NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Governance reformers yesterday stressed the need to prioritize the enactment of “critical pieces” of anti-corruption legislation.
Matt Aubry, the Organization for Responsible Governance’s (ORG) executive director, told Eyewitness News the organization would not comment on the allegations levied against Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest in a civil suit.
However, he noted that the situation reinforces the value and need for an Integrity Commission, as per the Integrity Commission Bill.
“Such a body could receive claims and concerns such as these and investigate them objectively and independently,” Aubry said.
The bill was tabled in 2017 and has yet to be debated. Additionally, The Ombudsman Bill was tabled in the same session in 2017 and has never been advanced to debate. This legislation would give the citizenry an independent resource to receive and address government maladministration.
Aubry continued: “ORG continues to call upon the government to prioritize these critical pieces of legislation and bring them forth for debate, passage and enactment.
“The citizenry is urged to press their representatives in Parliament to move forward in this regard as the lack of advancement of this bill in the legislative agenda leaves situations such as this to become political and fall short of the accountability and transparency that are measures of good governance.”
Both Turnquest and former business partner Captain Randy Butler have strongly denied allegations that they defrauded two companies controlled by Canadian businessman Fred Kaiser of some $30 million.
The allegations were contained in a lawsuit filed last week.