Member for the Fourth District Mark Vanterpool has not filed a Register of Interest declaration from the periods of 2011 to 2016.
This was revealed during the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Friday June 18, after Vanterpool was brought before the inquiry to answer a number of questions.
The COI’s Attorney Bilal Rawat asked Vanterpool why he did not disclose that he had not submitted a declaration for a period of six years.
Vanterpool replied he had no excuses and accepted his actions which he himself termed to be as negligent.
He said, “Commissioner I would not try to defend anything or make an excuse, it was not done, it was negligent on my part and I have learnt my lessons from that. Something of such importance I would suggest, especially with the purpose of the future, persons involved that you need not be negligent on important matters as this. But I was and I don’t have any specific reasons that I can give you to make an excuse for that.”
Attorney Rawat further highlighted that Vanterpool also did not disclose that he was late in his 2017 to 2020 declarations.
When asked about whether the opposition legislator had taken steps to submit his 2021 declaration which is due on July 16, Vanterpool replied that he will be making his submission for this year within the coming days.
Why did it take 8 years to establish a Standing Select Committee?
Rawat then proceeded to ask Vanterpool who was in office at the time under the NDP Administration why it took a period of six years after the Act came into force from 2008, to establish a Standing Select Committee.
Vanterpool said he did not know the exact reason, but pointed to one particular technicality of the procedure to establish such a committee.
“I can’t say specifically why it would’ve taken that long but the only thing I can recall in terms of the technicality of it was that the Standing Orders did not include such a committee and therefore the Standing Orders Committee had to be convened to make that adjustment to establish such a committee,” Vanterpool stated.
He added, “Now there is no excuse for it taking that long for that to happen, but until the Standing Orders Committee was convened and revised to include such a committee, it wasn’t done. But that is no excuse for it taking that long, but I am only saying that was one of the technicalities that had to be established.”
According to Rawat, the committee was established in April 2016 of which Vanterpool was made the chairman.
The committee only met once within Vanterpool’s chairmanship which was in 2017.