The Ombudsman of the Republic of Vanuatu, Hamlison Bulu today Sunday 13th of March 2022 reminded all persons classified as Leaders pursuant to Article 67 of the Constitution, section 5 of the Leadership Code Act [CAP.240], and other appointing authorities that tomorrow Monday 14th of March 2022 is the last day of all Leaders who have not filed their 2021 Annual Returns by 1 March 2022 to file at the Ombudsman Office before close of business tomorrow Monday 14th of March 2022.
Even though the country is under a Public Health Emergency following the community transmission of COVID 19 / OMICROM, a requirement of the Law that arises from the Constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu and translated into the Leadership Code Act [CAP.240] requires that Leaders to file their annual returns and the timeframe as authorised by law for everyone to file their annual returns is by close of business tomorrow 14th of March 2022.
A lot of Leaders have submitted their annual returns for 2021 already following the notices that were issued by the Ombudsman earlier this year however Ombudsman Bulu stressed that for those Leaders who have not filed their annual returns and despite the Public Health Emergency Orders issued under the Public Health Act, the orders do not suspend nor waive the obligation and duty of Leaders pursuant to section 31 of the Leadership Code Act to file their 2021 annual returns. Therefore the obligation of Leaders to file their annual still remains for the next 24 hours.
The Office of the Ombudsman encourages Leaders who have not filed their annual returns to submit through the official Ombudsman email address:
Ombudsman Bulu repeated that it is not an obligation for the Ombudsman to continuously remind leaders to file their annual returns however as we are currently difficult situation, he feels it is appropriate to inform those Leaders who have not file their annual returns to do so before close of business tomorrow 14th of March 2022.
In his closing remarks Ombudsman Bulu explains that it is the duty of all citizens of the Republic of Vanuatu to uphold the directions given by Health Authorities including the Health Emergency Orders issued since 31st of January 2022 and the existing orders issued for the next 14 days as we will all be helping our neighbours, friends, families, leaders to stay alive by upholding the directions and rules established within the orders issued by the Health Authorities. Leaders are also called upon to respect these Public Health Emergency Orders.
Annual return forms can be obtained through this link: