Often times we hear from Declarants – persons in public life who are required to complete and file declarations of income, assets and liabilities - that the declaration forms are challenging and as a result they are unable to meet the May 31 deadline each year. The Commission, in recognition of this, has initiated Open Week and a series of ‘Know Your Forms Seminars’ to alleviate any difficulties Declarants may encounter.
For the first time in May 2012, the Commission hosted an ‘Integrity Open Day’ at its office. Since then we have extended the outreach to five days- with one day dedicated to declarants in Tobago.
The “Open Day” now called “Open Week” is designed to reduce the high error rate of submissions and to ensure that Persons in Public Life complete and submit declarations by the annual May 31 deadline. ‘Declarants’ are given the opportunity to interface with our competent Compliance staff who assist attendees to complete and file their Declarations and Statements of Registrable Interests. During private and confidential sessions, declarants are guided through the related Form A and Form B and allowed to resolve outstanding matters.
The Integrity Commission facilitates workshops for Persons in Public Life who are required to file Declarations of Income, Assets, Liabilities and Statements of Registrable Interests. Senior members of the Integrity Commission’s Compliance meet with new board members to provide guidance and information with respect to the filing of mandatory declarations of income, assets and liabilities and statements of registrable interests under the Integrity in Public Life Act.
The seminars are interactive and presenters give an in-depth overview of the requirements of the Integrity In Public Life Act.
Persons in Public Life who fail to submit a completed declaration form and a Statement of Registrable Interest within the prescribed period will have his/her name published in the Gazette and in at least one daily newspaper. The Commission may make an ex-parte application to the High Court to secure compliance. Failure to comply with the directive of Court is an offence and a Person in Public Life is liable on conviction to a fine of $150,000.
Within the first three months of becoming a Person in Public Life one is required to file declarations for oneself, spouse and dependent children in respect of the previous year. Thereafter and in each succeeding year the Person in Public Life must file further declarations of Income, Assets and Liabilities by May 31.
One on One Meetings with Declarants
Any Person in Public Life is free to call the office of the Integrity Commission to schedule a meeting with any member of the Commission’s Compliance team. Persons can engage in discussions on any matter on which they require clarification. All meetings are confidential and are held in closed door rooms.