Public officers should accept that the declaration of assets is legally binding and should be adhered to, the Minister of Public Service said this yesterday during the revamping of the system of the declaration of assets.
Minister Thesele ‘Maseribane said that the ministry is aiming at reminding public officers from Grade A upwards, of their duty to declare their assets and interests in terms of the law.
Minister ‘Maseribane said that he will work together with the Minister of Justice, to operating under the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Amendment Act 2006.
He added that Lesotho is a state party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, as per the provisions of the Convention, Article 8, each state party should establish systems requiring Public Officials to make declaration to appropriate authorities regarding their registrable interests, or benefits from which conflict of interest may result with respect to their functions as public officials.
He added that the declaration forms will be distributed. The majority of the cabinet has already gone declared their assets.
He commended this as a remarkable act which came after the Prime Minister’s induction message urging them to do right by the law.
There are two methods of declaration, the open and confidential systems.
The Minister said that the process would be handled with the sensitivity and confidentiality.
He added that follow-up forms will be filled as confirmation that officers have duly declared their assets. He said legal action shall be taken against officers who fail to comply and added that a circular would be dispatched to notify public officers of the initiative.
The Public Service Chief Legal Officer Advocate (Adv) ‘Manneheneg Sefeane said that the confidential system of declaration would be used to protect information.
He added that the public would have no access to such information as only the DCEO officer in charge would have access should the need arise to scrutinise the information provided at declaring assets.
Private agencies and organisations receiving government subsidy are also expected to declare assets of the royal assemble process.
The declaration of asserts was introduced in 2006 by the passing of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences stating the Public Service Regulations 2008 as a subsidiary legislation of the Public Service Act in giving effect to the provisions of the 2006 Act also legislated for the declaration of assets by Civil Servants.