A recent bill introduced by Senate President Arnold Palacios aiming at controlling corruption with the casino industry is commendable and refreshing because this was not heralded as a concern before the formative period of the idea.
No one argues that transparency in business and government and fair disclosure of information is important to satisfy the public interest. Mr. Palacios seems to acknowledge that transparency is good. It makes real the expectation that an organization’s actions should be scrupulous enough to withstand public scrutiny. Foremost to the desire of keeping a clean hand over the affairs of the licensed casino is a virtue, and it is forceful in government policy to protect the interest of the public by ensuring the integrity of legalized gaming. Holding public officials accountable and fighting corruption is an honorable intention for the good of the Commonwealth.
Following the money trail is the most effective way to curb corruption. Even thieves slip through the pit because they fail to keep good account of their loot. Government, semi-government, profit, non-profit, churches and even personal finances are all subject to accountability and transparency. Numbers do not lie.
Start with the casino licensee. We need to know outcomes.
From the reporting result it should be elementary paper trail by the winnings per day, week, and year-to-date. These should be good enough for public scrutiny.
For the CCC financial disclosure, it should be paramount that what must appear in the disclosure requires the assessment fee it receives from the casino licensee and the accounting trail it produced and recorded on the flow and uses of funds.
The financial disclosure of actual financial results should chenchulu corruption and ensure the fair remittance of taxes due from the casino licensee. The intent of the law can take account of this proposed disclosure suggestion.
Mr. Palacios should wise-up enough to see that this is a measure that meets corruption at its core or before it forms its cancerous cells. When this is inserted as a policy, I for one will be a happy camper.
It makes sense to be truthful, and this is the way to level the playing field, don’t you agree?
Francisco R. Agulto
Kannat Tabla, Saipan