Moving online, removing red tape may curb corruption in public office
Removing some of the cumbersome ‘red tape’ that hinders the free flow of business may help to abate some of the corruption seen in public office.
This was the view shared by Territorial At-Large Representative and Junior Trade Minister, Shereen Flax-Charles, during a recent sitting of the House of Assembly.
Relating a personal anecdote, Flax-Charles said she was previously offered a bribe in exchange for fast-tracking a businessperson’s trade license application at the Trade Department.
But the first-term legislator said she refused to take up the offer. Instead, she suggested that the person get the license legitimately.
“I can recall saying to that person, ‘My dear, I do not approve or deny trade licenses. I do not even see these trade licenses when they get to [the] Trade [Department].’ There is a process,” she related.
She then urged that legislators, as persons in authority, remain honest and careful not to fall prey to such instances.
“They are looking at it from the [perspective] that I need to get this thing fast, time is money. ‘How can I evade the system without having to go through all of this red tape?’“ Flax-Charles said of persons who make such illegal offers.
As a remedy to this, she said the government is on a mission to ensure that the services it provides are consistent and expeditious.
“That would eliminate a lot of the challenges that we are faced with and that is why we must bring every single thing online,” the Junior Trade Minster reasoned.
She added: “It eliminates a lot of the chances for persons to say, ‘listen, I need this I will give you $1,000.’ Because the process itself will be seamless and we wouldn’t necessarily have to have anyone basically, I would say, disrespecting that public official or that representative or politician.”