House Speaker Halson Moultrie yesterday urged members of Parliament to submit their financial disclosures by the deadline tomorrow.
“Honorable members, I thought it would be prudent at this time to direct your minds while your minds are still engaged with financial matters, to the Public Disclosure Act,” he said.
“I’m holding this document in my hand. It is Form A, the Second Schedule of the Public Disclosure Act, 1976. This document should be completed and returned to the Public Disclosure Commission by March 1.”
He continued, “Now we are also at another critical stage at this time. As a former meteorologist, when hurricanes approach, you have an alert. Then you have a hurricane watch, and then a hurricane warning.
“We are at the warning stage now, so you have approximately 48 hours to complete the declaration.”
The Public Disclosure Act mandates members of Parliament, senators, senior public officers and public appointees to declare their assets, income and liabilities as of December 31 of each year.
The act empowers both the prime minister and the leader of the opposition to “authorize the furnishing of any information furnished to him by the [Public Disclosure] Commission to the attorney general or the commissioner of police”.
It provides for a $10,000 fine or imprisonment of a term not exceeding two years, or both, for anyone who violates it.
Public Disclosure Commission Chairman Myles Laroda revealed last month that three parliamentarians last year failed to make their financial disclosures within the legally stipulated timeframe.
The original deadline for public disclosures was March 1, but the date was legally changed to March 31 last year after there were reportedly logistical challenges in issuing letters to some parliamentarians.
Last August, Laroda revealed that up until June 30, at least one member of Parliament and two senators had not disclosed.
He refused to reveal the names of those individuals at the time.