Governor John Rankin has announced that a team from UNICEF will be assisting with the process of reviewing welfare benefits and grants as prescribed in the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report.
Governor Rankin said his office worked constructively with the Minister of Health and Social Development on the recommendation and described it as an important and complex task.
“I am pleased that UNICEF are supporting this process by providing an expert team and lead reviewer,” Governor Rankin said recently.
And while speaking on the implementation process for the recommendations, Governor Rankin noted that it was an ambitious programme and said some changes may not be implemented ‘bang on the deadline’ due to the complexities involved.
“The Premier and I regularly discuss implementation of the recommendations to understand why there have been delays. Neither of us have to date had major concerns on the delays in implementation of the recommendations as work on them is either well underway, or nearing completion,” the governor said.
He further stated that as long as the failure to meet a deadline is for genuine reasons, and not an unnecessary delay or frustration in implementation, then this is something that can be managed.
report which was issued in April, recommended that there should be a wholesale review of the BVI welfare benefits and grants system, including House of Assembly Members’ Assistance Grants and Government Ministries’ Assistance Grants.
The report further recommended that, without seeking to limit the ambit of the review, the welfare system should move towards an open, transparent and single system of benefits, based on clearly expressed and published criteria without unnecessary discretionary powers.
It was advised that such discretionary powers should only be maintained where necessary; and, where any such powers are maintained, then they should be subject to clearly expressed and published guidance.