By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO of three parliamentarians who requested extra time to disclose their assets and liabilities this year made their disclosures before the end of the extension period, according to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.
“Three MPs would have written the commission in advance and asked for an extension,” he said. “That was granted. One in particular was travelling at a particular time. In spite of (requesting extra time), my understanding is two have already submitted even before the expiration of the granted time. They complied and the other has been given an extension and the commission has the right to do that.”
The Tribune reported yesterday that Free Town MP Dionisio D’Aguilar, Southern Shores MP Frankie Campbell and West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Pakesia Parker-Edgecome missed the March 1 deadline and sought an extension, which the law allows.
The Public Disclosure Act empowers only two people to act on delinquent filings: the prime minister and the leader of the opposition. Either of them can publish the information through a communication in the House of Assembly or cause for it to be laid in the Senate. Either can authorise that the information be presented to the attorney general or commissioner of police so those who failed to disclose could face a penalty.
The penalty for not disclosing is a $10,000 fine and/or up to two years in prison.
Last year, the deadline for filings was delayed until the end of March.
Despite this, three people, two senators and a parliamentarian, still failed to make their disclosures by that date.
Those outstanding filings were submitted in the lead up to the Public Disclosure Commission’s much-delayed meeting to discuss filings, so they were ruled to have been in on time.
When asked earlier this month, Attorney General Carl Bethel said there was no set deadline for the PDC to report outstanding filings, adding it is up to the “discretion” of the committee.