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Gov Rankin produces another negative report on CoI reform process

Gov Rankin produces another negative report on CoI reform process

With the imperialistic Order in Council to suspend the Virgin Islands constitution hanging over the head of the Virgin Islands like the 'Sword of Damocles', United Kingdom (UK) appointed Governor of the Virgin Islands John J. Rankin, CMG has produced another negative report on the implementation of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Recommendations by the Unity Government.

According to the Governor, who represents the interest of the UK, but claims to have the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands at heart, fewer than half of the recommendations put forward by one-man CoI Commissioner and UK national Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom, have been completed.

The Governor held a press conference on February 14, 2023, to give an update on the Implementation of the Commission of Inquiry Recommendations, when he also boasted that the areas under his control have the lion’s share as it pertains to implementation.

“The fact is that fewer than half of the Commission of Inquiry Recommendations have so far been implemented, and many of those which have been implemented are matters which fall under my responsibilities as governor,” he said.

The Governor also said those areas include the current criminal investigations that are taking place in the VI.

The public continues to point out the hypocrisy of investigations not including the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) headed by UK national Mark Collins, who succeeded another UK national Michael B. Matthews, who has since made the Virgin Islands his home.

The public also continues to ask who will investigate the Governor's Office.

“There’s also been a number of delays in taking forward specific recommendations and revised deadlines are currently in consideration,” Governor Rankin added.

The public continues to point out the hypocrisy of investigations not including the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) headed by UK national Mark Collins, left, who succeeded another UK national, Michael B. Matthews, right, who has since made the Virgin Islands his home.

15 of 48 recommendations completed- Governor

On Monday, February 13, 2023, the Governor in his second Quarterly Review of the implementation of the CoI report recommendations, said as of the end of December, fifteen of forty-eight recommendations had been completed. In January, he said further progress was seen, including the receipt of various reviews and audits.

He added that while there was positive progress made over the last four months, including progress on procurement practice, more work is required.

“I am concerned that the overall pace of reform is slower than expected and it is important that the public does not lose confidence. It is essential that together we step up our efforts to achieve these important and urgent reforms, committing resources accordingly.”

Governor Rankin added that he believes the reforms will lead to a fairer society, whereby public funds are safeguarded and used more effectively to support public services such as education, health, and infrastructure.

According to the Governor, who represents the interest of the UK, but claims to have the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands at heart, fewer than half of the recommendations put forward by one-man CoI Commissioner and UK national Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom (in photo), have been completed.

Reviews & Audits to be tabled to Cabinet & HoA - Governor

Meanwhile, Governor Rankin said that over the next few weeks, the reviews and audits which have been received will be available to the public once they are tabled in Cabinet and the House of Assembly as appropriate.

“The numerous findings and recommendations within each of the reviews and audits must now be considered and implemented in a way which is timely and in the interests of the people of the BVI,” he said.

The narrative of the Governor continues to add fuel to the speculation that there may not be elections in the Virgin Islands, even though Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) continues to be adamant there will be a general election. Dr Wheatley has stopped short of giving an election date, even though the constitutionally mandated time is almost here.
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