Panton takes issue with Compass editorial on proposed bills

It must be very stressful not having scandals or corruption charges against political leaders in government to write about anymore. I would hope though that you would take the time to ensure that you write an editorial that is factually correct and free of misrepresentation.

Amongst other points you should note that in October last year the Legal Practitioners Bill 2016 (LPB) was deferred to the current sitting of the LA that commenced today, Feb. 22, 2017. As a result it is now on the agenda for debate. The deferral – which certainly did not represent the “death” of the LPB – instead rather helpfully allowed additional time for comment. And since there was no “death,” there is no “resurrection.” Rather, Committee Stage amendments filed in accordance with LA Standing Orders will incorporate into the LPB some of the comments that the ministry received.

Your conclusion that those Committee Stage amendments, is “parliamentary maneuvering” is a deliberate mischaracterization of a normal process.

The Companies (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2016 also is not being “resurrected” either. Quite how you think it is so when the bill was only published with other companion bills in December, and is on the LA agenda for the first time is a mystery.

In the case of both bills, relevant industry representative bodies have been engaged in their review and have commented on them. They are in support of both bills, which demonstrates the type of great collaboration that is necessary and useful when considering the short- and long-term macroeconomic outcomes that they will influence.

As always, in order to avoid the publication of inaccurate information, you are welcome to ask me or my ministry staff to explain either the process or substance of any legislation that we are putting forward for debate.

Wayne Panton, Minister of Financial Services