BVI News

Here’s what can happen in BVI after the Commission of Inquiry

Inquiry Commissioner, the Right Honourable Sir Gary Hickinbottom.

Giving examples of what can happen at the end of the BVI’s Commission of Inquiry, Sir Gary Hickinbottom has made it clear that his role as Commissioner isn’t to determine whether individuals in public office have been guilty of a crime. 

Instead, Sir Gary said his role is to consider all of the information submitted and make findings as to whether anyone in public service may have been guilty of corruption, abuse of office, or other serious dishonesty in relation to their service. 

Sir Gary said he may recommend that criminal proceedings be brought by the local courts, if the Inquiry indicates that prosecution is warranted. 

“If I conclude that there is nothing possibly amiss with the governance of these Islands, I will say so; and that will be the end of it. But, if I find there is some possible substance to the concerns, then, as the Terms of Reference require, I will have to consider what might be done about them, and make recommendations for action, for example, in terms of whether criminal proceedings might be brought against any individuals. It would then be for the criminal courts to determine whether crimes have been committed,” Sir Gary explained at a press conference on January 22.

Other possibilities

Sir Gary also explained that there are many other recommendations he could make based on his findings. 

“I am able to make all sorts of other recommendations if I consider them to be appropriate in light of the findings I have made; for example recommending tightening up the controls over administrative processes,” Sir Gary said.

Flashback Turks and Caicos

A similar COI was carried out in another Overseas Territory — the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) — between 2008-2009, which sought to determine possible corruption or other serious dishonesty in relation to past and present elected members of the legislature. 

Among the many findings, the Commissioner determined that there was “a high probability of systemic corruption in the TCI government and the legislature and among public officers in recent years. It appears, in the main, to have consisted of bribery by overseas developers and other investors of Ministers and/or public officers, so as to secure Crown Land on favourable terms …”

It was also found that there were “extravagant and ill‐judged commitments by those in public office — primarily ministers — in public expenditure and in their private expenditure at public expense.

Based on these findings, it was recommended that there be a partial suspension of the 2006 TCI Constitution and the government be taken over by the Governor.

Criminal proceedings were also recommended and civil recovery of assets arising out of any criminal or other investigations prompted by that COI.

Other recommendations in the TCI included improvement of standards of integrity in public life and stronger laws to govern the sale of land owned by the Crown.

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

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32 Comments

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  1. Woww says:

    We definitely in trouble thanks to
    Dr Plane Smith
    Wall V walwyn and Pier Park Vanterpool

    Like 30
    Dislike 14
    • @Woww says:

      And they waited two whole years since the NDP left government to do this? The cult members don’t know when to stop.

      Like 13
      Dislike 5
    • @wowww says:

      Pier Park S C**** too. Consult me S C**** too. Don’t you forget…..

    • LB says:

      What happened to private wall, private bulkheading and sidewalk to nowhere F****r? Stolen lands O’***l? Cookie jar contracts H***e? Kickbacks galore V******ool? Move dirt from here to there and back again F****? Personal Private security firm F****? Ex-convict member of every Board collecting 7 thousand a month F****? Millions of dollars in stationary barge contract to my campaign financiers F****? Mt Sage and Mt Peebles O’N***? Peebles Hospital O’N***? Biwater debacle F*****?

      Oh we forgot? If you will call one set of names then call all! Dead or Alive. In or out. Call all! We have not forgotten.

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
      • what? says:

        you have deh ting on tap.

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
      • @LB says:

        The thing…this sort of stuff ALSO goes on in the UK Government….why the hell don’t they send Hickinbottom there let him try to find something against his own Government so the other party can take over. Rubbish.

    • Mt Truth says:

      What ever happened to the whistleblower law that we was promised?

  2. Really says:

    When I talk to people to hear their views on this I always hear ‘The worst thing would be if the UK “take over” like in T & C.’ People the UK have nothing to gain from that. In T&C that take over put a ‘temporary’ end to the corruption at least. And election came back in no time. The people didn’t suffer as a result. It was the corrupted individuals did. Anyway I don’t think it’ll come to that here but at least we the public will be able to see the truth behind government dealings.

    Like 46
    Dislike 2
    • Voter says:

      But will we “see the truth”?
      Everyone, especially the expats, are well aware that the government can be vindictive. Maybe your work permit or trade license will not get approved or immigration find some “reason” not to extend your stay. It’s just how it works here.

      Like 15
      Dislike 6
    • Bunk says:

      Though this CoI is needed, we should all be concerned as to how this affected the BVI’s reputation. Our main economic pillar is financial services. Who’s going to want to do business with a country thats deemed corrupt?

      Like 9
      Dislike 2
  3. Chosen says:

    @woww you forgot consultant Skelton Cline

    Like 28
    • YEP says:

      THE CONTRACT WRANGLER NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT WITH A FINE TOOTH COMB. KEEP LOOKING IN THE BALE OF HAY AND YOU WILL FIND THE MISSING NEEDLE.

  4. Crown land says:

    “It appears, in the main, to have consisted of bribery by overseas developers and other investors of Ministers and/or public officers, so as to secure Crown Land on favourable terms …”

    Sir Gary I can guide you to a few of these crown land give-aways to friends

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
  5. Trial says:

    If the CoI recommends any criminal charges against any government persons then I suggest a bench trial for those defendants.

  6. Yes Sir Gary says:

    PLENTY OF US CAN LEAD YOU TO PLENTY OF CROWN LAND THAT WAS GIVEN TO THE CRONIES FRIENDS. THERE IS A PAPER TRAIL. CHECK SOME FAMILY MEMBERS AND SPOUSES AND FOLLOW THE JOHN HANCOCKS. IT IS WHAT IT IS, IF WE HAVE TO TAKE A T&C BEAT DOWN FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, THEN SO BE IT. AT LEAST THE CORRUPTION GANG KNOWS THAT THEY ARE UNDER A VERY POWERFUL MICROSCOPE.

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  7. I am so loving it says:

    JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE BVI THAT WAS SILENCED. VICTIMIZED, AND WALKED ON BY THE GREEDY HANDS OF THE CO****T GOVERNMENT. THANK YOU UNIVERSE. THERE IS NO HIGHER POWER THAN THE UNIVERSE AT WORK. A MAN PLANT CORN, HE WILL REAP CORN, A MAN PLANT GREED AND CORRUPTION, HE WILL REAP PAY BACK.

    Like 11
  8. Truth Sayer says:

    @Woww: You have forgotten the current things such as Stimulus money, contracts, especially those of CSC and other allies and more.

    Like 15
  9. The watchdog says:

    The governor is e***

  10. 007 says:

    Biden just fired some Trump appointees and hired members from his team to government. A commission of inquiry should be launched for Biden and every president of the USA since appointing your team to boards is corruption.

    Like 1
    Dislike 8
    • Interesting says:

      It should not be about cronies but about persons who can make meaningful contributions to the Boards and this is why persons need to qualify to be placed on Boards. it is afterall a job. Let us see the qualifications for all people who they put on these boards. These boards need to put qualifications in place to get on these boards.

  11. Thank you UNIVERSE says:

    AS A TAX PAYING LAW ABIDING CITIZEN OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, I AM DEEPLY SADDENED BY THE WAY WE THE VOTING PUBLIC OF THIS COUNTRY WAS KICKED, SLAPPED AND HOG TIED LIKE A PIG GOING TO THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE BY THE GOVERNMENT THAT WAS ELECTED. THAT IS A TERRIBLE BLOW. I AM NOT AFRAID NOR AM I WORRIED ABOUT THE OUTCOME. THE UNIVERSE WILL TAKE CARE OF THAT.I AM JUST HURT.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  12. LIKEWISE AS WELL says:

    WHAT HAPPEN TO THE STIMULUS MONEY TO HELP THE PEOPLE AND THE MOM AND POP BUSINESSES. THERE WERE MORE THAN ENOUGH MONEY TO AT LEAST GIVE THE PEOPLE $1,200 DOLLARS EACH. THE MONEY WAS GOING TO GO RIGHT BACK INTO THE ECONOMY. WHAT!!? A BOX OF FOOD THAT COULD NOT GET YOU THROUGH A WEEK? AND BY THE WAY, MOST PEOPLE DID NOT GET A BOX, SOME PEOPLE WHO DID NOT NEED THE FOOD BOX WALKED AWAY WITH FOOD BOXES THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO THE PEOPLE IN NEED.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  13. watchman says:

    “Bribery by overseas developers and other investors of Ministers and/or public officers, so as to secure Crown Land on favourable terms …”

    This is the one that bothers me quite a lot. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve Crown Lands. It could be land purchased by overseas developers from private owners here in the BVI. The same overseas developers often use top civil servants on the inside who knows the system and could help the overseas developers get things done quickly but not always in accordance with proper procedures or protocols.

  14. @007 says:

    WTF are you talking about. The Comparison of apples and grapes makes no sense.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  15. Kitchen Table Group Panel says:

    We the panel agree that we should go TURKS AND CAICOS. These are very serious allegations. We need to put a whole new GOVERNMENT IN OFFICE. The Premier needs to step down from office until the COI completes the Investigation.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
    • @Kitchen TableGroup Panel says:

      Who the hell are you? some all pale skin people from europe, america and south africa presumably. Caps are deliberately left off to illustrate anger and distante with that comment.

      If the government has issues with corruption, which all governments and institutions across the globe does, that does not make it right, there is a way to change that, at the polls.

      Outside interferrence by colonial instrument, who are themselves woefully corrupt, and are not good political or moral examples of how not to be corrupt, should not be tolerated as the method of resolution.

      Like 2
      Dislike 3
      • Kitchen Table Group Panel says:

        We the Panel would like to say this, sometimes when one make ASSUMPTIONS about others, one always makes a fool of one’s self. Does that answer your question as to who the h*ll I am? You enjoy the rest of the evening.

    • truth says:

      the honourable thing right now was for them to step on the side. there is nothing to hide. Maybe take a vacation on the cruise ships over there by the Pier park.

  16. Laundry says:

    THE WASHER AND DRYER RATTED THEM OUT.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  17. hmmmm says:

    after reading this that judge who is coming to the bvi to is a piece of work, i wonder what the judge is calling this, he coming here to the bvi to judge us he himself need judging wow

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-51495054

  18. COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED says:

    I feared that this COI could happen as it did. Had only the VIP government TREATED ALL BVI RESIDENTS (BELONGERS AND WORK PERMIT)EQUAL then there will not have been any need of doubt. what country in the world give enequal treatment to its nationals and work permit contributors to it’s country. you reap what u sow.

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