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Watching Gov’t like a Hawk; Public Accounts Committee to be appointed today

Other HOA Select Committees to be appointed
The "Hawk's Eye team", Opposition Leader Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal, OBE, Third District Representative Hon. Julian Fraser RA, and Second District Representative Hon. Alvin Christopher will sit on the Public Accounts Committee which will be appointed today May 10, in the House of Assembly.
Government representatives Sixth District Representative Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines and Eight District Representative Hon. Marlon Penn will also sit on the Public Accounts Committee.
Government representatives Sixth District Representative Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines and Eight District Representative Hon. Marlon Penn will also sit on the Public Accounts Committee.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Straddling on the statement that the opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) will be watching the Government “like a hawk”, the Public Accounts Committee will be appointed where among its duties will be to report to the House of Assembly (HOA) any case of apparent extravagance or waste of public funds by the Government.

The appointments of the various Select Committees of the House of Assembly which are customary, will take place today May 10, 2012 during the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Second House of Assembly as is stipulated under Standing Order 72.

As also stipulated by the Standing Order, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE will chair the Public Accounts Committee which will comprise of four other members including opposition members: Second District Representative Hon. Alvin Christopher and Third District Representative Hon. Julian Fraser, RA. The other two members from the Government’s side are Sixth District Representative Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines and Eight District Representative Hon. Marlon Penn.

The other Select Committees that will also be appointed today are the Services Committee, Standing Orders Committee, Committee of Privileges and a Regulations Committee.

In an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online recently, Third District Representative Hon. Fraser who will sit on the Public Accounts Committee had said he and his colleagues will be watching the NDP “like a hawk”.

“You have an Opposition that has a duty to see to the Government finances and its operation being run according to good financial practices and that is what we will be doing. This is not the first time we have been in the Opposition, and everyone knows the kind of work that we are capable of doing. I expect to do the same,” the very outspoken representative had told this news site.

One of the biggest investigations that was brought forward by the VIP opposition as members of the Public Accounts Committee from 2003 to 2007, had led into the launch of an investigation of stamp duty evasion in 2006 when the National Democratic Party was in power.

According to the Public Accounts committee's report in 2006, at least four large properties were sold under their true value to deliberately avoid paying the correct stamp duty. The properties in question, mainly hotels and resorts, were reportedly sold for sums of between $600,000 and $3 million.

The committee had also warned that such transactions could have hurt the VI's financial services industry. The committee had also examined transfers of property for between $250,000 and $500,000 from June 18, 2004, to June 19, 2005, and property selling for more than $500,000 during the period June 1, 2004, to June 14, 2005.

The NDP had lost the election in 2007, with the VIP taking office.

Meanwhile, then Leader of the Opposition Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith was accused on October 24, 2011 during the election campaign, of not producing any reports for the Public Accounts Committee in the House of Assembly for the four years the VIP was in office from 2007 to 2011.

Then Premier now Leader of the Opposition Hon. O’Neal, had said, he had not seen or heard of any reports from the Committee which was headed by Hon. Smith and stated that, “Now without a Public Accounts Committee running, the Government has no checks and one of the checks is the Public Accounts Committee."

The Public Accounts Committee shall consist of not more than five, and not less than three members nominated at the commencement of each session, provided that no person shall be qualified to be nominated if he holds or is acting in the Office of a Minister.

The functions of the Committee shall be, to consider the accounts of the Government in conjunction with the Auditor's Report; to consider any Special Report submitted by the Auditor under Section 11(3) of the Audit Ordinance 1971; to report to the House of Assembly in the case of any excess or unauthorised expenditure of funds, the reasons for such expenditure; to report to the House of Assembly in the case of any shortfall of Revenue, the reasons for such shortfall; to report to the House of Assembly any case of apparent extravagance or waste of public funds; and to propose any measures it considers necessary to ensure that public funds are properly brought to account and are economically spent.

Meanwhile, during today’s HOA sittings, as well,there will be the reading of several bills including the introduction and first reading of the “BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2012” and the "Employee Mobility Act, 2012".

There will also be the second and third readings of the “Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2011”, the “Disaster Management Act, 2011” and the “Recreation Trust (Amendment) Act, 2012”.

17 Responses to “Watching Gov’t like a Hawk; Public Accounts Committee to be appointed today”

  • ABC (10/05/2012, 08:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    yeap watch them as you will see lots...
    • Hmmmmpppp (10/05/2012, 22:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      thing to tell deh king. start with the johnson ghut project. and since they didn't ask do the sea cows bay harbour development. show them tis nothing to fear. go PAC
  • jack be still (10/05/2012, 08:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    After watching them me hope they do not get an "f" grade
  • mother hen (10/05/2012, 08:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    how sweet of the VIP to strive to protect us from more stamp duty rip off and what they need to watch is the burgust bay plant to see if it will go back to the NDP.....also watch out for conflict of interest as sometimes when I here the melee I ask myself what is wrong with this NDP and ask can someone tell me?????
    • Smiling (10/05/2012, 10:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Where is that plant located again? Is that in Tortola or mosquito Island?
    • Iron Lion (10/05/2012, 10:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Yawn! Nothing of substance. what are their ideas to keep business in the Territory? No not one.
  • my view (10/05/2012, 09:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    watch closely... keenly. hopefully if you ever get back in power, you would have learn something besides being stubborn and hard headed.
    • Janet Williams (10/05/2012, 10:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      they will be back in power soon see what happen in the Bahamas...uummm
  • critic (10/05/2012, 09:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    where's andrew and deloris?
  • Not2Sure (10/05/2012, 09:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope they are better than previous public accounts committee - in the past they have watched the Government like three blind mice rather than a hawk. We'll see if this commitee does any better...
  • ooooo (10/05/2012, 09:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    keep ayo eyes on that baugher's bay plant...make arrest if you have to
    • Truth Is (10/05/2012, 09:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      ooooo be watchfull and mindfull of yourself fo ryou may be one who gets arrested
  • jtv (10/05/2012, 10:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is great Great news....go VIP
  • BREAKING NEWS (10/05/2012, 12:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why didn't you watch yourself like a HAWK VIP ??????????????????? Typical BVI, like to clean people backyard but not their own !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • under the buss (10/05/2012, 16:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      oh no vip is clean the NDP must be watch by both the PAC and the UK trust I deman


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