Businessman fined for late paperwork

The Court House in George Town.

Failing to produce documents required by the Department of Labour and Pensions cost a businessman $700 last week.

Luis Farez-Benavidez, trading as Bananas Restaurant and Bar, pleaded guilty to failing to comply when required to produce documents no later than Aug. 12, 2015.

Crown counsel Candia James said the documents sought involved information such as pension and health insurance for staff.

She added that several time extensions were given but the information had not been provided by a final deadline.

Defense attorney John Furniss told Magistrate Valdis Foldats that the required papers had now been submitted.

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He explained that Mr. Farez-Benavidez was the owner of the premises and the business, but the business was leased. Mr. Furniss told the court that the man running the bar had provided the information, but he took it to the wrong place.

The attorney said he himself obtained a list of all the documents required; he gave the list to his client, who in turn got all of the documents together.

“He has now explained to the tenant what is required in the future,” Mr. Furniss assured the court.

The magistrate pointed out that the Labour and Pensions Department was trying to regulate matters under the law to make sure employees were being treated fairly. “When documents are not submitted, they can’t do their job efficiently,” he said.

“I have to send a message that employers cannot hold up the work of the department,” the magistrate declared.

He noted that the maximum fine is $2,500. This offense was not the worst, so instead of imposing a fine of $1,000, he discounted that sum to $700 because of the guilty plea.


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  1. How can Government Departments be expected to enforce and do their job, and they did their job professionally, then the Judge gives more than 2/3 discount from the maximum fine because of his guilty plead in court , but violated the Department laws and demand why he ended up in front of the Judge .

  2. Do we have double standards here?. What about the inordinate delays in almost every Government department in responding to FOI requests. The regulation provide for a maximum response time, which is often exceeded by many months.