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Bahamas: Parliament ‘Must Get Serious’ On Corruption

The bribery probe involving the Defence Force’s $150m fleet “speaks volumes” about the need for Parliament to take the anti-corruption fight “as seriously as the country”, governance reformers urged yesterday.

Matt Aubry, the Organisation for Responsible Governance’s (ORG) executive director, told Tribune Business that the Dutch investigation into whether such payments were made provided “further proof” of why his group and others were pushing so strongly for the government to move forward with a package of stalled anti-graft Bills.

While praising the Ministry of Finance for releasing the draft Public Procurement Bill 2019 for consultation, Mr Aubry reiterated that it was “critical” for the government to move the Integrity Commission Bill and the creation of an ombudsman’s post through Parliament as rapidly as possible.

Suggesting that politicians may be out of step with how the Bahamian people view this issue, he pointed to an ongoing ORG survey where 65 percent of respondents ranked government corruption in The Bahamas as “extremely serious”. Another 26 percent rated it as “serious”, meaning that more than nine out of every ten persons view it as a major problem.

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