Friday, March 17, 2023
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO weeks after the March 1 deadline, Public Disclosure Commission chairman Bishop Victor Cooper said officials are still waiting for some parliamentarians to complete their filings.
The chairman told The Tribune on March 2 that about ten percent of members of Parliament did not meet the March 1 deadline.
When contacted yesterday for an update, he said: “Basically, the count is the same and so we’re just waiting for the rest of them to complete their (filings).”
Asked the reason why these MPs still haven’t disclosed, he said: “Again, there are various excuses, I suspect, or reasons that they may have and so we just write and do our part of the job that they’re required to do in asking them to get it in.
“Their responsibility (is) to do it and it’s our responsibility to report to the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said his public disclosures would be filed on March 2 if the documents had not been turned over on the deadline.
Yesterday, Bishop Cooper confirmed Mr Davis did disclose, but did not specify which date this took place.
Asked if Mr Davis filed on the deadline, the chairman indicated: “He disclosed when he indicated to you that he would.”
Asked if Mr Davis filed on March 2, Bishop Cooper answered: “I don’t get into the specificity of that. We write to them and let them, we remind them ‘you gotta disclose’ and then if they haven’t, some people write for extensions. They have their reasons for that.
“Our responsibility is to write to the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition, advising them what is happening, and we’re in the process of doing that now.”
Bishop Cooper had previously indicated that 90 percent of parliamentarians had filed by the deadline.
Last year, Bishop Cooper reportedly told The Nassau Guardian that some first-time MPs were not aware that there was a legal requirement for them to file financial disclosures under the Public Disclosures Act.
The chairman was blunt when asked if he found it unacceptable this time around.
“It is unacceptable because people are expected to follow the rules and nobody’s above the rules,” he said yesterday.
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