445 Leaders Yet To File Annual Return

The Ombudsman, Hamlison Bulu, is reminding all the Leaders in Vanuatu within the public sector to file their Annual Returns (AR) for the year 2020 within the 14 days grace period starting on March 1.

Section 31 (2) of the Leadership Code states that all leaders must submit their annual returns within two months of becoming a leader and by March 1 in each year.

Ombudsman Bulu said it is a requirement for leaders to file their annual returns and it is their duty to comply and observe the law as stated in the Leadership Act but only 196 Leaders have complied and 445 still need to provide theirs as from March 1.

After the grace period of 14 days the office will have no choice but to do a publication of the names of leaders who have submitted their returns and those who haven't filed theirs in the Official Gazette.

"Once in the Official Gazette on the 14 March, all leaders who failed to submit their AR 2020 before the 14,  according to the law, the leader commits an offence and the penalty is about VT2 million and if the leader could not pay that amount on the required dates, VT20,000 per day if the delay is extended until he pays or reappears in court," he said.

Ombudsman Bulu asked all the leaders to respect their offices and comply with the law to provide all the information required before the 14th of this month.

Leaders that fail to comply with this will be in breach of the Leadership Code Act, he said.

Annual returns refer to assets such as real and personal properties, land and houses, vehicles, boats, or income received in the previous year. Leaders must list all liabilities and that includes mortgages and any monies owed.

The law requires for the Ombudsman to give notice in writing to the Leaders to remind them about their annural returns to submit within the grace period but time is a pressing factor because some of the leaders are in the most remote areas of Vanuatu, so the media is used to disseminate this information.

These are the positions held that are defined as a leader under the Leadership Code that are required to submit annual returns for 2020: 

  1. Ministers, Members of Parliament
  2. All Political Advisors to Ministries
  3. Members of the Public Service Commission
  4. Members of the Police Service Commission
  5. Commissioner of Police
  6. Commander of the Vanuatu Mobile Force
  7. Members of the Electoral Commission
  8. Director General of Ministries
  9. Directors of Government Departments

10.Clerk of Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu

11.Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Vanuatu

12.Members of the Parliamentary Service Management Board

13.Governor of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu

14.Members of the Board of Directors for Reserve Bank of Vanuatu

15.Managing Director of National Bank of Vanuatu

16.Members of The Board of Directors for National Bank of Vanuatu

17.Members of the Health Practitioners Board

18.Members of the Nursing Council

19.Director Vanuatu National Cultural Council

20.Members of the Vanuatu National Cultural Council

21.Members of Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Cooperation Board of Directors

22.The Chief Executive Officer of the Vanuatu National Tourism Office

23.Members of the National Tourism Board

24.Members of Board of Director of Vanuatu Financial Service Commission

25.General Manager of the National Housing Corporation

26.Members of the National Housing Corporation

27.Chief Executive Officer of the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs

28.Members of the Vanuatu Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs

29.The Principal of Vanuatu Teachers Education

30.Members of the National Curriculum and Assessment Board

31.Members of the Teaching Service Commission

32.General Manager of Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board

33.Members of the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board

34.Members of the Vanuatu Qualification Authority Council

35.Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Commission

36.Members of the National Sports Commission

37.All Councilors of Provincial Government Council

38.All Councilors of the 3 Municipal Councils

39.All Town Clerks of the 3 Municipal Councils

40.Chief Executive Officer of Air Vanuatu

41.Members of Air Vanuatu Board of Directors

42.Chief Executive Officer of Airports Vanuatu Limited

43.Members of Airports Vanuatu Board of Directors

44.Members of the Board of Directors for Vanuatu Livestock Development Limited

45.Chief Executive Officer of  Northern Islands Stevedoring Company Limited (NISCOL)

46.Members of the Board of Directors of NISCOL (Sanma Province)

47.Board Members of the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority

48.All Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the Republic of Vanuatu

49.Chief Executive Officer of the Agriculture College Council

50.Members of the Agriculture College Council

51.All Members of all Provincial Education Board

52.Members of the VIT Council

53.Right to Information Commissioner

54.Commissioner and Chairperson of Utilities Regulatory Authority

55.National Coordinator of Customary Land Management Office

56.Chairman of the Expenditure Review Committee

57.General Manager of Ifira Ports Development Services

58.Members of Board of Director of Ifira Ports Development Services

59.Members of Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce & Industry Council

60.Members of the National Scholarship and Training Board 

61.Members of Foreign Service Board

62.Members of National University of Vanuatu Council

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