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More lies coming from the Smith Government; FS takes the blame!

-Premier Smith provided the people with inaccurate information on police support, forced to tell the truth, as Financial Secretary (FS) takes the blame
Financial Secretary Neil M. Smith (right) has taken the blame for Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (left) feeding the public with inaccurate information regarding funding for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE had announced that he was exercising his reserved powers to order additional funding for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force when Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith rushed to give a statement which has since been found to have contained erroneous information. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE had announced that he was exercising his reserved powers to order additional funding for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force when Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith rushed to give a statement which has since been found to have contained erroneous information. Photo: VINO/File
Police Commissioner Michael Matthews has in the past lamented the need for more funding for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force. Photo: VINO/File
Police Commissioner Michael Matthews has in the past lamented the need for more funding for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- In the age of alternate facts, fake news (Donald J. Trump Administration) media fact checkers and leaks inside governments all over the world, the Virgin Islands Government of Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) struggles to keep up with the truth.

Long accused by the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Opposition, the media, civil society and talk show hosts of misleading the public, inaccurate information and downright lies in the House of Assembly, Premier Smith has now admitted that the public was given erroneous information following his hastily arranged statement  on the evening of March 16, 2017.

Our information was erroneous- Neil M. Smith

The Premier was at the time responding to Governor John S. Duncan OBE who had used his reserved powers under the constitution in sec 103 to direct the Accountant General to pay out $800,000 to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force budget. It was the first time in the history of the British Overseas Territory that a governor had used such powers.

In another press release late yesterday evening March 19, 2017 the Financial Secretary (FS) Neil M. Smith admitted that the information was wrong on the cheques at the Treasury as announced by Premier Smith.

Mr Smith said, “I am pleased that our internal processes were able to identify the discrepancies between what we communicated and what was actually obtained. We remain committed to ensure that all information and advice provided from the Ministry is accurate and factual.”

In another embarrassing moment, Mr Smith was forced to tell the people that “I apologise to the Minister of Finance for this error, and on behalf of the Ministry of Finance hereby take full responsibility for providing the inaccurate information that was previously reported,” Mr Smith said.

In further correcting the wrong information told to the public by the Minister of Finance, the press release stated that “In this regard, and in order to clarify the facts and avoid any misrepresentation and miscommunication, it should be noted that only some of the cheques that the Premier mentioned were actually available at the Treasury for collection. The cheques that were readied for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in December 2016 and were available for pickup as of the evening of the March 16, 2017 related to:

1. Purchase of six (6) interceptor vehicles and repairs 2. Maintenance and purchase of equipment of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Marine Unit

The other cheques that were referenced in the statement which relate to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, but were in various stages of processing by agencies within the Governor Group or awaiting complete documentation were as follows:

1. The upgrade to the CCTV camera system 2. Purchase of Law Enforcement Equipment from TEC Supply 3. Renovation to cells at the Road Town Police Station by J&J Construction 4. Sanitary ware for cells.”

Premier Smith: I am sorry, they misled me

Premier Smith himself was forced to back track his false statement when he told the public that, “I sincerely regret and apologise that some of the information which I reported to the people of this Territory on March 16, 2017 was inaccurate. It is very responsible that the FS and his team take ownership for the inaccurate information which they provided. I am assured that this should never happen again.”

Premier Smith claimed again that his Government will continue to ensure that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force is provided with the necessary resources.

41 Responses to “More lies coming from the Smith Government; FS takes the blame!”

  • Just saying (20/03/2017, 14:17) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is thing to tell the King
    • How can this Gov’t keep getting it so wrong? (20/03/2017, 17:28) Like (54) Dislike (7) Reply

      Someone needs to be fired over this. Should it be the Financial Secretary, the Premier, or Both? On the other hand, to rid ourselves of these mounting problems and ongoing embarrassments, we need to "Fire" the entire NDP team.

      Governor, please dissolve this government so we can get on with new elections...the sooner the better. NDP Gov't have officially lost all credibility. NDP- You All Are Officially Fired!
    • Open for Criticism (20/03/2017, 18:07) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
      Mr. Governor I hope you read the blogs. Here is the crux of the whole matter as I see it for the British Virgin Islands; we need this administration to be dissolved and fresh elections called. We the people of the British Virgin Islands cannot wait until 2019. While you are at it, summon senior officials from the UK to head up every department until the victimization and undermining become nonexistent. Thanking you in advance for your prompt attention to this crisis.
  • Alternative Facts (20/03/2017, 14:29) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Either way, its another BS spin by the NDP top dogs. The "checks at Treasury and cheks in process" would have been under a different year's budget. The spending that was just approved (as well as the $800k by the gov) is for this year. So if I (a GOVI Dept) received funding last year, I guess that means that I shouldn't get this next fiscal year. That would explain why the schools are running out of stationary and the road works cant finish.
  • Political Observer (PO) (20/03/2017, 14:41) Like (17) Dislike (4) Reply
    Governor John Duncan, Her Majesty's eyes and ears in the VI, pimp slapped Dr. Hon Premier D. Orlando Smith and his government, employing his Reserve Power to increase RVIPF allocation after the budget was passed in the HOA. Thus, the poor staff work by MoF personnel was a further embarrassing slapped in the face. This was not complete staff work.

    Will this be an ah well tory? Or will disciplinary action be taken? How did the staff get such basic information wrong? Clear failure to pay attention to detail. Further, did the Premier had or should have had knowledge that some of information he diseminated was false? Should not the Financial Secretary be taking a close look at info being provided to the Premier? How can the Premier going forward have any confidence in info provided? If there is no confidence in staff, should they be on the payroll?
    • RealPol (21/03/2017, 11:37) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      "Governor John Duncan, Her Majesty's eyes and ears in the VI, pimp slapped Dr. Hon Premier D. Orlando Smith and his government, employing his Reserve Power to increase RVIPF allocation after the budget was passed in the HOA". Pimp slapped? You bloggers does make me laugh with your graphic language, leaving nothing to the imagination.

      Nonetheless, whatever little defense the Premier had against the Governor's ambush was weakened by the avoidable misinformation promulgated. This was an unforced error. It is poor staff work. It is incompetence. It is a costly lack of attention to detail. It is a double national embarassment. It is not the MoF and FS finest hour?

      Moreover, embarrassment occurred and damage done, what is the way forward? How can these SNAFU(Situation Normal All F......d Up) be avoided in the future? Any lessons learnt from the embarrassing experiences. Delegation and enpowerment do absolve one of their responsibilities, Doc? Doc needs to breakout the big stick and use it.
  • SMH (20/03/2017, 14:56) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am simply fed up. Lies, crimes, water problems, power (electricity) outages etc. Something must be done. Where is the Governor when we need him? Come on NDP Government.
  • King Kunta (20/03/2017, 15:03) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    This government has an issue in that always put speed over accuracy. We MUST start the Pier Park or else.....We must start the airport or else....We must do NHI or else........We must respond to the Governor or else.

    Rather than doing proper investigation and analysis, we like fools rush in, and then have to suffer for being ill prepared or back track for spewing inaccurate information. This latest embarrassment is a microcosm of what ails this government. Whereas this can be dumped on the FS and costs you nothing but shame....rushing into the airport project is likely to be MUCH MORE costly. Please take your time and do it right, and if the time isnt right....DONT DO IT

  • nope (20/03/2017, 15:10) Like (21) Dislike (9) Reply
    The Financial Secretary didn't 'take' the blame, HE IS TO BE BLAMED! He is the Financial Secretary, he is appointed by the FCO, not the Government. He is not a PS, he is on a higher level! When the Government need financial information, he is the one tasked with providing proper and accurate information. The Premier do not have a folder under his desk with the financial information, the FS is the one responsible and this is not the first time he has made Government look bad. This type of nonsense happened under VIP as well and when Ralph wanted his head, everybody was against Ralph. The FS needs to GO! Some times I wonder if this is just willful undermining of the Government.
    • send help (20/03/2017, 17:55) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ Nope, I agree with you 100%. The FS is the one who should be held accountable. Giving inaccurate information to the Premier makes not only him but the entire territory look bad. However, the way I see it, it is a trickling down effect and every one who assisted in the compilation of that or any other report given to the Premier with inaccurate information should be dealt with. This is clearly a case of either incompetence or victimization. Having worked in the Civil Service and based on experience, I am leaning towards the latter. The days of 'World Class Public Service' and 'Employer of Choice' is clearly a thing of the past.
    • another ronnie blunder (20/03/2017, 19:14) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      He is very incompetent
  • What? (20/03/2017, 15:12) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply

    “I am pleased that our internal processes were able to identify the discrepancies between what we communicated and what was actually obtained. We remain committed to ensure that all information and advice provided from the Ministry is accurate and factual.”

    Is this guy £$%& MENTAL? How can you be pleased at any of this? Check the information before coming out trying to make others look bad and end up with egg all over your face! Now the Governor will be making his next move, watch.

  • just asking.. (20/03/2017, 15:31) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Is dr smith the new trump?
  • Hmmm (20/03/2017, 16:35) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    One Smith lost his job in the bank lying for them now another Smith will loose his job for lying for them. Smh.
  • Feeling Stressed (20/03/2017, 16:37) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    Get rid of them. Dissolve. Impeach. Terminate. Throw way. Be Gone. Are we that bad off that we can't find leaders among us to run this country? I have a headache this thing too stressful man. I'm so tired to hear anything from this Government.
  • well well well (20/03/2017, 17:00) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    poor dr. smith he should have suck up his pride and give the ministry of fiance to Ronnie
  • Poor Leadership (20/03/2017, 17:06) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
    man give them some credit for coming clean on their history of misinformation dey man
  • Lord O. Our Premier weak bad. (20/03/2017, 18:07) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Honesty I didn't believe. I know we the country don't have money. Smith just need to be straight up and Tell the governor and the police to relax be patient the country don't have money...Time to step up and be strong and truthful and lead Doc...
  • ------------------------ (20/03/2017, 18:09) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Most of the comments correctly pointing out the hypocrisy and down right incompetent of this gang
  • blind leading blind (20/03/2017, 19:12) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Them couldn't steer ralph and that's why the ndp was formed
  • The Club.... (20/03/2017, 20:10) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    And The staff at TREASURY ALWAYS getting blame for an other Department INCOMPETENCE!!!
  • Incredible Hulk (20/03/2017, 20:35) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dr zzzzzzz is the incredible liard.

    You just can't believe anything he says.
  • Freedom! (20/03/2017, 20:46) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is beyond a Greek tragedy at this point.
  • WTF (20/03/2017, 20:48) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    None of this is surprising. I am disappointed in the FS
  • Ms P (20/03/2017, 20:49) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ms P is right...Orlando is a weak leader & must be replaced.
  • Lovely (20/03/2017, 20:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    THE NDP promised government in the sunshine. Instead, they opened up a cesspool. Next stop, the abyss.
  • Interested (20/03/2017, 20:54) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don't know how long we can sustain this as a country. We need accountability. We need truth.
  • jamgirl (20/03/2017, 23:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow how can this be ?aren't there any auditors in the British virgin island .?I like the governor, he is working ,soon England will step in just like in Turks and caicos island .
  • hello (20/03/2017, 23:18) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    All of you are bashing the FS forgetting that Dr Smith was so ashamed when the governor invoked his power, that he rushed to make a press conference and run his mouth. Had he consulted the FS before going into the press conference, I'm sure he would've given factual information. The FS taking the blame was just a way to soften the blow to the untrusted premier. And then Dr Smith piggy backed on it claiming it was their fault knowing very well he didn't consult with them first. Also remember, THE PREMIER is also the Minister of FINANCE, therefore he should've gone through that kind of information before passing the budget, he had to know that not all of what he said was true, cause if he didn't he should not be Minister of FINANCE. Why have a department as a responsibility if you don't plan on going over their files every now and then?
    • VG Realist (21/03/2017, 11:53) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Of course the FS will be the fall guy but the PREMIER is the one really to blame cause he felt his feelings was hurt by the Governor. It's an embarrassment all around. Sad.
  • LOL (20/03/2017, 23:19) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have lost all confidence in this government.

    This is the final embarrassment. The Governor was right to bitch slap the Premier and the NDP government for their lack of any control or knowledge of the situation and blatant mismanagement.

    Wake up man! goddamit wake up!
  • Inspector gadget (21/03/2017, 07:37) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    When will the governor rake up the corruption. There's more in the mortar and this the most critical of them all. We have much to fear for our future and the future of this country. White collar crime is high. Maybe this why they don't have interest in funding the police force adequately.
  • Hear Ye (21/03/2017, 10:21) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Darkness always hides when light shines on it. All them Obeah demons them used for this election finally beginning to show their faces. LIES, DECEIT, THIEVING. Let the imagination run about the worse that they would've, could've or did do.
  • pat (21/03/2017, 22:01) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let's see what type of government administration we have on our hands here.
  • mother hen (21/03/2017, 22:02) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    All you politicians are hypocritical bloodsuckers...you all disgust me!
  • civil servant (21/03/2017, 22:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    THE FS not only needs to apologize - he needs to clarify
  • Ilikeneil (21/03/2017, 22:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just like with Al the FS will have to take the fall for all..... SMH


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