By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
THREE parliamentarians have missed the deadline imposed by the government to file financial disclosures, but that list is not at the Office of the Attorney General just yet, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said yesterday.
Tightlipped over the identities of the delinquent parliamentarians, Mr Newbold explained that movement in this matter hinged on the appointment of two more board members to the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).
As for outstanding board appointments, the press secretary advised that all appointments will be made public by the end of the week.
PDC Commissioner Myles Laroda has been reappointed to the post but requires two additional members to convene an “emergency meeting” to review the matter and submit a formal communication to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Mr Newbold said.
This comes more than a week after the July 3 timeline set by Dr Minnis for the files to be sent to the Office of the Attorney General expired.
“Once that meeting is held,” Mr Newbold said, “then a formal communication will be sent to the prime minister advising him of the situation formally, and then, of course, he (Dr Minnis) will issue the directives, as we expect whomever they are that did not disclose will be dealt with as the law provides.
“I have to tell, you senior public servants are also going to be called into account again as the law provides.”
Present and former parliamentarians and senators, along with senior public officers, are required to submit their disclosures to the PDC by March each year.
The law specifies that persons in breach could face a fine of $10,000, or two years in prison, or both, or confiscation of land if land is involved.
At yesterday’s briefing, Mr Newbold said the selection of the two additional board members would be discussed in Cabinet that day, but did not provide an updated timeline on when those names would be sent to the attorney general.
He recalled that delinquent parliamentarians flooded the PDC in the weeks following the announcement of the June 30 deadline and threat of prosecution.
Moving on to other news items, Mr Newbold advised the media that Dr Minnis will conduct a tour of the Baha Mar property next week and also deliver a national address. Dates for both items were not disclosed.
Mr Newbold added that Dr Minnis also planned to arrange a Cabinet tour of North Andros’ west coast, with a view to sensitising colleagues to the island’s rich ecological value as the “marine hatchery and nursery for the Western hemisphere.”