Categorized | National News

PM Should Fire Gibson- Gibson Responds

Now that Prime Minister Perry Christie has publicly stated his disagreement with Minister of National Insurance Shane Gibson regarding his decision to reveal National Insurance Board (NIB) information on a bye-election candidate, he has no choice but to fire him, the Free National Movement (FNM) said yesterday.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Christie said he would not have divulged information contained in NIB files on FNM candidate Greg Gomez.

Mr. Gibson revealed the number of contributions that had been made to NIB for Mr. Gomez.

FNM Chairman Darron Cash said yesterday that nothing short of removal from office would be acceptable to demonstrate the government’s seriousness about data privacy and that no one is above the law.

“Prime Minister Christie’s statement that he would not have breached the Data Privacy Act as his Minister Shane Gibson did is a good start, but it does not go far enough. The prime minister has no choice but to demand that Shane Gibson does the honourable thing by resigning. If he does not resign, he should be fired.”

“The world is watching to see what the prime minister does.”

In an interview with The Bahama Journal yesterday in the front of Cabinet, Mr. Gibson responded to Mr. Cash.

“Listen here, I’m trying to think about which one of them in Opposition has the moral authority to call for my resignation. I didn’t ask for Mr. Gomez to run for public life, he offered himself. Once you offer yourself for public life then you offer yourself for a certain level of scrutiny,” he said.

“It was not I who said Gomez made $28,000 a year, it was he who said that. They asked him to declare and he declared. The purpose of declaring is so that if there are persons who have a view as to whether or not you are what you say you are and you have what you say you have they are able to scrutinise it. That is why the declaration is placed in the newspaper. Having declared what he made then it was scrutinised.”

Minister Gibson continued, “If he does not want to be scrutinised then he shouldn’t offer himself for public life. It’s as simple as that.”

Mr. Cash said by taking a “nonchalant, indifferent and hands-off” approach to this serious breach, the prime minister is telling the nation and members of the international community who consider doing business with The Bahamas, that there are laws appropriate for a 21st century Bahamas, but some people like Shane Gibson and others in political office are above the law,” he said yesterday.

“Only certain low level people are to be subjected to the rule of law. It is clear that if a nurse, medical assistant or secretary working in a medical office were to release private patient information about illnesses or medical conditions of high-profile political leaders the outcry would be deafening. Similarly, even as the Minister of Financial Services globe-trots around world seeking to build the financial services industry it should be immediately apparent that a breach of the Data Privacy Act by a senior government official is harmful to the country.”

Mr. Cash reminded that international financial services thrive on the principle of confidentiality.

He said the presence of confidentiality laws and the impression that adherence to those laws will be taken seriously are fundamental to the success of the industry.

He said if the Bahamas is to be taken seriously and if every Bahamians citizen is to walk away from this violation of law with the clear impression that every person is subject to the law, then Prime Minister Christie must demonstrate that he is serious.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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