BVI News

Sir Gary favours publicising HOA members’ Register of Interests

Inquiry Commissioner, the Right Honourable Sir Gary Hickinbottom.

Head of the Commission of Inquiry (COI), Sir Gary Hickinbottom has expressed an inclination to publicly live-stream a hearing regarding the issue of the Register of Interests for members of the House of Assembly (HOA).

The Register of Interests is essentially a record kept of the financial interests of legislators. Its purpose is to give them the mechanism to publicly declare any private interests which may conflict or may be perceived to conflict with their public duties.

Sir Gary, the lone Commissioner of the COI, disclosed his intent after hearing arguments from Fiona Forbes-Vanterpool on behalf of the Attorney General.

According to Sir Gary, the members of the HOA had, so far, not objected to the documents being before the COI in an unredacted format.

Previously, legislators voted unanimously for an amendment to the Register of Interests Act that allows the COI access to the previously private Register.

According to Sir Gary, the members did this in contemplation that the Declaration of Interests they have made may become public once the information is disclosed to the COI.

He further noted that given that HOA members are strongly in favour of transparency in government, he assumed they personally had no objection to these matters going into the public domain.

Forbes-Vanterpool, meanwhile, told the Commissioner: “You have to consider the clear intention of the legislature that the contents of the Register remain private, and so you have to consider, Commissioner, what is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances as regards why [there should be] public disclosure in that context.”

She also said it was up to the Registrar to apply her discretion in determining whether and why the public dissemination is necessary.

“That is our position, but that is still a matter for the Registrar. It is her discretion that has to be exercised in respect of what conditions ought to be imposed,” Forbes-Vanterpool stated.

The balancing of the public interest is very easy, isn’t it, because the people, whose confidentiality it is, have no objection,” Sir Gary reasoned.

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17 Comments

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  1. BVI says:

    WE TOO

    Like 16
  2. The Truth says:

    Does this happen in the UK?

    Like 3
    Dislike 14
    • Love BVI says:

      Yes it does and if you don’t declare your in trouble . You also have to declare gifts , if you a gov employee and somebody buys you a sandwich for lunch in the line of your work you have to declare it

      Like 11
    • Pension says:

      The truth….I sure UK don’t TAKE pensioners monies (i.e. Social Security / Retirement funds) and enter into a farm and fishing Lotto.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  3. Unconventional leadership says:

    The sole discretion is that of the commissioner. Again what is there to hide. Disclose you interest let us see what you have.

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  4. Tricoteuse says:

    Starting my tea cosy this morning I’ll just sit in the foyer.

  5. First District Representative says:

    I have absolutely no private interest to declare. You people’s probing is going way too far into my money wash.

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
  6. WEW says:

    I agree. Could be very interesting. The tax payers should know.

    Like 11
  7. BuzzBvi says:

    Finally going to see what interests these politicians have. Be much easier to see why certain things happen they way they do in the territory. Didn’t they just change the Registrar. Hope Patsy didn’t get the job the Registry Book will have been burned by now.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  8. Seriously says:

    I don’t like it. I feel private business is private business.

    But if you choose to go into Public Office you will have to face such scrutiny. That is the transparency required when you ask the people to vote for you, and you’re chosen to represent them. You knew what you were getting into.

    Like 11
    Dislike 3
  9. Ausar says:

    I have said that this should have been “de rigeur”, for quite some time!

    We are all too well aware that many have acquired great wealth on a “chicken scratch” salary!

    Disclosure-TRUE disclosure, before entering AND after leaving office, is STILL the only way to go!!!

    Like 12
  10. Former Government says:

    Release their interests too!

  11. Ghost says:

    The ghost of Tony Edwards haunts the HOA now.

  12. SCOTLAND YARD says:

    IS GOING TO CAUSE AN IMPLOSION IN THOSE BUNCH OF PRETENDERS ESPECIALLY THZT DARK CHAP WHO HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO THREATEN THE BRITS FROM HIS THRONE / ALONG WITH THOSE 2 MEN OF THE CLOTH WANNABE

  13. HELLO says:

    As the BIG MAN say many people go into office with little and when they leave , they leave worst then when they went in.!!!!!!!

  14. Facts says:

    IT IS ALREADY PUBLIC. JUST CHECK THE ISLAND SUN ISSUES DATED FEBRUARY 2, 9, 2019

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