Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Proposal to Establish an Anti-Corruption Authority

This piece continues the process of explaining the Coalition for Reform's Core Principles.

Gibraltar is plagued constantly with rumours of corruption and bribery.  True, indifferent or false does not matter.  These rumours are destructive and give a negative image.  There is a need to deal with this situation for the benefit of the jurisdiction and of citizens.  Dealing with it will also avoid the complacency and resignation to this subject that is often seen and shown to be prevalent.

Gibraltar should strive to ensure and provide the means by which people, within and without Gibraltar, can be confident that its executive, administration and legislature adhere to internationally recognised standards of, governmental, administrative and parliamentary behaviour.  Recent events relating to MPs’ and Lords’ expenses in the UK Parliament are indicative of the need for constant vigilance and action even in that Parliament.

A lack of oversight and review of standards that need to be maintained by ministers, members of parliament, administrators and legislators can lead to standards dropping.  The consequence can be that acts, which are seen from the subjective perspective of the individuals or persons engaged in the particular act to be an acceptable standard of behaviour, if analysed objectively would be unacceptable. A downward spiral can ensue if there is no objective overview.  The possibility of a spiral of this nature coming about in any sector of government in Gibraltar needs to be diminished. The Coalition for Reform believes that this can be achieved by the introduction of independent systems that are established to strive for the achievement of objective and not subjective standards.

Consequently, the Coalition for Reform proposes the establishment of an independent Anti-Corruption Authority.  The proposal is that the Judicial Services Commission will appoint the Anti-Corruption Authority.  This method of appointment will ensure the same independence for the Authority as is guaranteed by this Commission’s appointment of judges.  A lawyer and accountant would need to participate in the executive of the Authority. The executive would need to be carefully chosen to have the necessary independence, strength of character and disconnect from society so as to ensure its additional effectiveness, free from local partial influences. There is a precedent for this, for example, in the constitution of the Financial Services Commission.

The Coalition for Reform will promote a review of existing corruption and bribery laws and update these based on internationally accepted standards.  The reformed laws that will flow from this review will further define, prohibit and criminalise unacceptable behaviour and practices. The Coalition for Reform envisages that the Authority will receive confidential reports of breaches of these laws and investigate such reports.  It will also be empowered to investigate of its own volition any other relevant matters coming to its attention. The intention is that the Anti-Corruption Authority will be endowed with full powers of investigation and prosecution, subject to the Attorney General’s constitutional responsibility and power to finally decide on the prosecution of any case.


  1. Robert, would the Authority have the powers to demand information to the Government, information that Government is not willing to provide in the house because they claim it is sensitive etc..... If so then it would be effective. Definitely this would be a major advance in OPEN GOVERNMENT !
    A hora Robert I guarantee you 1000% that the GSLP nor the GSD will have this in their manifesto, why ?

  2. Anonymous at 21:55

    Yes it would need to have full powers to investigate and demand information from Government and the administration.

  3. This would represent an additional plank in respect of checks and balance. However I do not share the view that a non Gibraltarian lawyer is required. This is tantamount to saying that we are either not mature enough or incapable of properly regulating ourselves. It has the tinge of colonialist mentality. Surely the criterion ought to be a competent person of unquestionable integrity whether Gibraltarian or not.

    It also occurs to me that such a project should have proper resources in respect of monitoring, investigating and prosecuting. Given that Gibraltar holds itself out to be a finance centre should we not have an equivalent specialist unit such as the serious fraud office in UK??

  4. Anonymous at 22:20

    In an ideal world you are right but to ensure that there are no suspicions or rumour in the operation of such an organisation ideally non-Gibraltarians would be ideal at least initially. This is not colonial at all it is living in the real world. The use of non-Gibraltarians in certain sensitive areas does not make us a colony so long as legislative and executive government remains in Gibraltar and it is that government that legislates in that way and has the power to change such legislation. The Financial Services Commission works this way and it is not colonial, nor do I suggest that the incumbents have to to be UK citizens.

    Such a project has to be properly resourced. I believe the RGP has an economic crime squad.

  5. The principle that you highlight could equally be applied to top posts requiring integrity and impartiality such as the Chief Justice- yet he is a local. What about the Attorney General would you similarly say that that post should not be for locals??

  6. Anonymous at 23:01

    I make a distinction because this role is investigative. I do not exclude or preclude the possibility of locals doing the job but it is difficult when dealing with a sensitive issue such as bribery and corruption.

  7. Bottom line is that For the sake of good governance we should have this body. We have to be realistic, today we have various units run by locals, has their ever been a potential case investigated in the last 30 years, are we that clean ? Don't think so !

  8. This just sounds to me a little bit like 'castle in the sky talk'. I just do not see how this Authority will be able to control such things. It is just going to be another Government Authority added to the list. This is why I don’t think you will see it in any manifesto Anonymous at 21:55. How can you really stop bribery? How is the Authority going to control that? Lets be realistic, if the Authority is going to call such shots then lets just get non-Gibraltar associated lawyers and accountants to make up the CIR. Good intension, bad idea.

  9. fatiduc

    It is not a new or my idea ... it has existed and worked in Hong Kong since 1975 ... any reason it should not work here? Do we simply put up with any bribery and corruption that may exist and do nothing about it?

  10. Agree 100% with everything except for your last paragraph which says.

    The intention is that the Anti-Corruption Authority will be endowed with full powers of investigation and prosecution. (THAT’S FINE).

    Subject to the Attorney General’s constitutional responsibility and power to FINNALY DECIDE on the prosecution of any case.

    This friend has never and will never happen unless it’s against some middle class poor bastard.

    Check the suspicious reports made over the last 12 months.


  11. 1704

    That is the position under the Constitution ... do not know anything about any suspicious reports, nor do I have any way of checking these.

  12. Fatidicuc.....

    What an attitude....bribery will always exist, look at Spain....the difference is there they do have an anti-corruption unit which works well, can't we also have one ?

  13. Devils Advocate..

    What is needed in Gibraltar is some form of legislation to protect whistleblowers. Perhaps if this legislation was in place the chances of revealing bribery and or corruption might surface more easily.
    As an example not related to bribery and or corruption is that of the Joanna Hernandez case. The full force of the Government was evident when attempting to silence this lady, even to the extent of making a mokery of the decision undertaken at the industrial tribunal.
    What was the tribunal about as to whether or not this lady had worked sufficent time to merit an industrial tribunal based on the Gregorian calender etc etc.
    To contemplate that this was a single parent highlighting an issue that affected the most vulnerable of our society, and yet the issue at hand was never investigated effectively from a public perspective.
    The result being you highlight an issue which stains the Government and you suffer the consequences. With job prospects limited etc etc and the financial burden associated with being a whistleblower.
    Such a stance adopted by a Government towards an employee revealing dirty linen certainly confirms why over the last thirty years as mentioned previously there has never been a success in determing any form of coruption and or bribery.
    Certainly I as a bread winner would think twice in highlighting corruption, bribery. I admire this young lady since she demonstrates to have more balls than those highlighted in the house of assembly session a few months ago.

  14. As Robert mentions the key is to have a truly independent body free from political interference in order to do it's job, this would therefore not be just another Govt authority, indeed this authority would check on Government.

  15. Am I the only person that thinks that the natural way to draft core principles for a coalition is to have the coalition first, then draft the principles by agreement between the members?

    It seems rather odd to set out the principles of the "coalition" first and then invite others aboard. "Join my coalition on my terms or don't join" doesn't really sound like much of a coalition does it?

    If the principles were all very broad, common values as it were, I don’t think it would matter as much. But some of the principles are less like “principles” they are actually quite specific proposals. Surely any candidate worth his salt would want to have a say in their formation? I would respectfully suggest that this has not been the best example of people-power coalition making. And if this is how it begins, then how will it end?

  16. To Anon at 0019 who said "Subject to the Attorney General’s constitutional responsibility and power to FINNALY DECIDE on the prosecution of any case."

    Do you really believe that the AG has the final say LOL. Take the case of the Guardia Civil who landed in Gib as an example, who do you think decided that one the AG?

  17. Looking forward Gib should be in position where it is not only clean but is seen to be clean. If there is corruption then it should be unmasked and dealt with in a mature manner under the law and if there is no corruption then the commission would be there to verify this. Therefore there can be no objection to this proposal

  18. Robert,

    Let's call a spade a spade. Who exactly are you accusing of being corrupt here?

  19. Anonymous at 16:34

    I am not accusing anyone, read the blog and anaonymous at 16:14 who has understood my argument and summarised it perfectly.

    Anonymous at 13:47

    You are TOTALLY right that is why they are headed PROPOSED Core Principles. I said in my interview there is always a coach and horses situation in these matters. They are PROPOSED and so open to further discussion but there is aneed for potential adherenst to understand the basic concept. Someone who is totally at odds politically with the principles will not be attracted quite obviously.

    Devil's Advocate

    I completely agree with you!

  20. To the anonymous commentator who has expressed upset at my not postng his comments on the recent use of the Civil Contingencies Act, my apologies. Ocassionally, for reasons beyond my control, there are issues that I cannot publish.

  21. The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998 provides protection to "workers" making disclosures in the public interest and allows (protects) such individuals to claim compensation for victimisation (bullying) following such disclosures.

    This is the kind legislation required locally. Have this law in place first and that should aid in cleaning nuestro patio.

    Should be squeaky clean, right?

  22. Anonymous said...
    I concur with RV and Anon 00:49

    Rumours of corruption are rife in Gibraltar and there is a need to do something about it.

    Personally I don't believe an Anti-corruption authority should be made up of locals. As few if any would have the bottle to do what NEEDS to be done.

    Furthermore I have spoken with various members of the RGP and they have implied "off the record" of course, that blatant corruption could be indeed taking place in our Gibraltar (or at least this is how I interpreted it). They seem to be aware of such allegations of corruption and feel morally obliged to do something about it but find their hands tied time and time again (this I assume and was not told).

    The problem is that these corrupt members of our society KNOW how to "play" the system. There have always been loop holes in our legal legislation and things have not changed.

    A corrupt individual with a good lawyer can get away with anything or so I have been “told”. It is only when they get greedy and complacent that they get caught and “done”.

    I have even contemplated joining the police force on numerous occasions, naively assuming that I can make difference. But after careful consideration have opted not to do so. If I were to do such a thing my opinions could be easily muzzled (due to a number of reasons) and we can’t have any of that can we?

    We need to sort out this “mafia” like mentality out and pronto!

    Kaelan Joyce

  23. Robert Peel

    K by joining the police force you will be muzzled by the management. If we have a management in the police force who will do what the powers at be want them to do then their is no hope.
    I am refering to the incident that occurred with the Guardia Civils where the commissioner came out and said he took the decision not to charge them in what was clearly an infringement of the laws of Gibraltar and they were not prosecuted!! This did not even go to the AG's office.
    Lets not forget that it was a phone call to the chief Minister that determined whether or not to prosecute.
    I believe this to have been a dangerous precedent.
    Anyway for general information the police men and women have no recourse whatsoever should they want to whistleblow on any issue or thing since if anyone wants to look at the Gibraltar Police Association Regulation you will understand what I mean. Just to give you an example The commissioner has to be given minutes of the meetings of the association and he will know who is making the complaint etc.
    There is no such thing as a federation as there is in the UK.
    THIS IS A TYPICAL COLONIAL LAW. Why? Because we have changed the constitution but this regulation (as lawyers and others will know can be changed by the Government without having to go to parliament) dates back to 1961 when the governor was in total charge of the force.
    There are many rumours of the bullying that is taking place within the police force and it's either you put up or shut up.
    I am anon because if not there would be repercussion against me if the powers at be knew who I was.
    To verify what I am saying I would like you Robert as a lawyer to look at the law I state above and give an opinion on it!!

  24. 20kg of whizz went missing from the RGP.
    How about we sort this one first before targeting the rest.
    Ironically we publish individuals names in the media when they are caught with drugs etc etc.
    Why doesnt the same name and shame occur when it involves a member of the RGP.
    Job prosepcts following having your name plastered in the media is a lot less than if you havent. Hence those RGP officers suspended who are fortunate not be named and shamed obtain immediate employment elsewhere following suspension.

  25. But special K what about your quota system would this not apply to your anti corruption squad?

  26. I have just been watching Viewpoint on GBC and I am a bit confused. Was it about the new air terminal or Ocean Village building a World Trade Centre?

    Except for that Albert Garcia. What a legend.
    Tell it like it is Albert.

  27. Anonymous at 14:20

    It never landed on the AG's desk for decision.

  28. I switched Viewpoint on almost halfway into the programme and also thought it was about Ocean Village / Trade Centre until after they came back from the break and I read the title "The Airport" on screen during the Viewpoint on air id card.

    And another thing, mira que somos desintreresados los llanis.....siempre van los mismos a pobre de Howitt va tene que pedi una paga fija a Alan King - mira que la vemos vese on screen in a given week! La muje se ta kemando!

  29. Anon 2011 20:53

    I concur with your statement about bullying within the RGP and in many other places, GHA, Education, Port, Care agency etc, particularly in the private sector.

    I know of many cases of bullying, and if the Management of the RGP and any other of the above mentioned really were interested in sussing out how much of it or otherwise there is, Dignity At Work Now can research this for them or anyone else, and it wouldn't cost them much.

    This obviously, will only happen if they really have the interests and wishes of their employees at heart. Time will tell.

    Some of the above have already contacted us for some advice but unfortunately not much else, yet.

    I can be contacted confidentially 57799000 or visit

  30. Gibraltar's Perestroika is over!

  31. On the contrary, a new Perestroika [reconstruction]...Glasnost! [openess]

  32. it's time for a new and better type of democracy, that anon's 23.21 comment Mr. Buttigieg, which you've misunderstood!

  33. Robert, D.A, Kaelan and Sir Robert Peel are on the money.

    It's ridiculous that people are genuinely afraid to voice their reasonable opinions without fear of being victimized in some way.

    I know individuals who claim that they are genuinely afraid and are reluctant to even post anonymously on Llanitoworld about certain issues because they think Big Brother's watching!

    They believe that they'll somehow be punished for having the audacity to express their personal opinion in relation to certain aspects of their work and the government as a whole.

  34. Perestroika and glasnost in the ex-USSR also quickened the collapse of the rouble, institutionalised corruption and created further inequalities for millions of people!

    Llanistroika, on the other hand, will be much better..

  35. Watching Viewpoint last night was a bit of an eye opener.

    On the one hand you can see how easy it is for "them" (whether it be Government opposition or who ever) to "get away with it" when are current affairs journalists are so incapable.

    On the other, you can see just how easy it is to shred Government propaganda with common sense non-partisan criticism.

    Albert Garcia, I doff my cap to you. Well done. I wish more people (myself included) had the balls to tell it the way they see it, openly, frankly, and without an ounce of mala leche.

  36. Charles Gomez.4 March 2011 at 10:04

    I am kicking myself for having missed "Viewpoint" last night, having opted for a repeat documentary on Channel 5 on shark attacks in the USA in the 1920s. I understand that Albert Garcia was a star in the darkness of misinformation, propaganda and self-serving waffle normally broadcast on GBC. Would anyone be so kind as to give those of us who missed VP a summary of what Mr. Garcia said?

  37. Charles Gomez:

    I am afriad that I missed it also but it can be watched again on which I intend to do later tonight.


    It's not up yet, however it will be soon. Just check back occasionally until it's uploaded. watch again is a God send!

  39. GSD psychofans will be lamenting that the candidate of their UK sister party came last in the Barnsley Central by - ection yesterday. Howling Laud Hope (Loony) polled only 198 votes being 0.82% of those who voted. Commiserations to all our GSD posters on LW.

  40. Brian Stevendale didn't answer a single questions posed by Ros Astengo. He only wanted to ramble on about Ocean Village and the World Trade Centre each time. Don't invite Brian again, GBC. Would have been much more interesting to have had, say, Dr Joseph Garcia on the panel. Why is GBC so reluctant to have politicians on the panel? Didn't Allan King say in his report that locals enjoy politics and therefore what GBC needed to do was to provide much more of it?

  41. Would this authority be able to look at things retrospectively? If so how far back?

  42. Anonymous at 12:12

    To the extent that any bribery and corruptuion that may alrerady exist amounts to a criminal offence in accordance with existing law and that there is no limitation in time to the prosecution of a criminal offence, there is no reason why any such allegation could not be investigated. If any new offences are created that do not presently exist then it would not be possible to make these retrospective, so these would not be capable of being investigated by the proposed Auithority.

  43. Robert:

    From my understanding most of the comments seem to be centred on the economic aspect of bribery and corruption. Would you expand your platform to include non-economic issues dealing with corruption such as nepotism within the civil service? If so, how would you tackle this problem?

  44. RV
    I agree 100% with your proposal. The only thing that worries me is that if the rumours of corruption are true the cost to the taxpayer of building a larger PRISON!
    Then again we could convert the new terminal into a prison and save money.

  45. I also watched viewpoint last night. Well done Albert Garcia. He should consider entering politics, this are the kind of people we need to drive Gibraltar foward.

  46. R.E:Viewpoint last night
    I wonder if Mr Ostuni of the Caleta Hotel would have defended the building of the new Terminal if it had an Airport Hotel included in the project???

  47. Unfortunately, Viewpoint is yet not available to watch via GBC website, hopefully it will be available before the new airport is built.

  48. Anon 20:43. When are you gsdfanatics going to understand that you cannot defend the indefensible. Smoke screens have worked very well for you, its over.....come to terms with this. You should all be ashamed that after such a long period of government, you can only base your worth on an attack on others. Just shows what a poor and dishonest record you made for yourselves and how shallow things has become in the gsd camp, its over and you only have yourselves to blame - come to terms with it.

  49. Anonymous said:
    Been waiting for Viewpoint since this morning to be posted. Habra una mano negra por ahi?

  50. I understand that Viewpoint is repeated on GBC on Sunday so it is not uploaded onto the website till after that.

  51. i've watched programmes on the website before that have been repeated a few days later!

    mano negra indeed!

  52. RV, Just a heads up - Viewpoint / TAT repeats air in the Saturday 930pm slot not Sundays! Also, GBC launched their new "Iplayer"-like service a bombo y platillo, but the service soon failed to deliver with "many" (LOL) GBC Progs taking days to be loaded onto the servoce, and on ocassion not loaded into it at all. The GBC Archive Progs launched with a few old progs which were taken off a couple of weeks after the launch and nothing has been loaded on since despite the ocassional message that programmes would be appearing soon.

    Perhaps Mr King should apply some sudocream, that way releasing his hands from the chore and putting them to better use!

  53. Correction - Viewpoint replays Saturday 9pm NOT 930pm as I previously stated in an earlier post.

  54. Extract from the above WIKILEAKS.

    The corruption is not just a street-level phenomenon, THE CABLE EXPLAINED, but extends to managers of state enterprises and to middle- and high-ranking officials of the government.

    A Swiss businessman told a U.S. diplomat that Cuban managers take kickbacks for awarding large contracts to foreign companies and then deposit the money in banks abroad, ACCORDING TO THE CABLE.

    "Just like everywhere in the world, a million-dollar contract gets you $100,000 in the bank,'' the dispatch quoted the businessman as saying.

    The dispatch also mentioned a tourism minister fired in 2004 -- Ibraham Ferradaz. He was the second consecutive tourism chief dismissed amid reports of corruption.


    Read more:

  55. Re: Charles Gomez at 10.04. I have often wondered what members of the barristocracy do when they are at home. Now we know that they watch documentaries about sharks. Is there a message there? But seriously I like Charles turn of phrase: "Albert Garcia was a star in the darkness of misinformation, propaganda and self-serving waffle normally broadcast on GBC". Te va a presenta Charles?

  56. An Omnibus says..

    This is a positive proposal. An anti-corruption authority will only help strengthen our democracy, not weaken it. Opponents are fearful of the results of possible investigations.

    Bring it on.

  57. Just like Kaelan Joyce comments:

    "The problem is that these corrupt members of our society KNOW how to "play" the system. There have always been loopholes in our legal legislation and things have not changed.

    A corrupt individual with a good lawyer can get away with anything or so I have been “told”. It is only when they get greedy and complacent that they get caught and “done”."

    This is what I was referring to; it will be near impossible to stop bribery from occurring. Anonymous 3 MARCH 2011 00:31 you think that the Unit in Spain is working well, sorry but you can’t know that! It is only those who, like Kaelan says, get complacent are the ones that get caught.

    If having an Anti-corruption Authority will cause a false security or have the “rumors” silenced, then I’m all for it. I guess it might be successful ONCE and then other places will be saying, “Oh Gib has a Unit that works well, why don’t we have one”. (please note my sarcasm)

    It won’t work, but if it stops the rumors…….!


  58. Fatidicus

    That is not sarcasm that is sheer cynicism ... condemn the idea before giving it a chance!

  59. Anon 3 March 21:16

    I find it rather amusing how you see it fit to continuously mock my “set quota” theory, which by the way has nothing to do with RV’s proposed Anti Corruption Authority.

    Furthermore I would like to clarify certain issues.

    In my humble opinion setting a 15% set quota limit on the amount of locals that need to be employed by private firms in Gibraltar is not farfetched at all. Additionally certain influential members of our society concur with such thoughts.
    In concept this “theory” would be ideal but realistically such stated measures would be impossible to implement.

    Unfortunately law is open to interpretation or in my case misinterpretation LOL. Initially I naively assumed that my set quota theory was not a breach of EU law, when in actual fact it is. . After (sadly) spending hours reading through EU law books I finally managed to grasp the true fundamentals of such stated legislation. Setting quotas of any type or form for that matter would lead to blatant infringements of EU law. If I were to be specific - Article 39 of the EC treaty (and other secondary legislation).

    I have therefore concluded it would be rather unrealistic to push for the implementation of such stated quotas or to push for the creation of new legislation that will support these quotas. Even though our current laws have been altered and moulded in the past to cater for our unique situation.

    Please note that theoretically according to EU law, millions of EU immigrants from across Europe could flood our job market and legally “take” all available vacancies.

    I was saddened to see genuine concern (due to the above listed) confused with “Ultra” Nationalism. Personally I do not believe advocating preferential treatment for our people in our land should not be deemed as such. There is a need to concede though that from thus forth legalities should to be taken into account before making statements on the public domain. A law abiding citizen to date I intend to keep being so.

    Hopefully Anon 21:36 will now understand that I am not a xenophobic individual. On the contrary I acknowledge the need for foreign labour. There are certain skill sets and “experience” that locals regrettably lack. Furthermore I have many non local friends who consider themselves lucky to be part of our community (there are others that don’t though).

    My adherence to protectionist like polices have more to do with Gibraltar miniscule size (limited size limited capacity) rather than anti foreign sentiments. As one blogger once branded me, I am essentially pragmatic. Though in retrospect I comprehend how my views could have been misinterpreted and mistaken for far right.

    On a different note I hope we can all agree that RV’s proposed Anti Corruption Authority is a great idea.

    What about a whistle blowing Hot line? Where anonymous “tip offs” could be given to operators then passed on to the RGP.


  60. Sorry typo guys.

    Should have read-

    I was saddened to see genuine concern (due to the above listed) confused with “Ultra” Nationalism. Personally I do not believe advocating preferential treatment for our people in our land should BE deemed as such.


  61. 23:33
    Having read WIKIGIB 23:33 my fears or disbelieve of the need of LW Proposal to Establish an Anti-Corruption Authority has been made very clear i agree completely with RV..

    Should government minister grant contracts worth millions of pounds without the works or developments going out to tender?


    If this is true can anyone imaginate the possible kickbacks commissions etc our very well paid employees could make for looking after our interest.

    Whatsamatta we blind being in power is better than the narcotics business this is Oscar winning stuff holy shit whata we do now look 4 another fuckin lot to look after ours/ theirs future interest? I ask whatta you gonna do, you do wahta you hadda to do lissena me no more horseshit fahcrissake VOTE FOR CHANGE, CHANGE ,
    Non asettare abbiamo oltre 500 milioni di sterline del debito?


  62. I agree with Capeesh. The last days of the GSD are throwing up a murky side and whiffiness that needs investigation. As the actress said to the bishop: " I am sure there is no wrongdoing but things need to be investigated". I worry that the AG has been around for too long and may not be the fellow we need at this time. Is there no retirement age for ags. Mr. Rholda since to have been the AG since I was a boy in short trousers and this year I celebrate my 65th birthday. Next time a short contract for Mr. Rolda's replacement.

  63. Mano Negro for sure, the original Andlaw episode was Also taken off GBC player

  64. One thing is worth noting that is that all that the OPPOSITION has been saying about the amounts that have gone in consultants should be explained. It all came from questions in Parliament. Holding the GSD Government to account. I still have not heard from the GSD Government a response!!! Why? 'cos there ain't any.
    Where are the GSD sychophants to make excuses which the GSD Government has yet not been able to do!!!

  65. Just for general information. The company that is doing all the shops in the Air Terminal is a swiss company was awarded without going to tender. Information obtained from Questions in Parliament by the opposition and made public in a low key way by the media Why?? Can someone from the GSD shed any light? Can prospective candidates who at times comment in this blog posting their names but most of the time do so as anons give an explanation?
    When the GSLP did not use the tender system THEY were the ones who used to condemn them maybe rightly so but why do they not criticise the GSD NOW!! Its just hypocritical politics they use.

  66. The corruption rumours continue on a nearly daily basis and my question is why has the Police not acted and investigatated some of these serious "accusations" because recurring rumours heard in many places with names, dates and sums of money or gifts to me sounds like facts without proof.

    Maybe the Police are investigating some of these rumours, who knows, as is common knowledge a presiding Minister has been investigated twice already in the past couple of years.

  67. What I am astounded about is that I make an eminently sensible suggestion, to establish an Anti-corruption Authority, yet none of the GSD, the GSLP or the PDP say anything about it. Why would that be?

    I would have thought that all of them would agree with the suggestion. The reality is silence. One could speculate that the reason is that they do not want to join issue with me so as not to give me electoral credibility. Alternatively one could ask the question, is it because such an Authority would not be convenient for any of them?

    I have categorically stated in public that my motivation is to improve democracy and the system of government in Gibraltar. I have no other motive or ambition. If suitable changes are made I will go away and not stand for election.

    Right now only the GSD have the power to make changes. Will they do so before the election? If they do not, they do not deserve to be re-elected. Virtually anyone else would be better in their place. The point arrives when electors will want to try something new rather than keep a government that is not delivering either what it promised to them or what voters want.

    GSD wake up please! And I mean the party and and all the Ministers don't rely on the Chief Minister. Ministers have COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY. It will not be enough to say, "I DID NOT KNOW". if the time comes to give any explanations!

  68. Ghost says;
    Mr V, I think your last comment speaks volumes. I find it particularly poignant that you are almost directing your entire plea (worthy, admirable and valid) toward the GSD...this speaks volumes to.

  69. Ghost

    It is directed at the GSD for one simple and obvious reasons. You and others consider that it is appropriate to remind everyone boringly constantly of events that happened 15 years ago, It is more valid to remind everyone that the GSD have had 15 years to enact reforms that it PROMISED. It has not done so. It si no longer credible for the GSD to say again we will do it. Trust will only come about if in the next months it actually gets off its high horse (or lazy arse) and enacts the necessary laws.

  70. Ghost says:
    Easy tiger easy....;)

  71. Ghost

    BTW golf was great, oddly no one knew who ghost was :)

  72. Ghost says:
    How could they possibly know.
    I trust that the old boys kicked your arrogant back side off the course..;)

  73. It is obvious that Ghost is not in a position to defend the GSD this time and as per usual uses you Robert as a scapegoat. GHOST EXPLAIN what Anon 20:58 and 21:49 above has said about the consultants and the Swiss company. If an explanation is forthcoming then you will have some credibility now all you do is attack the opposition and Robert. I wonder why???

  74. The issue is not substituting one party for another. If that happens without fundamental reforms to the electoral and governmental system we will just substitute new faces for old and the party will continue for the two party political club.

  75. Ah, the Swiss, wonderful people, famous for toblerones, mountains, impartiality, bank accounts, and watches!

  76. Ghost says:

    The two party political system us not the issue either. In my view it delivers the strong Govt Gibraltar requires. The fundamentals are the pressure groups, societies, public opinion as well as those independent super heroes that can impose on matters of the day.

    Robert makes it clear and I quote "I have categorically stated in public that my motivation is to improve democracy and the system of government in Gibraltar. I have no other motive or ambition. If suitable changes are made I will go away and not stand for election. "

    The last thing I or anyone with the betterment of democracy in mind would want, is Red Rob ( who was likely whipped by a couple of 80 year olds at golf today) to dwindle into submission on the basis that promised reforms have been met.

    The balance of reform and the intent and results that they will achieve are only part of democracy in the making and designed to meet our very needs as a society.

    Let's not forget that it was the GSD that promised these reforms.


  77. Ghost

    Submission, ME? You jest!

    The fundamentals that you refer to are in addition to and not substitution for reforms, without reforms the fear that reigns in Gibraltar prohibits your fundamentals from having any effect ... I am an exception ;)

    Yes it was the GSd that promised the reforms ... its time for them to deliver or be forced to say goodbye!

  78. To the anonymous poster who complained of disappearing comments. when she/he has the courage to post in his own name and substantiate her/his assertions then he can have his accusatory posts published, until then I take the risk of defamation, so i need to control that risk.

    It is very not very brave to accuse hiding behind the cloak of anonymity and have others take the risk on your behalf.

  79. Heard from a Gibraltar party leader (identity withheld to protect the sensibilities of those affected) at a pre-election campaign meal with candidates at a well known local restuarant (not in Ocean village). “Steak, please,” says the leader says. “How would you like it?” inquires the waiter. “Well done,” replies the Leader . “And what about the vegetables?” he asks. “Oh,” replies the leader, “they’ll have the same as me.”

  80. GBC Player watch again still NO VIEWPOINT!!! Can anyone shed any light?


    ANONYMOUS AT 09.14

  82. Good morning All (even though the weather is back to being lousy).

    Ghost, do you not agree that "the pressure groups, societies, public opinion as well as those independent super heroes that can impose on matters of the day" are only "fundamental" to our "strong" political system because the reality of how our Parliament functions is farcical?

    It shouldn't have to be the place of anybody other than our MPs to hold each other to account, properly debate issues and ensure that Gib is run responsibly (not even Talk About Town which despite all the recent furore often does a much better job in this regard!). Why should we have to rely on someone like Janet Howitt and the ESG for instance, forever giving of their spare time and resources as private citizens, to highlight the myriad of environmental issues affecting us when our MPs should be doing this kind of thing already? There will always be a place for pressure groups to voice the opinions of others but they should not continually be doing the work of Parliament and our MPs for them!

    There is a large void in how things are run in Gib Plc and it is not good enough to blame this on an ineffectual GSLP opposition. The quality of the party in Opposition is entirely irrelevant to the standard of Gib's democracy as the current system will forever prevent them from ever being able to do their job properly. Our Parliament could have an Opposition dream team of Sir Joshua, Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Alexander Fleming and Pele (together with a few of the Llani super heroes getting changed into costume in the new multi-million toilet booths scattered about town) and it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference.

    So I disagree with you in the strongest terms. The two party system does not work anymore for Gibraltar. Things have moved on. There needs to be further evolution of Gibraltar in spite of the missed opportunity that was the new Constitution, approved by only 36% of the electorate.

    The common sense of purpose and unity fostered by external forces has slowly dissipated over the years. Gibraltar needs to be pulled together again by its leaders but this will prove impossible unless changes are made. Robert’s proposals are manna from Heaven in this regard. Gibraltar is doing very well for itself in some areas but it is clear that much remains to be done.

  83. A small but globalised country?

    gibraltar, very-like many other countries, wants change and the tide has grown, yet those in power hold on to it, delay an election and prepare for another political war very-like many other fallen leaders and political parties in other countries. IF lady democracy has fallen out of love with her RULING LEADER/POLITICAL PARTY, wot's the point of it and why ignore the evident disaffection and disenchantment?

  84. Ghost says:

    Paco tks for your post. I think given the thrust of your piece and the fact that they are aligned so tightly with Roberts, we are likely to have to agree to disagree.

    My view is that in democracy, fundamental changes are driven from the outside and not from within and therefore my belief lies with the power that pressure groups, societies and public opinion have within our community which I would argue in Gib is healthy and very much alive, LW is example of this.

    Party politics is a system that has worked, again the proof is in the pudding on this.

    And yes I do firmly believe that a responsible opposition with intellect and integrity and more to the point a strong leader would transform politics in Gubraltar.


  85. Ghost

    You persist in missing the point. The whole foundation of your argument is misconceived.

    It is not the function of pressure groups, societies and public opinion to provide the check an balance to government. This is one layer but a layer that is too distant from the seat of government and power to provide a sufficiently robust check on the exercise of executive power. It is only an effective and reasonably separate legislature that can do this.

    LW is a recent innovation, so this is an opportunistic argument on your part and LW (ME) takes an enormous risk in doing what I am doing. It has already cots me personally the loss of £15,000 a year following my resignation from the FSC ... and believe me that story is not yet over. I have reason to believe that the CM had an involvement despite his TV denial. I am involved in trying to get more evidence, although I have some evidence already.

    Your statement that the proof is in the pudding that party politics works is an opinion so it cannot be proof. No one is arguing against party politics. The argument is about an electoral system and reforms to Parliament that will deliver a check and balance to the executive arm of Government. Do you not understand this? It really is simple not all those sitting on the government benches should be Ministers and so members of the executive arm of government. Additionally government should be by Cabinet not dicta of one person. After all there is a principle called collective responsibility by which even if the CM is out of order on his policies or diktats all the Ministers take responsibility so perhaps they should dwell on that a little and take on their responsibilities actively.

    I assume that if you believe in responsible opposition with intellect and integrity you also believe in those attributes in a government. When are we going to get such a government? I would suggest only when the system is reformed to help deliver it, and no a strong CM does not equal either good or strong government.

  86. Ghost, how would a different opposition transform politics?
    Lets be objective here, say you and I formed part of the opposition to a particular Government that had a similar style to the present one.
    How could we be more effective?
    If we sent out press releases when matters arose that need opposing or commenting on, we'd have to battle against the lack of investigative journalism that exists here.
    If we challenged the Government in parliament, we'd have 2, maybe 3 shots at it throughout the year and even then, we couldn't be certain our questions would be answered properly.
    What other options are there? Veiwpoint? Government rarely appears!
    I suppose we could infiltrate and use pressure groups and other societies to aid us in the argument, but sadly when an opposition does that, and later forms Government, the pressure groups and societies are inaccessible to the new opposition.
    So, what else would you suggest?

  87. Ghost says:

    Robert I see you now resort to bringing your violin out too.

    I do not misinterpret or misconceive, I choose to maintain a point of view which differs somewhat from your own. I am not against and increase in MPs and in turn a back bench environment which influences further although I also maintain that as in the UK the whips are crucial to a governing parties ability to govern.
    I repeat Gibraltar and llanitos live politics daily and our freedom of speech and expression is no better manifested than in this very blog.

    I would argue Robert that your intentions are good and I have said this before, i also believe that those leftist propaganda techniques at UNI served you too well given your ability to have us all in tears at your decision to resign from the FSC with the loss £15k....... Give me a break......:) y no te lo tomes mal ahora.

    Dejame que es Domingo y mi mujer esta de mala hot.


  88. Carroll Maryland Trust Case?

  89. I don't know who will be standing for election
    but I would suggest the strategy of voting for
    three independant candidates rather than a full
    party slate.
    this would encourage greater transparency in
    Government decisions.

  90. Ghost

    In brief:

    You do not believe in the separation of powers to ensure democracy

    Someone having to decide to to give up a public post and £15,000 a year to express his opinion is a joke

    This does not send out a message generally DON"T YOU DO IT because something might happen to you.

    You then argue, let people join pressure groups etc. because this provides the check and balance that we do not have in the system but by the way it may bring bad consequences your way!

    You need to do some thinking mate but first you need to believe in democracy which includes having accessible systems to protect people who exercise rights!

    Ya te enteraras de mas!

  91. Ghost says:
    Robert you've obviously had a bad weekend. DO NOT misinterpret my opinions and disagreement with some of your principles to mean that I do not believe in democracy! You know nothing about me and therefore have no basis on which to pin your inaccurate, dismissive and insulting comments.

  92. Ghost

    I may not know who you are but I, and all who read you, can make a judgment on what you believe in from what you write here.

  93. Ghost says:
    Shame about your judgement.

  94. Ghost

    A challenge for you. If you succeed I will change my opinion.

    Name one western democracy, other than Gibraltar, in which

    (a) there is no separation of powers between the executive arm of government and the legislature; and

    (b) someone who considers himself to be a democrat defends that position.

  95. On the subject of Anti-Corruption Authority, how does the Council of Europe “Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption CETS No.: 191” affect Gibraltar? Particularly the declarations made by Spain, which states

    “Declaration contained in the instrument of ratification deposited on 17 January 2011 - Or. Engl.
    If the Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, dated 15 May 2003, were to be applied to Gibraltar, Spain would like to make the following declaration:

    1. Gibraltar is a non-autonomous territory whose international relations come under the responsibility of the United Kingdom and which is subject to a decolonisation process in accordance with the relevant decisions and resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
    2. The authorities of Gibraltar have a local character and exercise exclusively internal competences which have their origin and their foundation in a distribution and attribution of competences performed by the United Kingdom in compliance with its internal legislation, in its capacity as sovereign State on which the mentioned non-autonomous territory depends.
    3. As a result, the eventual participation of the Gibraltarian authorities in the application of this Protocol will be understood as carried out exclusively as part of the internal competences of Gibraltar and cannot be considered to modify in any way what was established in the two previous paragraphs.
    4. The process provided for by the Arrangements relating to Gibraltar authorities in the context of certain international treaties (2007) which have been agreed by Spain and the United Kingdom on 19 December 2007 (jointly with the "Agreed Arrangements relating to Gibraltar authorities in the context of EU and EC instruments and related treaties", dated 19 April 2000) apply to this Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption.
    Period covered: 1/5/2011 –“

  96. How do you identify possible corruption?

    Men in expensive outfits that rise to public, commercial and social prominence literally overnight as if they had won the pools several times over, are ruthlessly unashamed of it and arrogantly target the public purse and competitors in any sector of the economy calling it 'business'.

    Greed is their addiction: money, power and luxury.

    They deliberately set out to short change you with their services and products, abuse legal devices with their ready money to cover their backs and to cover their tracks, avoid detection and prosecution.

    It's a predetermined, professionally planned and well organised white-collar criminal network that stealthily operates like a cancer within the legal framework of the economy and society damaging everything they touch and, depend entirely on inside information, influence and cooperation from their secret associates or partners within key positions in the system in order to thrive and make their profits.


  97. How many investigations into corruption has the RGP made in the last 15 years and how many prosecutions for corruption have been done in Gibraltar?