By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
FORMER Senate President Katherine Forbes-Smith yesterday told The Tribune there had been no ill intent behind her failure to file an asset disclosure for last year as required by law.
Instead, the managing director of the Disaster Reconstruction Authority said the issue came down to failing to have the documents notarised.
Those documents would have covered part of her tenure presiding over the upper chamber. Her resignation from the Senate to head the DRA was announced on December 1, 2019.
Last week, reliable sources informed this newspaper that Mrs Forbes-Smith had failed to meet the requirement.
“I didn’t know it was an issue, but last week I did receive correspondence from the Disclosure Commission saying that what I filed (for) last year didn’t have a notary stamp on it. So they have asked me to have it notarised and sent back and I think it has gone back by now,” Mrs Forbes-Smith said when she was asked about the matter.
Last week, Public Disclosure Commission chairman Myles Laroda said he wrote to the prime minister and leader of the official opposition revealing the status of the disclosures.
The letters gave a summary of submissions, requests for extensions and the only failure to disclose.
However, at the time, he declined to state who had not satisfied the requirement.
“I have written and sent both letters to the prime minister and the leader of the opposition so they would have all of the information with regards to who disclosed, who were late and who asked for extensions,” Mr Laroda said last week.
“It was single digits for those who asked for extensions or who would have been late and that is a combination of members of Parliament and senators.
“A lot of them would have disclosed and a few were late. The rest were granted extensions and then there is one (that falls in the category of) other,” he also said.
Official Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said all Progressive Liberal Party officials “complied” with the law.
The deadline for disclosing is March 1 each year. Elected and appointed officials were given until last week Monday to disclose, as the deadline was a non-business day.
Early last month, Mr Laroda said officials had shown interest in fully complying with the requirement.