Minister of State for Legal Affairs Jomo Campbell promised yesterday that the government will bring to Parliament its anti-corruption legislation promised in the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) Blueprint for Change.
The PLP promised on the election trail that it would pass anti-corruption legislation within its first 100 days in office, however, it missed its own target.
During his contribution to the 2022/2023 budget debate, Campbell said the government is focused on rooting out corruption.
“In this budget period the OAG [Office of the Attorney General] and Ministry of Legal Affairs will be introducing anti-corruption legislation that will, amongst other things, provide regulations for whistleblower protection. We will also introduce an updated version of the ombudsman bill that has laid dormant in the House of Assembly since 2017,” he said.
“This government is serious about anti-corruption and will therefore seek to repeal and amend existing outdated legislation as needed. Assisting the government in this regard is the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), and for that we are truly grateful for the technical expertise.”
The government has
increased its allocation to the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Legal Affairs by more than $1.1 million. Campbell said this is to continue with the ongoing modernization of those government departments.
“The OAG and the Ministry of Legal Affairs have determined that the way forward is to refresh itself with the introduction of an integrated case management system (ICMS). A properly functioning ICMS is key to the proper administration of justice in The Bahamas. While an ICMS is being implemented to support the courts, the OAG and its departments – the Civil Litigation Unit, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of the Public Defender’s Unit – are not yet beneficiaries,” he said.
“Given that these entities work hand in hand in the delivery of justice services, it is crucial that the OAG and its departments are included in this modernization effort. Therefore, in this fiscal year the requisite funding has been allocated to realize this goal, which will aid in much-needed reform of the OAG and its departments.”