Declaration of assets in the public sector in Mauritius
The Parliament of Mauritius enacted the Declaration of Assets Act 2018 to provide a new legal framework governing the declaration of assets in the public sector in Mauritius.
The Act also applies to every State-owned enterprise specified in the Schedule. The Declaration of Assets (State-owned Enterprises) Regulations 2019 came into operation on 24 August 2019.
The regulations made by the Prime Minister under sections 5 and 13 of the Declaration of Assets Act 2018 are referred to as the Declaration of Assets (Declaration Forms) Regulations 20192. These regulations came into operation on 24 August 2019.
The Act is divided into several parts.
- Part I – Preliminary: This part includes the short title, interpretation, and application of the Act.
- Part II – Declaration of Assets and Liabilities: This part outlines the obligation to declare assets and liabilities, the form and content of the declaration, fresh declaration, and disclosure of the declaration.
- Part III – Powers of ICAC: This part details the power to issue directives, the power to monitor assets and liabilities, and the penalty for late submission of the declaration.
- Part IV – Miscellaneous: This covers offences, prosecution, regulations, repeal, consequential amendment, transitional provisions, and commencement.
The Act applies to various assets, including:
- Money in local and foreign banks, cash in hand exceeding one million rupees, securities,
- Shares or any interest in a company,
- Any item of jewellery, precious stone or metal, or watch, exceeding 500,000 rupees in value,
- Any freehold or leasehold immovable property, motor vehicles, boats, ships or aircraft, and
- Assets held by a person for and on behalf of the declarant in the declarant’s capacity as the ultimate beneficiary.
The Guidelines on Declaration of Assets and Liabilities under the Declaration of Assets Act 2018 and Declaration of Assets (Amendment) Act 2019 were updated in August 2019.
The guidelines are intended to assist declarants in complying with their obligations under the Act.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has a three-tier mandate under the Act:
- To be the custodian of the declarations.
- To monitor the assets and liabilities of any declarant for purposes defined in sections 9, 10, and 11 of the Act.
- To disclose to the public those declarations as required under section 7 of the Act.
- To ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act, the ICAC is empowered to issue directives to any person to whom the Act applies and to impose penalties for late submission of declarations or failure to submit a declaration.
The guidelines specify
- Who should make a declaration and
- When any person referred to under section 3 of the Act, as amended and listed in the table in the guidelines, has an obligation under section 4 of the Act to make a declaration of his assets and liabilities with the ICAC, including the assets and liabilities of his spouse and minor children.
The person should also specify
- Any property sold, transferred, or donated to his children of age and grandchildren in any form or manner whatsoever, including income or benefits from any account, partnership, or trust.
The declaration should be made through affidavit, as prescribed in the First Schedule of the Declaration of Assets (Declaration Forms) Regulations 2019.
The declaration form referred to in
- Section 5(1)(a) of the Act shall be in the form set out in the First Schedule.
- Section 5(1)(b) of the Act shall be in the form set out in the Second Schedule.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the Act can result in a fine not exceeding 10,000 rupees and imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.
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