Wed | Sep 27, 2023

Holness unclear on statutory declaration

Published:Tuesday | May 23, 2023 | 1:35 AM

WITH HIS statutory declaration seemingly in limbo for some time now, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is concerned that the document that reveals his income, assets and liabilities is yet to be published by the Integrity Commission.

Quizzed yesterday by The Gleaner about the status of his statutory declaration that has not been certified by the Integrity Commission, Holness indicated that he was in the dark as to what was preventing the commission from publishing his statutory declaration, which is a requirement under the law.

The single anti-corruption body tweeted in October last year that “the commission is not in a position to certify it, and in the circumstances will be unable to comment any further on the issue”.

Holness yesterday said that the commission wrote to him with a similar message contained in the tweet, “so I am not in a position to say what the issue of the Integrity Commission is”.

However, the prime minister made it clear that “the commission has a duty to thoroughly investigate and ensure that whatever is presented to them is verified and validated so I suspect that they are in that process and I can only await the completion of that process”.

Under the law, the Integrity Commission is mandated to publish annually in the Jamaica Gazette the summary of the statutory declarations of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.

Section 56 (1) of the Integrity Commission Act prohibits the commission from commenting on the statutory declarations of parliamentarians.

On October 3, last year, the commission published in the Jamaica Gazette a summary of the income, assets and liabilities of Opposition Leader Mark Golding.