Categorized | National News

ORG calls for Integrity Bill to be passed

The Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) Executive Director Matthew Albury says  the implementation of an Integrity Commission Bill and Ombudsman Bill could provide minimal impact and opportunity for corruption. 

These two bills were tabled in the House of Assembly in November 2017 and have not made any further movement since.

The bills,  he said,  will also ensure a more effective and accountable government.

“Our position as an organization is that a bill like that would have made a lot of the efforts that have gone over the last year a lot clearer, a lot more effective, a lot more efficient.” 

That monies could have been better spent in the interims of setting this up, but we don’t see the movements happening form the government, or from the opposition to really push and drive this forward.” 

“Additionally,  we feel like the public has a major role and the public need to kind of shift some of our energy from getting upset about what we see on our day to day to really getting in front of it and make sure that we don’t make mistakes going forward,” he said. 

This bill, according to the ORG Executive Director addresses public disclosure and creates a more transparent model. 

He said, “its calls for that commission to go in and look at government and identify here opportunities for corruption might be happening and how to minimize those and make recommendations. 

“It also has in its charge a code of conduct very specifically as to what legislators, government officials, and government leaders should be doing to ensure that they don’t fall into an area of concern whether it be a conflict of interest or whether it be a concern related to corruption.”  

Mr. Albury said the reason for the delay  of the bill is because there is no strong public will against it.

“We need to as a people come forward in the same way that we would have around the Freedom of Information Act, the same way people would have reacted to VAT, to the same way people would have reacted to the Interception of Communications Bill.” 

“This is critical thing that if it’s in place we can avoid a lot of the expenditures, a lot of the mistrusts, a lot of the effectiveness and lack of transparency.” 

“So we need to think about how we can be more proactive in our approach on this,” he said. 

Mr. Albury said ORG wants to launch a national integrity campaign in an effort to curb corruption at small stages. 

Meantime, the ORG is calling for the passage of these bills as soon as possible.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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