The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests met on 16 February 2017 and unanimously adopted the Register of Members' Interests for 2016/2017. This is in accordance with the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members' Interests for Assembly and Permanent Council Members.
The register could not be released immediately after adoption as it has sections that are confidential.
The Committee set 31 August 2016 as the deadline for the submission of annual disclosure of Members' Interests. The majority of Members met the deadline. Only 55 disclosures were outstanding after 31 August. The Committee then resolved to extend the deadline to 21 September 2016 to afford the outstanding Members an opportunity to submit their disclosures.
By this date, there were 17 disclosures still outstanding. Two of these were of new Members sworn-in in September 2016 after the local government elections and one was of a Member who had been seriously ill. The Joint Committee resolved to condone the disclosures of the three Members while the remaining 14 Members also subsequently declared their financial interests.
Despite this, the Committee resolved that there be an investigation of the non-compliance by the 14 Members, before any consideration of sanctions can be entertained. It was also unanimously agreed that the 14 Members be given seven days within which to explain their non-compliance.
The Committee would like to extend its appreciation to members for submission of their interests. This will enhance public trust and confidence in public representatives and to protect the integrity of Parliament.