PLP GOVERNMENT REFUSING TO FULLY IMPLEMENT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

Dec 18, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hon. Michael Pintard

Leader, Free National Movement

November 8, 2023

 

THE BAHAMAS – The Opposition is disappointed but not at all surprised to read in the Nassau Guardian this morning, Monday, November 6th, that this PLP is still refusing to fully implement the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) after being in office now for more than two years.

Just like with the Procurement Act, this PLP government continues to come up with a bag of nonsense excuses as to why they are not progressing with the laws that have been passed to ensure transparent and accountable use of the resources entrusted to them by the Bahamian people.

This Davis Administration likes to blame the implementation of digital technology for their habitual failure to follow transparency laws. Do they not realize that there are scores of jurisdictions that have implemented these critical pieces of legislation in a low tech way?

If the PLP was serious about the implementation of the FOIA, they would have already set an appointment date for the full implementation of the law, they would have tabled the accompanying regulations and they would have put in place an interim process using email or simple web-based forms to facilitate applications for information and the delivery of same – at least in the pilot agencies.

If the PLP was serious about advancing FOIA principles, they could have established an interim process to at a minimum permit the Press to apply for and obtain the information they would require for their journalistic needs.

It is no accident that the PLP left out all reference to improved accountability and transparency in their most recent Speech from The Throne. Despite being elected with a documented mandate to improve accountability and transparency, Prime Minister Davis and his team have instead chosen to ignore existing laws that call for regular and open reporting to the public. And they have deliberately watered down provisions in other laws. The PLP is determined to hide what they are doing from the Bahamian people. And why must only ask what it is that they have to hide?

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