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Confidential! Dr Smith refuses to reveal UK Framework documents to HoA!

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) said the documents pertaining to the High Level Framework for UK Support to BVI Recovery are confidential and cannot be disclosed to the Opposition. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Member Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), in photo, wanted to know whether Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) signed or agreed in any other manner to the term in the document titled: High Level Framework for UK support to BVI Hurricane Recovery and to provide the full document mentioned; however, Premier Smith refused to answer the question. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Member Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), in photo, wanted to know whether Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) signed or agreed in any other manner to the term in the document titled: High Level Framework for UK support to BVI Hurricane Recovery and to provide the full document mentioned; however, Premier Smith refused to answer the question. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- With even the Backbenchers of the National Democratic Party (NDP) left in the dark regarding the documents pertaining to the High Level Framework for UK Support to BVI Recovery, Members of the Opposition have been urging the Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) to make the documents available to all House of Assembly members so they can get a clear understanding what the Virgin Islands is signing on or has signed on to.

Premier Smith; however, has ignored those urges, including to a recent request for the documents to be made available to the House Members by Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) on March 15, 2018.

Hon Fahie had asked the Premier to produce every correspondence between the Virgin Islands (VI) and the United Kingdom (UK) Governments on the Territory’s recovery plan since November 2017.

On the day when the Virgin Islands Recovery & Development Agency Act 2018 is being debated and voted on in the House of Assembly, Opposition Member Hon Julian Fraser RA made one final attempt to get Premier Smith to lay all the cards on the table during the Question and Answer Segment of the Third Sitting of the Third Session of the Third House of Assembly today, March 22, 2018.

‘Documents are confidential’- Dr Smith

However, Hon Fraser failed in his bid moments ago. The Opposition Member wanted to know whether Premier Smith signed or agreed in any other manner to the term in the document titled: High Level Framework for UK support to BVI Hurricane Recovery and to provide the full document mentioned.

According to Premier Smith, they “are confidential documents” and referred to Standing Order Section 17A (ii).

“Madam Speaker, Premier, you can’t furnish me with your response or the documents?” Hon Fraser asked.

“Madam Speaker, as I have determined, these are confidential documents…” Premier Smith responded.

Hon Fraser then stated that the Premier must appreciate that he is seeking the support of the HoA Members “to aid in furthering the aims and objectives of the United Kingdom Government that was triggered by that particular document and if we do not have that document it is going to be almost impossible for us today...”

He added: “You have given us three pages of that document, and from my knowledge, there are five pages, the other two pages you are saying we can’t have?”

Premier Smith then refuted that he gave Hon Fraser three pages of the document.

“That is true, you didn’t give me any at all. I kind of stumbled on it somewhere, but there are five pages of this document and we are not getting it. That is what you are saying?” Hon Fraser asked.

“Let’s just set the stage for later,” Hon Fraser remarked to Premier Smith’s silence.

No one disagrees that loans are necessary

While no one disagrees that the Virgin Islands needs to borrow monies to aid in its recovery following the devastation of two category 5 hurricanes in September 2017, members are sceptical about the implications of the UK Framework document to the VI. The secrecy of the NDP Government regarding the documents have heightened suspicions and sparked many concerns, including from the Backbenchers.

The Bill entitled ‘Virgin Islands Recovery & Development Agency Act 2018’ was read a second time today and is currently being debated.

26 Responses to “Confidential! Dr Smith refuses to reveal UK Framework documents to HoA!”

  • Truth (22/03/2018, 13:46) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    dr smith has bad for we country SMH
  • Welsah (22/03/2018, 13:59) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    Him and his "one man" dealings refusing to answer questions and talking crap about being "confidential". Still he wants the HoA members to agree the whatever terms were disclosed. Skill ah he! This is sounding just like that BVI (nevergonfly) Airways deal and the Premier will never learn. Please come out your feelings for once this aint for you it's for the country.
  • Linda (22/03/2018, 14:05) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
    Does anyone have the power to force him to bring forth the other 2 pages? Surely Madam Speaker would know the law of confidentiality and will tell the members what it is.
  • Back .Benchers our Problem. (22/03/2018, 14:09) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why these Six people can't come together and show us the right way if they in disagreement with their leaders. Form a new party take the thing over and let UA be the judge I'd their ability. Aline with Frazer since fahie isn't in favor of the mive
  • Lord o (22/03/2018, 14:15) Like (27) Dislike (1) Reply
    We need that money. We need that Agency to ensure transparency and to ensure we get value for money... If there is another way to bring us back I yet to hear it...
  • ndp (22/03/2018, 14:20) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    What happened to Government in the Sunshine?
  • On looker (22/03/2018, 14:36) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    When the people of the BVI really want answers, Gov. workers will strike and demand them trust me. Remember the people is who put the government in power also remember Noel Lloyd sacrificed himself and led the revolution against the selling of WC1 and Anegeda, he got locked up but didnt mind if it meant saving the islands. Someone will have to lead the revolution but who will be the brave person? Only time will tell but for now I guess we'll keep taking these run around answers.
  • VIlander (22/03/2018, 15:01) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    The premier has encountered cognitive dissonance. He is having a serious midlife crisis. What he believed he knew he realized that he doesn't know but has already sacrificed us due to his miseducation and ignorance. And the loyal ones who would follow his lead anywhere are also miseducated and misled. So now rather than face the reality he is bullying and refusing to answer questions b/c his whole life he was deceived about his relationship w/ UK and his position in the world. His world has come crumbling down on him.
  • heart attack (22/03/2018, 15:03) Like (15) Dislike (5) Reply
    This is more serious than I thought. If Premier Smith can't even trust his backbenchers with this secret, something is definitely wrong. So when will "WE" his bosses know? I guess at the soon coming polls. WOW!!!This is sickening. Is this man for real? while I am here getting a big one.(Sanford). If I was in that house at that moment, I would have excused myself and teach him a lesson but those Backbenchers are not politically educated and have NO backbones. The people of these Islands on a whole have no backbones. Pure talk for a few days and No actions. That is why we are being laughed at and dis-respected in all corners. I for one don't care what or who say but I am praying for the UK to rule. It can't get any worse. What is the big secret? It is all OUR business and not your. You can only control your personal house business not the masses.
  • WTF (22/03/2018, 15:04) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
    The UK Government sent the documents to Orlando Smith for his eyes only, and maybe his spouse? What is wrong with this guy? He has lost it. I can't believe this is my friend and classmate. Orlando is forming the framework for a dictatorship. This is serious. All the citizentry of this territory should be very concerned with this government's behavior. God save us.
  • Ronelle (22/03/2018, 15:29) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    Why all you always think backbenchers have answers. Because they always in the back playing that pity poor us under informed members role when they quietly in favour with they party. Enough is enough. Forget the benchers. All you stop act so dumb man.
  • One word (22/03/2018, 16:13) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Todd (22/03/2018, 16:14) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    It’s probably confidential because the documents slam him for being Untrustworthy. What other reason can there be? He is being slated by the UK and is too shameful to admit it.
  • qc (22/03/2018, 16:16) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
  • NB (22/03/2018, 16:24) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm afraid that the cat is out of the bag
  • ?? (22/03/2018, 16:25) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
    You all are worrying about the wrong thing. The country needs to rebuild! If we don't get the loans and NOW, then what? Nobody seems to want to deal with the reality of this situation.
  • time will tell (22/03/2018, 16:29) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
    This is what happens when you have back benchers who talk too dam much. Got to keep them in the dark or Tom Dick and Harry will know before it's time!!
  • concern (22/03/2018, 16:33) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    I most often believe that Orlando has not got a clue beyond his script given to him
  • ??? (22/03/2018, 17:06) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I support the loan in principle, but you can't vote for something if you don't have all the details. This is a problem, I must admit.
  • Medicine (22/03/2018, 19:24) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Im sure he wished he had stuck to his medicine . politician you wanted to be.
  • Correct (22/03/2018, 21:56) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The bi secret is, they want him to remove himself from the ministry of Finance and he is refusing to do that. There will soon be a new election called. BAM!!!
  • BVI STRONG (23/03/2018, 00:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank God there is another election
  • Socrates (23/03/2018, 00:59) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Tell me again why: Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 documents are confidential/top secret? Why do HOA members who have the responsibility to review, debate and vote on legislation cannot view the documents, regardless of security classification? How can HOA members vote on legislation if they have incomplete information? Why is recovery plan information sensitive and confidential? What is the risk to national security? Do the documents contain proprietary information? Do the documents contain information that would be embarrassing to government? Is government making a big issue out of a non issue? Is government just thumbing its nose at the Opposition?
  • need bill/act (23/03/2018, 07:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Seems to me that we now need a freedom of information act/bill to. This man just drop the ball how does he expect members to vote
  • CannonBallRun (23/03/2018, 09:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

    If you cant dazzle them with brilliance you baffle them with bull sh**.

  • Concerned Voter (23/03/2018, 14:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The House of Assembly is the highest body in the land. This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog. Not a good day for democracy in the BVI. There is nothing so secret that the House of Assembly cannot see.

    It is like a child telling a parent, I have more rights than you, so don't question me.

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