Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie has announced that the Joint-Agency Task Force (JTF) will be receiving an additional allowance for their role in securing the territory’s borders during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
stated during the recent sitting of the House of Assembly while responding to questions from Hon. Opposition Leader Hon. Marlon Penn that the officers felt they needed to be compensated due to the extent of work that the JTF entailed.
The Premier explained that when the JTF was formed, getting paid an allowance was not the original plan, but, “After a while, the officers recognized the magnitude of the time that they had to be putting in and they were correct, some had to be taken off from vacation. So it was a lot of work, so after a few months, they decided that they had to be compensated for this, and that is when they came together and brought a proposal, and it was accepted.”
“The National Security Council (NSC) reviewed the recommendation for special allowance and agreed that a special security allowance in the range of $400 to $600 be awarded to officers who are assigned to the JTF for the additional functions being executed. This would apply to all officers notwithstanding those presently receiving allowances such as task force, National Security, overtime or senior head allowance,” Premier Fahie
He informed that the Ministry of Finance, along with the Human Resources Management, evaluated the decision made by the NSC, “and suggested that it would be financially prudent for the cabinet to approve a monthly allowance of $400.”
The decision was made by the cabinet on March 3, 2021, and it will be paid to the officers throughout the length of the lifespan of the task force.
said the JTF has been crucial in keeping the territory safe from illegal entry, drug and human trafficking, among others.
The JTF is a mixture of officers from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, HM Customs and the Immigration Department.