Premier Andrew Fahie has said he does not believe any government can be subjected to the rigorous scrutiny that comes with this ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) and remain intact.
He shared that view when he appeared before the COI yesterday, October 11, and raised renewed concern about the Inquiry’s terms of reference which his government continues argue are ‘too broad’.
“There is no government that could survive a Commission of Inquiry and come out unblemished with the terms of reference like what you have been given, none,” Premier Fahie told the Commission.
The COI is charged to look into whether corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty may have taken place “in recent years”. And Premier Fahie reasoned that these terms of reference are so wide that one could pick any law in the territory to see if the government was being consistent or inconsistent in its implementation.
In further explaining his point, Premier Fahie said governments may not sometimes be as consistent with every single policy that was being put in place.
He said if there are areas of concern in governance in the BVI, then “it can’t always be [that] the only road being led to is the Cabinet and the elected officials to see if they are corrupt”.
New governor praised for engagement
Meanwhile, the Premier commended current Governor, John Rankin, whom he suggested was more inclusive in the role he played in allowing Fahie and Deputy Governor, David Archer Jr, to examine approaches together for the transformation of the public service.
Governors in the BVI typically have oversight of the public service and Premier Fahie has argued consistently that some focus needs to be directed to the role of the governor in an effort to create more accountable governance in the BVI.
He said this was in addition to a code of ethics for behaviour, integrity in public life and other areas of concern that were being examined.
“So we may have differences in certain areas,” Premier Fahie said, “but at least this governor, I must say, has had the professionalism about him to sit and let us look at the real core of the problems with the present Deputy Governor — but I can’t say that was the case for most of the time I was in politics.”
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