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:
- Ministers, Members of Parliament
- All Political Advisors to Ministries
- Members of the Public Service Commission
- Members of the Police Service Commission
- Commissioner of Police
- Commander of the Vanuatu Mobile Force
- Members of the Electoral Commission
- Director General of Ministries
- 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