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Fourth HoA 'one of the most productive terms'; 101 pieces of legislation passed- Gov Rankin

- Governor John J. Rankin delivers Speech from the Throne under theme ‘Resilience, Revenue, Reform, and Recovery: The Virgin Islands in Transition.
The Speech from the Throne, which highlights the legislative agenda of the Government of the Virgin Islands, is writen by the government of the day and delivered by the Governor. Photo: HoA/Youtube
The Government of the Virgin Islands has laid out its legislative agenda for the last Session of the current Fourth House of Assembly in the Virgin Islands which is ‘likely’ to be the last according to Governor John J. Rankin in his deliverance of the 2023 Speech from the Throne. Photo: VINO/File
The Government of the Virgin Islands has laid out its legislative agenda for the last Session of the current Fourth House of Assembly in the Virgin Islands which is ‘likely’ to be the last according to Governor John J. Rankin in his deliverance of the 2023 Speech from the Throne. Photo: VINO/File
DUFF’S BOTTOM, Tortola, VI – The Government of the Virgin Islands has laid out its legislative agenda for the start of the Fifth Session of the current Fourth House of Assembly (HoA), which is ‘likely’ to be the last, according to Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, in his deliverance of the 2023 Speech from the Throne.

Mr Rankin, during the First Sitting of the Fifth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly today, January 24, 2023, said the Fifth Session of the House is focused on bringing forward legislation in the context of "Resilience, Revenue, Reform, and Recovery: The Virgin Islands in Transition." 

101 legislation passed so far in Fourth HoA - Throne Speech 

“This theme is aligned with the 2023 Budget Address and its strategic objectives and outcomes of Government agencies. As this is likely to be the last Session of the current Fourth House of Assembly, it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the work and achievements of the current Fourth House of Assembly over the last three years,” he said.

The Speech from the Throne, which highlights the legislative agenda of the Government of the Virgin Islands is written by the government of the day and delivered by the Governor.

Mr Rankin said 101 pieces of legislation were passed in the Fourth House so far.

According to the Governor, during the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly, which commenced in March 2019, six pieces of legislation were passed and enacted and during the Second Session, 30 pieces of legislation were passed.

In the Third Session, he related, some 47 pieces of legislation were passed and the Fourth Session saw 18 pieces of legislation passed through the House.

“With the Fourth House of Assembly having considered and successfully passed 101 pieces of legislation in a single term and in extenuating circumstances such as the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, which began in 2020, it is fair to say that this has been one of the most productive terms of any legislature in the Virgin Islands – if not the most productive term,” he said.

Gov't should be proud of achievement - Governor Rankin 

Governor Rankin added that elected Government and all Honourable Members should be proud of the achievement and that citizens should note how their legislature has functioned in addressing its responsibility to the people's business.

For the new session, he said Government will seek to amend the BVI Health Services Authority Act, 2004 (No. 14 of 2004) and the Tobacco Products Control Act, 2006 (No 18 of 2006) as well as the Social Security Act (CAP. 266).

In addition, he added that the Government also intends to make amendments to the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations, the Social Security (Benefits) Regulations, and the Social Security (National Health Insurance) Regulations to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the social insurance system.

Public Service Bill will be introduced as well as The Flexible Working Arrangements Bill, which will be brought to the House supported by policy. The government will seek to amend the Police Act (CAP.165) as well as the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act, 1997. 

He said the Witness Anonymity Legislation will be brought forward to ensure the protection of witnesses and the preservation of their rights by making provisions for a court to make a witness anonymity order to protect the witness's safety, prevent damage to property, and prevent real harm to the public interest. 

More areas to be looked at will include the Immigration and Passport Regulations, 2014,  Magistrate's Code of Procedure, Chapter 44, the Criminal Procedures Rules and Amendments to the Elections Act. 

The government will also seek to amend the Road Traffic Act (CAP. 218) to modernise the law as well as seek to amend the Wickham's Cay Development Authority Act (CAP. 281) 

More legislation to come 

“During this Fifth Session, Government will seek to have the adjustments to the Education Amendment Act (2014) and its Regulations completed to ensure that teaching and learning align with the needs of students to become proficient in their overall development with further adjustments to consider the drive of S.T.E.A.M. – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math education."

Governor Rankin disclosed that several pieces of legislation will be brought forward with regard to updating and strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legal framework.

These will include the following enactments: Anti-money Laundering Regulations, Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice, Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act and Customs Management and Duties Act.

Other areas to be looked at will be the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, the Trustee Act and the Financial Services (Private Trust Companies) Regulations to ensure full compliance with the FATF requirements with regard to the application of AML/CFT obligations in relation to trusts.

The Governor said Legislation will also be brought forward with respect to updating the regulatory framework via The Banking Code, The Banking Act, The Trust and Company Service Providers Act, The Financial Services Commission Act, The Credit Union Act, Virgin Islands Deposit Insurance Act, and the Virgin Islands Deposit Insurance Regulations as well as amendments will also be brought forward for the Customs Management and Duties Act.

28 Responses to “Fourth HoA 'one of the most productive terms'; 101 pieces of legislation passed- Gov Rankin”

  • Common Sense (24/01/2023, 16:27) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hell, there’s a lot of Acting going on.
    • Host with the most (25/01/2023, 09:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Did any of the members of the HoA read any of the legislation before they voted for it?
    • Host with the most (25/01/2023, 09:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Did any of the members of the HoA read, or understand, any of the legislation before they voted for it.
  • sea bird (24/01/2023, 16:58) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    We want an election not no silly speech
  • lodger (24/01/2023, 17:30) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Speech is supposed to be what will be done. Half of it was what has been passed already. No offence to governor but speech was 39 minutes. The late Queens longest ever speech was 15 minutes, and shortest 6.5 minutes, which considering the amount of legislation the UK gets through, seems BVI is over legislated. And history shows that not much will actually happen, especially if any election intervenes.
    • @lodger (24/01/2023, 20:30) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      You are correct. The aim of the UK is to make sure that nothing gets done in the BVI so that the rich alone will get richer and all others suffer like it is in the UK with their citizens due to these same tactics. The UK citizens are complaining and rioting, and we will soon.
  • BVI Rise up (24/01/2023, 18:18) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
    Keep an eye on this UK Governor and his UK Commissioner of police as they do not have anything good in their heart for the people of the BVI despite they are doing a fine job trying to make us think otherwise.
  • HMMM (24/01/2023, 18:20) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why in this modern day and age the position of Governor is not an elected post? This needs to be fixed right away. He needs to answer to the people and he should not be allowed to be above the law.
  • Questions needing answers (24/01/2023, 18:22) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    Is it right or legal for taxpayers to be paying for any guavana to be shacking up in the palace? Does this reflect the Queen? Thing to tell the King. Inquiring minds want to know.
  • next (24/01/2023, 18:25) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    By the time this devious guy and his malicious head of the force done with all public officer investigating and charging for Breach of Trust and other ridiculous charges, not a piece of work for the people going to get done in government as all public officers will be afraid of their shadows. The slavery mill grinding slow but grinding still.
  • Hold this man accountable also (24/01/2023, 18:27) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why the Governor and his UK staff working in the BVI are exempted from the law where the new register of interest act shows what all public officers and elected officials own or otherwise. Can't people see that this is a double standard. This is not right at all.
  • GOVERNOR: DEMOCRACY IS A MUST! (24/01/2023, 18:32) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    You have all the below rejecting the Governor and UK Authority dictatorship moves especially with the Order in Council for direct rule:
    1) The United Nations
    2) CARICOM
    4) OECS
    If all these were against actions of our public servants, local and Caribbean people and our politicians’ decisions and all of them kept moving forward regardless, the majority of us would have been hitting the ceiling if they failed to listen to them but we want to give the Governor and his UK Authorities a free pass. It is time to end dictatorships of any kind. It is time to end colonialism. It is time to end the two orders in council or any order in council and their attempt at direct rule. It is anti-democratic. Governor, please do what is right and stop abusing your might, get rid of those orders in council. It is WRONG!
  • The way most see it (24/01/2023, 18:35) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    There will never be synergy between the BVI and the UK nor any other Caribbean Overseas Territory and the UK. The main reasons are: 1) There is a major cultural difference that will never be resolved mainly because the UK does not respect the difference in culture and heritage. It must be their way or no way. 2) The colonial history of the UK has always been one of distrust of persons of African decent or other cultures and heritage and it has not changed and will not changed. 3) The UK agenda is different to that of the BVI and all Caribbean Overseas Territory under the UK and will always be and it will never be in the best interest of the people of the BVI nor any Caribbean Overseas country under them but they will convince the people of all the islands differently. 4) The modern day slavery whip of holding us accountable through a Governor and order of Council is against human rights and democracy but they continue to justify their actions in a way that put the people of the islands to always fight each other &have the UK as the savior when in fact to be ruled directlyby them will be worse. 5) Having a Governor and still a Premier running a country at the same time is outdated. You cannot serve two masters. The Premier is responsible to the people but the Governor is responsible to the UK Officials. This structure is the real issue as governors do nothing all day but spy and come up with strategies to forward the UK's agenda even if it means abusing their powers through non-transparent COI, pre-authored audits, investigations and arrests whether justified or not, among other planned strategies. 6) The Premier has to adhere to the law. The Governor is the law and being over the police force with predominantly UK senior officers and the Head of the police being from the UK allows for strategy to go down in a manner that is easier to sell as transparent to the people but really is not. 7) The COI was a modern day lynching. The Head of the COI could have been a three-person body with one from the UK, one from the Caribbean, and one from the Eastern Caribbean Judiciary and the staff of the same composition. The mere fact that it was a sole person from the UK selected by the Governor only in a non-transparent process allowed all to know the outcome before it happened. This is why no one with sense is surprised by the pre-authored COI report and the recommendations and the actions thereafter by the police. The only way to resolve this is through either calling a truce with our modern-day partners or organize a clean break away because in no generation this partnership seemed to have worked and it is clear that the history of not trusting each other as partners will continue. Time to move on.
  • Enough legislation: Time for positive actions (24/01/2023, 18:39) Like (6) Dislike (1) 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, then this is dictatorship. To add insult to injury that no one can call a COI on him or have him or his performance or any subject under 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. This is 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 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 standard. There should not be any discrepancy between how leaders are handled by the law and the judiciary and audit and the overall system. This is not a call to condone wrong but one to ensure equal rights and justice.
  • Wowwy (24/01/2023, 18:42) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    So, the Governor indirectly admitted that Fahie and his government did plenty good work for the BVI. Like him or not the fact is that he did hence why the plan came in place.
  • nonsense (24/01/2023, 18:45) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
    Pure nonsense
  • BROKEN RECORD (24/01/2023, 19:48) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    • @BROKEN RECORD (25/01/2023, 00:04) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Tell your UK boss you did your best with your post to get us from reading the truth but you failed again.
  • Eyes Wide Open (24/01/2023, 20:43) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    this governor cannot be trusted and lies too much
    • @Eyea Wide Open (25/01/2023, 00:05) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      • Narrative Vs Truth.. (25/01/2023, 04:10) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
        The BVI being corrupt for a long time, Now those who are involved are benefiting sees nothing wrong and are constantly attacking Britain.. The same Britain that stepped in and showed us very clearly with evidence all the corruption and cover up. So, a lot of us will always say "Thanks to Britain". Now this unity Govt seems to be a responsible and honest one, except that they are afraid to make the tuff decisions to turn things around in labour, Immigration, Medical care "NHI", Trade, Ports. I will say this much..Seems like some people who are hurdles to progress can't be touched..I will also say this, the X Premier was spot on when he wanted to bring all Ports under one head. This must be one of the places where we have 3 different CEO and 3 different boards for our 3 different Ports in this small little place,.
  • Listen to that speech properly (24/01/2023, 21:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The sarcasm in that speech is deafening but Sowande thinking is a pat on the back. Some real nincunpoop
    • lodger (25/01/2023, 03:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      To listen to that speech properly……The governor does not write the speech. He just reads it. It is written by someone connected to government with legal language knowledge. For sure non of our legislators could come up with such wording.
      • Listen to that speech properly (25/01/2023, 08:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        @lodger, well that will make perfect sense. If the governor wrote it, he is being sarcastic. But if it is someone connected to government who wrote it, then they just a plain nincompoop if they feel like 101 pieces of legislation is an accomplishment for any country and especially when the country in a worse sh!+ now than ever before. The paper the legislation written on could full up them pot hole in 7th district and still leave back some.
  • Common Sense (25/01/2023, 06:26) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    You all really are living in a vacuum, the French, Dutch and America Caribbean territories are an integral part of their parent countries and all live under their parent countries laws and regulations. Perhaps you might all prefer that system.
  • Middle passage (25/01/2023, 06:55) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    People stop all the talking and take a stand.
    Take the power out of this man hand.
  • Really??? (25/01/2023, 09:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    We will celebrate 101 new pieces of legislation in a territory with almost zero enforcement. Waste of time and money. Next.
  • my2cents (25/01/2023, 13:33) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I got to say big ups to Sowande. Under this make shift arrangement and lots of silly fighting (This term has been defined by silly fighting in HOA and the COI with Andrew's fall) Sowande has managed to lead a unity government that doesn't want to be and still accomplished saving our constitution & independence (thus far) and to make great legislative accomplishments. I don't think any of the rest of them could've done this. Sowande has proven himself heading into election season. There is no one else more deserving of a fair chance to be premier. Him and Rymer will beat any other ticket out there. Those guys did good in their posts.

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