The Premier made the statements on May 6, 2022, in response to questioning from Tola Radio 100.5 FM moderator Julio S. Henry on whether he intends to hold anyone ‘under the gun’ for dishonesty in public office as flagged in the CoI report.
On Friday, April 29, 2022, Governor John J. Governor Rankin in announcing the finding of the CoI said while the report recommended UK direct rule and suspension of the Constitution, it also called for a series of audits into projects, which may lead to criminal investigations.
Dr Wheatley in response to the topic said, “I would say anyone who is dishonest in public life, they will be under the gun. Any person who is doing anything that they're not supposed to do, corruption, maladministration, they're under the gun.”
He added, “But what we actually really want to do is to strengthen our institutions so that institutions can pick up on persons who are not doing the right thing.”
Dr Wheatley said the HoA has already started passing some legislation relating to good governance, but they have to ensure that those legislations are fit for purpose considering the territory’s current situation.
Meanwhile, the Premier said Legislators in the HoA, therefore, have to ensure that legislation is not only passed but is implemented in the territory, and that said some key offices will have to be strengthened on the way forward.
“We have to strengthen offices like the Auditor General's Office who's under capacity. I have pledged financial resources to be able to strengthen offices like the Auditor General,” he added.
Dr the Hon Wheatley said to do that, the VI will also utilize technical expertise from the UK Government as well as from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), given the OECS has already pledged its support to assist the territory on the way forward under a democratic system.
The Premier said he fully supports the CoI recommendations that call for investigations and audits, and that he will allow them to take their course.