Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), in statements delivered to the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly, has reaffirmed that he welcomes questions from the Opposition, which according to him leads to more transparency.
The Premier was at the time speaking at the opening of the Eleventh Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly which commenced on Thursday, October 17, 2019.
Addressing the long list of questions for the sitting, he said, "I welcome these because I believe that if a people put a government to work, then work we would. If people want to know what is going on with a government, they should."
The Premier said Hurricane Irma came and 'put a stop to our sleepy routine', by ushering in a new era, "we took things for granted and have now been reminded who we are and whose we are," he told legislators.
"This new revelation on the need to get back on track has caused us to remove the lasso from our minds, for we allowed ourselves to forget our fore-parents built BVI on common sense, practical applications and skills."
The Premier said as public officers, legislators tend to forget that 'we are in the era of transformation.' He pointed to a priority to work in the interest of the people rather than self, which according to him, will lead to more sound decisions and policies.
Answering to the People
"The people who elected us need to know what past governments have done and what their government is currently doing to make the lives of those who call here their home better, not bitter."
He said HoA questioning is not doom, rather an opportunity to educate the people on the strategies of government in building and creating new opportunities.
"There are those who are trying to make history by asking 80 or more questions and I like this," he said and noted that some opposition members whom he referred to as 'fishes' are yet to answer questioning when they were in power.
"I was trying to show the former government that I was trying to help keep them in power, but failure to answer put me in power," the Leader of Government Business told the House.
The previous National Democratic Party (NDP) administration was heavily criticised for refusing to answer questions in the House of Assembly and often providing inaccurate information to the public on critical projects and policies. There was also the tendency to rearrange the Order Paper to have the Questions and Answers segment at inopportune times for the Opposition and public.