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Deadline Today - But Some Disclosures Outstanding

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

WHILE today marks the deadline for both sitting and former parliamentarians to file financial disclosures, Public Disclosure Commission Chairman Myles Laroda told The Tribune yesterday that there were still some that are “outstanding”.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Laroda said in his discussions with some persons who are required to make the disclosures, they expressed certain challenges, which he suggested delayed the submission of documents.

Among these are challenges with obtaining financial records from spouses, particularly in situations where they may have operated bank accounts prior to marriage. He said there was also some unwillingness and apprehension from these spouses to have their private information in the public domain.

Mr Laroda said he could not say how many disclosures were submitted at this point.

On June 6, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said delinquent former and sitting members of Parliament were given three weeks to file disclosures or face the court for breaking the law.

The deadline was imposed by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and affects more than 20 MPs. It followed a report in The Tribune earlier this month that revealed a handful of parliamentarians did not make a single disclosure last term.

Failure to file can result in a fine of $10,000, or two years in prison, or both, or confiscation of land if land is involved, Mr Newbold has said.

“Tomorrow (Friday) is the deadline,” Mr Laroda said when he was contacted by this newspaper yesterday. “As a matter of fact, we still have some that are outstanding.

“I know just about everyone collected their packages but they haven’t returned them as yet. I got some calls today from some individuals, but I don’t have any specifics with regard to when they will all be in.”

He continued: “But I am sure you know how we go in the Bahamas, they will wait for the last minute to bring them in.

“(Also) you know some individuals had more than one year, actually had every year that was outstanding. I guess that may be taking up some time.

“Then it’s not just them, because they are required to also disclose for their spouses. I think that has played some role. But in my conversations it’s some of the spouses of the politicians or senators that they have issues with.

“Because if you are married to somebody and they were operating bank accounts and before you got married you can’t go to the bank and ask for their banking information. That has to be provided to you and if the other person says ‘well you’re the politician and I don’t want my personal information out there,’ how do you force that person to give it you? So those are some of the issues that are going on with some of them.”

Mr Newbold earlier this month said that the number of parliamentarians who did not disclose for the entire five years was “not less than six.”

At the time, he said: “All of those members of Parliament sitting in the last House as at December 31, 2016, who did not disclose by March 1, 2017, the prime minister has given them three weeks in which to file that disclosure form or he is going to turn that file with their names over to the attorney general and instruct him to do what the law prescribes.

“They could face a fine of $10,000, or two years in prison, or both, or confiscation of land if land is involved. I can tell you from having seen those documents that more than 20 MPs, former and present, have three weeks in which to file.

“Some of them who were sitting from 2012, I’d say about six of them they didn’t file at all over the five-year period. So it’s going to be interesting to see what happens over the three-week period.”

Comments

TalRussell 2 years, 2 months ago

Comrades! Pretty Lame excuse now plead you need more time locate old financial documents - and why won't the Tribune name the culprits? If an extension is granted then just another promise of Minnis's that went by the wayside. Let's hope Minnis ordered the bus start warming up they motor to ride these duckers up to where they long belonged. Are any these culprits currently sitting up in the House, Senate, or working/consulting for the red regime? You gotta know the Tribune has list each and every name. Right?

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 2 months ago

This is the real test to see if Minnis has any BALLS ...... We will wait to see what he will do on Monday with those who called his bluff ............. CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

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licks2 2 years, 2 months ago

I too must call him balls-less if he fails to act. . .no foolish talks. . .the law is the law. . .HE MUST NOT ALLOW ANY TO CALL HIS BLUFF!

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 2 months ago

Who is this lousy ass PDC Chairman????? Why is he making excuses for lousy politicians???? How many of these MPs or Senators got re/married in the past five years????? Did the spouses not expect to be in public life except to wear hats and gloves?????? ........... SMT

Please Cabinet ................................. find a real PDC Chairman in the next dispensation

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B_I_D___ 2 years, 2 months ago

WHACK A MOLE...they knew this was coming, no excuses whatsoever, FNM, PLP, whoever it is...press the charges and FAST.

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TalRussell 2 years, 2 months ago

Comrades! Every single member 2017 House of Assembly were elected, not appointed. As 2017 General Election candidates they would have been required to fill out, sign and file their respective Financial Disclosure Statements (FDS) - which means Public Disclosure Commission Chairman Myles Laroda, should done be in full possession of all 39 siting MP's FDS? I would think any previous MP's elected back to the House in 2017 - who have not filed - would want to make sure their 2017 candidacy FDS were truthful and accurate to begin with? Regardless, there can be no extension beyond the PM's set in stone filing deadline...... or maybe so - cause shamefully it's clear that Minnis and his red colleagues are not exactly marching to the drumbeat of - It's the People's time?

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B_I_D___ 2 years, 2 months ago

I think it's two separate issues Tal...in order to run for the election, you need to make a financial declaration...that's different and far simpler than the level of financial details the annual disclosures require. That clarification came up a couple weeks ago I believe, maybe in another news article.

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TalRussell 2 years, 2 months ago

Comrade BID, Thanks the clarity referencing but I am just drawing attention to Public Disclosure Commissioner Myles Laroda, being in possession of already filed financial disclosures/declarations that can be cross referenced to their accuracy. Why even worry about the accuracy of what you're writing down - if you know that no one will bother with verifying the trustfulness your statements?

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B_I_D___ 2 years, 2 months ago

Well that's the thing, the election declarations, are more of a formality, they don't really go into any great depth and accuracy is probably secondary...the annual ones for the disclosure are far more detailed and scrutinized and I believe can be audited if deemed necessary...still trying to figure it out myself, but that's what I've been picking up on in various articles and blogs...

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 2 months ago

Tal is slow in thinking ........ Be patient with Tal ........ This financial disclosure deals with the 2012-17 MPs, Senators and Senior Public Officers (and their spouses) .......... This does not include the newly elected politicians (except those who were serving from 2012-17) ........... Got that, Tal?????????

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BMW 2 years, 2 months ago

Start arresting those who have not complied! A date was given to turn over financial disclosures, if you dont you get prosecuted. NO BULLSHIT EXCUSES.

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Porcupine 2 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Laroda, Mr. Bethel, Dr. Minnis, There are laws on the books to make your jobs easier, so you don't have to do too much thinking. The laws aren't there for your convenience. We elected you to follow the laws of the land, not interpret them as you wish. Do your jobs. What is the issue here? Is this truly the land of excuses? We thought we were electing people who were going to make changes from the slackness we have been suffering through for the last 5 incredibly horrible years. You have already backed down on way too many of your promises. If this is the best you have for us..................................... Not everything can be changed overnight, we understand this. However, when you deliberately misrepresent what you intend to do, We the people have a right to drive you from office in the shortest time possible. Quit feeding us bullshit and telling us it is organic food.

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TalRussell 2 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Laroda, “Tomorrow (Friday) is the now expired June 30, 2017 deadline and what remains outstanding when it comes to Financial Disclosures (FD) is no longer any of your concern or business. The files should already be on the desk of the AG - making it his business. No, we are not sure what you mean when you say ..... : “But I am sure you know how we go in the Bahamamaland? Your only "GO" is to go deliver them files over to the office of the AG. The June 30, 2017 deadline has now expired - therefore you are not even permitted continue to take telephone calls from those still thinking they can stall filing what should have been filed since way back in 2012.

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DDK 2 years, 2 months ago

"Mr Laroda said he could not say how many disclosures were submitted at this point."

Can Mr. Laroda not count?

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Socrates 2 years, 2 months ago

like i said before.. there will be creative excuses and it will all go away. Laroda says in some cases its been 5 years since some filed, so it might take time.. so whose fault is it they weren't doing what they were required too by LAW?

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licks2 2 years, 2 months ago

I expect some arrests today. . .the small man gets no allowances for not getting done what the law requires of him/her.. .they are taken to do the shuffle!! There are not excuses for their disregard for law. . .the law says for us small persons. . .ignorance in no excuse in law!!

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