PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release: Response to Tribune Article 14 August 2015
“Judicial Review Granted Over Fundamentally Flawed HCA Consultation”
We disagree with the basis on which Fred Smith QC has obtained a judicial review by the Supreme Court into the legitimacy of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement Review Committee (HCARC).
We agree that the public interest is not served by the Government of the Bahamas suppressing dissemination of the McKinsey report into the economic prospects for GBI. It implies that the report was critical of the government’s conduct and/or it made recommendations that the government does not feel inclined to follow.
But it does not follow that the HCARC’s mandate was invalid as a consequence.
It makes eminent sense for the government to seek the considered views of interested parties without prejudicing their objective opinion by exposing them to the views of McKinsey. Only in this way can the government ascertain whether there is general agreement to whatever the McKinsey report concluded.
However the HCARC has now completed its work and has reported to government and so the need to avoid such ‘conditioning of opinion’ has passed and it is reasonable for government to commit to publishing both the McKinsey report and transcripts of the submissions to the HCARC.
In this way the public interest is served by enabling all interested parties to understand the information on which the government has based whatever proposals emerge from the consultative period.
This is what open government is about and the public interest argument directed to publication of the outcome of the HCARC’s deliberations is what Fred Smith QC and his colleague ought to have based their case.
For more information please contact: Andrew Davies on (242) 727 1466
Davies Associates Ltd. (DAL) is a Bahamian development advisory and project Management Company based in Freeport.
DAL has worked extensively throughout the region and has acquired considerable knowledge of investment strategies and structures.