BVI News

I am responsible for all UK funding — Governor

Governor Augustus Jaspert has made it clear that all monies coming into the territory from the United Kingdom (UK) government is entirely his responsibility.

Governor Jaspert made the comment in response to a statement that Opposition legislator Julian Fraser made in the House of Assembly last December. Fraser had said he believes the funds which are allocated to Governor Jaspert from the UK should be recorded in the territory’s budget, and should be reflected and accounted for within the BVI’s treasury.

Addressing the issue at a recent media conference, Governor Jaspert said: “In terms of the Honourable Member (Fraser) saying that it should go somewhere else, under accountability terms, it’s how it works. It’s how it works all around the world. Whenever the money is from the UK, somebody who’s directly accountable comes into my office and then it is allocated out in the most effective way.”

“I’m accountable for UK money when it comes here, so that money is channelled through me because I am responsible to the UK Parliament,” the Governor further said. 

Different categories of monies from the UK

Governor Jaspert also said monies sent from the UK have different purposes, and in some cases, based on the objective, it is managed by government-sanctioned agencies such as the Recovery & Development Agency (RDA).

“There are different pots of money that come to the territory. There are some that go directly to the government where we have agreed MOU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) for trading or equipment or things like that … there are others that have targeted reasons,” Governor Jaspert said.

“The United Kingdom government has given 10 million pounds as part of the arrangements to support the operational expenses of the recovery and that is going through the Recovery & Development Agency,” he added.

The governor also gave the example of his place of residence, which is the responsibility of the government of the Virgin Islands.

He said that following the 2017 hurricanes which had impacted the Governor’s House, among several other properties, the British government had made a decision to financially support the early restoration works, therefore allocating funds specifically for those repairs.

Governor Jaspert added that the £10 million allocated from the UK as part of the arrangements to support the operational expenses of the territory’s recovery is going through the RDA.

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20 Comments

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  1. Hmmmmmmm says:

    I believe the Governor. Frasier will you please show us proof concerning your statement or direct us where we can find the information you speak to? Please. Thanks

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  2. Police says:

    The governor is head of the force which is in a shambles – the Commissioner has to hang out at Riteway, the former office complete but cant be used due to lack of desks! (I bet the taxpayer is paying rent for a building not used). It would be better to use the RDA money to buy desks, or better still refurbish the barracks for police admin use. This is squarely in the Governors court!

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    • Well says:

      If the BVI government and people had not caused so many “road blocks” to the UK, things like the police and security of the BVI would be further ahead !
      Deadlines for works to be done were hampered through various departments and then missed as they went into the UKs next financial year.. A lot of aid and funds made available to help the recovery of the BVI were lost forever… some of the UK personal deployed here to undertake these projects just left shaking their heads in disbelief that a country would do this to itself !

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  3. we want trapreancy says:

    all money coming to this man must be audited bottom line

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    • Diaspora says:

      The Governor is the Crown’s rep in the VI, sharing governing responsibility with local government; the VI is not totally self governing as advocated in some quarters. The UK controls external affairs, defence, civil service, RVIPF, internal security, judiciary and jail (shares admin with local government). Other than finance (it has reserve powers over), the UK has direct control over some critical functions, ie, RVIPF, internal security, defence, jail, and civil service; in budget lingo, they are above the line critical issues. Other than defense, these functions are funded by VI taxpayers. In war, it is not typical for an invading/crusading country to make the invaded country pay for the exploits of the invader. Politics is war without bloodshed.

      Undoubtedly, the UK should be responsible for the cost of operating Government House. Similarly, funding allocated by FCO to operate Gov. House (residence and operations) should fall under the purview of the Governor. If you are responsible and accountable for funding, you should control it. On the other hand, grant money, if any, should be deposited into and managed by the BVI Treasury. Government is accountable to the UK for its expenditure for its intended purpose. Further, during the next constitutional review, the Governor’s Reserve Powers needs close scrutiny and structural adjustment, for a supposed self-government territory the Governor has too much power.

      Moreover, if it waddles like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is a duck. The RDA is an alternative government and a kick in the teeth and insult/embarrassment for VI people. It sets back the VI self determination journey; it supposedly shed its training wheels long time ago. The UK give the VI a measly £10M (~$14M) for recovery, along with £300M (~$400M) co-sign loan, but the money is administered by the RDA, an alternative government, not the local government. The money came with strict and specific terms and conditions. It makes one wonder if the Falkland Islands had a similar disaster as the VI would an RDA be imposed? With Brexit, Megexit, along with past actions, the UK is under the hot lights for its racism, discrimination, prejudice and xenophobia.

      Government must be transparent, responsible and accountable by words and action in expending all financial resources, ie, taxes, fees, fines, grants, loans……..etc. At the end of the physical year, a Comprehensive Accounting and Financial Report (CAFR) should be conducted for the prior budget year and released ( completed audit) by March 21st of the current budget year.

      Audit should be completed by an independent agency hired by the HOA; HOA should be more actively engaged in budget execution, ie, expenditures at or above a certain dollar value, ie, $100K should go back to HOA for approval. With this process, the $7.2M giveaway to BVI Airways, a bruk airline, would have flagged earlier, if spent at all. This means that government could be working three budgets simultaneously, ie, past budget year, current budget year and future budget year (planning, programming and budgeting).

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      • Quiet Rebel says:

        Indeed, the invaded country/territory should not pay for the crusaders action. For example, the crusading force seizing invaded country resources to pay for it being attack, ie, if the US were to attack Iran and seize its oil to pay for the war. The UK/crown should pay for maintaining and having a presence in the territory. Civil service, judiciary, jail and internal security should fall directly under the local government, if the the territory is truly self governing.

  4. mmm says:

    micdrop👊👊👊✋✋✋🎤

  5. VIslander Hater Strikes Again. says:

    These islands were invaded, claimed and named by criminals, enslavers, murderers, human exterminators and thieves, UK Territories.

    So stop spewing your english hatred. Try again, but some know better. Do we have internal problems? Yes we do. But no worst than developed countries such as the UK, EU or others.

    Indeed, your tone is pregnant with hate. Definitely one of those english men who are constantly belittling Mr. Igwe, BVislanders and people of color, and as you so poignantly illustrate in your blog.

    However, your forefathers history are no better than those you are trying to demonize in our Virgin Islands, or the current practices occuring in every corner of the world.

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    • Huh? says:

      You hate the UK and everyone from there yet you’re still happy to take the British passport and citizenship? Hypocrisy all round…

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      • @Huh says:

        No, we hate the racist pigs from there that are spewing their racial and personal hatred for us on social media. Do not conflate the two, human hater,

        We do not spew hatred to anyone, we respond to it.

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  6. @ Don't says:

    why DON’T you just leave and go back into your cave?

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    • @@Don’t says:

      I see the truth hurts. You are a racist, criminal, drug invested, lazy people who scheme everyday to get money for free and not have to work.

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      • @@@Don't says:

        Your statement reflects images white racist use to negatively distort our image and create a false narrative of our people.

        You clearly have no other words you can rely on to spew your hatred. Indeed, anyone reading your blog can ascertain who the racist is.

        Last, the greatest schemers to get money for free, thieves, drug dealers, drug investors and users are those in your country and community. Not because such stastics are not published on BVI News that you think the the world don’t know.

        So do yourself some good and stop being a hatefilled person of Black Vislanders and Black people in general..

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  7. Clearly says:

    This Governor is a waste of time.

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  8. Jane says:

    If I lend or give you money then I can set whatever requirements I want. If you dont like the requirements, dont take the money. Its simple. UK tax-payers (who pay income tax of 30-40% of the income and 20% on sales tax) deserve to know that the money given or lent is used in the way promised. As the BVI government has been unable to produce audited accounts I believe for the period 2012 to 2016 its unsurprising that the UK government don’t feel enthusiastic about giving money without checks and balances in place, hence the RDA. A quick stroll through BVI News shows countless stories of financial mismanagement and outright fraud (traffic lights on the roundabouts, greenhouses, BVI Airways, $1 million walls) the list goes on and raw sewerage still flows through the streets of Road Town and Long Look.
    The BVI government need not take any money if they choose. Let the BVI people (who pay a paltry few percent in social security and NHI taxes) have the self-determination they ought to have and hold a referendum on independence. If this means the people of the BVI need to pay a realistic level of tax to meet the needs of these islands, then we can all understand that independence comes at that price. I dont see why this has to descend into another racist “blame the Colonial oppressor trope”. We are all living in 2020, not 1834. Slavery ended 186 years ago.

    If the BVI government could get the audits up to date, stop paying religious leaders six figure “consultancy fees”, wasting money on stupid drag racing assessments and whatever nonsense it happens to be this week, then the UK government might change its approach. Get your house in order and stop this moaning, its embarrassing and shameful. Government likes to play the race card because its emotive and distracts attention of voters away from the real issue of corruption and incompetence.

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    • @Jane says:

      @Jane, I was with you on your reasonable reasoning until you took exit that Slavery ended 186 years ago and people should just forget. How long ago was Israel chased out? Has the Israelis forgotten about their demise? No.

      • Jane says:

        Of course, we must never forget. But we have to move on. No-one who is alive today even had a grand-parent who was alive during the disgusting era of Caribbean slavery.

        We must acknowledge the wounds of slavery which people still nurse today, not just those of African descent but also let’s not forget that hundreds of thousands of Irish people were transported as “indentured servants” to the Caribbean too. They were not called slaves but they were also slaves by any other measure. I am of Irish descent, my people also suffered enormously from the colonial oppression of the United Kingdom. The Irish people have found ways to move on from that terrible injustice, and the people of these precious islands should try to find ways to do so too, otherwise they will be anchored to this past, to this victimhood, instead of rising like the mighty children of Africa they are. Putting the past in the past, enables us all to move on. We do not forget, but we do not let us define us today.

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        • Quiet Rebel says:

          True, no one alive to today may not have been alive during Slavery. However, there are many alive, ie, descendants of Slave owners, today who are benefiting economically from exploited Slave labour. White privilege is alive and well. It is dishonest to compare the Irish experience with the dehumanizing, brutality, exploitation…….etc of Slaves. That rationalization of the Irish experience with African Slaves is not going to cut it. That dog cannot hunt today. If history is hidden under the rug, it will be forgotten and highly likely to be repeated. Britons didn’t vote to exit the EU because of Irish; they did so in part for their disdain for African and West Indian immigrants.

          • Jane says:

            @Quiet Rebel. White privilege is alive and well – absolutely agree with that. The enforced transportation of the Irish people as indentured servants was horrific: please read up on it if you are not familiar. No one people have a monopoly on suffering.

            Understanding our shared history throws up confusing contradictions. It is not always as a Black or White argument.

            Britons did not vote to exist the EU because of their disdain for African and West Indian migrants. For some, it was their hatred of Romanians, Albanians and most of all their fear of Muslims. Not saying this is any better, its still racist and bigoted.

            Another large factor (I would say larger) was the fact that ordinary people were given the opportunity to stick it to the Man in London. People who had been ignored by central government, who have suffered years of austerity, systemic underfunding of regional infrastructure and investment. They took their chance to give government a piece of their mind, but most people didnt expect the result.

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