More than 58 percent of public officials have filed their assets: DPP

By Devonne Cornelius

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Jan 18, 2024 (ZIZ Newsroom): More than 58 percent of public officials in St. Kitts and Nevis who are required to declare their assets have done so with the Integrity Commission notes Mr. Adlai Smith, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

“I can tell you though that after the press conference…after the 15th [of December], compliance went up from 14 percent to 58 percent and after my meeting this week, I can say that compliance has gone up even further. I don’t know how much but I’m told people have been coming in to file their declarations,” DPP Smith said.

He added: “People may have their different reasons for not filing but one of those cannot be the inconvenience of it. The fact that it’s inconvenient, there is a greater purpose to be achieved in so far as transparency in government.”

According to DPP Smith, some public officials raised concerns about confidentiality when filing their declarations.

“I’ve also been told that persons are concerned about confidentiality on the part of the commission in terms of keeping the information indoors and taking adequate measures to ensure that it doesn’t reach into the wrong hands.”

The Unauthorized Disclosure of Public Information Act, recently passed in the National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis focuses on preventing leaks of sensitive government information. DPP Smith said this law would be breached should any member of the Integrity Commission reveal any of the filings made by public officials.

“For any member of the Integrity Commission, and they are well aware of it because we’ve had discussions about it, they could be prosecuted under the Unauthorized Disclosure of Public Information Act. And the person who is affected could bring civil suit against the commission.”

DPP Smith was a guest on the January 17, 2024 edition of InFocus speaking on measures for anti-corruption.

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