SUNDAY, MAY 27: Good governance is about people obeying rules and enforcing rules, according to the One Bermuda Alliance.
OBA MP Trevor Moniz issued a statement today after Premier Paula Cox introduced good governance legislation on Friday.
Mr Moniz said Ms Cox told the House of Assembly the new rules would ensure “abuses will be a thing of the past”.
Mr Moniz said: “While the legislation is part of the Premier’s pre-election effort to separate her government from past practices, the OBA supports any efforts that end the abuses that have done so much to harm Bermuda’s reputation and people’s confidence in their government.
“But there is an important point to make about the Premier’s pre-election make-over, and it was contained in Thursday’s warning by the Auditor General that public officials would continue abusing public funds until they are held to account.”
Mr Moniz said Auditor General Heather Matthews noted the case of Kyril Burrows and Delcina Bean-Burrows, who stole more than $500,000 from the public purse over a period of five years.
“She said the Works and Engineering manager should have been fired seven years ago when it emerged he’d used his Government credit card to spend more than $30,000 on personal items.
“The Auditor General noted that those who turned a blind eye to the couple’s continuing thefts still hold senior positions in Government.”
He continued: “If the Premier is truly committed to separating herself from her own government’s record, then she needs to change her own ways.
“As Ms Matthews observed, the Premier already had the power as Finance Minister to bring charges against public officials responsible for improper use of public money.
“In short, there is no point to having rules if you do not enforce them.”
Mr Moniz said Ms Cox could continue to pass legislation.
“But until she and her Government get serious about stopping financial misconduct, it will continue.
“At the end of the day, good governance comes down to people – people obeying the rules and people enforcing the rules.
“It’s about leadership and ethics.
“That’s the glue that will ensure the public interest and the public purse is protected at all times.”