Hiding information from citizens…
Was Queen Elizabeth Hospital built to proper standards? When Government refused to tell the Nation newspaper, the journalists said “OK” and walked away.
With much fanfare during the 2007 election campaign, then Opposition Leader David Thompson promised that a DLP government would introduce Freedom of Information legislation (FOI) within 100 days of taking office. FOI was part of a promised ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) package that dropped off the radar the minute that the DLP gained access to the treasury after 14 years out of power. Likewise, the promise to “immediately” enact conflict of interest rules for Ministers was never heard about again. Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit
Almost two years have passed but Thompson and his government members don’t want to enact Freedom of Information Legislation because FOI would allow ordinary citizens access to government financial records. That would empower ordinary citizens and the media to hold elected and appointed government officials accountable for wrongdoing and the Prime Minister doesn’t want that!
Like the Barbados Labour Party government before them, the DLP government is committed to keeping citizens in the dark – but there is no reason why we can’t put these Freedom of Information Requests on file on the internet. Someday perhaps citizens will be able to act upon them, but in the meantime the presence of these FOI requests on the internet will serve to illustrate that Prime Minister Thompson and his gang know nothing about transparency, accountability or integrity.
Our first FOI request was to the Barbados Transport Board about vehicle maintenance standards and what happened when both rear wheels fell off a bus.
Here is our second Freedom of Information Request…
FOI Request #2009-2: To Barbados Department of Emergency Management
To: Department of Emergency Management
FOI Request: PAHO Inspection Report, Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Under the FOI legislation of Barbados, I demand a copy of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Inspection Report as prepared by the Pan American Health Organisation, and any associated internal or external communications held by the Barbados Department of Emergency Management as indicated in the attached October 13, 2009 Nation newspaper article Call for stiff building codes. The article indicated that the PAHO spokesperson would not divulge “any information as to whether the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was built to standards.”
As a citizen and taxpayer I demand under FOI to know this information about a public facility.
I enclose the required fee and expect to receive copies of the requested records within 100 days as per the FOI law. Specifically, I request copies of…
1/ Queen Elizabeth Hospital Inspection Report as prepared by the Pan American Health Organisation.
2/ Copies of all internal and external correspondence and/or reports mentioning this PAHO report.
A Bajan citizen empowered by the Freedom of Information Act of Barbados (enacted 2017 by the Barbados Integrity Party government)
September 10, 2007: Your Child Is Sick: Welcome To Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital