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.