The government remains committed to “rooting out corruption and leveling the playing field” for Bahamians, according to Press Secretary Anthony Newbold, who insisted he has been misrepresented in the media
“That’s been the message from Prime Minister Minnis from he was leader of the opposition on the campaign trail before and after,” Newbold emphasized during his weekly press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Tuesday.
“That’s always been the message. That is not going to change.”
The press secretary said he wants his words to be used exactly as he says them and not misconstrued to the public.
He also clarified his exact response to the public’s concern that the prime minister is not addressing matters that concerns Bahamians.
“On our briefing last week, I was asked about the government’s agenda and what the government is doing for the Bahamian people with the inference being that maybe that’s why the poll number showed a dip,” he explained.
“And of course, my answer to the question placed me in the story saying that I admitted the government was off message.
“I said no such thing. What I said was the agenda was thrown off by many things including hurricanes.”
During last week’s briefing, Newbold told members of the press that “things happen that throw you off”.
“Any number of things have happened, beginning with the hurricanes. So, you get sidetracked because things happen. There is always an agenda. Are we communicating that as best we can? No. I don’t think anyone thinks that we do. It’s all of our faults for doing that,” he said.
Newbold encouraged the press to focus on the message of the government at all times.
Additionally, he said, another message the government wants the public to think more on is “improving the way we govern ourselves” and to put legislations in place.
“Some bills have been tabled in the past. A bill to establish the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; a Financial Transactions Reporting Amendment Bill; a Proceeds Of Crime Bill and the Criminal Evidence Witness Anonymity Amendment Bill and the Automatic Exchange Of Financial Account Of Information Act. All of them passed,” he said.
Newbold said there are a few other bills still on the table that are supposed to pass, which stay in tandem with government’s anti-corruption platform.
These include “a bill to provide for the Office of the Ombudsman; a bill to provide for the establishment of the Integrity Commission as well as other bills that will be introduced as time goes on”.
“We are eleven months out now but those are the bills that are laid on the table and that have been passed,” he said.