountability laws, Barbadians and their news media will remain as they are: like mushrooms kept in the dark and fed horse manure.
Thanks to an old friend for alerting us to this story.
BFP: Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit