British Virgin Islands

Friday, Nov 27, 2020

Gov Jaspert blames COVID-19 for late tabling of BVI Airways report

Yeh yeh... he was so busy while the whole world was totally free locked at home that he had no choice but to hide from the current government a report about the corruption conducted by his friends from the previous government. But said he was still in compliance with Section 20 of the Audit Act. Always be using bureaucracy to fight against democracy...

Governor of the Virgin Islands His Excellency, Augustus J.U. Jaspert has finally broken his silence surrounding the late tabling of the controversial BVI Airways audit report in the House of Assembly, casting the blame on COVID-19 and the handling of the pandemic locally.


"With the focus rightly on our response to COVID-19 this report has understandably taken a while to reach the point of being laid, but I am pleased that the report has now been laid before and discussed by the House of Assembly," Mr Jasprt said in a statement released this afternoon, June 9, 2020.

While the Governor did not directly address the failed motion brought against him by Third District Representative, Hon Julian Fraser RA for allegedly violating the Audit Act, he said he was still in full compliance of the act.


Full compliance with Audit Act - Governor

"The Auditor General submitted her final Special Report to me on 7th February 2020. I subsequently sought to discharge my duties fully in line with the timescales set out in Section 20 of the Audit Act in referring the report to Cabinet on 23rd April with the intention of it being brought to the House by 7 May," he said.

Legislators, including Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie said that the April 23 referral of the report to the Cabinet was not enough time to properly vet the document and call a sitting of the House with the required 10 days notice.

With the report eventually reaching the House on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the Governor said it has now been through the proper process and has been discussed by the House, paving the way for him to provide updates to the public.


Audit finding has Lessons for Gov't - Governor

Mr Jaspert said the report addresses a number of issues in relation to how the project was carried out and the parties involved, which has since warranted a criminal investigation.

He said the report also highlighted lessons for Government on the approach to such contracts and projects in the future, "lessons which need to not just be implemented in rules and procedures, but also in practice."

The Governor also noted that he is pleased that criminal investigations are on the way, led by Commissioner of Police, Mr Michael B. Matthews.

"Once his investigation has concluded, further investigations can commence, including in relation to any potential breach of rules and regulations by public officers. The Deputy Governor [David D. Archer Jr] will lead on that work."

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