The Government will continue to pursue an active legislative agenda in the new fiscal year, with a number of bills to be passed.
This was disclosed by Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, as he delivered the Throne Speech at Gordon House on Thursday, April 4, where he announced that theGovernment passed 25 of the 33 Bills brought to Parliament during the just-ended legislative year.
The Governor General argued that despite “a shortened legislative year,” this achievement “was an improvement on the previous year’s performance and higher than the average of the previous three years.”
As part of the process to speed up the passage of Bills, the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel will be strengthened, in keeping with a review undertaken by the Cabinet Office.
For this legislative year, the administration intends to pass a Public Sector Procurement Bill to provide the framework for a Public Sector Procurement System and legally separate the National Contracts Commission from the Office of the Contractor General, the Head of State informed.
Also to be brought to Parliament are: amendments of the Road Traffic Act and Transport Authority Act, with the objective of ensuring that the gaps in the road traffic legislation affecting enforcement of road traffic laws are addressed; an Omnibus Tax Incentive Bill to establish a transparent and coherent regime to govern all tax incentives; and a Secured Transactions Bill to provide for a modern legislative framework for secured transactions with the objective of increasing access to finance especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Other legislation include a Charities Bill to facilitate the proper supervision of entities carrying out charitable activities; a Bill to establish a Statutory Framework for the Court Management Service; and legislation to provide for Collective Investment Schemes.
The Government, during the year, will also seek to pass: a Bill to establish a single anti-corruption agency; legislation to enable the court to grant specified discounts on years of imprisonment in the case of guilty pleas for certain offences, which now attract mandatory minimum sentence; and the Evidence (Amendment) Bill, to simplify certain procedural requirements to the admissibility of computer-generated evidence, and to facilitate the admission of uncontested expert reports and other agreed documents without having to call the expert or other maker of the document to give evidence at the trial.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter