Corruption

Government must remove blemish from FBI probe

  • Corruption perception impacted by FBI probe

  • No update provided after meeting with US

  • Government must treat matter with urgency

  • Lack of moral authority not excuse for inaction

The Minister of Finance expressed shock following the recent release of Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index. While there has been several allegations of conflicts of interest, cronyism and unethical conduct levied against members of the Free National Movement (FNM) administration, the government seemed to have been surprised that The Bahamas ranking’ had deteriorated since they assumed office.

According to media reports, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has materials in its possession that reveal bribery and corruption with the Bahamas’ Department of Immigration. It is unfortunate that following the announcement that a Bahamian delegation was headed to Washington to meet the FBI, there has been no update provided by the government.

The Bahamas is a country of laws with due regard for the rule of law. It is vital that this matter is given the utmost attention and urgency to demonstrate our commitment to good governance. The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) calls on the government to address this matter without further delay. The full weight of the law should be brought to bear on any and all persons that have been implicated in this probe. This matter should not be politicized or swept under the rug; the chips must fall where they may.

While the FNM may feel constrained to ignore the findings of the FBI probe because it feels it has no moral authority to do so following the actions of its members, we submit that such an approach is not an option. The reputation of The Bahamas and the integrity of our people is on the line. The government must do all within its power to remove any blemish that this probe may have put on our country.

The DNA awaits the government’s response to these allegations and findings.

Omar Smith, Chairman

Democratic National Alliance


International report confirms FNM has failed in anti-corruption

Summary:

  • Administration marred by scandals and conflicts of interest

  • Minnis administration no different from predecessors

  • Corruption perception ranking comes as no surprise

  • Cease political rhetoric and demonstrate true commitment to good governance

  • Government should embrace DNA good governance platform


After the nation’s Prime Minister embarked upon a world anti-corruption crusade and promised to stamp out corruption at its core, recent reports that The Bahamas has moved down to 29th on Transparency International’s corruption ranking is an indictment on the Minnis administration. The Bahamas’ recent ranking on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows a lack of true commitment by the Minnis Administration to transparent and accountable governance.  Even though the current administration had campaigned on transparency and accountability in governance on the 2017 campaign trail, their governance to date has been marred by scandals, conflicts of interest and inaction; proving that they are no different from their predecessors in government.

Bahamians will recall the tragic case of the OBAN deal and the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of ineptitude and fraud as well as the subsequent admission by the Minister of Education that the government breached the law in the handling of the matter.

The Minister of Health also publicly acknowledged approving a contract without the requisite Cabinet approval while two senior Cabinet Ministers were also implicated in matters before the court. The conflict of interest and lack of transparency that plagued the relocation of the main Post Office remains fresh in the minds of the Bahamian people.  We are still awaiting the probe into the BPL ordeal as promised by the Prime Minister and when one considers the ineffectiveness and political stifling of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament as a check and balance to government spending, The Bahamas’ ranking on the CPI comes as no surprise. The government should be aware that its actions are being monitored by both domestic and international observers.

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) implores the government to fulfil their campaign promise of good governance, transparency and accountability.  They should go beyond the political rhetoric and wage war on corruption and the perception of corruption in our nation. On behalf of the Bahamian people, we demand the full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and the Integrity Commission Act. We encourage the government to fully embrace the DNA’s platform for good governance by enacting and enforcing Whistle-blower and Campaign Finance legislation among others without delay.


Geoffrey Deleveaux, Spokesperson for Good Governance

Democratic National Alliance