05 August, 2010


Freedom of Information Acts:  Over the past several posts we have been considering the ways that our governments can demonstrate transparency.  An essential tool in this endeavour is the Freedom of Information Act
Among the smaller territories of the West Indies, Cayman Islands alone have put in place a law that enables any citizen to demand copies of almost any government document that would previously have remained secret.  Every citizen is entitled to know what documents relating to him and his affairs government is collecting and filing. 
There is no surer mechanism for guaranteeing transparency than a Freedom of Information Act and the various regulations that make it work.  It is long overdue in Anguilla.  Here, it is nearly impossible to obtain any information on the programmes or activities of any department of Anguilla.  Most government activity in Anguilla is a state secret. 
It is long overdue that we bring that abortion of a system of government to an end.
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  1. When you consider that the UK has an FOI and will not tolerate any conflicts of interest.
    I can not understand why they do not mandate that Anguilla has the same.
    Transparency equals an FOI for Anguilla!!

    Transparency equals no conflicts of interest allowed.

    Transparency equals only being allowed to serve on one board at a time.
    As someone else said, Anguilla politics is like the wild west, do what you like, when you like, borrow what you like, pay what you like, no responsibility and no governance.

  2. Chief Minister Hughes has said publicly that an FOI would be passed during his administration - when will it be drafted and introduced?

  3. Abortion of a system? or abomination of a system? Still, you are right about the need for transparency and all the other issues you have been writing about recently, including an FOI Act

  4. The transparency exists right up to the point that the person hits the "delete" button on his computer, or drops the incriminating paper into the shredder, or has the unrecorded conversation with another thief.

    I look at Anguilla and I see the political version of incest. A handful of families, a half-dozen or dozen surnames, alternating back and forth between political offices. One group gets voted in and steals with both hands, the other gets voted in and takes its turn, then back again. Hogs at a trough.

  5. The only solution is to dump out the trough.

    That's called "financial privacy", but we don't have that anymore, and becoming more - surprise -- illegal, every day.

    "Financial transparency", as usual, leads to more, not less, government theft.

    As for "political transparency", I have no idea what that is. I've never seen it in my 50-plus years on this orb, and I currently believe it to reside in the same place as unicorns, fairies, Piltdown Man, cold fusion and World Peace.

    "Don't write if you can talk, don't talk if you can nod, don't nod if you can wink." -- James Michael Curley, twice convicted (and re-elected) Mayor of Boston

    "Never com-plain, never ex-plain". -- James Michael Curley

    "Dere' graft, and dere's dishonest graft". -- George Washington Plunkitt, 'Plunkitt of Tamany Hall'

    "Nothing is on the level. Everything is a deal. No deal is too small." -- Old Massachusetts State House aphorism, as related to Howie Carr

    "A pigeon is a rat with wings. A judge is a hack with robes." -- Howie Carr

    And, finally,

    "You can trust me, I'm not like the others." -- Hunter S. Thompson

  6. We do misrepresent, lie, steal on occasion. But once you get beyond the question of whether we ought to do espionage, this is as ethical a group of people as you'll find. -- Elizabeth Rindskopf, CIA General Counsel


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