Govt Asks Public Technical Officers to Declare Their Wealth

The Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo

Govt Asks Public Technical Officers to Declare Their Wealth

In efforts to continuously fight corruption, government has asked public technical officers to declare their wealth in line with the new Leadership Code (amendment) Bill 2020 tabled in Parliament.

According to the Bill, all public technical officers from the level of entry to the level of principal will be required to declare their wealth to their respective accounting officers, once the bill is passed into law.

The Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo tabled the bill in Parliament on Thursday which was then sent to the legal and Parliamentary affairs committee for scrutiny.

The Leadership Code Act provides for minimum standard of behavior and conduct for leaders and requires leaders to routinely declare their income, assets and liabilities as one of the ways to prevent those with access to the public purse from fraudulently enriching themselves.

The proposed new legislation says that a leader shall be taken to have an interest where an income or asset is owned or developed by the leader, jointly owned or developed by the leader with another person, is acquired or developed by the leader for another person and others.

The others are when the income or asset is held in trust by the leader for another person or is contained in a joint account for the benefit of the leader and another person.

Under the previous law, the IGG would not divulge the declarations of leaders. The law requires all appointed and elected leaders to declare their wealth three months after assuming office and then after every five years.

The Bill states that a public officer who is found not to have declared certain assets, income and liabilities or if the declaration is found to be false, the leader shall be taken to have breached this Code and undeclared property confiscated or forfeited to the government.