The Ward-led unit began full-time operation on August 15 and is comprised of officers with expertise in strategic planning and implementation, procurement, policy analysis and development, monitoring and evaluation, communications, research, and administration.
The unit will be in operation for an initial six months, with the possibility of subsequent extensions following an internal review.
Ward, in the meantime, is a former senior public officer, having served as Private Secretary/Clerk. She’s also served on the Executive Council at the Governor’s Office following her appointment as Senior Administrative Officer in the Deputy Governor’s Office.
She served as the Deputy Director/Acting Government Representative at the BVI London Office and Product Development Manager/Liaison at the BVI Tourist Board London Office. Ward is also a former Deputy Director and Director of the BVI Tourist Board.
The COI Implementation Unit will assist in coordinating the overall delivery of the COI recommendations, which includes providing support to ministries in developing work plans for the delivery of recommendations, assisting in drafting policy directions, and developing of new programmes and systems.
The unit is also responsible for preparing monthly progress reports, reports on specific work programmes, and reports to identify key issues associated with implementation and suggest remedies.
The unit will report directly to Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe who chairs the COI Implementation Steering Committee.
“The formation of the Implementation Unit is another milestone towards successful government reform. The unit affirms the government’s commitment to the comprehensive and timely implementation of the COI recommendations and facilitates the critical participation of ministries and departments,” Stoutt-Igwe said.
The Permanent Secretary stated that the Implementation Unit will work very closely with relevant ministries, departments, and statutory boards, along with other implementing partners including the Governor, Cabinet Ministers, and House of Assembly members.
“The close working relationship safeguards against duplication of efforts [and] allows for quick responses and corrective action if any bottlenecks or problems are encountered, centralises the monitoring and reporting of progress, and facilitates better coordination and communication between responsible implementing parties,” the Permanent Secretary added.
Stoutt-Igwe thanked residents in the various communities who attended the public meetings to learn more about the Framework for the Implementation of the Recommendations of the COI Report. She indicated that the remaining meetings which had to be postponed are being rescheduled and the dates will be released shortly.
Additionally, meetings will soon be announced to discuss immigration reform which is also one of the areas being addressed under the framework.