Whistleblowers should be given an incentive to come forward and reveal the names of persons involved in corruption.
And Government may have to look at putting the necessary framework in place so those with information would feel comfortable revealing it to the relevant authorities, says Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
Her comments have come 24 hours after Attorney General Dale Marshall revealed that businesspeople in Barbados had confessed privately to paying bribes amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars to public officials, but had refused to give official statements to the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF).
Speaking during a press conference at the Grace Adams Suite at the Grantley Adams International Airport this afternoon, Mottley said special legislation might be needed to attract whistleblowers.
“What I have said and I’ve said it in Parliament, is that I believe also that you may have to create a framework where people are allowed to come and speak and that we have some kind of framework that deals with it and allows almost a truth and reconciliation moment, where there is some penalty still but that is different from your traditional approach,” the Prime Minister said.
“Part of the difficulty is small island sociology. They have to live in this country again and they don’t want to be that person who went and told on somebody. Now translate that to the schoolyard, translate it to the community, translate it to the family…that is exactly what happens when you tell people to stand up and be counted because they are fighting a culture of that.
“Now having said that, there are some things that are so palpable that we don’t necessarily require the same level of evidence but we require a meticulous gathering still of data,” she noted.
Mottley told the members of the media gathered that she held her Cabinet members to a high standard.
She said so serious was she about stamping out corruption that her Ministers had been required to do things which no other Government had done.
“I forced as a condition to serve in Cabinet that they all submit their declaration of assets which the Cabinet secretary has held in sealed envelopes pending the completion of the establishment of an Integrity Commission. That Commission I’m told will soon come,” she said.
“I could have done like the last Government and just did nothing, but no, everybody must submit and submit they did.”
Attorney General Dale Marshall also revealed that Government had engaged the services of attorneys to represent its interests as it related to several “acts of misfeasance”.
“This administration has already engaged attorneys to represent the Government’s interest from the civil side in relation to some acts of misfeasance we have seen.
“I’m not prepared to go beyond that, but actual work has already begun,” Marshall noted.