Principal Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit has said the British Virgin Islands is not up to par with the other Overseas Territories (OT’s) in terms of their compensation packages for government lawyers.
She gave that indication while addressing the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) recently.
And according to the subsequent SFC report for 2020, Scatliffe-Esprit said: “There was a small group comprised of persons from the ODPP and the Attorney General’s office who were doing active research in comparing the BVI to other Overseas Territories in terms of compensation.”
“While the BVI might be better off than most of the Eastern Caribbean, the BVI would be ranked at the bottom. She (Scatliffe-Esprit) stated that the BVI must take into account the cost of living, among other things,” the SFC report stated.
The Principal Crown Counsel then urged the government to “become more competitive with the private sector”.
“The reality was that the government was unable to compete with the private sector in terms of their compensation packages,” Scatliffe-Esprit further told the SFC.
Lengthy recruitment process
In the meantime, Scatliffe-Esprit said the lengthy recruitment process for additional attorneys to join the Office of the DPP was a concern.
The in summarising that concern from the prosecuting attorney, the SFC report said: “The ODPP continues to face hurdles such as the length of time of the recruitment process, which has now been excessively lengthened as a result of the new initiatives by the Ministry of Finance, where a department has to apply to have an approved position advertised in addition the lack of proper financial remunerations.”
According to the Principal Crown Counsel, the hiring process takes between six to eight months. This she said sometimes encourages qualified Virgin Islanders or persons with ties to the BVI to “travel to other Overseas Territories to seek employment”.
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