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Festival & Fairs Committee under previous NDP gov’t accused of poor record-keeping

Dr Wheatley

Culture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley has accused the former Festival & Fairs Committee under the previous NDP administration of poor record-keeping.

“In the past, under previous Festival & Fairs committees, I have been disappointed at the level of record-keeping. But, I assure this Honourable House that I take accountability of money spent very seriously. And while in the past we may have fallen down in those areas with previous administrations, I certainly want to establish a standard for accountability of festivals,” the minister said during a recent session of the House of Assembly.

Dr Wheatley made those statements after being asked to provide a detailed breakdown of expenditure for all festivals from the years 2016 to 2019.

Continuing his response, the minister said: “As you all know, we have a new Festival & Fairs Chairman and executive committee. This combined with the record-keeping of previous committees that was not up to acceptable standards has led to a lack of access to the information necessary to answer this question.”

Dr Wheatley then asked the House to allow him until after the emancipation festivities to provide all available information.

He explained that he would be able to better provide details of this year’s festivities after the celebrations have concluded.

“I can guarantee you, we can search the records of the House of Assembly and this type of information would not have been given in the previous years before; especially as quickly as it will be provided by myself and the Festival & Fairs Committee,” Dr Wheatley stated.

In June, Minister Wheatley had revealed that the budget for all festivals in 2019 had increased from $710,000 to $1.3 million.

This injection was approved by the Finance Minister Andrew Fahie after an appeal by Dr Wheatley that the original budget was simply not enough.


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  1. Tired says:

    I am tired of this nonsense. Seems like every day is what that NDP did in the past. For heaven’s sake, leave the past behind us and carry on with the people’s business. Let’s see how perfect you are and how you will not make any mistakes and do everything right and by the book…. chupes

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  2. Please says:

    Dr. Wheatley, please don’t join your leader in the blame game. Let’s do what we have to do to move forward. PLEASE, PLEASE STOP THE BLAMING. It is become distasteful.

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  3. VI gyal says:

    For years even before NDP the ball was drop with Festival Committee. No one kept a close eye and now it is out of control.

    Stop blaming and let us fix it. Anyone taking over from a previous individual group it will not be how that current person wants it.

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  4. vip heckler says:

    He cant even tell us what the easter festival cost us 2 months ago and cant tell us what the stage/sound system costing us now

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  5. Dr. Wheatly says:

    I will start off by saying I like you and I want to see you do well in the Political field. However, as a member of the new Administration, you have to move forward.I understand what you are saying and I am asking you to please not dwell on the past. Just work on making sure that this festival comitte do the right thing.I am tired of hearing and reading everyday about what the NDP did.

    Like 25
    • And I will agree says:

      Yeah Dr.Wheatly,that is some good advice. I see you as a humble person that will get far in Politics. I hear what you are saying but let it go If we go back we are holding ourselves back. Whoever screwed up what have to answer to someone sooner or later. You do the right thing.

  6. Rolling eyes says:

    I can recall many reports being laid in the house for festival by the former minister with the NDP. He is now telling lies like his leader. I do know that between 2007 and 2011 not one single report on festival was laid. So if Sowande wants to case blame he should glacé over to his now boss.

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  7. @Rolling eyes says:

    His boss has nothing to do with this, why incert the Premier in this. And you know how you Tortola people bounce, all it takes is one person to go off script and the vultures start to swarm to get that pound of flesh.

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  8. :) says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with mentioning what the previous administration did or did not do. This is just a snippet of his entire presentation. The people have to know what every government does or did whether past, present or future. Most times governments only mention the good that they do then campaign season constituents make foolish and ignorant votes based on bogus claims by candidates.

    People need to be knowledgeable in order to make a wise decision in every aspect of life. Only people with selfish agendas want the truth to remain hidden. VIP doesn’t spend all their time talking about the previous government. Most of the articles are taking out of context and was part of a much larger debate or presentation in the HOA. The opposition ask questions based on a matter and the government has to respond with supporting facts.

    Every government has to bring up what previous governments especially the bad. Some voters dont vote based on the good that was done they prefer to vote on the bad that was done. Years from now somebody will be talking about the bodyguards, festival stage contract just like we heard about Biwater and street lights at roundabout years after NDP was elected and was seeking reelection.
    Maybe 20 years from now someone might take a microphone outside of the HOA and talk about what a member did 20 years before. Its just a necessary part of politics.

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  9. Past Present says:

    All things being equal! We need to know where we stand with that $7.2 million and the Pier Park so,not so fast.

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