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‘We have Freedom of Information in the BVI’- Premier Smith

- as according to him, even when he does not release documents to the public they get out
According to Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), the Freedom of Information Act is one of the Bills he expects to introduce to the House of Assembly in 2018. Photo: VINO
The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government has failed to bring the Freedom of Information Bill to the HoA despite calls from a former Governor, the media, the Opposition and the general public for it. Photo: University of Nottingham Blogs
The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government has failed to bring the Freedom of Information Bill to the HoA despite calls from a former Governor, the media, the Opposition and the general public for it. Photo: University of Nottingham Blogs
Former Governor John S. Duncan OBE, on Monday February 13, 2017, had expressed his disappointment and frustration with the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government for inaction over the Freedom of Information Bill. Photo: VINO/File
Former Governor John S. Duncan OBE, on Monday February 13, 2017, had expressed his disappointment and frustration with the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government for inaction over the Freedom of Information Bill. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Thanks to whistleblowers in the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, many critical information that would have otherwise been kept from the people, have been leaked to the media and public.

This is seen as a counter to the secretive NDP Government that continues to make policies and enter into agreement without proper consultation with the people and sometimes its own elected members, namely the Backbenchers.

If it was not for whistleblowers, lots of information on the failed BVI Airways deal, overpriced Tortola Pier Park, Airport Runway Extension Project and most recently the High Level Framework for UK help to BVI Recovery Plan would not have been known to the general public and even legislators.

The NDP regime, known to dodge questions on accountability and transparency in the House of Assembly (HoA) or providing only some information or misinformation altogether, has failed to bring the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill to the HoA despite calls from a former Governor, the media, the Opposition and the general public for it.

‘We do have freedom of information’- Dr Smith

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) again promised that the Bill will be brought to the HoA “soon.”

Acknowledging the frequency of documents being leaked to the public, Dr Smith, speaking at a press conference at the Office of the Premier on March 28, 2018, said Freedom of Information “is one thing I think we should do…because, really, in my opinion, we have Freedom of Information here in the BVI. Because even if I don’t put a document out there it gets out there, so that is freedom of information.”

Dr Smith reminded, however, that a Freedom of Information Act will not necessarily mean that all documents will be readily available to the public while some will not be disclosed to the public, such as those pertaining to national security.

“…apart from the fact that information will be free, so to speak, there are also provisions in any Freedom of Information Act where certain types of information should be held for a varying period of time. Those are information that has to do with national security.”

According to Premier Smith, the Freedom of Information Act is one of the Bills he will be taking to the House “as soon as possible.”

This prompted a reporter to ask how soon is soon. “Certainly I expect to introduce it in 2018,” Premier Smith responded.

NDP Gov't refused to bring FoI Bill to HoA- Former Governor

Former Governor John S. Duncan OBE, like the public, had it with the years of broken promises of the Freedom of Information Act and in a public ceremony on Monday, February 13, 2017, to launch the educational and vocational programme for inmates at Her Majesty's Prison, he expressed his disappointment and frustration with the NDP government for inaction over this Bill.

The then Governor told the audience, which included Premier and Leader of Government Business Dr Smith and Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL), the Freedom of Information Act is already drafted but the Government refused to bring it to the HoA.

Lashing out in frustration, Mr Duncan had said this Bill was promised in Speeches from the Throne at least as far back as 2011.

16 Responses to “‘We have Freedom of Information in the BVI’- Premier Smith”

  • watcher (03/04/2018, 10:35) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Good job at ndp leakers but we need the bill
  • huh (03/04/2018, 10:47) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where can i find it sir?
  • Hmm (03/04/2018, 12:07) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did this moron just really say this? "we have Freedom of Information here in the BVI. Because even if I don’t put a document out there it gets out there, so that is freedom of information.”
  • Tupac (03/04/2018, 12:08) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Go sit down. We want the freedom of information bill now. Let us the people decide whether or not we have freedom of information after the bill is passed 13-0.
    • dog (03/04/2018, 22:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      and what about disclosing legislators' conflict of interest investments that Mr. Georges was waiting for? It is law and not one of you submitted your businesses.
  • foy (03/04/2018, 12:18) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    please dr zzzzz so where is the audit on the ports?
  • Clinging on (03/04/2018, 13:13) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    How about make the register of interests public? What is its use if you can't see it? And then let's see who gets the contracts and where they match. That's transparency.
  • See (03/04/2018, 13:59) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    A nice person who has simply lost touch with ANY sense of reality . Please seek help
  • freedom (03/04/2018, 14:50) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    We have the freedom to say we dont trust you .
  • VIlander (03/04/2018, 16:17) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

    Smith you are starting to disgust me. It's the same ppl you make secret agreements with who leak the info while laughing at your dumb @#$

    • dog (03/04/2018, 22:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I do not agree with the way he runs the government, but he still deserves our respect in language. some of the trouble is from his ministers who think they are above the law.
  • Boo (03/04/2018, 23:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    ROFL I cant evwn say anything as I am speechless that the doc will chat such froth
  • Nero Lass (05/04/2018, 06:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This Clown


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