The government has announced plans to establish a Crown Land Allocation Register soon.
The register is expected to be a public database that will list all Crown land that is available for purchase, as well as the size of the area of land acquired and the price paid.
The announcement was made by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Ronald Smith-Berkeley. He told the government’s ‘Table Talk’ programme that the register will be created as part of the government’s efforts to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (COI).
The COI was established in 2021 to investigate allegations of corruption and governance failures in the Virgin Islands. The COI’s report, which was published in 2022, made a number of recommendations, including the establishment of a Crown Land Allocation Register.
The government said the register will be available to the public once it is completed and operational and advised that people who are interested in purchasing Crown land will be able to access the register to see what land is available and how much it costs.
Smith-Berkeley also said that the register will help to improve transparency in the allocation of Crown land and noted that the register will make it clear who has acquired Crown land and how much they paid for it.
This move is expected to help prevent corruption and ensure that Crown land is allocated fairly.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley recently disclosed in the House of Assembly that the review of the disposal of Crown lands had been completed and said the ministry has started working on drafting instructions for amending the relevant legislation.
He further noted that the ministry is in the midst of public consultations with an aim to send the drafting instructions to the Cabinet for approval and then on to the Attorney General’s Chambers.
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