Bill seeks the establishment of foreign agents registry in Palau

Photo: Office of the President, Palau

A House bill is calling for the establishment of a foreign agents registry in Palau which will require persons representing foreign interests to make a public disclosure.  

House Bill 11-90-09 requires “foreign agents “who represent a government of a foreign country, a foreign political party, a foreign business, or a foreign individual to register with the government. 

The registry will also require “foreign agents” a comprehensive statement of the nature of their business and activities, and information about their agreement with the person they are representing. 

The bill though excludes diplomats, private businessmen, humanitarian aid workers, or any persons engaged in religious, scientific, scholastic, or artistic pursuits among others. 

The bill said that to ensure the integrity and sovereignty of the country, transparency and public knowledge of foreign influence in political discourse and the decision-making process of the government is crucial. 

Under the Act, any “foreign agent” violating the registration can be imprisoned for not more than 10 years and will be fined a maximum of US$10,000. 

The registration will be handled by the Attorney General’s Office.