Several standing members of Parliament, senators and state board members were listed as having failed to submit documents declaring their income, assets and liabilities for the year 2017.
According to the Integrity in Public Life Act, “A person shall, within three months of becoming a person in public life, complete and file with the Commission in the prescribed form, a declaration of his income, assets and liabilities that exceed ten thousand dollars in value in respect of the previous year and, thereafter, on 31st May in each succeeding year that he is a person in public life, he shall file further declarations of his income, assets and liabilities.”
In 2018, an extension was granted for persons who had failed to provide a declaration by the May 31 cut off date.
MPs Adrian Leonce, Darryl Smith, Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, Maxie Cuffie, Anthony Garcia, and Fitzgerald Hinds were among those named on the list while senators Clarence Rambharat, Allyson West and Franklin Khan were also named.
When contacted Garcia admitted that he had been tardy in requesting the bank documents and accepted responsibility for failing to comply.
He said he was expected to file the documents later this week.
West, who was appointed as a Minister in the Ministry of Finance on June 2017, said she was awaiting information from her previous employer which she received yesterday, and she would be filing for 2017 next week.
Agriculture Minister Rambharat said there had been a minor issue with his documentation, but said that it should have been corrected by now.
“There are two forms to be filed. The Statement of Registrable Interests (Form B) is a summary of what is in the longer more detailed Form A. For the year 2017 I filed Form A but somehow omitted to file Form B. That has since been corrected,” said Rambharat via text yesterday.
Guardian Media was unable to contact Leonce, Smith, and Crichlow-Cockburn while Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds declined to comment.
Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Kelvin Charles and Minority Leader Watson Duke were also listed.
Charles could not be reached for comment but Duke said his documents were completed. He, however, felt the Commission should be more available to the persons in public office.
“All of my documents have been completed and they are ready for filing but I think the Integrity Commission has to do a lot more to make itself more prominent. I don’t know where they are, there are some in some little dark corner of Port of Spain hiding,” said Duke, “All my filings are up to date.”
“They ought to be on the front line, they ought to be accessible because most of the time the persons who have to fill out these forms are very busy people. I have no time to be walking around looking for Integrity commissioner,” the minority leader said.
Former UNC senator Wayne Sturge was also listed, but he said his name being listed was probably correct as he did not file documents in 2017.
Sturge said by that time he was no longer serving as a senator.
Reporter: Peter Christopher