BVI News

COI not going well; it’s too disruptive to my ministry


The productivity rate of some public officers has likely taken a serious hit as a result of the demands of the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI).

This is according to the Minister of Natural Resources, Labour & Immigration, Vincent Wheatley.

The minister said in a recent interview with JTV News that the subject of lands is a major part of the COI; resulting in him having to take an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to remain compliant with document requests from the Commission. The Department of Land & Survey falls under the Wheatley’s portfolio.

When asked what his thoughts were on the COI thus far, Wheatley said: “Well no, it’s not going well in my view. I find it’s too disruptive to my ministry.”

“Sometimes I would stop the entire office from doing everything, to focus on answers to questions concerning lands,” Wheatley said.

Other ministers share his plight

The minister said he felt it was unfair to the territory for him to have to stop his entire office from functioning and serving the people of the territory, simply to answer questions for someone.

He suggested that other ministers who are involved in the COI would likely tell a similar story.

Asked why the entire ministry would have to be involved in a response to a question, Wheatley said in certain instances, document requests may have been e-mailed on Friday to be submitted by the following Monday.

The minister said the document requests are not a job for two or three persons to respond to. He added: “[It’s all-hands-on-deck to get these things, to get the answers and the information to the Inquiry.”

File scattered at various locations

He further explained that one of the major issues is that all of the requested files are often not physically located at his ministry.

“If you go to my ministry now, half the staff are out now because they’re trying to find [the information] … They’re moving files from one place to the next, but all the files are not at my ministry. The files are in the old Admin Complex, some may be down at Pockwood Pond – who knows where the files are” Wheatley said.

“It does stop the ministry,” he stated emphatically.

Deficient documents cause COI extension request

Government disclosed that it has so far submitted thousands of documents to the Sir Gary Hickinbottom-led COI.

Just days ago, Sir Gary sought an extension to complete the COI’s work because government documents submitted thus far have been in a “deficient state”.

The Commissioner will report his findings and recommendations to the Governor once the Inquiry has completed.

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


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Essential Worker says:

    Sir, have patience. Your sacrifice will pay off. What’s happening with COI is they rooting out bad people who are killing the Territory with their abuse of power and corruption. And besides only policy level government workers are being interviewed so the rank and file are continuously doing their daily chores. It will all be over soon Sir.

    Like 26
  2. rastarite says:

    Please co-operate with the COI. How is the territory to move towards an administration of no corruption, more efficiency, accountability and honesty not to mention value for money from the civil servants…

    Like 21
  3. You are the master.. says:

    of your own disaster. Years of corruption and lack of accounting and mismanagement has come to bite you in your behind. Stop complaining and start cleaning up. Otherwise the UK will do it for you.

    Like 41
    Dislike 1
  4. trevor says:

    the documents were requested long ago, and with covid reducing the work load of government, there should be plenty of manpower.

    Like 37
    Dislike 2
  5. Unconventional leadership says:

    What a thing to say. Obviously you don’t have a clue what is going on or where to locate anything. Typical of this government. Nothing is in order, everything out of control. You are proud to make those statements. I am sure the Premier approve of those statements. You see why we need to take over. Where else in the world would a y minister tell the voters I dont where the hell anything is and still keep his job. What if the ministry of finance can not locate your salary, or if a clerk can not find a file you ask for. You see why you incompetent lot have to go. Out of the mouth of incompetence. Mr Commissioner please haste the time of our take over.

    Like 39
    Dislike 3
    • reporter says:

      I wonder if these people does listen to themselves when they make these statements. The COI is here to investigate the affairs of the country and if the public servants are not released from their offices to meet with the Chief Investigator to answer questions and to share the relevant information, then how else would it be done? Mr. Minister needs to realize that both he and the persons attached to his office are public servants. And besides this, you are NOT an authority to yourself so stop behaving so immaturely.

      Like 29
      Dislike 1
  6. WEW says:

    Disruptive to the thieves (HOA)

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
  7. Sir says:

    Please go sit on the beach on a towel with a good book and work on a much needed TAN. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

    Like 12
  8. Rubber Duck says:

    Mr Wheatley, if your office had the slightest semblance of organization , these questions would have answers to hand. The fact that your offices are a disaster zone of incompetence, bad management and 18th century systems is what makes the questions hard to answer.

    Assuming of course that you actually want to answer them.

    We, the people , have a right to know who you allegedly gave free land to.

    Like 37
  9. heckler says:

    if ayo wasn’t so dutty we wouldn’t ah had no COI

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  10. Here goes... says:

    Wow, I wasn’t aware his office actually functioned in the first place…

    Like 19
  11. Fools says:

    If documents were in order, you would not need the UK to come in and do an audit. You should have had enough common sense to have the Office of Auditor General conduct a yearly audit on this department. Everyone in the BVI knows that Land Registry is corrupt. Now, you inept people are crying that the COI is demanding this and demanding that. If documents were in order, there is no reason to be worried. It is a Fluvking shame that the UK must come and investigate Land Registry.

    Like 18
  12. lillian says:

    the coi needs to investigate ndp goverment them knows all of them thiefing land and one each other covering up the lands thief and money too.

    Like 12
    Dislike 3
  13. whatajoke says:

    stop the work of his whole ministry. wow. is this a joke or is he a joker

    Like 22
  14. Nonsense says:

    The Commission of Inquiry has nothing to do with the deeply ingrained lethargy in the Minister’s departments.
    First, the Labour process is designed to be off-putting and annoy.
    Second, the Immigration department backs up the Labour dept.
    Third, the Hon. Minister is the cause of his own dismay: He quadrupled the red tape and paperwork for both users of his fore lorn departments and for his bureaucrats.

    These all contribute to poor performance as well as the dissatisfaction of the various departments’ users.

    I most certainly would not be voting to re-elect if I were residing in the Hon. Mr. Wheatley’s district and I will not vote to return his fellow party members.

    Like 19
  15. all hands on deck says:

    You all knew the CoI was coming since this year began so why complaining now. Do your job and manage your departments to comply with all the CoI requests for documents, info, files, recordings, hard drive data, etc.

    Like 15
  16. cry cry baby says:

    Youall cannot even answer a simple question. Everybody glad to blame somebody else. No proper records or lack of records. No decent accountability in place. Just review everything and see how youall have the system screwed

    Like 10
  17. F Ratings. says:

    In this day and age documents are at the fingertips.The fingers do the walking to the computer where storage is kept with backup.
    Evidence that the VI is not competent to handle its business or worse,covering up its corruption.
    Not blaming you Sir,just saying the facts.

    Like 11
  18. It is not "someone" says:

    Minister, your statement that it is “unfair” to do this “simply to answer questions for someone” shows that you are missing the entire point of the exercise. The stated purpose of the commission is “to establish whether there is evidence of corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty that has taken place in public office in recent years”. This “someone” is the Commissioner appointed by the Governor representing the UK who needs information to determine if there is corruption, abuse or dishonesty. It is hardly unfair. What is unfair is the corruption, abuse and dishonesty that is allegedly taking place. Minster please provide those documents, and on a timely basis. The people demand it (plus the UK).

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  19. BVI Future says:

    Right now, I am very ashamed of what is happening in the BVI. It took the COI for the BVI to know that these offices are archaic. And we accept these ministers as our leaders. For years, people have been complaining about Land Registry, and no one listen. Now the ministers and civil servants are running around in circle like chicken without heads. Thank you, COI.

    Like 13
  20. Mr.Wheatley says:


  21. BuzzBvi says:

    Minister says. Who knows where the files are!!!!! Think that is probably enough for the COI to finish the report and recommend an administration is put in place that knows where files are before a new HOA is put in place. Think it is clear to us all and the COI that there is no Governance in the VI never mind good Governance.

  22. nutmeg says:

    well minister this clearly shows how disorganised your Ministry is!!

  23. Truth Be Told says:

    Sir can you look at the back log of people requesting crown land since 2005…I tired wait!.

  24. Hmmm says:

    They need to research all the crown land these politicians own. That’s why we small people can’t get no land to buy! Shameful

Leave a Comment