Heat on Dalley
Former MP found in breach of Integrity Commission Act
Dalley... could face a fine of up to $500,000 on conviction or jail time of up to six months

Former Member of Parliament for Clarendon Northern Horace Dalley has been found in breach of the Integrity Commission Act for failure to file his statutory declaration for 2020.

The case has been referred to the director of corruption prosecution, the Integrity Commission advised in a report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, an indication that the commission is making good on its warning that it would refer overdue filings for prosecution.

Dalley could face a fine of up to $500,000 on conviction in court, or jail time of up to six months, according to the law.

The commission said the former MP has provided no lawful reason for non-compliance, and had remained delinquent even after he was given time.

“Mr Dalley was notified of his failure to file the required statutory declarations and warned of the consequences should he fail to file the said statutory declarations,” Director of Investigations Kevon Stephenson outlined in the report.

Dalley who represented the constituency up to September 2020, when he lost his seat to the Jamaica Labour Party’s Dwight Sibbles had up to March 2021 to file.

Under the Integrity Commission Act, parliamentarians are required, after their initial filing, to submit a declaration of assets and liabilities by December 31 of each year in which they remain in office, even if they are in office for only a part of a particular year in question.

Last November, the commission told Parliament in a special report on the status of statutory declarations that it had started the process of preparing files for public officials with outstanding statutory declarations to be referred for prosecution.

The commission advised that going forward it would also take similar action against declarants who have statutory declarations outstanding as at December 31, 2021.

It said that although there had been a gradual increase in the compliance rate from 58 per cent to 66.89 per cent, as of March 2021 it is concerned that 13,393 of 40,499 statutory declarations, which were due from public officials, remained outstanding for 2020.

This is out of a total of 40,499. The report also showed that of the 107 statutory declarations required for 2020 from parliamentarians, two were outstanding as at September 2021.

Some parliamentarians, including Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, have been resistant to the introduction of a voluntary declaration form under section seven of the Integrity Commission Act. The commission says the objective of the form is to support the electronic submission of declarations so that it can more efficiently process statutory declaration information.

At meetings of the parliamentary oversight committee for the commission, legislators expressed discomfort with the requirement to validate information they had already provided in their declarations.

Chuck said his colleagues found the form “repugnant”, and made clear that Parliament would not simply rubber stamp the implementation of the form.

BY ALPHEA SUMNER Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

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