Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie has stated that there must be a focus on revenue generation for the first three quarters of this year when he addressed public officers at a strategic planning meeting yesterday.
The meeting was hosted by Deputy Governor, Mr. David Archer, Jr. following a request from the Premier to direct the trajectory for the Government. The event allowed for Governor, Augustus Jaspert; Premier, Hon. Andrew Fahie, members of Cabinet and Junior Ministers to outline the Government’s priorities for this year. Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Financial Planning Officers and other stakeholders also attended the meeting.
Premier Fahie said that as a Government, the plans in place stand to benefit the people of the Virgin Islands in all areas and stressed that “in order to ensure that we are able to achieve what God has intended, we have to create other opportunities to generate revenue.”
The Premier indicated that his legislative priorities include green energy; amendments to and creation of legislation; and capacity building in specific economic sectors such as the marine industry, culinary arts, alternative energy and entrepreneurship.
Premier Fahie pledged his support for the establishment of the Halls of Justice and the development of a modern ferry terminal in West End. Other areas of priority include consumer protection, medicinal marijuana, and digitisation of services.
The Territory’s leader also called for a focus on legislation to cease human trafficking, asset recovery legislation and cybercrime legislation. He continued his push for youth empowerment and the development of specialised skill sets through the 1000 Jobs in 1000 Days initiative.
Premier Fahie thanked the Senior Public Officers for the work that they continue to do and reminded them of their responsibility to lead the men and women of the public service who will allow the purpose of the Territory to be realised.
Governor Jaspert noted that this year’s priorities for the Public Service and Governor’s Group are transformation, good governance, security and justice, disaster resiliency, alignment of constitutional departments, human resource capacity building, organisational reviews, and quality service delivery.
The Governor mentioned the need to be prepared for the global impacts that are occurring around the world and the consequences they could have on the Territory, while noting that the priorities being set must be based on the legislative agenda of the Government.
The Governor added, “SMART strategies, green development, economic stability and empowerment of the people can ultimately ensure the transformation and long term resilience of the Virgin Islands.”
Governor Jaspert also expressed his keen interest in building capacity within the service and encouraged the introduction of rotation programmes to allow public officers to gain experience and knowledge in other departments.
The meeting also saw ministers presenting specific priorities for their ministries and defining the resources that will be needed to facilitate their successful completion. Senior managers and other public officers who attended the session were also given an opportunity to dialogue with the leaders through a question and answer segment.
Deputy Governor Archer ended the planning meeting by stating that this was the first time that a meeting was held to bring leaders together with senior managers and public officers to set annual priorities for the Territory. He expressed his profound gratitude for the open discussion and camaraderie that was evident throughout the meeting and said that each officer should be excited to execute the mandate of the Government.