The Office of the Integrity Commission is heartened by the level of compliance by public officers filing Declarations of Assets, Liabilities and Incomes.
Notices were sent to 50 public officials to file declarations in September and 40 filed; representing an 80% compliance rate.
Operations Manager at the Integrity Commission, Elizabeth Henry-Greenidge said the Commission is very pleased with the level of compliance, noting that as more people begin to understand what is required, they are more inclined to file. “In recent times we have seen increased figures as it relates to compliance. I think that now the word is out there about what the process is, and we try to be very accommodating.”
“In addition, we have included as a part of the filing process, a prescreening process so that on the day that they come to file, they would meet with a compliance officer, who will go through their document with them…and give a little guidance.”
“We find that since we have introduced the prescreening, and the opportunity for persons to call in with questions, people have been a lot more compliant.”
Of the 10 people who did not file, one person was on sick leave, one was on compassionate leave 4 requested extensions and 4 are yet to communicate with the Commission.
In March, the Integrity Commission was forced to postpone the Declaration Filing of 63 police officers. However, most of these officers have since been able to file their Declarations over the months of May, July, August and September.
Henry-Greenidge noted that the protocols in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), have severely impacted their Declaration Filing operations, reducing by over half, the number of people who can file at a time. “Whereas some days previous to Covid-19, we may have had as many as 53 or even 60 persons filing on a specific day, because of the protocols and the 6-feet distancing, our numbers have lessened to between 15 and 18 persons filing on any given day,” Henry-Greenidge said.
The Commission’s Operations Manager anticipates an increase in the number of people filing declarations in 2021, once the protocols regarding Covid-19 are removed. “Over the last couple days I have been hearing of lessening of restrictions, [so] I am sure we would go back to our pre-Covid-19 numbers and therefore have many more persons filing.”
Preliminary results for 2020 show that between February and September, 151 Declaration Notices were sent out. 101 public officials filed their declarations with the Commission, while 50 remain outstanding.
The categories of public officials filing declarations in 2020 for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 include police officers (Sergeants, Corporals, Inspectors), heads of some statutory bodies, and some public officers in various ministries who had previously missed their filing dates.