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Confusion looms as to who is responsible for HM Prison

Is it the Minister for Education or the Governor?
Governor William Boyd McCleary (right) and Education Minister Myron V. Walywn both have responsibilities for HM Prison, however, it was reported at the Standing Finance Committee meeting that there are some "grey areas" that need to be work out. Photo: VINO
Her Majesty's Prison located at Balsum Ghut.
Her Majesty's Prison located at Balsum Ghut.
Former Minister for Education and Culture Andrew A. Fahie said the former Governor David Pearey refused to meet with him on the prison and Peary insisted it was part of his portfolio. However, the current Governor had many meetings with him as Minister and they were on their way to have the grey areas addressed.
Former Minister for Education and Culture Andrew A. Fahie said the former Governor David Pearey refused to meet with him on the prison and Peary insisted it was part of his portfolio. However, the current Governor had many meetings with him as Minister and they were on their way to have the grey areas addressed.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Coming out of the recent Standing Finance Committee (SFC) meeting held to discuss the 2012 Budget Estimates was some confusion and “grey areas” as to the role of the United Kingdom appointed Governor and the elected Minister for Education and Culture, as it relates to the portfolio of Her Majesty’s Prison.

This was discussed when the Governor’s Office appeared before the Parliamentary Committee and was represented by the Private Secretary in the Governor’s Office Mrs. Natalie Fahie-Smith.

The Minister for Health and Social Development Ronnie W. Skelton enquired if the Governor’s Group was responsible for the prison. The Private Secretary, Fahie-Smith answered that the Governor His Excellency Body McCleary only had constitutional responsibility for the prison and was not in charge of the prison.

Following another question on the specifics of the Governor’s constitutional responsibility, Mrs. Fahie-Smith told the SFC that the Governor was responsible for matters of National Security and he was also responsible for the release of prisoners under Prerogative of Mercy.

When pressed by Honourable Skelton on what is meant by the Governor was responsible for National Security, as it relates to the prison, the Governor’s Private Secretary told the members it meant, “that the Governor was responsible for the safety of the Territory which encompasses the prison, because if not secured the prison could posed a threat to the Territory”. However, this does not entail the Governor being responsible for construction and repairing barracks and fences at the prison.

Governor meets with PS & Superintendent, why not Minister?
It was also revealed at the 2012 SFC deliberations that the Governor as part of not wanting to run the day to day operation of the prison, meets with the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Superintendent of Prison to discuss matters pertaining to the prison.

Mrs. Fahie-Smith also disclosed that the Governor was also trying to seek to have meetings with the Minister to resolve immediate problems, as the Governor had no desire to be in charge of the prison.

The Minister for Education and Cultural Myron V. Walwyn asked, if his Ministry was responsible for the “day to day running of the Prison”.

The Private Secretary informed that as far as she was aware it was, but there were “grey areas regarding the prison” which the Governor had tried to resolve for quite some time and as such had send correspondences to the Minister for Education and Culture asking for discussions on the prison to take place.

Mrs. Fahie-Smith told the Parliamentary Committee that the grey areas included matters such as who was directly responsible for providing funding for some of the projects that takes place at the prison and the visiting committee etc.

Minister Walwyn asked why the Governor only met with the Superintendent and not the Minister himself since the Minister and the Ministry was responsible for the day to day operations of the prison and the Governor was responsible for National Security.

In her testimony before the committee, Mrs. Fahie-Smith said that the Governor was gearing towards having meetings directly with the Minister and had sought to have such meetings since early 2011. She also added that the Governor had been trying to have that type of relation for a very long time and in her opinion once that relationship was established, the way forward was going to be clearer.

However, Minister Walwyn express that “a country could not run on relationships” and that there was a constitution which clearly gave the Minister and the Governor certain responsibilities and as such “the Governor should not meet with only the Superintendent and not the Minister.”

The Private Secretary also said the Ministry was responsible for the Parole Board to which the Minister for Education and Culture noted that the Private Secretary used the word “Ministry and not Minister” and expressed that as Minister he “knew nothing of the Parole Board being the Ministry’s responsibility”.

On the issue of not being able to meet with the Minister for Education, Mrs. Fahie-Smith said it was the former Minister that she was referring to. However, the former Minister Andrew A. Fahie told the SFC that he had several meetings with the current Governor on the Prison. The member for the first district also noted that the former Governor David Pearey “made no effort to have meetings during the time when he was Minister for Education and Culture regarding the prison.”

Mr. Fahie told the SFC that the former Governor insisted that the prison was part of his portfolio, thus no significant discussions or meetings were held with him despite numerous requests by the Minister to have such. He told the Committee that there was an excellent professional relationship between him and the current Governor Boyd McCleary regarding the Prison and “we were well on the way to have the grey areas addressed.”

16 Responses to “Confusion looms as to who is responsible for HM Prison”

  • white house (27/03/2012, 11:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The former governor who help bring down the vip
  • Q-Tips (27/03/2012, 12:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    look like they disrespecting Myron by having meetings with his PS and head of the prison without he..me tell ayo keep ayo eyes on that governnor
  • Mr. grey (27/03/2012, 13:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the 'grey areas' seems not to be worked out according to my understanding of this article....
  • Mo Sack Fon Seek Her (27/03/2012, 14:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The little kingdon run by Mason Brother Holder needs a full enema!
  • Release (27/03/2012, 15:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Give the Prison system to the deputy Governor's office where it belongs.
  • Well! (27/03/2012, 17:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well I think either Myron is not telling the whole story .....or somebody holding back things from him. Didn't he said previously that his PS had fully breifed him. If that was the case then he should be fully aware and if not versed in matters pertaining to the prison. I am quite sure he has a position in his Ministry which role deals with prison matters only. Also, bear in mind he sat as Chairman of the prison visiting committee. What is he getting at! The Minister is a very education person and he needs to pick up a budget book and see for himself who are the accounting officers and their the role they play. That will definately tell him who runs the day-to-day operations of any Department or Ministry. He also need to look at PFMR,2005 which clearly details the role of an accounting officer. So what is he getting a!. It seems like it is really true what the school children them saying that he just like fahie. So he have a right to talk about a shadow.
    • power move (28/03/2012, 06:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      He is not like fahie at least fahie had a relationship wid ministry's staff the child comes in goes stright to his office like staff aint exist! Power gone to he ball head...
    • My My (28/03/2012, 19:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      My My, you say the School Children say he like Fahie? So this Funny Man thing is for real.
  • jog (27/03/2012, 18:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I thought the prison was under the governor's office. I am wondering when this parole board will come into effect.
    • top (28/03/2012, 23:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      not sure what the hell you are talking about "jog" Myron for premier
  • HELLO!! (27/03/2012, 23:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The prison should be under the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The sup. needs to be dismiss for he knows nothing about running a prison. He running up there like a concentration camp. He does not like people from Tortola and continually talk them down. As far as he is concerned all Tolian are dumb or stupid..The deputy is more qualified and capable to run that prison or the previous sup. and they are both from here.
    • Please! (28/03/2012, 19:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Sorry pal, but if you have a problem with the current Supper, I dont, and I am from here. The Deputy thinks he could do a better job. He need to stop running off his mouth. The former Supper needs to pay the Government for what he did.
  • taxpayer (28/03/2012, 10:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just look at what is taking up valuable time which should be spent getting our schools in order. Myron for God's sake stop playing King Kong and concentrate on those urgent matters which can make or break this country. I am just sick of you and Mark up and down. After looking and listening to both of you and the Cuban, I am not certain that Dr. Smith did not make a mistake after the election. Give me a break!!!.


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