Affirms commitment to accountability regarding botched BVI Airways case.
Premier Andrew A. Fahie said he will now do all in his power to deliver the BVI Airways audit report to the House of Assembly (HoA) in the shortest time, after accusing the Governor, H.E. Augustus J. U Jaspert of slothfulness in delivering the report to Cabinet more than two months after its receipt from the Auditor General.
"As the Leader of Government Business, you can be assured that I will do all in my power, while abiding by the attending laws and procedures, to have this report brought before the HOA in the shortest possible time," Hon Fahie said in a statement on April 30, 2020, regarding the audit report on the missing $7.2M BVI Airways funds.
Report will not be taken lightly - Hon Fahie
The Premier at this time was addressing Governor Jaspert, who through a statement, told sections of the media that the audit report was sent to Cabinet, implying that the report was now in the hands of the Premier to make sure it is taken to the HoA by the statutory deadline.
The Governor fired back after the Premier had complained to the UK Minister for Overseas Territories, Baroness Elizabeth G. Sugg, that he, Mr Jaspert did not deliver the report to the cabinet with enough time for it to be properly analysed.
While Mr Jaspert also cited some inaccuracies over the timeline Hon Fahie said the report was sent to the Governor's office in his letter to the UK Minister, Hon Fahie said the audit report was only tabled to Cabinet on April 22, 2020.
According to the Premier, it was still insufficient time to properly comb the document assuming that it must be taken to the House by May 7, 2020; having been in the possession of Governor since February 7, 2020.
Commitment to accountability
"I must also state that not all matters that come before Cabinet are equally weighted. This matter is one of those that is on the 'heavier' side, and therefore while there are mechanisms that Cabinet can use to fast track the lighter matters, this Auditor General Report is not something to be treated lightly or trivialised," he said.
The Leader of Government Business also affirmed his commitment to accountability, "From my first day in office as Premier and Minister of Finance in February 2019, and even when I served in Her Majesty’s Opposition, I have always sought accountability on behalf of the people, and I remain committed to this promise."
He said Government remains committed to all stakeholders and noted that the findings and recommendations of the report will be put to good use.