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Bill Is An Invasion Of Our Privacy, Warns Qc Smith

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Attorney Fred Smith QC

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

ATTORNEY Fred Smith yesterday echoed concerns levelled by civil society over the proposed Non-Profit Organisations Bill, calling the legislation a complete invasion of privacy rights.

Mr Smith, who holds director posts at environmental group Save The Bays and advocacy group Rights Bahamas, told The Tribune the bill also threatens constitutional protections for freedom of association.

“It’s an invasion of our right to privacy,” he said, “of our constitutionally protected right. It’s a complete invasion of our right to private correspondence. It’s an abomination against civil society.”

The NPO Bill requires all such organisations to be registered with a new regulator - the registrar of non-profit organisations.

Organisations must show “evidence” that they are aware of the funding sources and the background of their donors - in order to become registered. It also mandates that all non-profits provide the registrar with details on donations that exceed $50,000 - either in total or as a lump sum - and of their ten largest contributors every two years.

Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest defended government’s intention to legislate non-profit organisations last week.

The bill was part of a compendium of financial services bills the government seeks to pass to further comply with international tax standards.

Mr Turnquest explained the decision to regulate groups was meant to increase transparency while safeguarding the country against international risks, adding the government did not want to overly interfere or monitor their activities.

The bill was set to pass in the Senate yesterday but a vote has been delayed in the face of criticism from civil society.

Comments

geostorm 1 year ago

It's only an invasion of privacy, IF you have something to hide!

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hrysippus 1 year ago

What a strange and incorrect statement you have posted, Geotorn. An invasion of privacy is an invasion of privacy, end of story. if you have something to hide is a different story entirely. Perhaps you were one of our students who were never taught logic.

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geostorm 1 year ago

@hrysippus no one can teach you logic! It is a way of reasoning or looking at something. It comes by putting thoughts and ideas together based on one's experience and info acquired over time. Not sure why you felt compelled to make the last part of your statement but I am absolutely sure that I am one of those students taught well at the finest institutions in the Bahamas.

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licks2 12 months ago

I agree that an invasion of privacy is just that. . .but who says the bill is an invasion of privacy? Mr. Smith? First I suggest that you go and read the Listening Device Act. . .any one of ANY country on this world and you may learn a "ting or two"!! Or just go get the USA Patriot Act. . .or Batelco's phone records agreement with law enforcement!! The constitution gives the government some leeway to gather information to prevent law breaking or keep records of certain activities of citizens!! You must be Luby Georges. . .only him does be in the public with so little reasoning skills. . .and such bombastic attitude!!

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TalRussell 1 year ago

No group nor organization with a political objective should be permitted to operate as a 'non profit' - more so accept donations from comrade individuals or companies outside colony islands. There must be a clear distinction established what defines a 'non profit from that of a 'registered organization.

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John 12 months ago

Vote of no confidence moved against Britain’s PM by her own party. Vote to take place in a matter of hours.

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bogart 12 months ago

Confidential information......???..........Banks have for years been sending or being electronically connected...erryone financial information outside the Bahamas....Credit Cards....queries info ...answered by persons in different countries....Critical Decision making on ...loans....made by citizens of Other Sovereign Caribbean countries....whose loyalty is of course to their own Sovereign Country.....Critical Decisions on ....lending Priorities in which areas....made by Those Citizens in foreogn nations.....not ..nrcessarily....in interest of that particular country where bank business customer is based.....policy set by foreign nation...often times in conflict with National Growth Policies..... Foreign Head Office controls maximizing profits in say dozen Caribbean Countries....maximum profits yields are calculated on each country....based on each individual country's data..closing branches..opening branches..returns .....strictly strip mining...quotas...targets set by foreign countries.........strictly business ......for greatest calculated returns for bank owners...Mr. Smith financial confidential...??....future has already been pre determines...interest rates...fees. range variamce..way in future by alogarythms....in other country..in combination an permutation...etc..yields....strictly business....lol...!!!!....as soon as Bahamian information is given to bank officer it done known elsewhere.....matter of note is that loan business officer connected..." pipeline"...to foreogn country...types of loans...business...applied for...even before .approved...declined..fully put together...weeks....Bahamas Central Bank gets it....an govt makes budgets .....lol...!!!

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