While crying shame on all persons involved in the appointment of Phil Sharman as the territory’s next Auditor General, member of the parliamentary opposition Julian Fraser said there is something that doesn’t ‘smell’ right about the list of United Kingdom nationals being appointed in highly sensitive law-enforcement posts in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
He noted the probability of Government members being investigated, arrested, prosecuted, and supervised in prison – all by natives of the United Kingdom.
The new Accountant General is from the United Kingdom – so too is Governor John Duncan and his incoming replacement Augustus Jaspert, as well as Director of Public Prosecutions Kim Hollis, Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews, and Superintendent of Prisons David Foote.
“All the vital arms of law enforcement and investigation are in the hands and direct control of UK nationals, answerable only to the governor, who himself is a UK national. Something doesn’t smell right,” Fraser declared.
He said Premier Dr D Orlando Smith appears to be too fast asleep to notice possible ulterior motives.
“This is disgusting, for it is happening all too often. The governor seems to have a plan and no one seems to be noticing, at least the premier isn’t.”
“If our premier is asleep, someone close to him had better wake him up, because I see a governor who is up to something. Don’t take my word for it, but I will give you a scenario and you figure it out for yourself,” Fraser said in a post on his Facebook page.
Giving a scenario as to why he believes Governor Duncan is ‘up to something,’ the Opposition member reasoned: “As far as Government is concerned, the trigger is an investigation, and they are done by the Auditor General – a UK national. And the Governor – a UK national, can request an investigation on anything any time.”
“Next step, Public Accounts Committee whose Chairman [Andrew Fahie is a BVI native but] is the governor’s personal preference, and his (Fahie’s) chief advisor the Auditor General – a UK national.”
“Then the Director of Public Prosecution – a UK national, can prosecute anything arising from those investigations deemed in her opinion to be criminal. The police is the only body charged with executing arrest; and that’s what you do with criminal suspects. Who is in charge of the police? A UK national who answers to the Governor – a UK national.”
“When you arrest someone which by the way usually takes place on Fridays, they are locked up; and who is in charge of the prison? A UK national who answers to the governor – a UK national,” added Fraser.
Millions spent to educate BVIslanders
Fraser, in the meantime, lamented that a native of the BVI was not appointed Auditor General.
“After spending millions of dollars educating Virgin Islanders, and having so many Virgin Islanders unemployed and underemployed, the governor couldn’t find a Virgin Islander qualified to be appointed auditor general? Shame on you governor. The public Service Commission couldn’t find a Virgin Islander qualified to be auditor general? Shame on you Public Service Commission. The premier couldn’t find a Virgin Islander qualified to be auditor general? Shame on you premier,” Fraser trumpeted.
While claiming that natives of the BVI are being stripped of their dignity, Fraser made reference to BREXIT, which is a process through which the UK is exiting the European Union.
“In the face of BREXIT which is essentially a rekindling of nationalism, no UK national looking at this picture [regarding appointments in the BVI] won’t see something wrong with it. Virgin Islanders are being stripped of their dignity; they deserve some respect for their intelligence,” added Fraser, who up to recently raised similar concerns about the appointment of a UK national as Director of Public Prosecutions.
Meanwhile, Fraser is not the only lawmaker who has raised concern about the appointment of an outsider as Auditor General.
Before the government announced the appointment yesterday (May 18), Minister of Health and Social Development Ronnie Skelton lamented: “We have a position open for Auditor General, and we can’t find one of us (BVI natives) to manage that position; somebody from outside gotta come manage that again. We want an Accountant General in the Treasury, and we can’t get that do. And all this pressure coming down on us; this cannot continue.”
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