By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
PRESS secretary Clint Watson said he suspects “simple oversight” is to blame for some parliamentarians missing the deadline to meet annual disclosure requirements.
Bishop Victor Cooper, chairman of the Public Disclosure Commission, has said some first-time MPs were not aware that there was a legal requirement for them to file financial disclosures under the Public Disclosures Act.
This week, The Tribune asked most MPs if they had met the disclosure deadline. Only some replied. Pia Glover-Rolle, Dr Hubert Minnis, Dr Michael Darville, Glenys Hanna Martin, Leon Lundy, Wayne Monroe, John Linder, Shannon Cartwright, Adrian White, Clay Sweeting and Keith Bell all said they had met the deadline.
“The deadline was March 1st,” Mr Watson said. “Some persons have asked for an extension is what we understand. As to how many people have not met disclosure, we don’t know. I did make efforts to speak with the disclosure commissioner, but they were not able to provide the information to me readily. I wanted to be able to give you numbers as well, we’ve asked. We’ve not been given numbers, but we know there exists people out there.
“Now, they all are aware that you have to disclose. It was a part of training for parliamentarians. What may have happened I suspect in this matter is the deadline passed and people being so consumed with whatever they were doing, didn’t meet the deadline or forgot the deadline was there.
“Trust I can tell you since this has made headlines many of them have rushed to get it done. So, I think in many cases it was just simple oversight to get it done. It’s the first one since taking office and I think people just missed the deadline because they didn’t know it was March 1st, they didn’t remember, they were caught up. Nonetheless, they all have been asked to get it done and they know the importance of doing that and they’re getting it done.”