BVI News

Gov’t orders ‘internal review’ of local governance

The Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex where the main government offices are located.

Amid the Commission of Inquiry (COI) that has been launched in the BVI, the VIP administration has ordered an internal review of ‘all aspects of the governance of the Virgin Islands’, including areas of government activity that the COI is investigating.

The persons charged with this review is Queens Counsel (QC) Sir Geoffrey Cox whose law firm the government has acquired to represent them in the Inquiry.

Following the review, QC Cox must then “advise the government of his conclusions”. 

The following is a the government’s full, April 26 media release on the matter:

The government’s Inquiry Response Unit (IRU) is preparing for the next stage of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) this week with the arrival in the Virgin Islands of the Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Cox QC.

The Attorney General, on behalf of the Virgin Islands Government, has asked Sir Geoffrey Cox QC to carry out an objective internal review of all aspects of the governance of the Virgin Islands, including areas of Government activity to which the CoI’s requests have in the main been addressed, and to advise the Government of his conclusions.

This work will, among other things, enable the Attorney General to better assist the Commission of Inquiry in the coming months and draw relevant matters to its attention. Sir Geoffrey will also, where appropriate, represent the Attorney General and the Government at the forthcoming oral hearings before the Commissioner.

Sir Geoffrey Cox QC, who is currently in quarantine, intends to hold a series of meetings with Government Ministers in the next few weeks, initially virtually, and then on completion of quarantine, in person, and will visit Ministries and Departments to explore relevant issues in detail with policy and decision makers.

As the Premier stated in the House of Assembly last week, the IRU has so far provided over 73,000 pages of official documents to the Inquiry and responded expeditiously to 56 requests for information. These requests have been answered with complete transparency and no matters have been held back save for very sensitive personal details of individual Virgin Islanders such as medical diagnoses, a position ultimately agreed by the CoI.

In line with the Government’s policy of full transparency and cooperation with the Commission of Inquiry, the IRU will also continue to support the Inquiry by the efficient and timely fulfilment of its requests for official documents over the coming weeks.

The Government emphasises that the IRU (which advises and represents the Attorney General and the Government on its response to the Inquiry) and the CoI are entirely separate and that those who wish to raise matters relevant to its remit should continue to refer them to the CoI by the means it has advertised.

Follow BVI New’s coverage of the 2021 Commission of Inquiry on Instagram @BVINewsOnline #TrackingTransparency at www.bvinews.com.

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1 Comment

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  1. Why?? says:

    Why are we wasting money on this when the COI is happening?? We have schools and a education programe that need rebuilding and overhauling. People sleeping in cars and rough who need help. Families out of work.
    Let the COI happen AND then see what they they say.

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