Oct 31, 2022

Prime Minister Davis is failing to provide proper oversight of critical decisions that is causing consumers and businesses millions of dollars. The failure to take sound advice relative to BPL has caused Bahamian consumers and businesses well over 55 million. Furthermore, the failure of the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General’s Office to act on sound advice overwhelmingly led to the recent blacklisting.

The Attorney General while speaking in the Senate the end of last week asserted that the OECD’s assessment of The Bahamas’ Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) framework as “Non-Compliant” was the consequence of deficiencies which the previous administration failed to correct. This is yet another example of the Attorney General attempting to deflect responsibility for his Government’s failure, its hardheaded unwillingness, to continue the measures started by the FNM administration, which would have addressed all concerns of the OECD.

In late 2020, The Bahamas was assessed by the Automatic Exchange of Information Peer Review Group (the “APRG”) of the OECD, which approved The Bahamas’ legislative framework on CRS on the condition that improvements which would have eliminated potential vulnerabilities in the reporting process be made.

The FNM government met with the OECD and outlined a comprehensive strategy that would have seen the removal of the condition. Up to the change of the Government in September 2021, the work on these matters was ongoing and there was agreement with the OECD that the measures to be introduced were satisfactory.

Given the Attorney General’s statements in the Senate and given that this is now the second time in as many months that this Government is acknowledging that it has not complied with the recommendations of the OECD since assuming office, the FNM has to ask: What has the Davis Administration been doing for the past year?

Why did this government refuse to implement the strategic plan devised under the Minnis administration and is only now putting in place measures that they were advised to do so more than a year ago by the former technical advisor to the government on these matters?

It appears that the Davis Administration did not take the OECD’s recommendations serious enough to warrant any action until it was too late to prevent a blacklisting and the consequential damage to the nation’s financial services sector and the country’s reputation within the international financial community.

The Hon Michael C Pintard

Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Leader of the Free National Movement

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