Wednesday, November 21, 2012

While we're on the topic

Peter Lilley is a UK MP for the Conservative Party. He sits on the Commons select committee on energy and climate change and was one of only three MPs to vote against that country's Climate Change Act. Which isn't surprising, given that he's been given more than US$400,000 in oil company share options:

Since 2006, Lilley has been a non-executive board member of Tethys Petroleum, a Cayman Islands-based oil and gas company with drilling operations in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In the register of MPs' financial interests, Lilley has routinely declared that he receives a quarterly payment from Tethys for "attending meetings and advising on business developments". The latest quarterly payment registered by Lilley on 1 October was £11,750 for 30 hours' work, meaning he has received £47,000 over the past year.

But the Guardian has discovered Lilley has also been granted share options valued by the company at the time they were granted at $428,399, in addition to other share options that have not been given a clear financial valuation. Under parliament's code of conduct, he is not required to disclose details about the precise value or volume of any shareholding.

Tethys' financial public filing reports show that Lilley was granted $107,290 worth of share options in 2011, $194,350 in 2010, $57,040 in 2009, and $69,719 in 2008. In 2007, Lilley was granted 150,000 share options, but a financial valuation was not expressed in the documents.

This is a clear conflict of interest with his select committee duties, and all the more so because he has tried to keep most of it secret. But apparently Britain's rotten Parliament tolerates that sort of corruption. And they wonder why people think they are lower than dogshit...

(And for those interested: the NZ Parliament's register of pecuniary interests requires MPs to declare the name of any company or entity in which the member has a pecuniary interest, meaning a matter or activity of financial benefit. Stock options should be covered by that, though I'm not aware of anyone actually declaring any. Of course, most of our MPs hide their interests in trusts, which makes a bit of a mockery of the process...)