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Anti-Corruption Team Visits Bahamas

By Rashad Rolle

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

BEFORE writing its anti-corruption report on The Bahamas, representatives of the Organization of American States Anti-Corruption Mechanism are in The Bahamas this week assessing the government’s efforts to comply with the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

The representatives will meet government officials as well as members of civil society, academic and professional organisations during their visit.

Specifically, they are seeking to supplement information they received from the government in response to a questionnaire. The government was asked about the progress it has made towards complying with certain anti-corruption principles.

In a statement yesterday, the OAS said: “The visit is expected to provide the MESICIC Committee of Experts with complete and objective information for the preparation of a report, which will review the country’s legal framework, its compliance with the provisions of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption that are to be reviewed in this fifth round, and follow-up of the recommendations issued to The Bahamas in the final report of the second round of review. It is also expected to indicate challenges by The Bahamas in implementing the provisions of the convention and its technical cooperation needs.”

Among the recommendations the OAS made to the government concerns public service hiring. In its questionnaire, the OAS asked the government whether progress has been made in adopting hiring procedures based on the principle of merit, the introduction of parametres on the use of “exceptions,” the correct advertisement of job vacancies and training of those responsible for the selection process.

In one of its responses, the government pointed to the Department of Public Services’ manual, “The Bahamas Government Human Resources Policies,” and a provision therein that mandates people be hired only if they meet minimum requirements for a post. Critics have long bemoaned political influence in public service hiring processes and the lack of oversight and reporting mechanisms concerning this. 

The OAS also recommended that the government introduce a single legal framework for procuring goods and services, ensure biddings are advertised and that an administering authority is established to audit the government’s procurement system. To this, the government pointed to a Public Procurement Bill, not yet tabled, that aims to standardise procurement processes across the government.

The OAS has also recommended that the government expand mechanisms for reporting corruption and for reporting threats or reprisals against whistleblowers.

Comments

DDK 4 months ago

More time wasting B.S. organizations. Why in hell can we not run are own country properly without all the outside interference which has become a plague? Soon they will be telling us what time to wake up in the morning. Oh wait, they already do that with the bi-annual time changes.

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Aegeaon 4 months ago

No, because we keep getting drug cartel affiliates in two major political parties that are in for the bonus and screwing over the country's reputation. While other countries in this region and this organization is trying to aid their allies while they can.

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DDK 4 months ago

Can we PLEASE include numbers bosses in with the drug cartel affiliates?

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Aegeaon 4 months ago

Sure. No problem with webshop tax evaders.

Now I seriously wonder why the majority only gets rich off of criminality when you still have free will. There's better things in life than with destroying families and a country's reputation by laundering money from the treasury and getting fat off of smuggling cocaine and heroin. There's vocational schools, the University, your very own moral standards and much more things that you can honorably stand for.

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joeblow 4 months ago

Like honorably buying and selling Bahamian passports and birth certificates as so many of our neighbors from the south do?

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licks2 4 months ago

What a foolish statement. . .yoon fer real aye? You got plenty reading to do there fella. . .this whole big blue marble you living on has already come together and doing what you said that we should not do!! So don't show how ignint you are in world socio-economic mechanisms/dialogues. . .

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joeblow 4 months ago

Its funny when countries more corrupt than we are talk about anti-corruption principles! Pot---- kettle?

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bogart 4 months ago

@ DDK fully agree with you!!!!

But corruption, unfairness runs rampant and continues to exist because many bemoan the fact that past govts just seem to change sides of the Parliamentary table.

Much is made of the small time criminal but many white collar criminals nothing happems or no jail time as in a current alledge case where alleged huge theft but allegedly no jail time is recommended.

Many protect each other openly or secretly because of support groups ie belong from the same island, same settlement, family ties, common name, half 'outside' siblings, associations, same religeous groups same political parties, work, friends, families, lovers, cronies,.. etcetc.......and when added together seems inpenetrable as plywood and the poor, unprotected, minority, tired, ill, suffer most who do not access or have these connections, ties that bind. The rich get richer and the poor simply gets taxed more.

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ohdrap4 4 months ago

Let's just chase them crazy baldheads out of the yard.

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realfreethinker 4 months ago

Y'all bitch and moan about how corrupt our country is but get vex when others come in to help us end the corruption. Maybe y'all give lip service to how corrupt we are but like the status quo because y'all benefiting from it SMT

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joeblow 4 months ago

The truth is we don't need outside help for our internal issues. We know (to a large extent) the processes that are abused to allow corruption. We know who many of the key families and politically connected individuals are who facilitate corruption etc. What our leaders lack is the political will to aggressively deal with corrupt practices because they ( their families and friends benefit) need the financial assistance to get re-elected.. No outside task force can change that mentality! Our people have to decide enough is enough! Do you think we need an outside task force to expose the process through which illegal gambling became legal with amnesty for the numbers boys for instance?

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Giordano 4 months ago

Anti-corruption efforts should be focused also on political figures like"The Little Man With The Bell",suspected corrupt individual who misused or abused the public purse with hundreds of millions of dollars under big time impunity,together with still living formels Prime Ministers who handle most heavier bucket out of treasury under impunity without whatsoever minimum explanation to the Bahamian people. Where the VAT MONEY WENT? Also the sudden double amound,at the last minute,added to "The Almighty Road Project" by an outcome P.M. They should be behind bars and bring back to treasury,the money they took. No more impunity against the ones who believe that "The Country" is their personal belongings.Thanks This is a place with 700 Islands,full of churches,liquior stores and more than 400 banks,assuming to know the ABC of AUDITING to find out who abused,the Public Pulse.

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