Independent Senator, Henry Fraser, sees the Prevention of Corruption Act as a case of overkill.
Fraser voiced this concern earlier today while speaking on the bill in the Senate. He however said he supported the bill in principle, but suggested that it should be revised.
Fraser further stated that as a nation Barbadians should be please that the country was number 15 in the world for transparency, but he felt it should be number one. He pointed out that even though Barbados had problems of drug lords who were known but not prosecuted and problems of graft, he would fully support the principle but not all of the details.
The retired lecturer lamented the fact that the committee set up to review the legislation had ignored many of the very sensible suggestions submitted.†He told the Senate that MESA had recommended representation of the church on the commission.
Fraser said he strongly supported this suggestion because spirituality was central to Barbadians throughout time and never more so than at present. He suggested that Archbishop of the West Indies, Dr John Holder, or his nominee should have been included.
The medical doctor recalled that the Institute of Chartered Accountants had recommended the Auditor General or his nominee should have been included. He noted that an attorney-at-law had made many good suggestions, including that the Governor General should have made appointments, but not on political advice.
Fraser argued that deputy chairmen of high risk boards as opposed to a school board should have been included among those being asked to disclose their assets.†He noted that, based on his experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the deputy chairman acted more often in the chair than the chairman.
“There is far too much detail in the declaration template as well. It is much worse than income tax declaration forms. Together the task of monitoring and managing this huge number of posts with enormous detail which will require hours to be filled out, will require a huge office staff of the best accountants and managers and therefore the bill as it stands is a case of overkill,” Fraser said.†(NC)†