by Linda Straker
- Filing complies with Integrity in Public Life Act
- Act schedule covers all public officers receiving a salary above $2,000 per month
- Declarations are secret and confidential
Approximately 5 months after taking the oath of office as Cabinet Ministers, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and all other Cabinet Ministers are set to file declarations of income, assets, and liabilities on 1 December 2022 with the Office of the Integrity Commission.
The filing is in compliance with the Integrity in Public Life Act Sections 12 (1)(b) and 28 (1) and (2). Besides Cabinet Ministers, other persons set to file declarations are the new Members of Parliament and other new senior public officers as guided by the Integrity in Public Life law schedule.
These include Members of the Public Service Commission; Members of the Public Service Board of Appeal; Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of statutory bodies; Chief Executives Officers and Deputy Chief Executives Officers, by whatever name is known, of statutory bodies and all public officers including non-established officers receiving a salary over $2,000 per month.
The Integrity in Public Life Act states that where a person in public life holds property in trust for another person, he or she shall so state this in his or her declaration. Providing further guidance, the law states, “For the purposes of a declaration, the income, assets, and liabilities of a person in public life include the income, assets, and liabilities acquired, held, or incurred by another person as his or her agent on his or her behalf.”
A person in public life who places his or her assets or part thereof in a blind trust shall file a copy of the trust deed with the Commission. “Where the assets of a person in public life are placed in a blind trust, he or she need not in his or her declaration give more particulars of those assets than the amount and description of the assets placed in that trust at the date of so filing.”
All declarations filed with the Commission and the records of the Commission in respect of these declarations are secret and confidential. They shall not be made public, save and except where a particular declaration or record is required to be produced by an Order of the Court for the purpose of, or in connection with any court proceedings or inquiry in respect of a declaration made pursuant to the provisions of this Act or the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 252A.
This will be the first time that members of the Cabinet in the Dickon Mitchell Administration are declaring their assets to the Commission. Updating the declaration will be done at the request of the Commission.
Since the declaration of assets began in 2014, over 1,000 people have complied with the request.