KINGSTON, Jamaica: The nation’s Commission for the Prevention of Corruption has reported that more than half of all public servants required to make declarations to the Commission have neglected to do so, and they could face legal action for their delinquency.
The Commission is mandated to collect and scrutinize statutory declarations of assets, liabilities and income of public servants, who earn more than J$3 million (US$36,539) per year or work in areas such as customs, immigration, the military and the police force.
However, secretary/manager at the Commission, David Grey, says that just 40 to 45 per cent of public servants have been complying with the rules. He disclosed that of the 23,447 persons expected to make declarations last year, only 11,900 did so.
“The selection criterion is not on any declaration year; it covers a declarant and it will probably cover several years. We have sent so far to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) four matters, which I think they have ruled on two and that is after all the necessary steps were taken to avail the declarants of corrections, which may have come up, and additional information that may have been required to satisfy the Commission,” said Grey.
Grey said the Commission will be working with the DPP to step up legal action against delinquent declarants in an effort to send a strong message.
He has also implored the various government agencies to ensure than their employees understand that they are required to make declarations to the Commission.
Persons can be fined as much as J$250,000 (US$3,045) per outstanding declaration or face imprisonment if they fail to make their declarations.
Annual declarations to the Commission are due on December 31. The final date for payment is March 31, 2010.