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Premier withholds ‘secret’ UK document from public

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith

A document believed to have influence over the establishment of the controversial Recovery and Development Agency is being kept secret.

The document is titled the High-level Framework for UK Support to BVI Hurricane Recovery.

It is believed to be an agreement that government must sign before it receives needed support from the United Kingdom to fund the BVI’s recovery.

When approached this morning to make the document public, Premier Smith refused to honour the request.

Opposition member Julian Fraser made the request during Thursday’s sitting of the House of Assembly.

“As I have determined, these documents are confidential,” Dr Smith said.

Fraser subsequently questioned why parliamentarians are expected to support the Recovery Agency when such a crucial document is being withheld.

The Agency is being established through legislation in the House of Assembly.

The legislation is titled the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 and is currently being debated in the House.

“How are we going to debate this Bill that you are bringing before us if we can’t see the document,” Fraser asked.

“It is bad for the people and I’m not going to support,” he asserted.

“This is a helicopter document – it’s all for the ones at the top while the ones at the bottom gets crushed,” he added.

Fraser went on to describe the secret high-level document as a form of ‘trickery’ between the Premier and the UK.

“Are there any other documents that you have that we’ve never seen?” Fraser further questioned.

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22 Comments

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  1. OnLooker says:

    When the people of the BVI really want answers, Gov. workers will strike and demand them trust me. Remember the people is who put the government in power also remember Noel Lloyd sacrificed himself and led the revolution against the selling of WC1 and Anegeda, he got locked up but didnt mind if it meant saving the islands. Someone will have to lead the revolution but who will be the brave person? Only time will tell but for now I guess we’ll keep taking these run around answers.

  2. Uuuummm... says:

    “Are there any other documents that you have that we’ve never seen?”

    The BVI Airways agreement.

  3. Sam the man says:

    As I’ve said many times despite the criticism this “No Direction Party” continues to deceive, hide and cover up important things that the public deserves no know – lack of accountability, openness and secretiveness is what this government believes in and all its ministers are party to….but there is somebody that knows everything

  4. All the king’s horses says:

    Why is this “secret?” What are trying to hide from us? The recovery plan should be publically disclosed along with the associated spending!
    Show us the plan!!!!!

  5. ? says:

    I don’t know if the Government has noticed but the next hurricane season starts in three months time. STOP FIGHTING AND GET THINGS MOVING. All this political in-fighting is getting us nowhere and is quite frankly pretty embarrassing now

    • Albion says:

      Exactly. Is anyone shocked or surprised that documents are exchanged between the two Governments of different countries that are clearly intended to be confidential and not shown to the public? Of course Governments are entitled to keep certain details of inter-state relations confidential.

      The fact that Fraser (and so many other politicians) appear to not understand this at all reminds us, once again, why he was never fit to be Premier.

      He claims he found these sensitive and clearly confidential Government documents at a speed bump. I personally don’t believe, but let’s imagine that he is telling the truth. So what does he do with these highly confidential documents? Not turn them in like a responsible person. No, he reads them and tries to use them for his own political advantage …

      • Time will tell says:

        I wish I could like your comment 100 times. People just allowing themselves to be fooled. They forget that when election time is near discredit is the main course of action.

  6. Curious. says:

    Why don’t he just ask Bronson to show him his copy.

  7. Overseas onlooker says:

    The people of the BVI would be bright to NOT put these self interest individuals with their secret agenda back in office after they have deceived them for all these years and have millions of dollars unaccounted for.

    Now I heard your Premier said that the people are suffering. Mr. Premier, they are suffering from the 7 million that you put in an airline that can’t fly plus millions unaccounted for from the tourist board marketing scam that no one is auditing.

    These are all under your port folio.

    Your TB CEO needs to be brought to justice.

  8. Hah says:

    We will now finally see what type of people that we have in government. If any of the back benchers vote positively while knowing that they are intentionally not receiving all of the information by their own leader then they are just spineless puppets.

  9. good to great says:

    We want to see whats on the 2 other pages

  10. Mindy says:

    A vote of no confidence in the premier. Since when the people’s business is a secret for him and his chosen? Are we uneducated fools? Something is wrong. We cannot have this man speaking ornegotiating on our behalf. This country is in trouble …

  11. Socrates says:

    Tell me again why: Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 documents are confidential/top secret? Why do HOA members who have the responsibility to review, debate and vote on legislation cannot view the documents, regardless of security classification? How can HOA members vote on legislation if they have incomplete information? Why is recovery plan information sensitive and confidential? What is the risk to national security? Do the documents contain proprietary information? Do the documents contain information that would be embarrassing to government? Is government making a big issue out of a non issue? Is government just thumbing its nose at the Opposition?

  12. Virgin Islander Overseas says:

    The Government need to be honest with the people regardless of what is in the agreement. I am neither for or against the NDP and neither am I for or against the VIP. Both parties lack what is needed to lead the Virgin Islands and they have demonstrated this over and over again. Call them what you want but its time like these when we needed steady hands at the wheel and its time like these we wish we had a HL Stoutt or RT O’Neal leading us. While they both had imperfections, they would have been honest enough to speak out and tell the people the truth.

    The BVI is now at a crossroad and the people should have an input as to which direction the territory should go with or without the UK help. I am not surprise that the UK would wish to take this opportunity to make certain demands as it is their right to do so seeing that we are their. On the other hand, it should not be at the expense of out children and grand children.

    We as a people should be willing to band together and demand answers from the Government. After all, they are accountable to us and not the other way around.

    • Laura says:

      I fully agree with your statement.

      BVIslanders should band together and demand answers from the Government. After all, they are accountable to us and not the other way around.

  13. WHAT.. says:

    Nope, accountability should have been demanded YEARS ago.. Not here at the last hour when we have been decimated by natural disasters.

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