BVI News

No evidence gov’t pressed AG about sacking statutory board members

Premier Andrew Fahie has told the Commission of Inquiry (COI) that before getting rid of all statutory board members appointed under the previous government, he and his Cabinet ministers extensively grilled former Attorney General (AG) Baba Aziz on whether it was lawful to do so.

He said Cabinet went ahead with the removal exercise since the AG did not give a definitive response. But based on the minutes from the Cabinet meeting about those discussions, there was little, if any evidence at all, to show that the issue saw robust consultation with the AG, the COI heard.

“You started off saying that the Attorney General was pressed by the Cabinet as to whether the policy … was unlawful,” Rawat said while addressing the Premier during his appearance before the COI yesterday, Tuesday, September 14. 

“Premier, your evidence was that the Cabinet – not just yourself, all five members of the Cabinet – pressed the Attorney General for clarity. I would just like you to point the Commissioner’s attention to where you did that.”

In response, the Premier said the Cabinet papers were in no way reflective of the exhaustive consultations that were had in relation to the government’s new policy.

“This is one of the things I need to make clear,” the Premier began. “In a Cabinet meeting, the gist of the conversations is what’s captured. But there’s so much more that’s discussed that is not inside of these [Cabinet papers],” Premier Fahie said.

“So, there was a long discussion on ‘are we acting lawful or unlawful’.”

The Premier then proceeded to read a section from the Cabinet minutes where the governor, who is chairman of Cabinet, stated that a reasonable justification should be given to remove board members.

“The Attorney General didn’t respond just like that,” the Premier then said. “The chairman, after he said that; my recollection was there was some discussions about it. Now, we would not capture all of that in the minutes.”

What the AG actually said

The COI heard that throughout the discussions on the legality of sacking statutory board members, the AG had given indications that such a move had possible legal risk.

The Premier’s argument, though, was that the policy was in the public’s interest and not a political decision. But it appears the Premier’s argument was not well received by COI Commissioner, Sir Gary Hickinbottom.

“My difficulty is, before the Attorney General [got] involved in this, you within days of coming into office, had a policy to sack or remove all members of all boards, except ex-officio members. And I’m struggling to see what you consider the public benefit was in doing that. If you wanted to reinvigorate the boards, there are a number of ways of doing it. But that did not include sacking all members of all boards,” Sir Gary said.

No proper advice given by AG to Ministers

According to Premier Fahie, his government was left in a quandary in the absence of any concrete advice from the AG.

He explained to the COI that his government’s main focus on the issue was whether the policy was indeed lawful. He also noted on multiple occasions, that there were no lawyers among his ministers.

“At the same time, too, the question is, ‘is the policy in the best interest of the public?’ … And the other question is, ‘is it lawful or is it not?’ And the only person can answer that for any sitting government is the Attorney General. And if we cannot get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, then you leave the sitting government, whomever they are, in a quandary to decide on their own,” the Premier argued.

“So, you cannot wait until we decide, and then come and tell us, ‘Well, there’s an error,’ because we asked you before we decided. We are not lawyers,” Fahie further said. 

“And that’s the reason why I’m here today. Commissioner, it’s because you want to know if we acted unlawfully? And I’m here to tell you; as far as I’m seeing, we didn’t because we were not given advice that we did.”

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39 Comments

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  1. heckler says:

    There we go again…Throwing the former AG under the bus

    Like 48
    Dislike 5
    • Sacked says:

      The F*y sacked all the Boards so he could put in his cronies that would do anything he wanted. All the Ministers did the same. The reality (and F*y is too st**id to understand) is that these Boards are non political and that is the reason any new Government doesn’t have the power to sack them. In other words F*y took non political entities and made them political. This is what a Dictator does to assume control of everything. The best part of watching F.A. squirm is that he thinks he’s pulling the wool over Sir Gary’s and Rawat’s eyes with his long winded useless rhetoric. They sit patiently watching the f**l shove his foot in his mouth and embarrass the BVI before the world.

      Like 39
    • To heckler says:

      I agree with the Premier. I am not a fan of his but he is correct.

      Like 3
      Dislike 43
  2. Trying to pass the buck. says:

    The former attorney general is no longer here to defend himself or his record, so the Premier is conveniently using his name as an excuse for the decision he made to sack those folks. He should man up and assume responsibility for all actions under his government.

    I hope the COI invites the former attorney general to these hearings to get his take on what went down. Unfortunately I cant take the Premier’s words for nothing as he has problems with the truth imo.

    Like 60
    Dislike 2
    • Come on says:

      It has nothing to do with whether the former AG is here or not. The Premier just like the COI only responded based on what the former AG wrote and advised. The Premier is legally correct with his response and I am proud of him.

      Like 3
      Dislike 51
  3. Duh says:

    Listening to the Premier yesterday I wonder if he realized who he was answering in the COI? This is not Capoons Bay where everybody will hang on your every word and believe the nonsense, it’s a formal process and they already have answers, just wanted to see how you would answer. Sitting there and acting all innocent, blaming culture and the AG, what rubbish. You are elected in February and within a few weeks you formed a policy to revoke ALL board appointments? You or your Ministers didn’t even have a month to evaluate the agencies, sit with the respective boards, try to work with them and chart a course forward. You came with a hatchet job and caused pure ruckus in the country like a big bully but yesterday you were calm as a lamb playing the victim talking about being a young government. If you are a young, green, know nothing government then you should walk slowly. You got elected in February and by March boards were disbanded. You and your crew are shameful and your nice words won’t be able to save you this time around. Elections need to be next week!

    Like 82
    Dislike 6
    • Young Government My Tush! says:

      I agree. Listened to the entire pathetic show yesterday and the Premier was his usual class act self. Rambling on and on about nothing! Aziz needs to come back and defend his position at the time. The Premier blamed him for everything. This Government fully well knew what they were doing. He likes to talk as if hes the smartest person around, but it didnt work yesterday. They wanted their “Yes Men/Women” in place to string them along on these Boards that is why they disbanded them so quickly.

      We are not fooled by the Premier’s antics at the COI and the COI must know that we are NOT!

      Like 59
      Dislike 3
    • @ Duh says:

      Well said. I also noticed how he was acting all innocent yesterday and pretending to be so humble and gracious. This is the same individual who wants to have the territory believe that the UK is out to get us and we should put up a fight. Some persons who give evidence before him went in there with their stink and pompous attitude because of what he has filled their heads with. Now look at him. Lol. If people can’t see through this deceptive human being by now, then we are surely doomed!

      Like 40
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    • So tru says:

      Then the boards went hacking at the management team at evert stat body in a bloody rage. Look at what happened at the port. Young persons bullied and pressured until they gave up and left.

    • Hypoc***e says:

      Well said @Duh. And the most cynical part of it all, de man started out with a prayer for the truth when he already had his set of l**s prepared. Even before the face of the Almighty he is a h***crite. He think he still have that power in the old time days where people trust you based on what come out your mouth. Just imagine for how many years he must have been playing that game. No words!

  4. itstime says:

    Andrew Fahie Has been in this game for at least 20 years and now you are acting like this is new to you. Andrew also noted on multiple occasions, that there were no lawyers among his ministers, if you needed a lawyer why didn’t you get one look at how money has been spent on lawyers by this government since then, You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all of the time, You are finished.

    Like 40
    Dislike 2
  5. @Duh says:

    Perfect example of why the Premier should vacate office. He is always shifting the blame on everyone else. Agree, the COI need to call in the former AG. Sick of the BLAME KING.

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  6. pathetic says:

    I keep telling you all that something wrong with this man. He thinks his brains big but its really not. He is actually making a fool of himself. Its pathetic actually.

    Like 31
    Dislike 2
  7. Plain and simple says:

    YOU ARE DONE.YOU ARE FINISHED IN YOUR QUEST FOR POWER, DOMINATION AND DESEAT. I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO TOSS THE FORMER AG UNDER THE MOVING TRAIN WHEELS.

    Like 15
    Dislike 2
  8. Percy says:

    Lord have mercy …. Send Percy….

  9. Oh? says:

    He could afford personal security to the tune of $500K but couldn’t afford legal advice if he was not satisfied with the AG? I like how Rawat ignored all his rants and asked him to answer the questions properly. He can’t answer simple questions but making the most noise and talking about independence.

    Like 31
    Dislike 2
    • Listen says:

      I was so glad Rawat was ignoring his stupid rant and then calmly asked him the same question AGAIN.

      Please answer and keep it moving.

  10. :) says:

    I think the move was political but there is nothing wrong with that. Everywhere in the world does it including the UK. Just last week Biden was requesting the resignation of former Trump appointed persons to the military academy boards ang gave them a deadline to either resign or be fired. At the end 18 people were removed from the board. The White House said in a statement that “the president’s objective is what any president’s objective is – to ensure you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with your values”

    NDP spent 3 of the last 4 terms as the ruling government. The boards were full of NDP appointees which is not necessarily wrong but can you imagine the current government having to work with people who were openly part of the campaign teams for NDP and members of the NDP party. I’m not talking about people that may have voted for NDP. This would be clear confusion and possible sabotage. Like I said there is nothing wrong with appointing your people. The Government should select their team to move their vision forward just like every other place in the world. The board members most likely did not align with the values of the current government especially if some were part of NDP’s campaign team.

    The Premier has the right idea that boards should only serve as long as the term of the government. In a perfect world we shouldn’t have to do this but unfortunately some people cant separate politics from their jobs that’s why over the years there have been so many leaks to the media. How can you effectively do you job when you have deep negative feelings about your bosses or hope that government fail because you see this as a positive to allow your party to capitalize on the failures.

    Like 3
    Dislike 11
    • @ :-) says:

      There’s a proper way to do things! No other government ever revoked entire boards, NONE! They waited for persons’ tenure to expire then appointed who they wanted which is fine. Why would any new Government disband all statutory boards within 3 weeks of taking office? That makes sense to you? Nobody is saying it’s wrong to have the board make up that you want, but the rationale for the way it was done is what is in question. What was the real basis? The Premier is a bully on the local stage but was like a little school child in the COI. Why wasn’t he man enough to simply say “YES WE REVOKED THEM BECAUSE I WANTED MY OWN BOARD MEMBERS ON ALL BODIES!” If that’s what it is say so but don’t try to defend nonsense with all the semantics.

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
      • :) says:

        They revoked the entire board and reappointed some so what’s your problem? The government can function without the Boards for a short term so it’s not like the wheels will suddenly stop. Mark himself mentioned recently how the Port’s board may have prevented him from carrying out his party’s policies. People are so full of bias when it’s convenient. I guarantee nobody would complain if the Board members were guys like C*C, W etc. You would agree with removing them immediately without cause because they are greatly disliked. This isn’t about who you like or dont like this is about your ability to do your job fairly. BVI people are rarely capable of separating politics from their job just look at the history of the HOA votes. Everything is predictable. Member of government vote yes, Opposition vote no then they cry and complain for voting yes without all the information like Mitch, Archie and others did after the party fall out.

        Like 2
        Dislike 1
      • Hmm says:

        I agree. You are a young government as you claim , if that is the case, why remove everyone especially those with technical experience. Why is it that your board members have the boards in shambles? Why is it everyone can’t wait for your government to leave? Why is it that ports, tourism and airport all in a problems ? Why is it certain members are on most of the boards? Why is it that you spend monies but have no plan? Why is it projects over price and are not fully completed? Why is it you run the country like a dictatorship? Why is it you are not consistent in what you say? Why is it JW don’t follow protocol yet he is still speaker? Why is it B and P terrorized the board run all the money out and yet you are the leader and have not address that behavior. Why is it the UK assistance was turn down? Why is it you went and sell us out and think we the people don’t know? Why is it you look Ralph T Oneal but act different? Lawd man, tell us why?

  11. LOL says:

    Same few haters of the Premier blogging all day esch day against him on this newsite. The majority of us are with our Premier.

    Like 4
    Dislike 39
  12. Common sense says:

    Whether the move was legal or otherwise is not the main issue here, it’s the rational behind the sacking of the board members. It’s clear Fahie wanted puppets he could control on the boards, and, that is blatant dishonesty at government level.
    He knows full well why those positions are filled by non political individuals, and, if he does not he is unfit to run anything.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  13. My Friend says:

    I, called everybody my friend , had to be my friend trying to hurt me , that is why I got myself body guard’s. That’s why I share the pie with my FRIENDS.

    Like 10
  14. itstime says:

    @LOL If you are with the Premier you are as sick as he is.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  15. We can handle the truth says:

    Most of his answers were long winded lectures. He even preached from the bible in a few instances. I can only conclude that the COI let him ramble on so he can spill some beans when he got tired of talking n@n$ence.

    Kinda reminds me of Jack Nicholson who, as a witness, tried to intimidate and bully Tom Cruise the lawyer…. and ended up incriminating himself.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  16. THEY ARE KNOW TO BE CUNNING says:

    and they are taking these wanna be aristocracts to school by letting them
    expose themselves and they are doing a fine job all by themselves ( A silent IMPLOSION coming down the tube )

  17. L Ipton says:

    Not given an advise that you did or didn’t, in no way absolve you from acting illegally. Ignorance is no excuse.

  18. Ya awl says:

    Premier it is very simple, if AG didn’t give clear advice, you shouldn’t of taken action. You are guilty of this and many other acts, take your medicine wisely.

  19. Very Incompetent Party says:

    Police officer: “you just ran a red light”
    Fahie: “Don’t worry I’m on the phone waiting to hear back from my lawyer if it was illegal”
    Police officer: “so you were also driving while using a cell phone?”
    Fahie: “I’m waiting to hear from him about that too….”

  20. F*t A is bad says:

    To get to the bottom of this is very simple: speak to the former attorney general on it. We will discover that Albert is l**ng through his teeth.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what the UN thinks of Premier Andrew Fahie now.

  22. OMG says:

    BVINEWS, who writes you all headlines? You all need an English teacher…

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