Enforcement of Integrity in Public Life Act

Pulse Administrator
6 Min Read

The Director of Public Prosecutions’ Office acknowledges the receipt as of the 10th day of
January 2024 of a communication from the Integrity Commission regarding the failure of numerous public officials to comply with the mandatory declaration requirements as stipulated under Section 30 of the Integrity in Public Life Act, Cap 22.18, as amended. A list of officers who are required to file pursuant to the Act is attached hereto.

As the custodian of legal enforcement in our Federation, this office views any breach of the
Act with the utmost seriousness, especially by those in positions of public trust. It is the constitutional mandate of this office to uphold the law, ensuring justice and fairness without fear or favour.

In light of the received information, this office is currently preparing charges for the individuals
on the provided list. Due to the list’s length and the need to resolve certain administrative particulars, we anticipate that all charges, brought under the authority of the Director of Public Prosecutions, will be filed by Thursday, 1st February 2024.

The high ideals of justice and fairness, which are the bedrock of our legal system, necessitate
stringent adherence to the laws governing public integrity. The requirement for public officials
to file declarations of their income, assets, liabilities, and private interests is a critical tool in the fight against corruption. This mechanism ensures transparency and accountability, deterring
the misuse of public office for personal gain. Moreover, while some may find these
requirements intrusive, they are essential checks against corruption. More importantly, they
shine a light on potential conflicts of interest and illicit activity, safeguarding the public trust
and ensuring integrity in government. The discomfort of compliance pales in comparison to
the necessity of maintaining integrity within our public institutions.

The refusal to file statutory declarations of assets and liabilities, as mandated by the Integrity
in Public Life Act, may seem like an isolated act of defiance. However, it is the first, insidious
crack in the dam of societal order. It establishes the dangerous precedent that laws can be ignored if one deems them personally inconvenient. If public officials, sworn to uphold the law, can circumvent this vital transparency measure, what message does it send to the wider citizenry? Furthermore, as law becomes selective, so too does trust. The public, witnessing public officials cherry-picking which laws to obey, justifiably questions the integrity of the entire system. Resentment festers, breeding cynicism and a dangerous disengagement from civic responsibility. Why follow the rules, the public may ask, if those in power do not?

Notwithstanding that our office is in the process of filing charges, it is still possible to escape
prosecution if the Commission receives your completed declaration before the 26th of January 2024. For ease of reference the requisite declaration may be downloaded from https://iplskn.com . It is worthy of note that the initial deadline for filing, 31st July 2023, has long past with the next filing date of April 30th 2024 fast approaching. The Integrity
Commission has already warned applicable public officials that if public officials failed to file
by 1st December 2023, that they would consider handing over names to the Director of Public
Prosecutions for action. On 8th December 2023, as part of a press conference to commemorate
Anti-Corruption Day, as Director of Public Prosecutions, I promised action against defaulters
in no uncertain terms and that it was just a matter of waiting for the list from the Commission. I have now received that list. There will be NO FURTHER WARNING. All of these opportunities for compliance have been made to demonstrate to the Court that every effort has been made to reach out to defaulters to comply. Charges, once finalized and filed, will carry the full weight of the Act, with potential fines of up to $30,000.00 or imprisonment for up to three years.

I make one final appeal to all non-compliant public officials to fulfill this legal obligation promptly to avoid prosecution. It is not the desire that any should perish by way of prosecution but as Director of Public Prosecutions, my duty is to enforce the law. When faced with the choice between non-enforcement due to perceived inconvenience and enforcing the law to combat endemic corruption, I unreservedly choose the latter. The choice is not between comfort or justice; rather it is between upholding the rule of law or allowing corruption to fester.

The status of individuals on the list, regardless of position or influence, is irrelevant to this office. Whether high-ranking official or appointed worker, everyone entrusted with public duty is equally bound by the Integrity in Public Life Act. No-one is above the Law!

This office stands firm in its resolve to prosecute violations of the Integrity in Public Life Act
and ensuring that all public officials adhere to the highest standards of integrity as required by
law. The message is unequivocal: “comply with your legal obligations or face the consequences.” The fight for transparency and accountability in public service demands unwavering commitment, and the Director of Public Prosecutions’ Office will not hesitate to act to safeguard the integrity of our Federation.

Mr. Adlai Smith
Director of Public Prosecutions

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