Gov't wants UK to relax Financial Management policy so BVI can adequately fund COVID-19 relief
Government will be initiating talks with the United Kingdom for them to review, amend and/or relax some for the conditions outlined in the Protocols for Effective Financial Management agreement signed between the BVI and the UK back in 2012.
Making the announcement on Wednesday, Premier Andrew Fahie said the BVI is seeking for these conditions to be relaxed because of “the real impacts and forecasted economic outlook for the BVI due to the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic” and because the conditions of the 2012 agreement ‘impede’ the BVI government from being able “to finance the immediate relief and economic stimulation programmes on its own”.
Fahie said Cabinet has, therefore, agreed to instruct Financial Secretary Glenroy Forbes to lead ‘technical discussions’ with the UK on behalf of the territory.
He said is hoping that Britain relieves the government of its obligation under Section 20 of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management and the review and amendment of Sections 25, 27 and 28.
Among other things outline in those sections of the 2012 agreement, the BVI is not permitted to borrow more than 80 percent of its recurring revenue, which is currently in excess of $400 million.
The Premier then assured that all funding, aid, assistance, grant, gift or donation received with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, “shall be payable into the Consolidated Fund and managed through the Ministry of Finance, in keeping with the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007, the Public Finance Management Act, 2004, and the Audit Act, 2003”.
He informed the public that this is to ensure accountability and fiscal responsibility to make certain that public accounts accountability, and transparency of contributions to the BVI for the COVID-19 relief.
It was also agreed by Cabinet that he will ‘publicly account and report’ on all funding, aid, grant, gift, donation received.