Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) wishes to remind all concerned parties that the deadline for filing declarations in compliance with the Integrity in Public Life Act is swiftly approaching, with the final date set for February 1, 2024. This deadline comes after a considered extension to ensure ample time for compliance, reflecting a balance between rigour and flexibility in the enforcement of this vital legislation.
During the first edition of Season Two of ‘InFocus’ on January 17, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Adlai Smith, emphasised the seriousness of this matter.
“Whether it be in St. Kitts or on Nevis, the persons who are required to file, pursuant to the Federal legislation I am appealing to you to file. I am just following the law, so I am just letting you know, one last time, that I am very serious about it,” stated DPP Smith. “I have the charges filed and it is just to put in the information that I need administratively to make the summons work.”
Since assuming office in October 2023, DPP Smith said he has engaged closely with the Integrity Commission to address several pertinent issues and submitted recommendations to ensure adherence to the legal requirements.
He noted that the Chairman of the Integrity Commission, Retired Justice Pearletta Lanns and her team have played a critical role in this process, notably by reaching out to individuals who are yet to comply with the declaration requirements. A letter sent to these individuals after the initial deadline of December 1, 2023, clearly stated that failure to comply would result in their names being forwarded to the DPP for legal action. This letter also highlighted the penalties for non-compliance, which include a fine of up to EC $30,000.00 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.
According to DPP Smith, his office wishes to remind everyone that the Integrity in Public Life Act is not merely a procedural formality but a cornerstone for maintaining transparency and accountability in public life. The extended deadline is a final opportunity for those obligated under the Act to fulfil their legal duties. Any issues related to the verification of the list are being addressed promptly to ensure the integrity of the process.
As February 1, 2024, draws near, the DPP’s office stresses that this is not an idle warning. The law will be followed, and necessary actions will be taken against those who fail to comply with their declaration obligations.