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Motion moved to have Governor reprimanded for violating Audit Act

Senior Opposition legislator Julian Fraser has moved a motion in the House of Assembly to have Governor Augustus Jaspert reprimanded for violating the Audit Act. 

Speaking in the House on Thursday, Fraser accused the governor of ‘brazenly’ failing to deliver the Auditor General’s special report about BVI Airways within the legally-prescribed timeframe.

According to the Virgin Islands Audit Act of 2003, “the governor shall, within three months of the receipt of the special report, cause the report to be laid before the Legislative Council (the House of Assembly)”.

Governor Jaspert is said to have received the report in question on January 27 this year. However, it was only brought to the House on May 28, four months later.  

In moving his motion, Fraser, therefore, said: “Be it resolve that this honourable House reprimand the Governor for violating Section 20(2) of the Audit Act 2003, and obstructing the duties of the House of Assembly under Section 47, 3, of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007.”

“The Audit Act in no uncertain terms describes that the report shall be laid on the table in this honourable House within three months of receipt from the date of the report. It is now four months and one day since that report was submitted and received on the 27th of January,” he added.

READ: Premier complains to UK that governor withholds report for 10 weeks

The Opposition legislator said he believes Governor Jaspert had ample time to review and submit the report to Cabinet, which would then bring it to the House.

Fraser further said he believes if no one holds the Governor accountable for such actions, the behaviour will persist in the foreseeable future.

“I have every reason to believe that there is some form of a cavalier attitude towards this honourable House coming out of the Governor’s Office and it has to stop. I think that if we don’t call him out on this behaviour it will continue,” the Opposition legislator argued.

Governor’s action to have HOA meet an “overreach”

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Assembly Julian Willock was also vocal in his disapproval of Governor Jaspert for a related issue.

Willock expressed strong disapproval for what he said was the governor’s attempt to summon the House to meet at a date which would have caused the report to be laid before members within the statutory deadline.

Willock, who is the head of the Legislative Council as Speaker of the House, said he believes the action by the Governor was “an overreach [and] as an interference in the Legislative branch”.

“In correspondence to the Premier dated 24th April 2020, the Governor sort to “strongly urge” the House of Assembly to meet on 7th May 2020, in order for the statutory time period of three months is complied with,” the Speaker said.

He added: “The Governor cannot dictate to the Legislative branch when they should meet and even suggesting a date. He cannot compel the leader of government business in writing to meet as the Standing Orders outlined how meetings are called and how Members are summoned.”

Willock also said he wrote a letter to the Governor outlining his position on the matter.

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12 Comments

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  1. I guess "This Governor has to go" says:

    Every U.K. governor as of late in recent memory has had this said about them during their tenure.

    It appears to me that our government has never been happy with their constitutionally agreed relationship with the U.K, and has always been unhappy with these appointed governors, but are never unhappy enough to take matters into their own hands, and go independent.

    I wonder why?

    They talk and grumble, and flex their muscles every opportunity they have, but never take the obvious next steps.

    I wonder why?

    As far as I am concern, this so called motion to reprimand the governor is just another spat in a bad marriage.

    They will make up and make love again.

    The perceived problem with this governor today rest assured will be the perceived problem with the next. Different governor, same mindset.

    This government in particular appears to have it’s daggers out for this current Governor, and they are becoming more vocal about their perceived discontent from the usual quarters.

    I am tired of the complaining that does nothing to change the relationship between the U.K. appointed governors and the local government, and see this move as nothing more than a red-herring, and a power trip.

    If and when a reprimand motion is passed, nothing will change, and we will be hearing the same song and dance about the next appointed governor whenever he shows up.

    Ironically, some of these folks who have issues with their constitutionally appointed governors and the U.K. by extension are the same ones who don’t have a problem seeking money from the U.K. when it suits them.

    This song is all too played out. Go independent if you dare so that you do not have to answer to any U.K. appointed governor, or stop complaining about these governors and deal with the relationship you signed up for and continue to maintain with each so called constitutional review.

    Like 39
    Dislike 2
    • Real Simple says:

      “the relationship we signed up for”????

      • Real Simple says:

        Yes..the relationship we signed up for. In the beginning before local government took control of local governance, we did not have much of a choice.

        Much has changed since then relative to our having some control over our own destiny. However, one thing has not: our continued designated as an oversees territory of the U.K.

        Ever so often you hear the politicians talk about that relationship and they go about tweaking it with so called constitutional reviews, but that core constitutional relationship remains, and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future because:

        a) Our political leaders past and present wants it to remain that way, or
        b) Our political leaders past and present cannot lead us to an alternative governmental arrangement.

        As such the status quo remains. Thus my suggestion that they stop complaining about these governors just to make political noise because it amounts to nothing meaningful, just the same.

        When the current governor tenure is up and he leaves, the next governor will face the same old tired criticism.

        We are a smart people, but we are very comfortable with our condition otherwise we would grow and change.

  2. ? says:

    Did he do his research on a laptop?

  3. Really says:

    I think the entire House of Assembly should be reprimanded for their racism, crookedness and cronyism

    Like 37
    Dislike 6
  4. hog city says:

    That’s right fraser, nobody is above the laws of the land.

    Like 2
    Dislike 10
  5. Gangstar says:

    Only in the HOUSE OF FREEDOM (HoA)you can say anything and you don’t have to give an account for it.!!!!!

  6. Motion moved says:

    To have Fraser reprimanded for the traffic lights. We didn’t forget Fraser. While we reprimanding, let’s reprimand all those reckless spenders.

    Like 15
  7. craziness says:

    The amount of nonsense that Fraser has done and has the gall to try to reprimand the governor. Fraser talking about audit reports when he is the same one who did his s**** dealings with Bi-Water…The pot need to stop calling the kettle black.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  8. thoughtful sailor says:

    It has been established that the Governor did not receive the report until February 7. Now, we have Fraser complaining that it was not laid on the table in time, and Willock complaining that the Governor suggested a HOA meeting that would have allowed the report to be presented on time. What utter nonsense from two nonsensical politicians!

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  9. Who's to Blame? says:

    This is the best dam Goat Rodeo I’ve seen in many a year. Hot Dam! Fraser and Company pointing out flaws in Government? Ha! From the creators of this hot mess, they should know it. Fraser must be making up his own storyline, because he’s got the dates and facts all wrong…

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