Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Still no all-clear for Holness, other's statutory declarations by Integrity Commission

Published:Monday | May 13, 2019 | 1:51 PM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness - File photo

The Integrity Commission, the nation’s corruption watchdog agency, today revealed that it still has not given the all-clear sign to the 2017 statutory declarations filed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and seven other current and former members of parliament.

The commission, in its 2017 annual report to Parliament, identified the current parliamentarians whose declarations were examined but not cleared at the date of the report as State Minister in the Labour Ministry Zavia Mayne, Luther Buchanan, Leslie Campbell, and Ian Hayles.

Discarded education minister Ruel Reid, along with Arnaldo Brown and Keith Walford, are the former lawmakers whose declarations were not cleared.

But, according to Commissioner of the Integrity Commission Pamela Monroe Ellis, nothing has changed more than two years after the declarations were filed.

“I can report that as at today, the status remains the same,” Monroe Ellis said during the first press conference held by the commission.

Parliamentarians are required by law to furnish to the commission a statutory declaration of his/her assets, liabilities and income as at the date of his/her election or appointment, and thereafter by December 31 each year.

In Photo: Pamela Monroe Ellis

The hold-up, Monroe Ellis suggested, is with the absence of supporting documents to allow for an examination of their declarations.

“It is not just for a declarant to indicate what the asset and liabilities are at the 31st of December, but incumbent on that declarant is the requirement to provide evidence to support everything that is reported,” she said.

“Where a declarant has failed to provide all that information it is considered to be not completed,” she added.

Campbell, Buchanan and Mayne appeared surprised by the disclosure that their declarations were not given the all-clear.

Campbell, a government backbencher, told The Sunday Gleaner that the commission wrote to him “some time ago” requesting information on his insurance policies. “I copied the entire policies and sent it to them and I have not bought any insurance since then, so I don’t know what more they want from me.”

Buchanan, the Opposition Member of Parliament for Westmoreland Eastern, acknowledged that the commission wrote to him requesting “some things.”

However, he said he has already responded.

“I am not certain what it is that they are not satisfied with,” he said.

Mayne was at a loss to explain why he was on the list.

“I do not know if they are saying that there are assets that I have that had not been declared, neither am I clear as to whether they are saying that I need to provide them with clarity on matters that I have disclosed,” he said.

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