Moments before Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie today made another call for transparency and accountability in the British Virgin Islands, the territory’s government declared that it welcomes the United Kingdom’s assistance in those and areas aimed at ensuring good governance.
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith noted that he recently discussed the issues with the new governor, Augustus Jaspert.
During a swearing-in ceremony for the new governor this morning, the premier said: “It is indeed good to see you (Jaspert) again after our initial meeting in London just last month, when we expressed our mutual desires and interests in ensuring that a number of key areas – including the economy, crime and security, governance and transparency – are advanced…for the best interest of the territory and people of the Virgin Islands.”
“I therefore welcome you and the UK support in that regard,” Premier Smith told the new governor.
The premier ‘welcoming’ the UK’s support especially regarding transparency and accountability would no doubt be welcomed by Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie.
Fahie, over the years, has been accusing the National Democratic Party government of not living up to its mantra – ‘government in the sunshine’.
He also made another appeal during the swearing-in ceremony today. “Consistently over the past five years – and more so since the signing of the Protocol [for Effective Financial Management in 2012], I have sounded over and over the principle themes of adherence to the laws of the Virgin Islands, accountability, transparency, and good governance. I have sounded these principle themes so often that there are those who, for their own smoke-screen, have announced that I was favoured by your predecessor [John Duncan] and was working hand in glove with him. Notwithstanding these smoke screens, I will not be deterred!”
Fahie further told the new governor: “As leaders, if we are able to gain the confidence of the people that we are accountable, transparent and demonstrate good governance, then and only then we would be successful at this much talked about referendum of self-determination. Whether the Virgin Islands stay or the Virgin Islands Exit is a matter for the people of the Virgin Islands.”
Governor Jaspert, in the meantime, promised to ensure good governance through – among other things – transparency and accountability.