BVI News

Premier dodges commitment on pre-election promise to give PAC more powers

Premier and Minister of Finance, Andrew Fahie. (GIS Photo)

Now that he has has been elected into government, it appears Premier Andrew Fahie is steering clear of giving any concrete commitment to his pre-election promise to give the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) special powers that would ensure accountability within government.

While on the campaign trail days before the election, Fahie said, if elected, a VIP government would give the PAC more powers to the extent that it (the PAC) could, in a sense, override Cabinet decisions if it determines that those decisions reflect poor or ‘questionable’ governance.

When BVI News contacted the Premier on Monday and asked whether his position remains the same on the subject matter, he responded: “Cabinet decisions were made public as a result of what I was campaigning on even before elections, which is good and makes all decisions public for all to see and deliberate”.

No direct answer

When further asked to expressly state whether he plans to keep his promise to give the PAC greater powers, Premier Fahie still did not give a direct answer. 

He said: “As Premier, it is not within my remit to decide how PAC will handle any matter. The transparent action of making Cabinet decisions public was done. Hence the public can decide any course of action now that they are fully informed of Cabinet decisions. At that time of the campaign, this was not the case. I am pleased that it is the case now because it bolsters all the tenants of good governance.”

BVI News sought further clarity by sending the Premier his direct campaign statement on the matter then again asked if plans to keep the promise.

The Premier then replied: “In a meeting. I have answered all that already.”

What Fahie actually said

Below is Fahie’s exact statement made on Thursday, February 21, 2019 — exactly four days before the 2019 General Elections:

“The PAC’s reach should extend into the government’s affairs to the extent that any Cabinet decision made outside of the scope of government policies can be ceased and re-evaluated rather than waiting until when monies would have already been wasted and not properly accounted for,” Fahie said at the time.

“A VIP government will ensure that a PAC has the authority needed to deal with the government of the day in regards to any misappropriation of funds and any fraudulent or questionable acts,” he added.

He made the promise against the backdrop of the challenges he claims to have faced when he served as Chairman of the PAC — a post held by whoever sits as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

The PAC is a body put in place to monitor government and its handling of the public’s purse and accounts.

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  1. Now says:

    This article is foolishness. How can a Premier dictate for the Opposition. This is taling things too far.

    Like 9
    Dislike 5
  2. SMDH says:

    Why is this news. Let the Opposition do their job without the Premier interfering.

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  3. Clearly says:

    The premier is justified on this one. He cannot and should not attempt to control the Public Accounts Committee.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  4. Hmmmm says:

    Is it me alone realizing that some people just looking for any nonsense to get at the premier and his government for no reason other than maliciousness.

    Like 13
    Dislike 10
  5. Go Fahie! says:

    Yes Fahie Boy! Kill us with lies. We love lies, deception and melee so feed us Premier. Feed us! I can’t wait for the next lie. They are coming fast and furious. We get the government we deserve.

    Like 18
    Dislike 15
  6. Come on says:

    The members of the PAC are more than equiped to speak for themselves so the premier is doing the right thing by leaving them do so and staying out of the PAC affairs.

  7. Good stuff says:

    This is the type of journalism that’s needed to help us keep
    Government accountable. Now how about you do a article
    On the alleged investigation that Honorable Vanterpool eluded to a few months back.

    Like 6
    Dislike 7
  8. LOL says:

    I guess today is a slow news day.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  9. Be real says:

    It would not be true democracy for Fahie to run the government amd also the Opposition. Let each side do their jobs independent of each other interfering.

    • This is nonsense says:

      Explain how he running the opposition and he giving a committee run by the leader of the opposition more power to do their job. Do you people even think before you post.

      Andrew literally back peddle on a promise he made and you find that to be ok hmmmm

  10. vip heckler says:

    Ayo ain’t realize that this man is a snake in the grass?

    Like 13
    Dislike 10
  11. M&M&M says:

    Mark, Marlon, and Myron still at it trying to pull down this man.

    Any one who understand what going on here can see clearly that a group of power hungry people who think that the country can only be ran by them and no one else.

    Their real job is to blog their negative attacks all day.

    Like 9
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  12. Thumbs up! says:

    This is an excellent article!! Government has to pass legislation for PAC to act with these special powers. Fahie desperately wanted these powers when he headed the opposition but his hands were tied. Do what you said you would do Mr. Premier and stop stalling or we’ll assume you are the same, just a shade darker. We need watchdogs!!

    Like 17
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    • Rather Convenient! says:

      I concur with this article as well as “Thumbs Up!” PAC doesn’t create policies for their own modus operandi. They are empowered by government and their reach in scope, in light of greater accountability, transparency and is always open to greater enhancement. When Hon Fahie was in the opposition, they were a mere two lopsided member strong, (or wear) and having greater reach us what he was talking about when he was wearing the shoe. The PAC is in fact a “Checks and Balance mechanism”, empowered for strive for better governance, accountability and transparency.

  13. Well well says:

    Q. Is there a PAC ?

  14. Anonymous says:

    The ironic thing about this is let’s say Fahie did go ahead with giving the PAC more power. The majority of people were so terrified of Fraser having ultimate power as Premier the VIP lost the elections in a landslide. It was said that Thrushes would fly away. Have people changed their opinion of Fraser or is this just political harassment. Mark was one of the biggest reason why NDP lost the election. His fingerprints was all over most of the failures and mismanagement. Marlon allowed Mark to take his money to fix the decades old sewage problems to go to the Pier Park. Do y’all really think these people need more power.

    Like 7
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  15. Blah says:

    This is actually good journalism. The problem is I have 2 manifestos full of lies and have been posting about it for years but now in barely over 6 months we expect Fahie to turn water into wine. Government might have kept more of their promises if they didn’t have to deal with consumer protection in 2019 when it was promised in NDP’s manifesto over 8 years ago. We still dont have a library or landlord/tenant laws which was listed in the 2011 NDP manifesto. If government have to deal with stuff that was promised in 2011 they wont have time to complete stuff that they promised within a single term. The admin and high school should have been started by the previous government.

    Like 6
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  16. Attention says:

    The Brown Bommer is caught once again. We said anything to get elected. Now his tune changed. They will do anything to STAY in POWER which means NO new PAC legislation to give them more oversight over the dealings of this government.

    This is very good journalism, we should have started doing this ages ago, but now is good too. We will see or unearth more useless promises or rather lies with this set. Expose all of them, don’t just stop here.

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
    • To Attention says:

      Your statement is so ignorant. Fahie is not in charge of the Public Accounts Committee which is under the Opposition so stop talk foolishness. Fahie is doing just fine as Premier.

    • To Attention says:

      Give trying to negatively brand Fahie a break. It makes no sense what you are saying and what this lame duck article is trying to do. It is not good for democracy for a Premier to dictate what and how a public accounts committee which is under the Opposition shpuld carry out their duties. So I advise the Premier to stay out of this.

      • Hush says:

        Attention didn’t put the words in Fahie’s mouth when he was campaigning. He said what he said! Now as Premier he needs to follow through on his campaign words. So all of you all just hush! Or better yet tell your boy to hush from saying stuff to get elected. Set of jokers.

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