By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson was tightlipped yesterday over whether or not she felt parliamentarians should be prosecuted for noncompliance with the Public Disclosures Act.
Mrs Maynard-Gibson declined to comment on whether or not she was up to date with her annual disclosures outside Senate yesterday.
She said: “The Public Disclosures Commission (PDC) must be allowed to do its job, that’s my comment. I think that we as a people should allow the public disclosure commission to do its job. I don’t think the commission is frustrated in doing its job.”
Mrs Maynard-Gibson added that she felt outstanding parliamentarians and public officers will move to achieve full compliance in a timely manner.
Yesterday, Senator Keith Bell, State minister for National Security, said he was compliant with the law but recognised the process was tedious and complicated.
He suggested that the form be simplified to make it easier to understand and fulfil.
Last week, Prime Minister Perry Christie confirmed that the PDC has expressed concern over the widespread failure of officials to comply with legislation mandating the turnover of annual financial declarations.
According to Mr Christie, the PDC reported that “a number” of present and former parliamentarians and senators, along with senior public officers, have failed to submit declarations as mandated in the Act.
Disclosures must be turned into the PDC by March each year.
According to the Act, a summary of the declarations shall be published in a gazette and any person who does not comply with the law is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than two years.
Mr Christie has confirmed to the Tribune that he is in full compliance with the Act, throughout his tenure. However, it is still unclear on whether there will be any penalties levelled for non-compliance.
To date, 11 of 38 members of Parliament have confirmed to The Tribune that they filed all their annual disclosures.