Several months after the nominees for the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/ CFT) Authority were vetted by police, their names are yet to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval.
The Authority is a very important component of the country’s AML/CFT legislation and some observers have expressed concern that it is yet to be established.
Contacted yesterday, Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Appointments Dr George Norton could not say when the ten names will be sent for parliamentary approval. It is only after the approval of the nominees by a simple majority that the Authority can be establish and its work can begin.
The Authority’s specific responsibilities include ensuring that the work of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is conducted in an efficient, fair and cost-effective manner, in accordance with policy guidelines determined by the Assembly and the Finance Minister; ensuring, in the national interest, the performance of the FIU accords with international obligations and commitments; monitoring and reviewing compliance with all relevant legislation, policies and measures; ascertaining the need for any legislation or amendments to existing legislation; causing to be investigated any complaint, irregularity or mismanagement concerning the FIU; and proposing remedial action and assisting in the dissemination of information on the work of the FIU, and enlightening the public of the need for cooperation with the FIU.
Asked about the delay, Norton said that while the anti-money laundering legislation has been fast-tracked, the committee is still dealing with the reestablishment of several rights commissions, such as the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC).
He also drew to this newspaper’s attention that there are quite a lot of reports and motions already before the House.
It took quite some time for the various stakeholder organisations to submit their nominees.
This it itself delayed the process. Norton told this newspaper yesterday that as fast as a name was submitted, it was sent to the police for due diligence to be done. He said that one of the difficulties faced was the ability to find suitable nominees, that is, persons who are not politically-exposed.