PNC/APNU to face private criminal charges for breaching Integrity Act
Parliamentarian, Bishop Juan Edghill is moving to file private criminal charges against PNC and APNU Members of Parliament who have not filed declaration to the Integrity Commission as required to under Guyana’s laws.
According to Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, the intention is to put them before the courts for breaching the provisions of the Integrity Commission Act.
Edghill has written to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, Abeena Moore, dated June 21, 2017, requests the names of the delinquent PNCR Parliamentarians, of the 8th and 9th Parliament, who failed to submit declaration for the years 2001-2006 and 2006-2011.
The same is requested for APNU Parliamentarians who served in the 10th Parliament for the years 2011-2015.
The letter was submitted by People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentarian, J uan Edghill, whose request is made under provisions of the Access to Information Act of 2011.
The letter states that, “The above requested information is intended to be used in the pursuit of private criminal charges against the identified del i nquents i n accordance with section 22 of the Integrity Commission Act 1997.”
Meanwhile, at a prior news conference, Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, noted that Integrity Commission has already been disbanded, with the staff sent home and the office earmarked for other uses.
Concerns about t he years of documentation – specifically the declarations officials in public life are supposed to make to the Commission by law – were reiterated by Jagdeo. “They took and have all the documents that should be with the constitutional body,” he said.
Under the law, passed in 2000, certain categories of public officials are required to declare their assets to the Integrity Commission or face criminal charges for not doing so.
Jagdeo also pointed to t he fact t hat i t was t he People’s Progressive Party/ Civic ( PPP/ C) that made a move to in the National Assembly address the issue of greater accountability for persons in public life, via a motion. The motion by the PPP/ C to have all MPs make t heir t ax returns, as well as their asset declarations, public was rejected by the Government-majority vote.
Additionally, changes to the Integrity Commission Act have been proposed by t he Coalition government.