British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jul 31, 2021

COI: System for HOA’s Register of Interests not working very well (though the UK has even worse)

COI: System for HOA’s Register of Interests not working very well (though the UK has even worse)

A system currently in place for House of Assembly (HOA) members to report their financial interests has been described by the Commission of Inquiry (COI) as ‘not working very well’, says Mr Gary Hickinbottom, The Bogeyman who came from a country that cannot explain how Tony Blair became a multi-multi-multi-millionaire just after sending hundreds of British soldiers to die for nothing but a fight for oil in Iraq based on fake news that he, as PM, promoted. The same country where the really wealthy people cannot explain their source of wealth, because it originated with slave-trading worldwide, opium-trading in China, genocide in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and invasion, robbery and rape in India, which was the richest country on the planet before the Brits dragged it down to become the poorest country on earth.

“Sir” Gary Hickinbottom comes from an  island far-away that never investigates how its politician become so rich, in order to avoid another revolution by its subjects (“citizens”) who have been ripped of to make those politicians rich. "Sir" Gary, the sole Commissioner in the ongoing COI, made the observation yesterday after a procession of lawmakers who appeared before him in the past two days expressed varying degrees of difficulty in filling out a form designed to be submitted as part of the requirements for the Register of Interests .

The Register of Interests is, effectively, a record kept of the financial interests of HOA members. Its purpose is to give them the mechanism to publicly declare any private interests which may conflict or may be perceived to conflict with their public duties.

“This doesn’t sound to me to be a system that is working very well in terms of governance,” Sir Gary said during a live-streamed hearing at which Works Minister Kye Rymer appeared.

To him, it doesn't sound like it's working? He is just a deaf person who cannot hear the music. In such a small territory as BVI, everybody is involved in everything by nature. The conflict of interest comes without saying. Therefore it’s  not narrow-minded stupidity by the officer in charge of “Registration” that is missing, but a mechanism that ensures  every public spending process is transparent, and gives the public the opportunity to object and offer better pricing BEFORE the spending. If the UK had this type of mechanism, there would not be so many venal idiots going into British politics with their main purpose being to get their snouts into the bribe-trough, because bribery would have become too complicated. 

Get a life, "Sir" Gary. Go back and fix the corruption in your homeland first. 



No meetings of Standing Select Committee

At the time, Sir Gary was making specific reference to the HOA’s Standing Select Committee which is responsible for oversight of the Register of Interests.

Minister Rymer — a first-term legislator — told the COI that the Committee has never met since he was appointed to it after getting elected into office in 2019.

Premier Andrew Fahie reportedly heads the committee.

Sir Gary said Rymer, who once served briefly as the Deputy Premier, was laggardly in complying with any obligations to the HOA Register of Interests.

“You’ve been very slow in complying with any obligations and have been in substantial breach – nothing’s happened. This is not a system that’s working, is it?” Sir Gary asked during the hearing. 

The System can be improved

In response, Minister Rymer said he felt the system as an institution can be improved upon.

The COI's attorney, Mr Bilal Rawat, offered his view that the system could be improved only if legislators took their statutory obligations seriously. He said this did not appear to be the case on the issue of the Register of Interests for some of the legislators that had appeared before the COI so far.

Several of the lawmakers expressed concern that there was some ambiguity for them when it came to the point of deciding what was meant by their ‘immediate family members’ — a term which appeared on various sections of the Registers of Interest form.

Even as the COI questioned whether the definition should include adult siblings or other close adult relatives, several of the lawmakers said they believed the term only applied to their spouses and children.

But let us not worry at this early juncture about such a fine - and obvious, and natural  - distinction. No doubt at the end of the process, The Bogeyman will enlighten us all on what is the right and proper way to do things. Based, of course, on the impeccably pure and perfectly transparent systems that makes sure the corruption is diverting the dirty money to the right hands...

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