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Disclosures filed by some MPs as others decline response

By TRIBUNE STAFF REPORTERS

AS the deadline for filing financial declarations as required by the Public Disclosure Act, a number of Members of Parliament confirmed they had filed on time – although several others declined to say or did not respond.

The deadline this year was March 31, according to acting press secretary

Keishla Adderley, although last year the deadline was March 1, which is the date in the Public Disclosure Act.

The Tribune canvassed MPs – with most saying that they met the deadline or filed in advance.

Last year, it was unclear at the time if Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis had made the deadline.

Earlier that month, Mr Davis said his public disclosures would be filed on March 2 if the documents had not been turned over on the deadline.

Office of the Prime Minister director of communications Latrae Rahming said Mr Davis did file on time this year.

Cabinet Ministers who said they met the deadline were:

• Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper.

• Education Minister Glenys Hanna Martin.

• Grand Bahama Minister Ginger Moxey.

• National Security Minister Wayne Munroe.

• Works and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting.

• Labour and Public Service Minister Pia Glover-Rolle.

• Energy and Transport Minister JoBeth Coleby-Davis.

• Housing and Urban Renewal Minister Keith Bell.

• Office of the Prime Minister and Social Services State Minister Myles Laroda.

• Environment and Natural Resources Minister Vaughn Miller.

• Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg.

• and Environment and Natural Resources State Minister Zane Lightbourne.

Several weeks ago, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville told The Tribune he had not filed at that time. This newspaper attempted to contact him for follow up, but was unsuccessful up to press time.

When asked about disclosure, his Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell declined to say and said to speak to Public Disclosure Commission chairman Bishop Victor Cooper.

But Bishop Cooper told The Tribune he was out of town and to call the disclosure office, although it was the Easter weekend.

All Opposition MPs said they had filed on time.

Other MPs who confirmed included Sea Breeze MP Leslia Miller-Brice, North Andros and The Berry Islands MP Leonardo Lightbourne, MICAL MP Basil McIntosh, Central and South Abaco MP John Pinder and West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Kingsley Smith.

The Tribune was unable to reach a number of Parliamentarians, including Immigration and National Insurance Minister Alfred Sears, Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister Jomo Campbell, and Housing and Urban Renewal Minister Lisa Rahming.

Bishop Cooper indicated that 90 percent of parliamentarians had filed by the March 1 deadline. He said last year many senators and senior civil servants failed to disclose their assets, income and liabilities.

The Public Disclosure Act empowers only two people to act on delinquent filings: the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.

Either of them can publish the information through a communication in the House of Assembly or cause for it to be laid in the Senate. Either can authorise that the information be presented to the attorney general or commissioner of police so those who failed to disclose could face a penalty.

The penalty for not disclosing is a $10,000 fine and/or up to two years in prison.

Comments

John 2 weeks, 3 days ago

The home of the president of Peru was raided after the president was seen wearing a Rolex watch believed to be the proceeds of corruption and ‘taking bribes under the table’. The president claims she owned the ROLEX before she got elected, but officials say she never disclosed it. Bahamas are you ready for Tolex and BMW scandals and raids

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Sorry, Madame Tribune but I'm not a RedShirt believer! --- Who is included in --- All Opposition MPs, 'said' they had filed on time.---- Including for the filing years of 2021-2022-2023. --- Can Tribine document such filings. ---- Good Day?

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moncurcool 2 weeks, 3 days ago

The penalty for not disclosing is a $10,000 fine and/or up to two years in prison.

We all know that this is a joke. How many of those who did not disclose last year received their penalty.

The deadline this year was March 31, according to acting press secretary Keishla Adderley, although last year the deadline was March 1, which is the date in the Public Disclosure Act.

So the law says one date, and they make up their own date. And we wonder why the streets have no respect for law and order, when those in government don't.

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Dump the useless Financial Disclosures Act! --- Certainly even those MPs who do comply but remain sitting up in that  imposing pink-and-white building --- Whilst having 'no fear' of illegality-- Cause tis 'none in place' to scrutinize (Kinda like the treatment afforded to Samuel Bankman-Fried)--- It's an open invitation for writin' down  'untruthfulness'.---  MPs could've just chosen to make sh## up, accompanied with their imaginary arithmetic.--- Yes?

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SP 2 weeks, 3 days ago

This has been going on across the political spectrum for decades. Law's are only for the average citizens. They obviously do not apply to corrupt politicians.

All political leaders have so many skeletons in their closets they are unable to enforce the law!

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LastManStanding 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Realistically speaking, who audits these disclosures anyways? Law is nothing but a bunch of words on parchment if there is no enforcement, and the thing is that we know any statute related to disclosing politicians wealth will never be enforced anyways because neither party wants to start digging skeletons up out of their backyard. Politics is nothing more than entertainment and shouldn't be taken seriously.

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 3 days ago

@ComradeLastMan, realistically speaking, the financial disclosures act could stay but MPs would have to lit up the street lamp poles and patch the potholes. --- Yes?

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LastManStanding 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Ideally there would be some form of independent body responsible for ensuring that the reports are accurate in addition to being filed on time. Filing a bunch of foolishness just to say you filed and met the deadline is pointless and does nothing to benefit this country. One somewhat recent case what comes to mind is when Brent Symonette declared a net worth of 156 mil in 2017, which is unbelievably low for him tbh. It wasn't just him that cycle, I am just using it as an example to illustrate the point. Doing things just for the sake of doing things benefits no one.

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BONEFISH 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Casual disregard for the laws. This is by the politicians who debate and pass laws. This attitude is why the Bahamas is in the state it is.

The law needs to be enforced. Those MPS who consistently flout this law should face the consequences of their non compliance.

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