BVI News

Who will pay for the Commission of Inquiry?

Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, the upcoming Commission of Inquiry (COI) is another expense the BVI public may have to cover this year.

Following this week’s announcement that Governor Augustus Jaspert has ordered a COI into alleged political corruption in the BVI, the public has been asking about the source of funds to cover the upcoming process.

According to the BVI’s Commission of Inquiry Act (1880), the Commissioner and his secretary may be paid with funds from the BVI treasury. 

“The Governor may direct what remuneration, if any, shall be paid to any commissioners acting under this Act, and to their secretary, and to any other person employed in or about any such commission and may direct payment of any other expenses attendant upon the carrying out of any such commission, or under any proceedings for any penalty carried out under this Act. Such sums, so directed to be paid, shall be paid by the Financial Secretary out of the ordinary cash balance in the Treasury of the territory,” the Act says.

Despite what the law says, the public is still waiting on a promised press conference Governor Jaspert will host this week, to hear whether the Commissioner will be paid by the BVI and the estimated cost for his services.

In a public statement issued January 19, Premier Andrew Fahie urged the public to get familiar with the Commission of Inquiry Act (1880) in order to understand how the process works and the actions that are lawful while the Inquiry is in progress.

“For instance, many persons may not be aware that anyone who is the subject of the inquiry or who may be in any way implicated or concerned in the matter is entitled to have a legal representative present to look after their legal rights. And, a subpoena to attend or to give evidence before the Commission must be treated in the same way as a summons form the High Court,” Premier Fahie explained.

He added: “Being informed will help you to properly participate in the Inquiry.”

The upcoming COI into alleged political corruption is the first of its kind to be ordered in the BVI.

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21 Comments

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  1. YOUTH says:

    Here we go again with a modern form of colonialism.

    Like 1
    Dislike 43
  2. who pays us (the public) back? says:

    In case the politicians stole all the money? Will the politicians be personally responsible? Will they have to pay for their own trial?

    Like 38
    Dislike 1
  3. Who? You asked? says:

    I think the person(s) who is being investigated by COI should pay the tab. THEY CAN PAY TAB. THE TAX PAYERS OF THE BVI GOVERNMENT PERSONAL ATM IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED.

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
  4. Taxpayer says:

    Looters will pay

  5. Sir Humphry says:

    Does anyone see the irony in complaining about monies being taken from the public purse to pay for a CoI into monies in the public purse being inappropriately used?

    Like 13
  6. ? says:

    England will pay of course. that’s why they send him here to investigate they BACKSIDE.

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  7. OMG says:

    This baffles me as to why were so concerned about who is going to pay for this. 50M has been wasted on Tax payers money. so lets spend a little before we loose another 50m in wasted projects the government are paying to their cronies.

    I personally think the 50m is a gross shortage of the other projects we don’t know about.

    I think this investigation who ever pays is going to be one of the best deals we can receive.

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Be aware that in Turks and Caicos where the trial of the former Premier is ongoing for 5 years that the cost to date is $100 million. Paid for by Turks and Caicos.

  8. 1st district says:

    For your info, them same disrespected, honourable, BRITS who was paying the RDA that WE rudely run from here who was assisting in our recovery will be paying the bill. For our CORRUPT SECRETS! SHAME, SHAME ON WE!

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  9. WTF says:

    Hickenbottom isn’t coming here for free for 6 months. Someone has to pay his salary most likely in the 6 figure range like the former RDA head and chances are his food, rent etc. will be paid by someone and it isn’t Jaspert or the UK.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  10. :) says:

    The COI should be done publicly similarly to how the US handled the Benghazi hearings etc. The reason why there is a lot of misinformation, speculation and hearsay is because all of the things that are now being questioned were done behind closed doors. We did not see the hiring/selection process. We haven’t seen the breakdown of who received funds for the covid relief and that’s the problem, we cant see, we dont know so people start to speculate to make up their own answers to questions they have. No matter what the COI find someone will always question if done behind closed doors. Let everyone see the process and players involved so we can all make our own determinations. Its like having police cams we dont have to take the word of one party anymore when we all can see what happened to get the whole truth.

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
    • Rubber Duck says:

      It’s a two way street. Witnesses in a public hearing risk intimidation, particularly if the drug business is involved. Unlike the actions of government here the report will be fully public.

  11. Hmmm says:

    It’s very easy for witnesses to tell lies in private. Much harder to do so in public and on live TV.

  12. Hmm says:

    Who will pay for work permit extentions now that ppl have to go in for time, that is because of some at SSB not working fast enough. Imagine they say three to four week for a certificate of earning and it over six weeks now and no one in charge is asking them why its taking so long and why some ppl getting theirs within one week.

  13. ? says:

    They only work for there big friends. if you are not there friend you will never get your
    iave seen it happen with my 2 damn eyes

  14. Taxpayer says:

    If somebody is going to go jail. I will pay the bill.

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