Policy

 

A DNA Government will:

 

  • Implement true Freedom of Information” and pass our “Right to Information Act” within our first year.

 

  • Create an Office of the Ombudsman and Transform the Public Service Commission to house the Ombudsman and relevant staff. 

 

  • Introduce an Anti-Corruption Act and stiffen the penalties for public officers convicted of corruption and dereliction of duties.

 

  • Implement a Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians Act.

 

  • Enact Whistle-Blower legislation that would protect individuals who report corruption in government departments.

 

  • Review, revise and strengthen the Public Disclosure Act by closing the loopholes that allow politicians and senior civil servants to go without declaring their financial information.

 

  • Enact Campaign Finance Reform legislation and mandate Campaign Disclosure for all national and local elections.

 

  • Revise the Constitution by way of referendum to allow for a Member of Parliament Recall system.

 

  • Convert the Office of the Attorney General into an independent post.

 

  • Set fixed dates for General Elections and term limits for the Office of the Prime Minister by way of Constitutional Referendum.

 

  • Move toward a system of Proportional Representation to give smaller parties a voice in Parliament.

 

  • Reduce the Constitutional minimum number of constituencies to 21 by way of Referendum.

 

  • End the practice of gerrymandering through the introduction of fixed boundaries that can only be changed via international criteria.

Efficiency

 

A DNA Government will:

 

  • Establish data collection and statistics points in all Ministries, Government Departments and Public Corporations.

 

  • Introduce digitally automated information management systems as part of upgrades to the public services. 

 

  • Strengthen government relations with the press through frequent media briefings at The Office of The Prime Minister and/or The House of Assembly that will be conducted by a senior spokesperson on behalf of the government.

 

  • Oversee the decentralization of public works and some public services and transfer such responsibilities to local government in the Family Islands. 

 

  • Implement variation of local government on the island of New Providence by way of “Town Councils” in designated inner-city areas as pilot programmes.

 

  • Retro-fit all government agencies with the latest Information Technology software as a matter of priority.

 

  • Accelerate the computerization process of all government agencies and require every request put into the government to be submitted via online application. 

 

  • Invest in two new fibre optic cable ... relays from Florida to The Bahamas to support current and future telecommunications endeavours.

Oversight

 

A DNA Government will:

 

  • Pass legislation to create a Central Information Depository as a stand-alone government department where all official government documents, national documents and books will be stored and recorded, no matter how big or small. 

 

  • Pass legislation to create a National Procurement Agency for the management of any and all public contracts and goods acquired by the government. 

 

  • Establish a Public Management Corporation and make this the umbrella corporation that will manage the portfolios of entities such as BahamasAir, Bahamas Power & Light, and any organization that the Government has an investment stake in.

 

  • Make the new Public Management Corporation private sector driven and available to shareholders on the Bahamian Stock Exchange.

 

  • Ensure that the Public Management Corporation advises the Government on liberalisation efforts and helps to manage any proceeds from the exploitation of our natural resources.

 

  • Audit all of our public corporations to clean up the abuses that have occurred over the last several years. 

The Public Service

 

A DNA Government will:

 

  • Strengthen the Public Service Commission to serve a broader purpose within our governmental agencies by making it a statutory elected office with no less than 5 elected Commissioners.

 

  • Mandate a minimum amount of funding be set aside for The Public Service Commission every budget cycle.

 

  • Give the Public Service Commissioner greater independence by ending political interference.

 

  • Give the Office of The Public Service Commission the legal authority to serve writs, question, investigate and press charges using a strengthened complaint system on persons charged with abuse of public authority, after it has been vetted through an investigative process.

 

  • Update the General Orders of the Public Service to meet international standards and best practices.

 

  • Allow for Union stakeholders, along with a Select Committee, to craft a modern public service management handbook that does not contravene established laws.

 

  • Implement Performance Appraisals and Performance Indicator Mechanisms so we can monitor and boost the efficiency and productivity of the public services.

 

  • Implement an adequate public counselling section within the Department of Public Service that deals with continual mental health assessments for persons dealing with matters of professional hurt that are beyond their control.

 

  • Place all necessary incentive-based schemes under one administrative branch and digitize the applications and approvals process within one year of coming to office.

 

  • Develop a simple interface to cut out human error and free up valuable human resources to continue work in other, more intensive functions.

 

  • Adopt a timeline for the approval of public sector contracts to tie those responsible for their administration to time-based incentives and deliverables for their department.

 

  • Mandate and prioritize basic skill training for workers throughout the Department of Public Service as well as all Ministries and Departments.

 

  • Ensure that technical skills training is aligned with job specification.

Housing & Urban Development

 

A DNA Government will: 

 

  • Remove the Crown Land application process from the office of the Prime Minister and transfer approval responsibilities to a new National Land Bureau.

 

  • Establish a proper registry and allocation process that will be transparent and accountable to all Bahamians through the new National Land Bureau.

 

  • Rezone all state land into specific categories, such as Touristic, Commercial, Farmland, Residential & Commercial and Forestry & Wetlands.

 

  • Ensure that certain zoned land, like Touristic and Farmland, will only be leased to foreigners—not sold.

 

  • Make Residential & Commercial land affordable for Bahamians through low interest rates to be provided by a recapitalized Bahamas Development Bank and the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation. 

 

  • Set terms and conditions to ensure that relevant land distributed from the National Land Bureau is developed within a specified time period.

 

  • Start a pilot program of Elected District Councils on the island of New Providence with seed money allocated for the conduct of small-scale infrastructural projects.  

 

  • Revise the International Land Holders Act to make it a tiered system that leaves inner-cities and certain areas for Bahamian development strictly. 

 

  • Strengthen the Mortgage Corporation and implement more efficient management and maintenance systems for the approval or assistance with persons looking for homes.

 

  • Create comprehensive mortgage reform in The Bahamas, complete with Homeowner Protection Clauses and additional legislative leeway that allow for banks to give more latitude and discernment before they decide to evict homeowners.

 

  • Open up more Crown Land for small home development.  

Transport & Aviation

 

A DNA Government will: 

 

  • Implement a Unified Bus System that services the entire Bahamas. 

 

  • Revise the current routing system under the newly instituted Unified Bus System. 

 

  • Implement pedestrian and vehicular road safety training in public schools for all students.

 

  • Increase road safety training for all Bahamians and require persons found guilty of violating traffic laws to undergo Road Safety courses as a part of their sentencing. 

 

  • Strictly enforce vehicle conditions laws and impound cars that are unlicensed and/or have violated public health and safety laws.  

 

  • Audit existing vehicle testing and inspection regulations to identify areas for reform. 

 

  • Stop the sub-leasing of individual taxi plates to locals and foreigners.

 

  • Set a limit to the amount of personal taxi plates someone can own and create separation between those that have fleets of taxi-cabs and those that are in the charter business. 

 

  • Require greater proof of ownership of taxi plates and self-drive plates.  

 

  • Enhance the industry for charter bus services that cater to large companies and school children, and require persons in this industry to have specific licenses to be a charter bus driver.

 

  • Work towards making the downtown Nassau area a pedestrian area and commission work to begin in that regard upon consultation with stakeholders and the down-town redevelopment committee. 

 

Under our Airport and Seaport Mass-Transit Initiative, a DNA Government will:

 

  • Undergo an extensive structural audit of our Ports and Bridges and implement a facilities upgrade plan in conjunction with the National Development Plan, funded by international partners

 

  • Assess the structure of the Sir Lynden Pindling National Airport so as to increase airlift capacity.

 

  • Undertake the extensive revitalization of the Potter’s Cay Dock, inclusive of correcting structural deficiencies to the Port’s Concrete Base and the issues regarding the Paradise Island Bridge. 

 

  • Work with our American partners, such as the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Homeland Security, to increase joint-training programmes of airport security, maintenance workers, Air Traffic Controllers and other relevant personnel.

 

  • Encourage the joint-management of radar equipment between us and our American Partners to bring our Aviation operations to world class standards.

 

  • Provide greater security and maintenance of our radar equipment on the island of New Providence and selected islands around The Bahamas.

 

  • Audit the BahamasAir fleet to ensure that we are getting the best returns on our investments.

 

  • Amend the Construction Contractor’s Act and put more provisions that mandate small contractor and tradesmen development in place.

 

  • Tie the new provisions in the Contractors Bill to earmarked projects in the public sector.

 

  • Begin the process of divesting the government’s stake in the Bahamas Electricity Corporation.

 

  • Begin the process of re-trenching underground waterways and sewer systems on the island of New Providence.

Information Technology

 

A DNA Government will:

 

  • Legislate that the central government is the owner of the backbone of the telecommunications sector and all transmissions must be approved by, run through or tie into the central government’s system by license or rental payment. 

 

  • Continue to liberalize the cellular and broadband internet markets and offer licenses to those that prove they can supply and manage a certain percentage of their respective markets.