May 30, 2014

Lack of transparency with issuance of passports, need for concern – NDP

The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) is expressing concern about the Passport (Amendment) Bill 2014, which should have had its first reading in Parliament yesterday.{{more}}

The Bill seeks to amend the Passport Act, Chapter 115, by insertions to section 4 and 5, the replacement of Section 5 and an amendment to Section 7.

According to the NDP, the amendments to the Act “appear to remove the possibility of bringing legal action against corrupt and unscrupulous passport officers who may have misconducted themselves over the past five years.

“The main purpose of the amendments is to make good any wrongs which may have been done in the issuance of passports at home and abroad, the actions of those who were involved in the issuance of passports and the collection of monies for that service over the past five years,” a release from the NDP said.

“No reasons have been given by the Prime Minister for the legalization of those passports that may have been invalidly issued, and the ratification of the actions which may have been unlawful, including the payment and receipt of monies.”

The NDP said they have serious concern about “the lack of transparency with respect to the issuance of the nation’s passports.

“Given the present climate of perceived corruption and mistrust, the people deserve answers, and they deserve to know fully before the next Sitting of Parliament what has prompted this decision by the ULP to amend the Passport Act in this way,” the release said.