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Attorney General wants better pay for Government lawyers- SFC Report

Attorney General (AG) of the Virgin Islands Honourable Dawn J. Smith told the House of Assembly (HoA) Standing Finance Committee (SFC) last month that in order for her to attract good Attorneys to her Office, 'the compensation packages for counsel in the Chambers and throughout the Public Service must be improved to take proper account of the relevant factors in determining compensation for legal professionals.' Photo: GIS/File
The building on Wickham's Cay I that houses the law offices of the Government of the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
The building on Wickham's Cay I that houses the law offices of the Government of the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Attorney General (AG) of the Virgin Islands Honourable Dawn J. Smith told the House of Assembly (HoA) Standing Finance Committee (SFC) that she appreciates the support of her colleagues in the HoA.

However, she made it clear to legislators last month that in order for her to attract good Attorneys to her Office, “the compensation packages for counsel in the Chambers and throughout the Public Service must be improved to take proper account of the relevant factors in determining compensation for legal professionals.”

Can’t quantify yet on effects of staff shortage-AG

The Member for the Ninth District Hon Vincent O. Wheatley asked the AG for an estimate of how much the Government could save if the Chambers were able to maintain adequate staffing levels.

The AG stated that she was “unable to quantify, but hoped to be in a better position to do so once certain reforms were fully implemented in the Chambers.”

Both the Minister for Natural Resources and Labour and Member for the Second District Hon Melvin M. Turnbull, and the Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Agriculture and Fisheries and Territorial Member Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles thanked the AG and her team for their work.

Hon Flax-Charles; however, stated that “if we want qualified counsel to join the Chambers, we must look at what they are being paid.”

29 Responses to “Attorney General wants better pay for Government lawyers- SFC Report”

  • The Reaper (15/01/2023, 13:16) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
    So better pay ,mean more win ????,they gonna convict the guilty. not let them walk
    • Ghost Writer (15/01/2023, 14:37) Like (19) Dislike (4) Reply
      Hmmm - but the DPP is significantly overpaid and her performance is always terrible.
    • Differencr (15/01/2023, 16:24) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      The attorney General is the Governments lawyer and all the lawyers she supervises. They do not try cases. They defend the government ONLY. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
  • she l@*y just like Dan... (15/01/2023, 13:29) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply

    every one wants better pay but production is almost zero

  • HMMM (15/01/2023, 13:38) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    I agree with her but again that is under the Governor so let her go to him.
  • Eyes Wide Open (15/01/2023, 13:38) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    shameful that they cannot even fix the sign on the entrance!!
  • please (15/01/2023, 13:39) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is a woman that is a good talker but does little to nothing.
  • Go look into the laws (15/01/2023, 13:39) Like (14) Dislike (6) Reply
    Any country that has any leader above the law and instead have them being the law is a country under a dictatorship. Currently the President of America and former President have to answer questions about concerns raised about their questionable actions. The system and not "a one man" or "a small group of senior public Officers" will determine the process and outcome. However in the 21st century the Governor of the UK is above the law and will become the law by suspending a constitution and run a country how they see fit through two orders in council. This is dictatorship. In the 21st century when the Governor alone can call a COI & determine the terms of reference and the Commissioner for the COI and the staff is dictatorship. To add insult to injury that no one can call a COI on him or have him looked into as he alone is over the police force and audit and he alone can call a COI. THIS IS DICTATORSHIP!!! In the 21st century when a Governor can fail the police force especially in terms of development of the human capital & fail the public service but have these and more failures and questionable actions covered up by high handed actions geared at showing the apparent failure of others is not democracy but dictatorship. If the president of the USA is allowed to be held accountable by the law and the people then so can the Governor and the those UK senior public Officials over the Governor. Let us stop letting them play games with our minds and our future. It is time for balance. It is time for fairness. It is time to eliminate this kind of double standards. There should not be any discrepancy between how leaders are handled by the law and the judiciary and audit and the overall system.
  • Do us a favor (15/01/2023, 13:44) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    Go modernize and update the COI Legislation so that all leaders including the Governor and all public Officers can be looked into through a transparent process that is not dictated by the Governor only where his Commissioner of his pre arranged COI have more powers than the courts and judiciary. Then you will be worthy of your raise as you will protect us all in the BVI from abuse of power.
  • vg youth (15/01/2023, 13:48) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    Here we go again allowing the Head of the Public Service (The Governor) who is in charge of fixing her concerns is being let off the hook. All of them afraid to tackle the core problem.
  • Attorney General (15/01/2023, 13:52) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Governor must be made to make public what did he write in his document to the UK to get the Parliament in UK and the Privy Council to issue the Order in Council. Also ask him the same thing about the financial services with public registry where he has another pending order in council to force down our throats. Those two pieces of information and everything related to them needs to be made public. I am sure that in both it will reveal that the facts were massaged to fit their devious purpose. The people of the BVI need to know what was in those documents sent by the Governor so that they can have a fair and transparent opportunity to defend themselves. In a time of when the Governor and UK is calling for transparency, they have acted under a cloud of secrecy and deceit. This information must be known & known now. They should have no reason to keep this information private while they are using it to act publicly. This is our only hope of trying to put an end to these high handed actions. Until then he does not need our tax money for anymore staff and then you can have more money for what you seek.
  • Nothing new (15/01/2023, 13:56) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    All the lawyers in her office needs a raise for sure as they are experiencing the public service norm which seems to be where the Head of Departments speak and look good to the public while others work hard and get paid less while doing all the work, and work out of fear of being victimized and lied on so they stay quiet because they need the little money to pay the bank and other bills.
  • question (15/01/2023, 13:58) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    What really this woman does?
    • my two cents (15/01/2023, 15:22) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      Bad talk the government and let them to know her way or the high way

      The parliament needs independent legal counsel
  • COI recommendations (15/01/2023, 14:07) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    The questionable COI & its questionable process & its pre-arranged and pre-authoured report & recommendations is why there is no money for your salaries, to cut bush, or do anything that is needed for the people of the BVI. The whole process is totally unreasonable and set up to make us fail. The time frame for implementation is ridiculous. It is intended to dry up our resources under the cloak of good governance but in actuality it really means no more help and progress for the people. The BVI can complete and implement every recommendation from that questionable COI process, and it still will never be enough to satisfy the UK Officials. Also, the BVI cannot afford all these new financial commitments and take care of the real needs of the people. Just wait and see as you are already feeling it yet the Governor got more money for staff in his office. The reality is the UK Officials want to rule all OTs directly especially financial services, so they can give their friends jobs as the economy in the UK is really bad and only then will we see huge salaries for them like they did with their own kind they put in the senior part of the police force to fulfill their mission. If we think we have it bad under our current local & Caribbean public officers & elected officials, then wait until you are ruled directly by Brits Officials. BVI be careful what you are asking for because you will regret it. The Brits Officials must immediately be made to stop this abuse of power and remove the two Orders in Council FORTHWITH!
  • concerned youth (15/01/2023, 14:16) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    I totally agree with Honourable Malone and as such we the people demand of the Attorney General to get the people of the BVI the Cox report and make it public. We need the other side of the COI known. Get to work Attorney General because you worked with him. You owe it to your people. Then we will help you fight the powers in charge for the raises you seek.
  • Lawyer (15/01/2023, 14:36) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Only East End and Long Look people who are lawyers or will soon be lawyers she is concerned about. Any way let me shut my mouth.
  • my view (15/01/2023, 14:38) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    A TOTAL "SELL OUT" to the colonial masters.
  • Pls. Stop (15/01/2023, 15:07) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    Start winning some cases. Prove u all worth... maybe it will be fair to say base on performance , a lower scale may need to be considered That pay you all getting we can bring in great lawyers who would be happy with that pay... Performed then talk. Imagine not even the govt feel confident in using you all. The COI is a prime example...So, show us your worth and we will rally behind you .
  • Hard worker (15/01/2023, 15:08) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    Any time you want something not to happen or to make sure that there is no forward progress on a matter just give it to her.
  • HAHA (15/01/2023, 16:14) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Only the lawyers u care about for better pay. What happen to the other workers in government. The pay for all government workers to low. Come on dont just think about lawyers only but i understand that your field u looking out for lawyers but please think about everybody who work government would like better pay to.
  • What is a Public Servant (15/01/2023, 16:47) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    It's very nice to hear the AG and DPP request more monies for their professionals however how about telling us, how you intend to streamline your services and make efficiency savings. Further those departments should be fully digitised with the latest technologies. The DPP and AG should also tell us what steps they are taking to reduce the amount of compensation the public coffers has to pay out because of incompetence of some of its members poor litigation practices.
    If the public servants want more monies then Government has to increase accommodation tax, hotel tax, increase registration of companies fee, increase taxation on the population etc. At the end of the day civil servants do not contribute towards their full pension and gratuity. So to give government lawyers salaries on the same terms as those in the private sector requires a balance.
    To be a civil servant is not all about monies but job security and a comprehensive package contributed by the population at the end of their 25 years.
  • Cool Ruler (15/01/2023, 17:11) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    So Vincent wants to know how much money is saved by providing more staff (with raises?). Or is he implying that Dawn has too much staff already, and need to cut them? I believe he is confused - I know I am.

    And Dawn can only provide an estimate once unspecified reforms (which would cost much time and money to implement) are put in place.

    Both of them need to go.
  • Fam (15/01/2023, 17:45) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Dawn is one of us
  • 2023 (15/01/2023, 18:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    since when DPP investigates matters: the people charged with investigations should present better factual evidence to the DPP……..
  • Oy vey (15/01/2023, 18:58) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Yall don't win any cases but want more pay? I'm confused. I personally does feel shame as a virgin islander when I'm sitting in a court room and watching the Judge spoon feed the crown council on how to do their jobs. Some of the things the judge has to explain to these lawyers is shocking. I'm not a lawyer and some of the stuff me a civilian knows but crown council doesn't. What a mess.
  • To most (15/01/2023, 19:14) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    This woman is trying to dictate and run the government from her office rather than just give advice and assist to ensure that all is done according to law. It seems as if she looks for every law passed or not passed yet to stop anything she does not agree with although the matter is not illegal but rather one of difference in philosophy or methodology.
  • resident (15/01/2023, 21:26) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    Government lawyers lose so much cases they need to be paid less

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