THE Integrity Commission says it has finally cleared a backlog of over 3,000 unfiled Declarations of Income, Assets and Liabilities and Statements of Registrable Interests for 2014-2021.
In a statement on Friday, the commission said, "These unfiled Declarations of Income, Assets and Liabilities and Statements of Registrable Interests are subject to ex-parte actions."
Section 11 (6) of the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA) says, "Where a person who is required to do so fails to file a declaration in accordance with this section or without reasonable cause, fails to furnish particulars in accordance with section 13 or fails to file the statement of registrable interests under section 14, the Commission shall publish such fact in the Gazette and at least one daily newspaper in circulation in Trinidad and Tobago."
Section 11(7) of the act says, "The commission may, at any time after the publication referred to in section (6), make an ex parte application to the High Court for an order directing such person to comply with the act and the court may in addition to making such an order, impose such conditions as it thinks fit."
It is an offence not to comply with a court order obtained pursuant to an ex-parte application filed before the High Court.
Section 11 (8) of the IPLA says, " A person who fails to comply with the directions of the court commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $1,500."
Friday marked the final filing of ex-parte applications by the commission covering 2014-2021.
The commission said within the last two years, it has filed ex-parte applications with respect to 3,211 Declarations of Income, Assets and Liabilities and Statements of Registrable Interests.
"This involved ex-parte applications covering 1,544 persons in public life. To date, court orders have been granted with respect to 1,930 Declarations of Income, Assets and Liabilities and Statements of Registrable Interests for the period 2014-2021."
In a statement on May 11, the commission said on January 23 and February 1, it published a list of 531 people in public life who failed to file declarations in keeping with section 11(6) of the IPLA.
As of April 30, 97 per cent of all declarations for filing years 2014-2021 have been voluntarily filed or subjected to ex-parte orders of the court mandating such filing.
The commission said,"This policy has been evenly applied to all declarants."
A copy of the TT Gazette dated October 29, 2021, listed the names of people in public life who did not file declarations with the commission for the years ended 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Among them were MPs Fitzgerald Hinds, Keith Scotland, Khadijah Ameen and Dr Roodal Moonilal, Amrita Deonarie and Hazel Thompson-Ahye, who did not file in 2020.