Failure of Some Leaders to file annual returns to the Clerk of Parliament - February 29, 2000 - Emalus Campus



Failure of Some Leaders to file annual returns to the Clerk of Parliament - February 29, 2000

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The Leadership Code Act requires that all “leaders” file an annual return setting forth income and assets by March 1 each year.  The clerk of Parliament may allow a further 14 days for filing.   According to the Constitution and the Leadership Code Act, leaders include not only elected politicians of the National Government but also members of local Governments, municipal councils and members of boards of statutory authorities.

Leaders were notified of their obligation to file an annual return by March 1, 1999.  Eighty three leaders did not file returns on the date required.  Forty-three leaders filed their returns late.  Of those who did not file returns at all, 9 chose to resign their leadership position rather than file a return.  Eight leaders were removed from office when they failed to file a return.  Twenty-four leaders failed to file a return but continued in their position of leadership.

The Ombudsman found that those leaders who failed to file a return might have been in breach of the Leadership Code and the Leadership Code Act.  This includes those leaders who resigned from their positions after the obligation to file a return arose.
Recommendations

·       That the public Prosecutor consider the findings of the report and proceed with further inquiry and possible prosecution pursuant to the Leadership Code Act.

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Written by Edward R. Hill
UNDP Governance and Accountability Project
January, 2001
Van/97/001
© Ombudsman of Vanuatu
Published here by University of the South Pacific, School of Law Web Site - www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj






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