Dancia Penn OBE, QC: “STANDARDS IN PUBLIC LIFE SHOULD BE ADHERED TO”

anguillian
By anguillian July 18, 2014 09:28

 

 

 

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Mrs Dancia Penn

Distinguished Jurist in the British Virgin Islands, Mrs Dancia Penn, OBE, QC, has made the point that standards in public life for politicians and other persons, serving in other leadership positions, should be set and adhered to.

She was at time speaking at a public debate, organised by the Anguilla Bar Association, on the topic: “Self Governance – Is this a Solution or a Problem for small states like Anguilla?”

“Standards in public should be known. They should exist and be adhered to by all and, in particular, those who hold public office – whether elected or appointed,” she stressed. “There should be a Register of Interests because corruption should not at all come into play. There should be zero tolerance for it, as well as for conflicts of interests on the part of public officers.”

Mrs Penn continued: “In this regard, I have observed that section 60 (a) of the Anguilla Constitution requires the Speaker to maintain a Register of Interests including the assets, interests, income and liabilities of a member or any other person connected with the minister as the case may be. I don’t know what happens in practice here because I know a lot is written and is not actually given life; but what I can tell you is that our arrangements in the Virgin Islands are slightly different.

“In our new constitution (Section 112), there is a creation of a Register of Interests and the constitution says that a Registrar of Interests should be appointed. The person is appointed by the Governor and serves at the Governor’s discretion. That person is supposed to keep and maintain a register of all persons to whom the constitution applies; and, so far, the application is only to members of the House of Assembly. I can tell you that when I was a member of the House of Assembly, which was up to November 2011, every six months we were required – and we got a reminder…to declare our assets. To my knowledge, we have complied with that. There has been a complaint that it is not open to public scrutiny.

“I ask us all to ponder the consequences in our beautiful small islands as it is a very important thing. As a minister of government, and as a member of the cabinet, one has an obligation… to disclose your interests to the Governor.”

anguillian
By anguillian July 18, 2014 09:28

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