The public will from December 31 2014 be able to apply to the Director of Public Officers Declarations to view contents of assets which will have been declared after the deadline.
Director of Public Officers Declarations Chris Tukula said in an interview on Friday that December 31 2014 was set as deadline for all other public officers apart from the President, Cabinet ministers and members of Parliament (MPs) whose deadlines elapsed two months ago.
Section 17 (1) of the Declaration of Assets Act states that declarations are public information and may be accessible to members of the public upon application.
Tukula said applying to his office was just one way for the public to access the records.
The Declaration of Assets office is also mandated to issue an annual report through the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs who would table it in Parliament listing each public officer’s assets and liabilities.
Said Tukula: “But those that cannot wait for public access in this manner can apply for declarations of a particular officer in respect of liabilities, identify themselves and specify reasons and interest for wanting access to these records.”
The request would remain confidential between the applicant and the Public Officers Declarations office.
However, the Act states that the director of Public Officers Declarations could refuse access to the declarations on ‘reasonable grounds’.
On Friday, the Office of the Public Officers Declarations conducted a workshop with the Malawi Law Society enlightening various public officers and lawyers on the requirements of the new law.
MLS secretary Felisa Kilembe said as a grouping which agitated for the law, it was incumbent upon them and others with interest to effectively implement it.
Some of the public officers who attended the workshop admitted that they were not fully aware on the process and had thrown the form in their desk drawers. n