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Where is the Freedom of Information Act? Gov Duncan asks again

Instead of a Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill in keeping with their promise of ‘Government in the sunshine’, the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration in March 2014 passed a Cyber Law that cracks down on information, puts journalists in jail and levies heavy fines for reporting inside accurate information. Photo: Internet Source
Governor John S. Duncan OBE (right), like the public, seems to have run out of patience with the years of broken promises of a Freedom of Information Act by the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government led by Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (left). Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE (right), like the public, seems to have run out of patience with the years of broken promises of a Freedom of Information Act by the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government led by Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (left). Photo: VINO/File
BALSAM GHUT, Tortola, VI- The first time the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) Government was elected in 2003-2007 they promised the people of the Virgin Islands "Government in the sunshine."

To achieve this they said once elected they would bring a Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill to Parliament to allow the media and the public easy access to public information.

They were defeat in 2007.

In 2011 the NDP came back again saying that they were the new NDP and again promised open government and the FoI Bill. It never happened. Again in 2015, via a snap election, they promised the same thing and were re-elected in a landslide.

Almost 7 years later there is still no Bill but just games where they bring certain Bills to the House of Assembly (HoA), which appear on the Order Paper, are read for the record a first time then goes nowhere.

Where is the freedom of information Bill? Duncan

Well the United Kingdom appointed Governor John S. Duncan OBE, like the public, had it with the years of broken promises.

In fact, at a public ceremony on Monday February 13, 2017 to launch the educational and vocational programme for inmates at Her Majesty's Prison, His Excellency Governor Duncan publicly expressed his disappointment and frustration with the NDP government for inaction over this Bill.

Governor Duncan told the audience, which included Premier and Leader of Government Business Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (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 said this Bill has been promised in Speeches from the Throne at least as far back as 2011.

Many persons in the community have claimed that with all the allegations of conflicts of interest, secret deals that benefit politicians and not the people, the selling out of the country and the allegations of corruption, the NDP Administration would be anxious to bring such a Bill, but to date it has not happened.

Crack down on freedom of information

However, instead of the FoI Bill, the media and public received from the ruling NDP government in March 2014 a Cyber Law that cracks down on information, puts journalists in jail and levies heavy fines for reporting inside accurate information.

16 Responses to “Where is the Freedom of Information Act? Gov Duncan asks again”

  • ndp (16/02/2017, 20:50) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Keep waiting...
  • Jack B Nimble. (16/02/2017, 21:04) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    It will happen. The governor wake up. He ain playing with them no more.
    • ... (16/02/2017, 22:07) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      The governor was just waiting to see how things would play out with the government. He well alert. It's the people not paying attention.
  • ernst & wise (16/02/2017, 21:58) Like (1) Dislike (13) Reply
    I am sick if the complaines this governor is a joke
    • be quiet (17/02/2017, 20:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      public and private interest groups have been trying for some time to gain freedom of information access to those Cabinet and SFC meetings were they give away our birth rights, but not on the NDP watch we will NEVER get them!!


  • vi (16/02/2017, 22:59) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    John D is realizing that the Governor's job in the BVI is more complex than he thought.
  • son of the soil (16/02/2017, 23:03) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Government promises that have collided with reality.
  • Pearl Vision (16/02/2017, 23:11) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Watch what the NDP does, not what they say.
  • grass roots (16/02/2017, 23:13) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I sincerely hope that we will see productive legislation soon that will be beneficial to all people.
  • wize up (16/02/2017, 23:39) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
    The VIP could have brought it in 2007(and why not)
  • wow (17/02/2017, 04:01) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    They will never bring that freedom of information act unless the mother country pressures them to do so. Everything has to be a secret with this government so they can get their kick back and pockets full at the expense of the electorates. They are bleeding this country.
  • Thatswhen (17/02/2017, 12:06) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    When will you sign the Freedom of Beaches Act? When will you sign the Voters Referendum Act? What will you and the UK let us be all we can be as a growing country from meddling in our Financial Services to cripple us? UK will grant us Independence but there are a few things we have to do first? We have to do no such thing. It is the right of a people to determine their destiny. It is already established under various Charters and Treaties. Stop talking backwards and let our people go forward. What interest does the UK have in the Virgin Islands? A sanctuary to mount up their people when the Muslims kick them out of UK? Our eyes are wide open and we are wiser now than when we were captives. We are tired of your shackles!
  • open wide (19/02/2017, 14:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    bvi young people need to protest for real change and government in the sun shine, our Youths are too quiet, a wha a gwaan with these students at hlscc, dont they know that they can affect change.
  • Jenifer (19/02/2017, 22:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You know what really, really pi$$e$ me off is that these rubbing shoulder politicians is walking around looking at people problems when they are not in any position to help. When they get into power they too will become absentee politicians doing nothing for the people either. We as a people need to start a public committee to call these politicians into account for their nonsense. And the thing is they always talk to the same docile, blind people who have no understanding of their foolishness. I am waiting to see some of you rubbing shoulder and rum shop lot, you will be sorry when I am finish. In fact my dogs can be loosed. It is like a hamster on a wheel just going round and round.


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