The two Acts were championed as centrepieces of the government’s efforts to enact laws that enhance transparency and accountability.
And like all other bills, those two pieces of legislation must get the governor’s approval to become law. Premier Fahie highlighted Governor Rankin’s perceived inaction in granting assent while speaking on his governing party’s Let’s Talk radio show Tuesday evening.
But Governor Rankin foreshadowed a delay in assent weeks earlier when he told the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) in an invited statement, that the pieces of legislation were of questionable necessity.
Governor Rankin further said that, in their current form, “both these pieces of legislation would undermine or cut across the powers of the Auditor General, the Complaints Commissioner and indeed the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).”
Notwithstanding, the Premier reiterated that his government remains pleased with its accomplishments in passing legislation and helping the BVI. He said this sense of pride also extends his government’s decision to take millions from the Social Security Board to fund its COVID-19 economic stimulus initiative.
“We are proud that we were able to help the people of the Virgin Islands even with the $40 million that we can account for,” the Premier stated.
Fahie explained that his government was able to help private schools, taxi operators, traffic wardens, farmers, fisherfolk and a host of others with those monies.
He further said stimulus recipients were given letters with instructions to account for how the monies were spent. And according to the Premier, the accounting period has since started for the persons who received these funds from the government.