Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

Premier still committed to creating Freedom of Information law

Premier still committed to creating Freedom of Information law

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said his administration is still committed to creating and passing a Freedom of Information Act in the House of Assembly.
In the last few months, the government has been scrambling to implement various legislative changes to improve good governance in the territory, as agreed in the Commission of Inquiry recommendation framework.

Some legislations discussed in the past have been shelved and the Freedom of Information legislation is one. However, the Premier said it is something he is still committed to but cannot give a time frame on when it would be created for implementation.

“We had such a robust reform agenda but I would have to say it is a focus of mine. Exactly when we will get to it; I am not quite sure because we have so much work taking place but it is something I am committed to. I believe in freedom of information and having more information accessible to the public,” the Premier said.

‘[It is] something that I am committed to, that the Virgin Islands Party administration committed to in manifestos in the past and in statements that we made to the press. We are in a reform frame of mind. I believe it is something that we have to deliver on,” Dr Wheatley added.

Meanwhile, Governor John Rankin has offered his and the United Kingdom government’s full support.

He said the UK stands ready to assist with the legislation based on the UK’s own experience with Freedom of Information legislation.

“I know that the legislation has been adopted in a number of overseas territories — Bermuda with which I am familiar — has a Freedom of Information Act and a very active Commissioner of Information. So, there is a model there on which the BVI can draw in taking forward this kind of work,” Rankin added.

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