More than four months after being passed in the House of Assembly, Governor John Rankin revealed that he has not yet assented the Disaster Management Act 2020; parts of which he said undermines his constitutional responsibilities.
The Act has been with the Governor’s Office since the tenure of Rankin’s immediate predecessor, Augustus Jaspert who also didn’t assent the last two bills before him — the Cannabis Licensing Bill and the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act 2020.
According to Governor Rankin, the Disaster Management Act 2020 was among documents that came to Cabinet for its consideration “with insufficient consultation”.
“I understand the previous Governor was not consulted and to which to date I have not assented given its impingement on the responsibilities of the Governor and the proposed transfer of control over disaster preparedness and management from the governor to ministers,” Rankin said.
He recently gave that statement to the Commission of Inquiry (COI) which, among other things, asked him to write to them stating his position on good governance and how it is being applied in the BVI.
Governor Rankin also made other damning revelations relating to the standards of governance in the BVI. A critical revelation was Rankin accusing Cabinet of waiving the tender process for multiple government contracts when the circumstances were not justifiable to do so.
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