Guyana’s Vice-President, Bharrat Jagdeo has issued a stern warning to the “hundreds” of government officials who have failed to declare their assets to the Integrity Commission. At a recent press conference, the former Head of State said that defaulters can lose their jobs if they refuse to adhere to the law.
The VP hastened to add that all government Members of Parliament (MP) have fulfilled their obligation, noting that the 17 MPs who have failed to submit must be from the Opposition camp.
He noted that during the first three years of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government, none of the ministers made declarations. He said that while the opposition continues to bash him for his massive house at Pradoville, he has been up to date with his submissions.
“They questioned my house all my life, but I can show it (legitimacy) from my integrity reports. They got into office and for the first three years, they didn’t submit any statements to the Integrity Commission. You look at the accumulation of assets – who built what in those three years and you’ll see that many of them are offenders.
So, we need to examine that period. We’re told that 17 Members of Parliament didn’t submit. When I asked Gail Teixeira (Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance), she said all of ours (MPS) had submitted. So, that meant that all the offenders are from APNU. In and out of government they are unaccountable,” the Vice-President noted
Jagdeo reiterated his support for the publication of names of defaulters, even as he admitted that there are “many people in government” at various levels who have not made submissions.
“I don’t know who they all are, but if their names are published in the newspapers, then we can say to them, easily, ‘You better submit or else you can’t remain in the job’. If your name is listed as a defaulter because you’ve failed to declare your income and assets, then your job is at risk because you’re not fulfilling the law in relation to the post you hold. So, I would urge the Integrity Commission to post the names of all the defaulters,” Jagdeo said.