Opposition Leader Ronnie Skelton has expressed concern over the cost of implementing the Commission of Inquiry (COI) governance reforms, and has called on the government to provide a dollar figure for the expenses.
Skelton plans to question Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley on the issue during a later session of the House of Assembly (HOA).
The spending allocated in the Schedule of Additional Provisions (SAP) for the COI
reforms is a "runaway train," according to Skelton, who has stated that funding for the recommendations appeared in previous SAPs. He believes that the government must provide answers regarding the cost of the implementation.
"Somebody needs to come up with a number.
What I'm hearing in the committee stage [of the HOA] is that the person responsible for it is just, you know, basically, wringing the Premier's hand, wringing the Minister of Finance's hand to make sure he gets what he needs to implement the thing," said Skelton.
The Opposition Leader argued that the COI
should not have taken place and maintained that 90% of the reforms needed to be implemented.
This is not the first time a call for a dollar figure has been made publicly, and Premier Wheatley previously promised to disclose the cost of the reforms.
In October 2022, he revealed that just under one million dollars had been spent on the reforms, with over 90% of them either completed or in progress.
However, funding the COI
reforms was challenging for the BVI government, as it was not included in the territory's budget last year.
Governor John Rankin
had previously commented that the United Kingdom would give "positive" consideration to offering support to the territory, particularly in the area of technical expertise, advice, and general support.