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Bring Bills to the public for input- Julian Willock

- The former Permanent Secretary explains two Bills passed last week in the House of Assembly; 'Development Bank of the VI (Transfer of Assets & Liabilities) Act 2017' & 'Secure Search (Beneficial Ownership System Act, 2017'
Left: National Bank of the Virgin Islands and Financial Services Commission. The Development Bank Bill passed last week will enable statutory bodies and other companies incorporated locally to invest in the government-owned bank, meaning the VI Government will no longer be the only share holder. Photo: VINO/File
Former Permanent Secretary Julian Willock (left) has called on the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration to stop rushing Bills though the House of Assembly (HoA) and get some public input. Photo: VINO/File
Former Permanent Secretary Julian Willock (left) has called on the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration to stop rushing Bills though the House of Assembly (HoA) and get some public input. Photo: VINO/File
Former Director of the Water and Sewerage Department Julian Willock was a guest on the International Morning Ride Show on ZROD 103.7 FM with host Paul A. Peart aka 'Gadiethz' (right) on Thursday May 18, 2017. Photo: Facebook
Former Director of the Water and Sewerage Department Julian Willock was a guest on the International Morning Ride Show on ZROD 103.7 FM with host Paul A. Peart aka 'Gadiethz' (right) on Thursday May 18, 2017. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The former Virgin Islands Government Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, businessman Julian Willock has called on the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration to stop rushing Bills though the House of Assembly (HoA) and get some public input.

The former Director of the Water and Sewerage Department was at the time speaking on the International Morning Ride Show on ZROD 103.7 FM with host Paul A. Peart aka 'Gadiethz' on Thursday May 18, 2017.

Mr Willock said "many of the Bills being passed in the HoA affect our rights, our businesses and our way of life; therefore, it’s important that they not be rushed or fast tracked without the public's input."

When asked by the host 'Gadiethz' if he was able to listen to the last HoA on May 11, 2017, Mr Willock said he heard some of it, but two Bills got his attention.

They were the 'Development Bank of the Virgin Islands (Transfer of Assets and Liabilities ) Act 2017' and the 'Secure Search (Beneficial Ownership) System Act, 2017'.

Mr Willock, the young Virgin Islander who was the only voice last year defending the Virgin Islands (VI) Offshore Financial Sector from vicious public attacks from the International Community following the Panama Papers, said "there are even members in the HoA who do not even know what is in many of the Bills they are passing, therefore, they cannot explain them to the people."

Willock explains National Bank Bill

He said that in a nutshell the Development Bank Bill passed last week "will enable statutory bodies and other companies incorporated locally to invest in the government-owned bank, giving up the Government being the only share holder".

Willock, who seems to have a keen ability to explain complex issues, said "because of the current administration, according to financial reports, leaving the Treasury dry, they are no longer in a position to give the bank the level of capital it needs, hence the need for this Bill," he said.

What is the Beneficial Ownership Bill about? Willock tells

Mr Willock also explained the Secure Search Bill by saying, "at the heart of the new Bill is that it provides VI law enforcement authorities with direct and immediate access to verified beneficial ownership information on any VI company."

While Mr Willock said he has mixed feelings about the Bill, as it was forced on us by "others", the new Secure Search (Beneficial Owner System Act 2017) "clearly demonstrates our commitment to cooperating with international law enforcement agencies to help identify and tackle instances where our structures are being used inappropriately."

While he continues to be bombarded with questions of whether he is running for political office, Mr Willock has emerged as a leading voice on the International stage defending the VI’s legitimate Offshore Financial Services Sector.

Willock is a defender of the Offshore Financial Sector

Last year he had an interview with the BBC when local political leaders were silent while the world was labelling the VI as a 'tax haven' and in January of this year he had another interview with the United States National Public Radio in the New York Area.

Mr Willock is also scheduled to do another BBC interview on other issues in the VI, along with an interview with CNN International.

47 Responses to “Bring Bills to the public for input- Julian Willock”

  • VG (19/05/2017, 14:50) Like (31) Dislike (31) Reply
    Love him or hate him willock is the kind of people we need in office
    • ??? (19/05/2017, 17:49) Like (20) Dislike (19) Reply
      How does one very brief interview makes one "a leading voice on the international stage defending the VI's Offshore Financial Services Sector"???
      • @ ??? (21/05/2017, 14:13) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
        It's the think tank folks and the politicians who need to catch up. willock is waaaay ahead
    • We understand (19/05/2017, 19:26) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
      Where is all of the Transparency that is always preached almost daily and promised by this gang
    • @ VG (22/05/2017, 22:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I might vote for him myself.
  • nonsense (19/05/2017, 15:29) Like (8) Dislike (33) Reply
    All the public does is complain and moan! How can you bring all bills to the public? This is just downright stupid. Let's dissolve Government and let the public run the country while we are at it.
    • @ nonsense (19/05/2017, 16:59) Like (13) Dislike (9) Reply
      sound so silly and jealous of willock he is right we live in a democracy boss
    • @ nonsense (19/05/2017, 17:08) Like (16) Dislike (9) Reply
      I'm speechless that someone could blog this bull...the people have a right to know what is in the Bills being passed. Julian you good my vote in the bag
    • @ nonsense (19/05/2017, 17:26) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
      Nice try, but such crass, juvenile and casual comment is useless as we not taking you serious
  • help help (19/05/2017, 15:44) Like (27) Dislike (5) Reply
    The NDP will feast on our social security money
    • ... (21/05/2017, 14:21) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      The VIP must develop an agenda which truly creates a win for the majority of BVI voters
  • Ha Ha (19/05/2017, 15:46) Like (10) Dislike (12) Reply
    He loves the spot light
    • @ ha ha (19/05/2017, 17:24) Like (17) Dislike (6) Reply
      Once again, the real story is that our Julian Willock is correct while some of you blog piss
    • bay (21/05/2017, 14:27) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      What we need is For Mr. Willock to demonstrate his BOLDNESS and STRENGTH. voters value strength of character... something sorely missing from most NDP leadership. As popular as Dr. Smith is he received criticism for being too genial.
  • Just saying (19/05/2017, 16:06) Like (14) Dislike (10) Reply
    Willock is right
  • wize up (19/05/2017, 16:52) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    Enacting new legislation without informing the people or enacting new legislation without the input of the people is nothing new in this country however the time has come before enacting new legislation to hold community meetings
    • Music (20/05/2017, 11:10) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
      With the title of those bills you will be lucky to get six people at a meeting. Then what? Is that public input?
  • weed (19/05/2017, 17:11) Like (9) Dislike (7) Reply
    This is truly frightening, that these guys can pass Bills without our input..thanks for putting the light on this esteemed one
  • jack (19/05/2017, 17:14) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    This seems to be the seasonable JULIAN I find the explanation of the Bills very helpful.
    • Bushmaster (21/05/2017, 14:29) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      The nation needs Julian Willock or someone like him who has a broader or more humanitarian message that expands on all aspects of inequality--and words and actions that demonstrates inclusiveness
  • mary j. (19/05/2017, 17:27) Like (16) Dislike (13) Reply
    If it's one thing I admire about Willock, he brings solutions to the table. You're on point; it's time to raise our level of discourse between our government and the public. Peiod!
  • Liat 521 (19/05/2017, 17:55) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply
    Willock I don’t know you ….but you are an inspiration and speaking good
  • American Made (19/05/2017, 19:25) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    And who will be held accountable for the public not seeing these bills? Of course NO ONE.
  • HAND WRITING ON THE WALL (19/05/2017, 19:35) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    Heads should roll. Start with the governor
  • wize up (19/05/2017, 21:01) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    just a follow...most of these laws are having an adverse effect on the local small businesses back in the day most of the new laws were criminal legislation: I had business coligues who were forced to shut shop because of new regulations and if we can't make it here where else can we make it......
  • E. Leonard (19/05/2017, 21:22) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
    True, except for emergency situations, the people, key stakeholders, should be afforded the opportunity to provide input on bills. Every meeting of the HOA should set aside time (with a time limit, e.g. 5 minutes) for public input (general); specific bills should also have set aside time for public input. Further, bills should have at least two readings; except for emergencies, first and second readings should occur at seperate HOA meetings.

    Moreover, the VI is a representative democracy, represnsatives are elected to represent a group of people, not a direct democracy. Direct democracy is impractical. Imagine 30,000 souls getting together to a create a bill. Chaos. However, represensative democracy does mean that representatives can act on their own without seeking input from the people. But the populace silence can be viewed as permission to act without seeking input from the people. Thus if people want input, they must get engaged and demand it. Nevertheless, seeking input does not mean that representatives have to vote for the position(s) advocated by the people; they must be empowered to exercise sound judgement. If the people disagree with the voting choice or pattern of representaives, they can exercise their frustration at the polls.
    • wize up (20/05/2017, 06:33) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ E Leonard: most of us so busy making dollars and have lost sight because it's now about personal development: it is only when our personal development get disrupted we run to the radio and television station making noise....I personally suggest once you left political office you must be audited; some of us went into political office brokers and now purchasing cars cash upfront; building 3 and 4 buildings all of these developments on a monthly salary as a member of the house of assembly(some in electoral crafty enough to divert those funds)
      • @wize up (21/05/2017, 09:04) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        Coming to office broke and leaving wealthy is a Caribbean phenomenon. People up and down the Caribbean, especially in the Anglophone countries, come to office broke and leave wealthy. It is an urban legend that only Dame Eugenia Charles government left office broke. Elected officials seem to have the formula for turnng a small salary into millions. They need to get a patent on that investment strategy. What is the solution?

        Before being sworn in to office, elected officials should have to declare assets and declare them every year thereafter. Not too unreasonable is it? Are local politicians following and meeting the spirit and intent of the law at home?
  • Caesar (20/05/2017, 05:59) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    There is no longer any democracy in these Virgin Islands. The present government has turned the whole thing to a dictatorship. Look at National Health Insurance. Individuals were forced to give up their private health lnsurance the way the law was structured? Now NHI does not cover all their needs. The bill was not in favor of Virginislanders It was for supporters of the party most of who were expatriates. Now virginlanders are suffering while those people can go to their country and get good medical service. We want medical tourism and not training our health care personnel. Every thing this government put their hands to become a failure. The reason they are thinking of themselves and not the people. This territory is at its lowest with this group.
  • Random (20/05/2017, 07:55) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Could our government tackle why a certain bank is now requiring Registered Agents to furnish them with beneficial ownership information.

    This is confidential information! The reason why there is. Secure Search System established by our government.

    Now, this bank has made it a mandatory requirement to provide them with this information.

    Where is our government to put a stop to this ransom request.
  • Guest (20/05/2017, 08:29) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    For your information all Bills are made public. Everytime a Bill has a First Reading it is published in the Virgin Islands Official Gazette where it is made available to the public to read. But most of us don't want to read and only after it is being debated in the HOA we take interest in it.
    • Reply (20/05/2017, 10:33) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      No public input smh where is john d?
    • wize up (20/05/2017, 10:43) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ guest: I hear you but same how the politicians can find my house before an election is the same how they should find the home of the voters and get input from them as to our country's development; what official gazette you chatting about; not even you read the damm gazette so stop allowing people to influence your judgement
      • Guest (20/05/2017, 15:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        @wize up. I actually do read it, every Thursday.and no influence here what do ever . Just stating facts
      • lord o. (20/05/2017, 16:39) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
        Whatever will affect the people the people should have a say... Running a government is not a family business..
    • please (20/05/2017, 14:06) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      Bvi ppl take pride in playing victim and doubling down on ignorance
    • @ Guest (20/05/2017, 19:51) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      please who reads the Gazette we need public meetings fool
    • NPolitico (21/05/2017, 21:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

      How accesible and how widely read is the Gazette? The Gazette is an anachronism of past centuries; it is now the 21st Century and government needs to modernize and come of age. Residents should be able to read bills on smart phones, tablets........etc. Agree with E. Leonard that except for emergencies bills should not be rushed through the HOA on 1 reading; there needs to be at least 2 readings. Moreover, there should public comments on bills. No bill should be voted on until there was an opportunity for public comments. It does not matter if no one comments, the time should be made available. This is transparency. The last time I check the VI was a democracy, not an autocratic/dictatorship. And it should live by democratic principles. The VI needs to exit from the trending autocratic slope it is on. Furthermore, residents need to stop just yapping and get engaged with action. If residents do not get engaged, nothing will change. The outcome will be the same. If we want things to change, we must get engaged. Change is not going to come easy: it will require sacrifice. National Hero Noel Lloyd and PAM successful agitatIon did not come without sacrifice. Dolph Faulkner agitatitation for change did not come without sacrifice. Leaders of the 1949 "March" sacrificed to effect change. Let's get up off our and agitate for needed change.

      • Music (22/05/2017, 02:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        You can sign up to the government website and receive emails of all govt papers, public announcements etc. Obviously the gazette is not widely known, especially apparently among bloggers. Frankly, bills can be boring to read, couched in legal terms. However, it is my experience that public meetings on such subjects are very poorly attended. I site the last constitutional public meetings, one of which had to be cancelled, and the airport runway meetings where maybe six attended.
    • @ Guest (23/05/2017, 23:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      where were you when Mr. Willock was explaining the bill to we for the first time
  • Street reporter (20/05/2017, 16:34) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't know why these modern day leaders like their own way... Not only politicians, but leaders in general are so selfish, think they know it all, they see the evolvement if others as stopping them from having their way...Time they learn that the chef understand cooking better than the hotel manager. Yet they have a meeting a meeting about the Hotel food and didn't invite the Chef. Lol. In other words people are decision without the relevant skill and knowledge input... That's all willock is saying get the people who in the kitchen involved in the food discussion...
  • BRAD BOYNES (21/05/2017, 05:54) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The need becomes a greed. The dam government is corrupt as well as many people living in the big local and foreign.
  • please (21/05/2017, 06:50) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    I like Willocks explanation... but its no different than what Dr Smith said when he introduced the bill ... BVI people dont listen to HOA..only want to read stupidness on the online news. Also I happen to know for a fact, a represenative grouping of the financial services industry was involved heavily... up to the night the bill was passed, in consulting and amending the bill. You dont always have to go to joe public on certain bills.. a represenative group of the stakeholders were involved.

    On the Bank...why do you need a public meeting for the Govt to pass a bill about the bank repositioning to raise money. Cmon man.. let the people govern. And to Willock where will any govt get money from to keep raising the banks capital.. Everyone want the government to do pay for everything, fund everything, and inject money into everything.. where is the money coming from and everytime the govt tries some new revenue measure everybody balling.while you at it ehy dont you tell us how much the VIP government put in.
  • wake up (21/05/2017, 14:10) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I supported Julian Willock in the next elections I thought voters might appreciate his ability to do good for the BVI
    • @ wake up (23/05/2017, 23:37) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      I wish I could like your comment a billion times. Some people are ignorant to the extreme thinking that JW can't win or that no one can take out the NDP..barry say you will hear.
  • ----------------- (22/05/2017, 15:25) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    good job willocks

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