Total transparency means full disclosure

This Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Government has been branded, negatively so, for its lack of full transparency.

Sometimes, when we recognize the resistance of the Perry Christie Government to respond appropriately in easy transparency situations, we wonder if such a culture is not simply the modus operandi of the PLP.

For instance, reports on national issues are delayed by the PLP Government or never produced. It’s easy for the details of expenditure (actually funds out of the pockets of the taxpayers) to be crunched and presented in full to the Bahamian public. There are personnel in the Ministry of finance, paid to do reports.

Still, reports that relate to the World Relays, Value Added Tax (VAT) etc., the government keeps close to its chest, seemingly only for Cabinet Ministers to peruse. Why is it preferable for this government to shy away from giving full financial details to the public.

Let’s take yet another example.

Prime Minister Christie was in town for the annual Business Outlook event on Thursday. He was the keynote speaker and he took the opportunity to seek to sell listeners on the contributions made by his government to improve the lot of the island and those who reside here.

The prime minister informed of a number of projects and attached amounts to them in groups. Full details were not provided. Some details were given for sure, but a thorough breakdown was not provided.

Why?

Don’t the people deserve to know how the funds from the taxpayers have been spent? Break down the $6.5 million that was supposedly spent on the fire station complex on Settler’s Way.

We hasten to point out that there is no intent here to suggest impropriety on the part of PM Christie or any of his associates.

However, full transparency should be the order of the day. Sadly, with this government that is not the case. Christie, because of the way he functions, with apparent disregard for full transparency, will find that he is a hard sell in Grand Bahama. There is a higher expectation in Grand Bahama than some of the other islands, for substantive performances on the part of political leaders and of course for transparency. Christie makes a lot of visits to Grand Bahama. He has made a lot of promises.

He should know that there is a lot of dissatisfaction in Grand Bahama.   

His government is not about total transparency.

 

Published Saturday, March, 11, 2017

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