NASSAU, BAHAMAS – As of last Friday, March 1, all public officials were required to declare their assets, but as of Sunday, it was still not known if all government parliamentarians had met the deadline.
On Sunday, chairman of the Public Disclosure Committee (PDC), Myles Laroda, said while the majority of public officials have already declared, he would not have a full update until Thursday when the PDC meets.
Failing to declare under the Integrity Commission Bill could result in a fine not exceeding $15,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year.
The Bill requires public officials, including members of parliament, senators and other high-ranking government officials, to make full disclosures of income, assets and liabilities and those of their spouses and children.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis previously told reporters that the files on delinquent disclosures would be sent to the office of the attorney general, however, no action was ever taken against persons who fell in this category.
House speaker Halson Moultrie told members of parliament during last Wednesday’s sitting that he had already declared and warned parliamentarians that they must comply or face the repercussions.
Last Friday, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell said the four opposition parliamentarians had met the March 1 public disclosure deadline.
Chester Cooper, the MP for Exuma and Ragged Island as well as Dr. Duane Sands, the MP for Elizabeth, posted their disclosure receipts on their Facebook pages last Friday.