Govt to mandate members of independent institutions to publish financial statements

The government has submitted a bill to the parliament which requires members of independent institutions to file and publicize their financial statements.

President's Office on Sunday said the government submitted several amendments to the Prosecutor General's Act, Audit Act, the Civil Service Act, the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, Elections Commission Act and the Human Rights Commission Act.

The amendments were submitted to ensure that Independent Institutions and appointed individuals and employees who work therein can perform their constitutionally mandated responsibilities, effectively, honestly and free of undue influence, said the President's Office.

The President's Office said all appointed individuals working in Independent Institutions will be mandated to publish asset declaration for themselves and their family to ensure that such individuals cannot unduly benefit from their position or abuse their influence at another's expense.

A similar amendment was proposed by members of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) during the 18th parliament. Although the bill was accepted, the amendments were not approved before the term of the 18th parliament ended. According to parliament laws, a bill has to be re-submitted under such circumstance.

The new amendments restricts those appointed to or working in Independent Institutions from conducting any business with a potential conflict of interest, and set out clear ethical guidelines for those working in such institutions to abide by.

If the proposed amendments are enacted, Commissioners appointed to Independent Institutions will be required to proactively engage with the Parliament to provide progress reports on their respective institutions. Commissioners will also be expected to present themselves to Parliament or the relevant Parliamentary Committees and can be held accountable if the need arises.