BVI News

Speaker adjourns ‘illegal’ HOA sitting after Opposition raises alarm

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe. (BVI News photo)

Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Assembly was ordered adjourned on account of it being illegally called and convened.

Speaker of the House, Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe, gave the order this afternoon after calls from members of the parliamentary opposition, Andrew Fahie and Julian Fraser.

What made the sitting illegal was the fact that it was called in contravention of one of the regulations that govern the House.

That regulation, which is known as a Standing Order, effectively states that members be given 10 days notice ahead of a sitting. This was not done, which opposition members described as illegal.

Fahie, in his objections, noted that having the sitting would open the risk of any member of the public, at a later date, invalidating and undoing any progress that would have been made if the sitting was to proceed.

Fraser, in his contribution, added: “I don’t possibly see how is it that we can convene this sitting in violation of the standing orders which clearly states that 10 days notice is the requirement of a sitting of this honourable House. And, even if upon adjournment [of an older sitting] a date was established, it must be in excess of seven days — neither of which we have been able to achieve.”

He further argued: “We are in violation of the standing orders to have this sitting today … I personally feel that to sit here through this illegal sitting is also lending credence to the [other negative] behaviours of this House. It’s been going on for too long and it needs to stop.”

After hearing the arguments and having subsequent in-camera (private) deliberations, the Speaker of the House agreed with the opposition members and called the House to an adjournment.

The decision rejects Premier Dr D Orlando Smith’s motion to have the House proceed despite the illegality.

Legislators appeared to have mixed feelings about the decision.

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  1. :( says:

    Our poor country!

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    Dislike 1
  2. Hmmm says:

    NDP must get out of office.

    Like 26
    Dislike 2
  3. People says:

    The Speaker could have avoided this embarrassment.

    Like 37
    Dislike 4
  4. SMDH says:

    The NDP and the Speaker needs to go.

    Like 30
    Dislike 2
  5. What a pity says:

    Total incompetence by the Speaker

    Like 36
    Dislike 2
  6. Political Observet (PO) says:

    Speaker of HOA, Ingrid Moses, double faulted, did she not? Did she deliberately let a meeting be scheduled that clearly was in contravention of the Standard Orders? Why was not this issue addressed before the meeting? Well, Rule# 1 in politics is if one’s opponent is digging a hole, let them dig. Mek dem lune! Is the illegality why the Hon Skelton was missing? Another embarrassing occurrence. Did the Premier truly move a motion to continue with an illegal meeting? Is this leading positively by personal example? Call election now!

    Like 18
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  7. Albion says:

    This feels like the greatest over reaction in history.

    Firstly, this rule isn’t found in any laws. It is found in the standing orders. These are like by-laws that the House sets for itself.

    Secondly, the amount of notice was required was just two days short. Administration is stretched in the post-hurricanes world. Acting like getting eight days’ notice instead of ten days like it is a big thing?

    Thirdly, do these guys REALLY have nothing better to do than spend all day arguing and quibbling about tiny procedural points? There are important things that need to be done in terms of running the country. But no, they would rather bicker and squabble about whether the internal procedures set out in the standing orders (that they can amend at any time) have been complied with.

    With politicians like this, it is no wonder that the country is in such a mess.

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    • bull junks says:

      Both she and mark always using standing orders as a shield..Now it turned back to haunt them both…Tek dat!!!

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    • @Albion says:

      This is the problem with people like you and the BVI as a whole, the laws matter not and anything goes depending on who you are in the BVI. That’s why the BVI is going to h-**l speeding like a jet. The Speaker needs to take full blame for this ignorance.

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    • Canary says:

      You have missed the point entirely. If that meeting continued, it still would have been a waste even if all the bills passed and government business discussed. It could be challenged later and all the bills and decisions made would be still null and void.
      Thank God the Speaker woke up from her slumber and took a stand. The House of Assembly is serious business. Papers need to be circulated in time for members to study and prepare and have quality debate in the House.
      The rules need to be followed. They are there for a purpose. Isn’t that what we telling the younger generation?
      When the rules are flexed, bended and broken because its not a big deal and its overacting like you mention, you end up exactly with the dysfunctional and shambolic government we have today. Everyone playing by their on rules. The result is corrupt, arrogant , self important leaders with a flagging economy and substandard public services- that’s why we have no audited accounts for 7 whole years or waiving the tender process of all major projects- basically killing the local contractor chance to fairly bid for contracts. By your reasoning this is all over reaction as well.
      If we want to compete on the world stage we have to be politically mature- that means following the rules no matter how unimportant that rule they may seem. Right now this is not it.

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      • BVI lawyer says:

        Legally, I am pretty sure that is not true. Violation of a procedural direction in a standing order does not negate any act passed in the House that otherwise complies with the Constitution. Standing orders are purely internal and don’t affect the legality of the proceedings. Only the Constitution does that.

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  8. Agreed says:

    The S—– wanted to make the Premier look bad.

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  9. Hmmm says:

    What a joke of a house.

  10. voiceofthevoiceless says:


    At this critical juncture of our territory the Men and whom we elected just cannot get it right. This one is on the Speaker no doubt but look how much precious time has been wasted before this with bitter infighting, political grandstanding and divisiveness.

    Forget the FOI Act. Consumer protection bill too. No significant act to address the madness that happened post Irmaria.

    Just dissolve the House already. Pull the plug please.

  11. Hah says:

    Lol and we have lawyers in the HOA. NDP allegedly want to make and break all laws and have their enforcer turning a blind eye. Good thing the opposition have people that aren’t clueless. That’s why they need to remove the Speaker.

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  12. Musa says:

    A smart leader should not be fool by

  13. Maybe says:

    Maybe they still needed to come in the house and do it…since it was two days
    Short it pro ably could have been voted on and passed…ijs…

  14. Maybe says:

    Maybe they still needed to come in the house and do it…since it was two days
    Short it probably could have been voted on and passed…ijs…

  15. miss p says:

    “this house of assembly is like a circus”

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  16. Brad Boynes says:

    More going on to the Territory than what we are seeing.

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  17. Houdini says:

    It’s all smoke & mirrors my friend. Goes to show how inept the HOA is. Shame on us.

  18. Okay now says:

    The true colors of the worse Speaker ever is now being felt.

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