Premier Andrew Fahie has referred to the recent statements made by Governor Augustus Jaspert on the territory’s acceptance of publicly accessible registers, as misleading.
In his final new year’s statement as governor of the BVI, Jaspert issued a statement on December 29, addressing a number of topical issues as the territory approached 2021.
He said: “I applaud the government for re-opening the borders, for committing to introduce publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership by 2023 — which will put our financial services at the forefront of the industry — and for introducing new initiatives to diversify our economy. I hope for new prosperity, resilience and equal opportunities for the people of BVI in 2021 and beyond.”
Premier dismayed by comment
During Tuesday’s session in the House of Assembly, Premier Fahie said the statement made by the governor was not a representation of what his government had agreed to.
“I saw an article where the governor released over the holidays — which I was dismayed — saying that we agree to the publicly accessible registers, and did not put in under certain conditions. You see the misleading statements?” Fahie stated.
“Nobody sees a problem with these things once it’s that entity (the Office of the Governor); and then releases things in it that, when I read them, are not what this government stated or is doing, but it is what they want the people to believe,” the seemingly no-nonsense Premier argued.
Governor’s statement disrespectful to acting governor
The leader of government business further said he believes the governor disrespected the presently sworn-in Acting Governor by in releasing the statement while being out of the territory.
“There’s an acting governor in position but yet a governor who’s away releasing a statement as the governor. And I am saying how can you have two governors in place at the same time? If you’re going to release a statement, release it through the acting governor and not you releasing one from up there as governor and then they have one down here as governor,” Fahie said.
During a September 2020 session in the House of Assembly, Premier Fahie, for the first time during his tenure, formally announced his commitment of implementing publicly accessible registers of company beneficial ownership for the British Virgin Islands.
At the time, Fahie stated that despite his commitment, he still had a number of reservations on several of the UK’s existing policies which he believed needed to be changed.
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