The passing of the Proceeds and Instrumentalities of Crime Bill has been praised as an example of the Labour Party Government’s “self-governance”.
In giving the new law her full support, Government Senator Lynette Holder said that while some people wondered why BLP lawmakers were introducing a bill that could seemingly “shoot themselves in the foot” she was proud to be a part of an institution willing to uphold principles. She said the bill was in the public’s best interest since it reinforced transparency.
Senator Holder said: “The question must be asked: Why would an administration seek to regulate itself in such a stringent manner as this bill purports. I think it speaks to the philosophy of this administration. It speaks to the core values. It speaks to the covenant this administration, party as it was at the time, would have entered with the people of this country. I think it underscores who we are as an administration. This is self-governance.
“I took comfort from the fact that the Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate agreed wholeheartedly with this bill. We all will agree in this chamber that this is good governance. I am satisfied that it goes to that philosophy we hold as an institution: one of transparency . . . accountability . . . that says we are going to be upfront with those whom we govern and we are going to always seek to act in their interest.”
Calling it a “significant” law on the statue books, Senator Holder, the chief executive officer of the Small Business Association, said the fact that the law is retroactive speaks volumes about the present Government.
The senator said: “This is a significant piece of legislation that binds this current administration as well. This legislation is retroactive 20 years. The leader of Government business reminded us which administration was in office 20 years ago. There was no gun to our heads that said we had to agree to that particular time horizon but we wanted to ensure we didn’t limit it to one decade.”
“We will hold all those who are considered political exposed persons accountable. It says to me that all of us need to pay close attention going forward to how we do business. We need to ensure that we operate above board. When we come to public life we have an obligation to hold to certain moral and ethical behaviours. If we are not that way we need to become that way. I don’t believe you should have to legislate ethics.”