Director of Public Officers Declarations Christopher Tukula says his office will work diligently to ensure compliance with the Public Officers Act.
He was speaking during the launch of the Office of the Director of Public Officer’s Declarations (Odpod) Strategic Plan, covering 2018 to 2023, which will guide the implementation of the directorate’s activities in promoting public confidence in the public service through the assets declarations.
Said Tukula: “We will not treat anyone who is supposed to declare their assets with kid gloves. We will name the violators and sanction them without fear or favour.”
The Egyptian Ambassador Hassan Shawky has since commended government for the efforts in public sector reforms, saying the plans will increase accountability and transparency.
He said: “This is a welcome development. I know they visited Egypt to learn some things to include in the plan, and I am happy it is being launched today. Not only will it help the directorate fulfil its mandate, it will also improve transparency and accountability, thereby helping the country achieve its socio-economical goals.”
The Public Officers (Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Business Interests) Act requires prescribed public officers, including elected officials, to submit to the directorate declarations of their assets, liabilities and business interests, including filing updates annually.
It also requires the directorate to verify and publish the declared information, further permitting the public to access the declarations upon request.
Odpod has not had a strategic plan since it started operations in 2013.
Section 15 of the Assets Declarations law obliges public officers, their immediate family members and associates to declare their financial status and other assets including sources of funding and how the assets were acquired.
Last year, the office exposed six members of Parliament, including a minister who did not declare their assets, and it wrote Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya to declare their seats vacant.
To date, Parliament has not declared their seats vacant despite being given a letter to do so by the Public Declarations of Assets and Liabilities Office. n