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Minnis: People look at disclosures ‘as a joke’

FORMER Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.
Photo: Dante Carrer

FORMER Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Dante Carrer

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said “people look at it as a joke” regarding the filing of financial declarations as required by the Public Disclosure Act.

The deadline for disclosures, according to the Public Disclosure Act, is March 1. However, a source told The Tribune an extension was given this year to March 15, but could not give a reason for the decision. Previously, acting press secretary Keisha Adderley said the deadline this year was March 31.

Public Disclosure Commission chairman Bishop Victor Cooper was unclear on whether an extension was given when pressed on the matter.

He was also not forthcoming on how many MPs have disclosed as yet. Bishop Cooper told The Tribune he was out of town and to call the disclosure office. However, the individual to whom he referred said she was unable to give any information.

Pressed again on the issue, Bishop Cooper answered: “Well, you’ll have to wait until it’s released.”

Opposition leader Michael Pintard told The Tribune he was unaware that there was an extension. The Public Disclosure Act empowers the opposition leader as well as the prime minister to act on delinquent filings.

Dr Minnis also did not know about the extension. If the extension did occur, he argued the granting of the extension shows a flippant attitude.

“Extension means that you’re not taking it seriously, so people look at it as a joke and that is one of the big problems in this country. We do not enforce laws and regulations. Until we do that, you will find us as always in some form of deficient mode. You know, we always try to compare ourselves to first world countries or other country of similar size abroad, but those countries are disciplined.

“They are law-abiding, they respect each other. You know. So, let’s go back to basics. Let’s go back to the church. Let’s go back to loving each other. Just not talk it, show it. Until we do these things, we’re not serious. We’re jokes.”

Bishop Cooper indicated last year that 90 per- cent of parliamentarians had filed by the March 1 deadline. He added that many senators and senior civil servants failed to disclose their assets, income and liabilities. The names of those who missed the deadline have not been revealed.

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

Comments

TalRussell 2 weeks, 2 days ago

19 March 2019. Three parliamentarians had requested an extension to turn in financial disclosures under the Public Disclosure Act past the March 1stdeadline. Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis told reporters yesterday,“My understanding is two have already submitted, they have complied with the commission, while  one has been given an extension and the commission has the right to do it so, nobody is outside the compliance,” he said. West End and Bimini MP Pakiesha Parker-Edgecombe recently revealed  that she was among those requesting  more time. Failing to declare under the Integrity Commission Bill could result in a fine not exceeding $15,000 or time in prison not exceeding one year.The law  requires public officials, like members of parliament, senators and other high-ranking government officials, to make full disclosures of their income, assets and liabilities.The Prime Minister  previously told reporters that the files on delinquent disclosures would be sent to the office of the Attorney General.However, nothing has happened as yet to those persons who have failed to disclose. House  Speaker Halson Moultrie reminded Members of Parliament during the March 1stsitting of the House that he had already declared and warned parliamentarians that they must comply or face the consequences.Meantime, Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell has confirmed that all PLP MP’s and senators have disclosed. Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands and Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper, posted their disclosure receipts on their Facebook pages....Just cannot make sh## up. --- Good Day!

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SP 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Many MP's are guilty of not disclosing. However, not one MP has ever been fined for non disclosure.

Sounds like a joke to me!

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Where are the audited statements for all 39 MPs --- On how they say what they did with the $200,000 yearly CASH --- Allocated for constituency enhancement projects. ---- Money that had to only be spent in their respective constituencies.---.Which was paid out to all of them, since becoming House-seated. --- We're talkin' a low sum of $400,000 to a high sum of $800,000.--- Good Day!

The FACES! https://www.bahrep.com/elections/2021/">https://www.bahrep.com/elections/2021/

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birdiestrachan 2 weeks, 1 day ago

A hypocrite of the highest order but he is FNM a FNM hypocrite so it is all right

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