Opposition Leader Ronnie Skelton has urged lawmakers to uphold their responsibility and publish their assets and interests in the Register of Interests (ROI).
The ROI is a record of the financial interests of legislators and is intended to provide a mechanism for publicly declaring any private interests that may conflict with their public duties.
The call for greater transparency in the publication of lawmakers' interests was echoed in the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry
), which also suggested that other public officials and public servants be included in revised legislation for the register.
However, lawmakers and public servants pushed back against this recommendation, leading to a watered-down version of the legislation being passed in the House of Assembly.
Governor John Rankin
has expressed his expectation for lawmakers to revisit the legislation before the end of the year, in light of the negative comments on online news stories that reflect poorly on the lawmakers due to their failure to declare their interests as required by law.
Skelton emphasized the need for greater transparency in the public sphere, noting that people in the territory tend to focus on negative news stories.
He urged lawmakers to do the honourable thing and publish their interests in the Register of Interests.
The Register of Interests is an important tool for ensuring that lawmakers' private interests do not conflict with their public duties.
It is essential that lawmakers take responsibility for publishing their assets and interests in the register to promote transparency and accountability in the public sphere.