BVI News

BVI governance very poor at elected public official level — Sir Gary

Inquiry Commissioner, the Right Honourable Sir Gary Hickinbottom.

Sir Gary Hickinbottom has concluded that governance under the control of elected public officials in the BVI is uniformly very poor and lacks checks and balances.

The United Kingdom (UK) appointed Commissioner of the now concluded Commission of Inquiry (COI) made that conclusion in his report which was presented to Governor John Rankin several weeks ago.

“With limited exceptions, the evidence received by the COI shows that governance within the areas of BVI government under the control of the elected public officials is, at best, very poor,“ Sir Gary said in his report.

According to Sir Gary, principles of governance such as openness and transparency were not simply just absent but were positively shunned.

He said proper procedures were not only lacking, but were patently inadequate for their purpose or were ignored or bypassed.

Evidence is overwhelming

Sir Gary found that the evidence was overwhelming on this front and extended to almost all areas of government.

As examples of this, he pointed to the registration of interests, distribution of public funds by way of grants, procurement and implementation of contracts, statutory boards, disposal of Crown Land, and residence and Belonger status.

Sir Gary said the evidence suggests that this attitude to the principles of governance was pervasive in the entire BVI government under the control of elected ministers.

Sir Gary found that this had been the case for several years and across several different governing administrations.

The Commissioner further noted that while some witnesses that appeared before the COI resolutely sought to focus on changes being made or considered, that in itself was an admission that all is not well.

Sir Gary said that former Premier Andrew Fahie and elected ministers said this failure in governance was in large part a consequence of deficiencies in the public service.

At the time, the government said the public service is underqualified, under-trained, under-resourced and outdated as a result of neglect by successive governors. Under the constitution, governors in the BVI traditionally have a responsibility for the public service.

But Sir Gary said he did not find a case supporting this narrative made out by the government.

“The elected ministers do not offer any other substantial explanation for the parlous state of governance,” Sir Gary found.


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  1. Nothing but bad news. I'm tired of reading it. says:

    Appears our elected officials and government has earned a big FF.

    That’s terrible. How do we fix this mess? Unity government or U.K. take over as recommended for a few years?

    Like 18
    • Popeye says:

      Push the restart button. Let’s redo the constitution . Bring in new law enforcement and prosecutors. ReEvaluate the uncial system- why was H0dg3 let go? Let’s creat a plan to invest in our schools, our infrastructure, our future

  2. Thank Bvinews says:

    Thank you for reminding those who are marching and those external parties and organizations who are minding our business that our elected members are the ones who have us here.

    Like 40
  3. Who doesn't see this says:

    I continue to fail to see how people believe that our government can be reformed from within…

    “… principles of governance such as openness and transparency were not simply just absent but were positively shunned.”
    “… proper procedures were not only lacking, but were patently inadequate for their purpose or were ignored or bypassed.”

    What remedy can possibly be proposed by those who are knee deep in the systemic graft and corruption, payola, and under the table handouts?

    Like 28
  4. gez says:

    We did not need a COI to reveal this! It has been a know fact for decades! The question is, What is going to be done to correct it? Surely not installing previous ministers and board heads under a new NAME! You can’t make this crap up!

    Like 40
    Dislike 1
  5. NEW START says:

    Now more than before we need a new start.

    Bring it all to light, corruption at the very head.

    F**k the march

    Like 36
    • Licker and Sticker says:

      Exactly. These marches are just lead by the ppl that have profited from the bad governance and thievery. This Unity Government is just two parties that have profited the most joining forces. Natalio and his 7 min speak last night was a joke.

  6. 🧐 says:

    And it will persist because this so called Unity Gov does not have a clue of what Governance or leadership is all about.
    Inexperienced bunch/group of children.

    Like 22
  7. lol says:

    poor at every level tbh… The people want leaders they can beg more than they want leaders that can make good decisions. They are a reflection of the BVI people… whether you like to hear it or not.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  8. Victim says:

    BVI Governance is non existent at the elected public official level and through out the government and quasi government departments.

    Audits need to take place in many Departments, ie, Land Registry and Survey Unit because too many Locals are losing their property due to lack of policies and procedures, as well as, the level of subjectivity of Civil Servants.

    • You got that right says:

      Too many civil servants have jobs that conflict with their public service duties. Survey Department should not have surveyors working in their private capacity. Customs officers should not be acting as brokers. Contractors should not be working at Communications and Works. But all of this has been allowed also and needs to be cleaned up.

      Like 12
      Dislike 1
  9. In other words says:

    UK coming! Brace yourselves!!

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  10. Rubber Duck says:

    Governance is abysmal and the answer of the current incumbents is to create a one party state in the mould of Dictatorships from Kim to Papa Doc.

    When and where did a one party state ever make things better?

  11. Licker and Sticker says:

    The way that they formed this “Unity” Government after this part of the COI report I have no confidence in this lot. They all need to get their walking papers and fresh new candidates with ideas in line with good governance and innovative thinking is needed

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