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Us State Department Report: No Campaign Finance Laws Leave Country Vulnerable To Corruption

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

UNREGULATED campaign finance and an opaque procurement process continue to expose the country to potential abuses, according to the US State Department.

The country’s vulnerability to corruption due to campaign finance was flagged by the department for the eighth consecutive year in its 2018 Human Rights Report.

Yesterday, Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest said campaign finance reform is “still on the agenda” for the Minnis administration but could not speak to its prioritisation.

“The campaign finance system is largely unregulated, with few safeguards against 'quid pro quo' donations, creating a vulnerability to corruption,” the 2018 report read.

It continued: “The procurement process was particularly susceptible to corruption, as it is opaque, contains no requirement to engage in open public tenders, and does not allow review of award decisions.

“The government nevertheless routinely issued open public tenders,” it added.

The report noted the government’s roll out of its E-Tendering and Supplier Registrar System - an online automated system which allows vendors and suppliers to register and submit documents.

The department’s concern over unregulated campaign finance was first noted in its 2011 report, while the country’s procurement process first came under scrutiny in its 2015 report.

The Free National Movement promised on the campaign trail to implement campaign finance laws once elected.

In December, Attorney General Carl Bethel said a draft bill to regulate the campaign finances of political parties was presented to the Progressive Liberal Party.

The draft bill distributed by Mr Bethel is reportedly similar to a bill the PLP drafted in 1980 under Sir Lynden Pindling, one that never made it to Parliament.

A week earlier, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis pledged the legislation would be implemented this term, as well as the Freedom of Information Act.

In a section on corruption and lack of transparency in government, American officials also acknowledged the Minnis-led administration's pursuit of allegations of corruption in public office since winning the 2017 election.

“As of November,” it read, “cases continued regarding two former ministers and a former senator charged with corruption in 2017."

Former Senator Frank Smith has been acquitted of all charges against him; meanwhile, the trials of former Cabinet ministers Shane Gibson and Kenred Dorsett have not started.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

If there's one thing we've learned since Trump became president, it's how deeply corrupt the U.S. government is. The U.S. today is a country run by the deep state and the super wealthy corporate elite. Elections in the U.S. are only intended to create the illusion of a true democracy, but the rest of the world knows, and fortunately and increasing number of Americans now know, that the close alliance of very big money and the deep state call all of the shots in the U.S. today, whether it be U.S. domestic or U.S. foreign policy. Small wonder many non-Americans are saying: "My oh my, how the once mighty has fallen." LMAO

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One 1 month, 1 week ago

Who has fallen? The rich are still rich and might is still right. A couple pawns receiving white collar convictions will change nothing. We can only endeavor to change things in our reach; beyond that effort is wasted. Live your life the way you think the world should live.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

Most leading economists now readily acknowledge that by as early as 2030 Red China will be the world's number one super power on many fronts. The U.S. (Americans) are going to have a most difficult time stomaching that reality and what it will mean for them going forward. Some are saying the U.S. might even prefer instigating a war with Red China in the not too distant future if that's what it will take to avoid the U.S. having to play second fiddle to Red China on the world stage for many decades, and possibly centuries, to come. Now that's a truly frightening though with Trump in the White House!

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

Well said ......... there is NO true people's democracy in the USA ........ only about 10% of the electorate decide which party will win, as most of the Congressional seats have been so gerrymandered that they are "fixed" ............ And then the small states are now holding the big states hostage with the electoral college and Senate ............. And then they hit a new low with Trump in 2016 ......... Pray God they wake up next year!!!!!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling a few years ago in the Citizen United case has resulted in big corporate money corrupting most election processes in the U.S. like never before. Today the almighty dollar as opposed to the individual American voter has voting power in the U.S. And the U.S. government has the temerity to talk about our need for campaign finance laws! We already know where most of the dirty money comes from that influences, or should I say interferes with, the outcome of our election and policy making processes. The dirty money now primarily comes from our racketeering numbers bosses and Red China. U.S. government concerns about the growing influence of the Red China government in all aspects of our country's affairs is the only reason for their haughtiness in this matter. Every time the U.S. government foolishly attempts to meddle in our internal affairs, it ends up giving an edge to Red China. For the past two plus decades Red China has demonstrated time and time again that it is much more willing than the U.S. government to open up its pocket book to help out Bahamians without creating for us more unsustainable nation debt. Hell, the U.S. government has even shown that it is not inclined to help its own in our part of the world, i.e. Puerto Rico. Wake up U.S.A.! Time is short and Red China seems to have in place a well established long term game plan that is meeting with much success right on your door step. LMAO

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

Meanwhile ........... the Arabs and the Russians finance Trump Inc. ............ SMT

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

Word to the state department. These officials are experts on under the table business. No law will stop them. Release the tapes.

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joeblow 1 month, 1 week ago

The US should clean its own nose before it points out the bugger in ours!

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bogart 1 month, 1 week ago

WE DA ....PORE TOTING....MORE TAXES ON WE BACKS....WATCH NATIONAL DEBT BURDENS HEAVIER...AN IT AINT RIGHT DAT ......ONE REAL CANDIDATE.....GATS DA WELL BEING FOR WE DA PORE......AN DA COMPETITION CANDIDATE USING PLENTY MARLINS MONEY TO LURE...ADVERTIZE LIES....MISLEAD...VAUDEVILLE ACT.....TO GETS ELECTED TO DO DA WORSEST GOVT REPRESENTATION FOR DA PORE.....ALL WE ...PORE..LETS WID WID TEE SHIRT FOR 5 YEARS...!!!!!!!...an SEEMS ...cronies coharts...muck a muks...eating cake....who gets crown land...taxi plates...rich gettin richer...gettin fat....?????

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ashley14 1 month, 1 week ago

A lot of this is true. Looking to get worse, if so I’m gone. I won’t live in a socialist country.

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