Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 545-3572; ads call 440-6666                               Sittings from House of Assembly are carried live on 90.9 FM the Caribbean superstation or follow live online:

Dr Smith dodges timeline for Consumer Protection, Tenancy & FOI bills

- Premier said Government is 'working' on bringing those bills to House
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has avoided giving a timeline for three essential bills- The Freedom of Information Act, Consumer Protection Act and Tenancy Act, to reach the House of Assembly. Photo: VINO/File
Although promising the people during their elections campaigns, the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government has failed to deliver a Freedom of Information Act. Photo: Internet Source
Although promising the people during their elections campaigns, the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government has failed to deliver a Freedom of Information Act. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government's lack of urgency in bringing three essential bills to the House of Assembly- The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, Consumer Protection Act and Tenancy Act, was again highlighted when Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) was asked about them.

Premier Smith was at the time a guest on the ZBVI 780 AM radio show, More Talk Less Music with host Zoe J. Walcott-McMillan, on November 25, 2017.

While on the show, residents of the Virgin Islands were given an opportunity to text questions to Premier Smith.

The Leader of Government Business was asked when his Government was going to bring the Freedom of Information, Consumer Protection and Tenancy bills to the House of Assembly.

To that, Premier Smith dodged giving a timeline, although the public, the media, talk show hosts and a previous Governors, have long been calling for those bills.

“Well these things are necessary and they will be done. As a matter for fact we have already started the work on most of these legislations. The need for that have been brought on now even more striking than before because of what has happened during Hurricane Irma, and so there is no doubt that these are going to be high priority as far as the government is concerned.”

While no specific date or timeframe was given the Premier also added that “It will take some time for the consultation that is necessary for the development of legislation by the Attorney General’s Office and by the ministries responsible, but certainly they will be given priority.”

How much more time?

The fact of the matter is that neither of these legislations are new and residents and legislators alike have been calling for them for a long while now. It was Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Archibald C. Christian (AL) who recently said “I think I was a teenager when I heard people in the BVI talking about consumer protection….and we still talking about them,” while addressing the House of Assembly on November 13, 2017.

Way back in 2011 promises were made to the people in the Manifesto of the National Democratic Party to enact legislations for Consumer Protection. In the 2012 speech from the Throne, delivered by the United Kingdom appointed Governor William B. McLeary for the Government of the day, he stated that the Premier indicated that his Government “would focus on a Consumer Protection Act to provide for the promotion and protection of consumers interest, in relations to the supply of goods and the provision of services to ensure protection of life, health and safety of consumers...” Public meetings were promised for the 3rd quarter of 2013, which did not happen.

It was on the same show, More Talk Less Music, aired Saturday November 18, 2017, that the Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotions Honourable Marlon A Penn (R8) stated that the consumer protection legislation is currently on The Premier’s table, and actually had his draft document with him on the show.

Other prominent personalities of the VI have also been calling for the enactment of these bills and condemned the government for the lengthy delay. In August of 2016, the government was again berated for not passing the Freedom of Information Act by host of the 3D Show on ZBVI 780 AM, Mr Doug Wheatley.

In 2015, Mr Elton Georges OBE, who is a former Complaints Commissioner, spoke out against the Government failing to pay attention to the Freedom of Information Act which he claimed has been on the shelves since 2005. He was at the time speaking at an exit and welcome press conference on June 30, 2015 at the Office of the Complaints Commissioner.

Previous Governor John S. Duncan OBE even publicly chastised the NDP Government for failing to enact a Freedom of Information legislation.

As recent as in the Eleventh Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly, Junior Minister for Tourism, Honourable Archibald C. Christian (AL) and Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL) both called for speedy processing and enacting of these legislations, citing that they are bombarded with complaints of tenants/landlord issues intensified by the recent hurricanes, making them more of a necessity.

According to Hon Christian, the need for a tenants/landlord legislation has been mentioned many times before in the HoA and in Speeches from the Throne; however, it is time for such a legislation to provide protection for the tenants and the landlords.

12 Responses to “Dr Smith dodges timeline for Consumer Protection, Tenancy & FOI bills”

  • voter (26/11/2017, 18:36) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    More smoke and mirrors
  • george (26/11/2017, 19:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    doggie Orlando
  • VG (26/11/2017, 21:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is clear they are dogging for there is no will or intention to do any
    • Just Woke (27/11/2017, 06:29) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      Time for a different direction. Where is the New Party. Why is it taking so Long? VIP under Andrew Fahie is dead on arrival. Frazer stand a better chance,.. My New Party. Frazer leader ..Rawl 4....Rosenberry at Large..De Castro 2...Sonil Pickering 7(The only person than can beat Kedrick in the 7) Alvera Caines 6 (she doom under NDP she will get the Ministry of Culture) Zoe in the 5th ( Will win this time around).. Willock at LargeLarge..Clenel in 9 (easy Win) Leave Marlon and Fahie uncontested we may need them to team up with him.."Correction and changes maybe necessary with a good case".,NDP will lose easily once its not Fahie and VIP. . News from the Streets...Chairman of the New Party!
      • @Just woke.. Good. wont happen (27/11/2017, 08:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Not bad... soerry it wont happen..Too many big Egoes mean little or no compromise.. The two I rsally like are Clenel in 9 and Sonil against Picko. I think u on the ball. Sonil is one the reasons why Picko and Myron won he work hard for them. I hear Rite lay him off. Dont know if its true...but if its true he would have good pdople in his corner. ..He will be ok..The rest of them that got laid off will drink water for breakfast, suck salt for lunch and Dog will Nuam the supper. Sad. Im sorry. Really serious..
  • wize up (26/11/2017, 21:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    2019 or when ?(who next)
  • See (26/11/2017, 21:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    criminal . Might as well be Russia
  • Socrates (27/11/2017, 03:03) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why is the Premier and NDP playing dodge ball with these basic and no heavy lift pieces of legislation: Freedom of Information (FOI), Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) and Tenancy. No reinvention of the wheel is needed. There are scores of similarly needed legislation at other locales that the BVI can shaped to meet its need. What is fueling the unnecesssary delay? Is there a fear of what they reveal? These three pieces of legislation need to be on the next order paper for the HOA meeting.
  • Insurance act (27/11/2017, 03:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why don’t they do something about insurance because the insurance are taking advantage on the state of desperation handing out offers that can build a kennel and using Xmas as their getaway plan so the desperation of being in your home for Xmas will compel you to accept and when u do it’s weeks whilst Mr. Sh@$& broadcasting making his company look like they being fair many is taking they @$$ to court of course who can afford to rebuild fri. Their pocket and who can’t take the kennel money and go for Xmas is at the door ...well many learned and will be switching insurances
  • R. Street Reporter (27/11/2017, 05:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    All of them and their friends are business people. What do we expect? Business people don't make good politicians. When they get power its all about them and their business friends. Prime Example (Trump)... We need to hand leadership over to Marlon Penn... Young, Talented, humble, caring.the future...
  • barbie (27/11/2017, 13:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    One thing I hope that is included in the CPA Bill is a Refund Policy. Businesses should not be able to keep your money
    if you are not satisfy with the product. Just giving a store credit should not be the only option we have thus causing the consumer to pay twice for one item. This is one of the reason, I started shopping at stores that give options and from online.

    It a lot simpler that most wants you to believe. All that is require is you fill out a refund policy form, attach your receipt and a few days later they give you the money. I understand that they can not give you the money right away but after ending that day, they can do it. If the hospital can do it why can't other businesses do it.
  • Dodger (28/11/2017, 06:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    This gang will not enact any of these legislation under their watch. They are too corrupt and too untrustworthy to do so. Orlando is a d*m cl*wn.

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.