Preparations for the commencement of the long-awaited Standards in Public Life Law have started at the commission charged with overseeing its execution.

The law, which was passed in 2014, will come into force 1 March this year.

The Commission for Standards in Public Life, in a statement issued Wednesday, said it is “actively working on the necessary preparatory work to ensure the submissions of declarations under the Law for the first time will be seamless”.

Under the law, every person in public life must make a declaration of their interests in accordance with Schedule 1 of the law. These include members of the Legislative Assembly, including the house speaker; ministry chief officers and deputy chief officers; and members of government boards and companies.

Premier Alden McLaughlin last month announced the commencement of the law, the intent of which is to guard against conflicts of interest and corruption.

The commission said it is formulating its communications strategy, which will include guidance notes to make sure impacted individuals “are aware of and adhere to the Law by disclosing any conflicts of interests or perceived conflicts of interests to ensure the maintenance of the highest standards of integrity and competence in public life”.

Commission chairperson Rosie Whittaker-Myles, in the statement, said her members are encouraged by the announcement of a launch date for the Standards in Public Life Law.

Accompanying regulations for the law are expected to follow the legislation’s commencement.

“The Commission has had input in the draft regulations and we expect that these will be finalised soon. The making of declarations to the Commission by ‘persons in public life’ identified in Schedule 1 of the Law is an important feature of the Law. Furthermore, the Commission will liaise with the Registrar of the Register of Interests (Register of Interests Law, 1996) for the handing over of records as required under Section 36(2) of the Law,” Whittaker-Myles said.

Who has to declare (including immediate family members)

  • Members of the Legislative Assembly, including the house speaker
  • Chief officers and deputy chief officers
  • Heads of departments, sections or units and their deputies
  • Members of government boards and companies
  • Members of all commissions created by or under the Constitution

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