Public officers reminded of obligation to declare assets

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The Guyana Integrity Commission has issued a reminder to public servants to declare their 2020 assets and liabilities including those for their spouses and children on or before November 16, 2020.

The Integrity Commission is also reminding public officers in default of making declarations for 2018 and 2019 to submit their declaration form along with supporting documents.

It said that all specified public officers who are in non-compliance are liable to Section 22 of the Integrity Commission Act.

In several notices published in the print media, the Integrity Commission asked of all specified officers to submit payslips, copy of rental agreement, copy of transport, Certificate of Title, copy of the latest valuation pertaining to transports and Certificate of Title, copy of Certificate of Registration for motor vehicle, and any other supporting document which include but not limited to Articles of Incorporation, Business Registration, Share Certificates, Insurance Policies, Loan Agreements and/or Mortgage Deeds and Trust Deeds where applicable.

Declarations must be sent to the Integrity Commission’s Secretariat at 74 Church Road and Fifth Avenue, Subryanville, Georgetown.

In February 2020, the Integrity Commission revealed that seven members of the then APNU/AFC Government and some from the then PPP/C Opposition had failed to provide further particulars relating to their financial affairs for the period July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.

Section 22 of the Integrity Commission Act states: Any person who – (i) fails, without reasonable cause, to file with the Commission or the President, as the case may be, a declaration which he is required to file in accordance with the provisions of this Act; or (ii) knowingly files with the Commission or the President a declaration that is not complete or is false in any material particular; or (iii) fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with a request made under Section 18 or 21 (2) by the Commission, the President or a tribunal, within the time specified therefor by the Commission, the President or the tribunal, as the case may be, or gives incomplete or false information pursuant to the request; or (iv) fails, without reasonable cause, to attend an inquiry being conducted under Section 21, pursuant to a request under Section 21 (2), or to furnish any information the tribunal may request the declarant to furnish under that Section or knowingly gives any false or incomplete information in such inquiry, shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) and to imprisonment for a term of not less than six months nor more than one year, and where the offence involves the non-disclosure, by the declarant, of property which should have been disclosed in the declaration, the Magistrate convicting the person shall order the person to make full disclosure of the property within a given time and on failure to comply with the order of the Magistrate within the given time, the said offence shall be deemed to be a continuing offence and the person shall be liable to a further fine of ten thousand dollars for each day on which the offence continues.

For a long time, the Integrity Commission has been complaining about public officials failing to comply with their obligations under the Act. As a consequence, the Commission which has publicly stated that it is experiencing financial difficulties has been forced to publicly identify defaulters via ads in the daily newspaper as well as the Official Gazette.