What’s Going On With These Matters? A Matter No Longer Making Headlines Doesn’t Mean The Matter Is No Longer Important

WhatsGoingOn#1 – Fuel surcharge on oil makes up the majority of our electricity bills each month. If oil is still going to be used by BEC for power after privatization, and there will be no company competition or alternative energy sources, a foreigner coming in to own, manage or operate BEC does not automatically mean our power bills will magically become cheaper. The government repeatedly refuses to reveal any details about its plans for BEC, including details on this critical issue of how foreign involvement will benefit Bahamians, the economy & the environment. Continue reading

Regarding The Government’s Unlawful National Intelligence Agency (NIA)

INVESTIGATENational Intelligence Agency (NIA) Should Cease Operations Until It Becomes a Lawful Entity

Over one year ago last February, I publicly raised the matter of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) via a previous weekly national newspaper column. I raised this matter because I knew the Agency had been established without the necessary legislation, and that $72,000 of public funds was allocated in the new government’s first fiscal Budget (2012/2013) as the annual salary for a Director of a surveillance Agency the country knew little to nothing about. In their next Budget (2013/2014), the “Director NIA” line item was notably removed from the section of the National Security Ministry’s Budget that covers salaries, and a new recurrent budget line item called “National Intelligence Agency” was created under the “Grants, Fixed Charges & Special Financial Transactions” block of National Security’s Budget – with an unexplained increase in allocation to $100,000. The NIA currently falls directly under the Ministry of National Security and not the Royal Bahamas Police Force, which suggests that the Agency’s Director answers to a politician and not the Commissioner of Police like the Force’s security, surveillance and intelligence branch (SIB) does – a major red flag regarding this secret surveillance Agency. The Police Force already carries out surveillance and intelligence gathering via SIB. What kind of monitoring of Bahamians could a government Minister(s) possibly want or need that SIB is not already legally mandated to do? Continue reading