Minnis says MPs not ‘outside of compliance’ on disclosures
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday that no member of Parliament is “outside of compliance” regarding their declarations of assets and liabilities.
His comments came after it was revealed that three MPs failed to meet the March 1 deadline for disclosures.
“Three MPs would have written the commission in advance and asked for the extension,” Minnis said.
“One in particular was traveling at particular time.
“My understanding is that two have already submitted and complied with the commission, and the other has been given an extension, and the commission has that right to do it.
“So nobody is outside of compliance.”
The Public Disclosure Act mandates members of Parliament, senators, senior public officers and public appointees 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.
Asked about reports that West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe failed to meet an extended deadline of March 15, Minnis insisted this was not the case.
“Let me repeat,” he said.
“Three members of Parliament had written the commission asking for an extension.
“That was granted. In spite of that, some would have presented their papers even before the expiration of the granted time.”
Public Disclosure Commission Chairman Myles Laroda confirmed yesterday that Parker-Edgecombe was among the three parliamentarians who were granted extensions.
Laroda said that Parker-Edgecombe was to submit her declaration by Friday, March 15, but that as of March 14, she had not done so.
“We met on Thursday, that was the 14th, so the 15th had not passed,” Laroda said.
“The prime minister has been notified, as was the leader of the opposition. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Asked if she was in violation of the law, Laroda said, “She would be if the circumstances are, as she said, [that] she requested an extension and did not comply with the extension that was provided.”
On Monday, The Tribune reported that Parker-Edgecombe said she did not meet her March 15 deadline, and would “deliver [it] next week.”
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