This press release serves to update the public on recent developments following the enforcement actions detailed in the press release dated February 1st, 2024.
The Federal Integrity Commission has informed this office that, as of the 1st of February 2024, seven of the eight public officials previously listed as defaulters have now complied by submitting their mandatory declarations. This includes the actual Deputy Chair of NEMA, who had been incorrectly identified as Oureika Petty in a prior release. Additionally, the public official who was previously granted an extension on compassionate grounds has filed. The Magistrate has not filed and, consequently, his case will proceed as indicated previously. The appointment of a special magistrate to oversee this matter is pending, alongside the resolution of the legal position concerning two public officials who have resigned.
A discrepancy has emerged regarding the deadline for filing declarations, attributed to an
inadvertent miscommunication through an official government channel, SKNIS, which erroneously indicated a deadline extension to February 1st, 2024. The said miscommunication appeared in an online article dated January 18th 2024 under the headline “Final Call for Integrity Declarations Deadline set for February 01st 2024. ”1 It is imperative to note that this office had consistently communicated the official deadline as January 26th, 2024. This misrepresentation as to February 1st, 2024, combined with an emphasis placed on that date in a past interview, may have misled individuals into believing the deadline was extended. However, recognizing the overarching principle of fairness and the potential for genuine misunderstanding among the public officials due to this miscommunication, a decision has been made to cease prosecutions of those who filed by the misstated deadline.
1 See https://www.sknis.gov.kn/2024/01/18/final-call-for-integrity-declarations-deadline-set-for-february-01-2024/ and repeated at https://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/final-call-for-integrity-declarations-deadline-
To prevent future discrepancies and ensure the accurate enforcement of the Integrity in Public
Life Act, discussions with the Honourable Attorney General Garth Wilkin have resulted in a
new procedural safeguard. Going forward, upon identification of potential defaulters, each
individual will receive a formal inquiry to justify their non-compliance within 10 working days
of the date of the correspondence, before any prosecution action is initiated. The Attorney
General has agreed to consider this recommendation for legislative implementation, along with broader discussions on improving the Act’s effectiveness.
The office appreciates the constructive engagement with the public and the efforts of those who
have complied with their obligations, demonstrating a commitment to integrity and the rule of
law. Compliance with the filing obligations of public officials known to the Commission is now in the region of around 98% based on information received.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Office reiterates its dedication to enforcing the law impartially and justly, safeguarding public trust, and promoting integrity across all levels of public service. We extend our gratitude to the Federal Integrity Commission for their diligent work and to the public for their understanding and cooperation. Once again, on behalf of the Federal Integrity Commission, we take this opportunity to unreservedly apologize to Ms. Oureika Petty for erroneously including her name in the list of defaulters.
Mr. Adlai Smith
Director of Public Prosecutions