Formal Complaint BOPP Independent Panel Submission Process

The Fishermen’s Association of Bermuda has grave concerns about the Independent Review Panel process for the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme.

  1. Multiple Commercial Fishermen have contacted the Fishermen’s Association of Bermuda, noting that the submission process for BOPP’s independent panel is confusing and inaccessible.Why is it necessary for a simple one page document to be downloaded only through DropBox? Many fishers do not use this service, and are unwilling or unable to sign up for it.

To be sure this submission form is downloaded, filled out, attached to an email, along with the actual submission, is not simple for many people, particularly if they don’t have access to a computer, yet if submissions are given without this form they will not be accepted. To expect this of fishermen and the general public, many of whom are not accustomed to these types of processes, is to ensure that their valuable contributions never see the light of day.

Is it your intention that fishers get frustrated and give up? We are only just now hearing about people’s frustrations with this process, and the deadline is in 9 days.

Will the submission process be made more inclusive, and the deadline extended?

What is your intended remedy?

  1. BOPP has consistently accepted feedback and summarily ignored it, then patted itself on the back for its “inclusive” processes. The Independent Panel process as described offers no comfort that people’s submissions will be reviewed in any meaningful way.

Will the panel, via their advisor, make a reply to each entry?

Will all submissions, and their replies, be part of public record?

Will the minutes of the Panel meetings be made public, and reference each submission?

  1. Panelists are able to request a submitter to attend a meeting to discuss their recommendations, which is great. Many times problems can be solved with face to face conversations, but become adversarial when discourse is limited to one way written submissions. In addition, many people do not have confidence in their writing skills. To limit submissions to that medium eliminates valuable perspectives.

Are submitters able to request access to Panel meetings of their own accord?

  1. The Minister has the unilateral authority to accept or reject elements of the Panel’s report, and subsequently revise BOPP’s next Draft for the consideration of Cabinet for consideration, along with the Panel’s report.

Do the stakeholder’s submissions also go to Cabinet, or do they disappear into thin air?

As the deadline for submissions of April 30 is fast approaching, please respond with answers to all questions by 5 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

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