BVI News

Cabinet’s post-meeting statements halted for months

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff

The Andrew Fahie led administration has been a strong proponent of accountability and transparency in the territory, yet most decisions made by Cabinet remain a mystery to residents since February 2020 when the government stopped publishing Cabinet’s post-meeting statements.

A Cabinet post-meeting statement usually consists of a summary of all the decisions made by government during a specific sitting, and is published on government’s various platforms to be accessible to residents and the media.

Since the advent of COVID-19 in the territory, BVI News observed that instead of posting the full decisions made in a particular sitting, the government has otherwise been handpicking certain information and making them public through media conferences, speeches and press releases.

Our news centre made several attempts to contact Premier Fahie to question why the publishing of Cabinet decisions had been halted, but all efforts were unsuccessful.

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn said he noticed the change and said the government’s accountability had receded significantly since taking office.

Penn, therefore, called for the government to return to the previous practice of making Cabinet decisions fully available to the public.

“The absence of the publishing of Cabinet decisions for the past 10 months is a retrograde step and a black eye to the steps made by the previous Cabinet to ensure transparency, accountability and good governance regarding the decisions the five Cabinet members make on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands,” Penn stated.

“The government continues to hide behind of the COVID pandemic and is not managing the territory’s affairs in a manner that is expected of them. The most egregious example is the lack of a national plan, the latest is this lack of transparency by not publishing the Cabinet decisions,” he added.

The importance of being informed on Cabinet Decision

The Opposition legislator also spoke to the importance of having Cabinet decisions being accessible to residents.

Using a recent example which occurred only last week, he showed the potential consequences that uninformed residents can experience without having the necessary information.

“It is important that Cabinet decisions are made public not just for the sake of transparency, accountability and good governance but especially in this COVID-19 period that we’re going through where businesses, members of the public and our visitors, need to be made aware — in a timely manner — of the policy decisions or policy shifts made by our government. Decisions that, if not communicated timely, have far-reaching socio-economic consequences,” he stated.

“For example, a decision that was allegedly made by the Cabinet on December 30th to move the date for the reopening of the seaports to March 1st from January 21st was only communicated to the public on Monday [January 11] through a rushed last-minute statement which, had it not been for information leaked by a private citizen on social media, we might not have known until hours before, like the previously delayed opening of the same seaports where a decision to postpone the reopening from December 8th, 2020 to January 21st, 2021, was communicated on December 7th, 2020,” Penn argued.

Fight will continue until it’s restored

Penn also said has been trying to get answers from the Premier, and claimed he will not give up until Cabinet decisions revert to its usual publications.

“I, however, requested that the information be made public in our last Standing Finance deliberations and I will continue to demand this and every citizen should demand that this information be made public for transparency and good governance,” Penn claimed.

“If this continues to occur where this administration continues to cherry-pick what information they choose to make public, it will undermine the tenets of good governance the Premier continues to speak about. We know one of the Premier’s favourite sayings is that ‘you cannot be private in public office’. He should live up to his words and not just say them and not continue to contradict them,” he added.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

16 Comments

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  1. Black trump says:

    The NDP started making all cabinet decisions public so that the people would know what is happening. The VIP who claimed that they are for transparency and accountability has stopped it. For nearly 10 months now we know nothing of what is happening. They just don’t want us to see what they are giving to their cult members and cronies. All who getting handouts, overpriced jobs, rentals and more. Black Trump at work.

    Like 17
    Dislike 13
    • To Black Trump says:

      The only person that is just like Trump is the Governor because just like Trump we don’t know when he is leaving office but we do know that just like Trump he does not want to leave office however leave the both of them must. Both are mischiefmakers.

      Like 2
      Dislike 15
  2. Yawn says:

    Marlon is too soft, too boring, too bland!!!!! If the tables were turned and Hon Fahie was Opposition Leader he would have toppled whoever the sitting Government was. Marlon has so many things to hold this Government feet to the fire on and we get silence. Meanwhile the Government is going island to island, district to district telling their story while the opposition wait until they get in HOA and throw soft balls. VIP will win the next election easily.

    Like 6
    Dislike 8
    • @yawn says:

      I Beg to disagree with you! Politics is a marathon not a sprint. I follow Hon. Penn he’s very strategic and unassuming, not soft and with people like Andrew you have to let them self destruct and lead him to the cliff. . He would tell £ies like there is no tomorrow. That is how he won the last election and everyone is seeing it now. You have to beat him with facts and House of Assembly is the only place those facts will come out.

      The NDP had the aggressive/arrogant approcah in their leader the last election. I wonder where that got them and him?? I’m going to trust the process, the Smurf I know has something up his sleeve. I won’t beat against him, I did that twice and lost won’t do it a third time.

    • That will Never Happen! says:

      You will never live to see Andrew the Premier of this country again. The level of €urruption in this Government will Make what happen in Turks & Caicos look like child’s play and it will all be revealed. Time is longer than twine!

      Like 9
      Dislike 2
    • Mmm... says:

      You sound like one of them sitting next to him every meeting to secretly destroy him. Smurf pay attention to the snakes your meeting with, they have ulterior motives.

      • @Mmm says:

        Agreed, yes MARLON, ALWAYS KEEP YOUR GRASS CUT LOW SO YOU CAN SEE THE SNAKES. ALWAYS GO ON YOUR OWN GUT INSTINCT. THERE ARE A LOT OF SNAKES AROUND YOU WAITING FOR THE MOMENT TO SINK THEIR POISONOUS FANGS IN. YOU CAN SEE A PERSONS FACE BUT YOU CANNOT SEE THEIR TRUE HEART.

  3. ccc says:

    Can we trust the ndp when they talk about open government ?come on it was the age of cover up from 2011 to 2019

  4. Doh says:

    Well…

    lol and behold more evidence of how an authoritative government rules. The people are not allowed into the workings of their appointed leaders, as those in power are not concerned about the will of the people. Yikes.

    And we voted for this.

    But carry on.

  5. Wow says:

    Bvi news at it again! Wow!
    This news site takes every opportunity to thrash the government.

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  6. Kitchen Table Group Panel says:

    Don’t underestimate Marlon, he is very strategic. Nor is he soft. He is moving the chess pieces in the right direction. One thing for sure, if you happen to see Marlon anywhere and you say hello, he will acknowledge you and will often engage in conversation. Can’t say that for all in Government,

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • Haha says:

      Strategic? So you telling me his plan all along was to vote for BVI Airways and cost us $7.2 million. That’s some expensive game of chess he’s playing. Or was he playing chess when he allowed Mark to take the millions that was allocated for the East End Long look sewage project because he knew the fools would still vote for him while they have to drive and walk through manure?

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
      • Please Stop! says:

        Aren’t you VIP Cronies tired with these tired talking points. This Administrations actions have sparked a commission of inquiry into our country and you’re still trying to change the conversation?

        Our Premier with constant petty infighting with this Governor nd the UK has brought us here. Continue to enable the nonsense of this administration and our country will go the way of the Turks & Caicos islands just wait and see.

  7. truth says:

    people yes things are happening in the government which is not really in their control england is given the bvi a run for their money peope talking but andrew has a lot on his plate. I think he needs to come out and talk the truth as to the NDP government a lot is being kept behind so the whole truth does not come out and now andrew getting all the blame. someday one day the truth will come out and we will all be wondering but andrew should stop being a good gentle man a let the country know what is faced since NDP wjat is done in darkness will soon come to light, The governor is being acused for a lot but you all better be ok that thhhe fovernor keeping quiet on certian matters because you all think that tis andrew might get caught up hell no The Lord is on high so wait and see down the road where the block will be and ho. andrew is the better premier NDP could no do what andrew is doing NDP A sad story man time will tell andrew keep up the good work and you will see your reward just pray

  8. @Truth! Really! says:

    How you get behind your keyboard and typed this hogwash!? You believe if Andrew had dirt on the NDP regarding corruption that he would not have revealed them? Good gentle man my foot. He was spewing in the last election that NDP was the most corrupt government ever and left the country broke and now 2 years into his term he has no evidence to prove these allegations. The Governors commission of inquiry is purely based on the actions of the current administration.

    The issues of poor governance were see apparent under the NDP you think the Governor wouldn’t have called a COmmission of Inquiry under the last administration? Stop with the smoke screens and trying to fool the good intelligent people of the Virgin Islands.

  9. lmao says:

    As far as I know whats app was the fastest way the information was getting out who says it was not our government that did that. As far as I know everything that was done was done publicly cause I started to get tried of see the government name pop up on my FB(which is not a bad thing because it shows that our government in at work) but at least it was there for other to watch. even out siders was watching. As that link was shared numbers started to rise on that live.

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