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Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Register of Interests Act 2022 should get public involvement– Hon Vanterpool

Register of Interests Act 2022 should get public involvement– Hon Vanterpool

While debating the Register of Interests Act, 2022, during today’s June 30, 2022, Fourth Sitting of the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly, Fourth District Representative, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool argued that the bill is in need of more legal advice in addition to public involvement.

A Register of Interests is a record kept, usually by a government body, of financial interests of its members. The register documents interests which may potentially unethically or unlawfully influence members' official duties.

The bill, according to the Premier, will require politicians to declare their interests for the public's knowledge and will also include punitive measures for anyone who fails to declare their interests on time or not at all.

Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has said the Register of Interests Act is to hold local politicians accountable.

Hefty fines & punishments

According to the veteran legislator Hon Vanterpool; however, Members in the current House of Assembly did not sign up for some of the measures.

He also said it should be clear when the bill will come into effect.

Hon Vanterpool added that the bill does not only affect those in the HoA, but 18 categories of persons in public life, “So I want those persons out there who are in public life already or who intend to be in public life to really study this bill."

As such, Hon Vanterpool recommended that the bill be taken to the public before it is passed in the House of Assembly, “I am not saying it's not a good bill, all I’m saying is let's be aware of the bill, aware of its contents,” he added.

Hon Vanterpool also called for legal advice on certain matters, which he said were unclear and in need of more explanation.

'Slow down' bill - Hon Vanterpool

He further added that to pass the bill and implement the measures, persons must also understand who the measures of the bill will be binding on and whether it will start with the current HoA or a next House.

"In the middle of a house, a bill like this cannot be binding on the present members, we will make some adjustments like we did before on this bill... but this is not what Members of this House signed on to when they run for office, this is not the norm or how things operate in its proper manner," he added.

Hon Vanterpool called for the bill to 'slow down' as well as to give the public an opportunity to get involved.


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