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Governor called out for 'turning blind eye' to own failures & wishing to penalise Gov’t

- Dr Wheatley details some of the issues affecting the CoI Recommendations Implementation process
Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has set the record straight that his government continued to work to achieve CoI reforms in the VI, but with challenges just like Governor John J. Ranking who instead wants to penalize the government but turn a blind eye to his failures. Photo: GIS/File
The Premier pointed out that some four actions are waiting on the Governor himself, 'as he admits in his report, he has faced challenges balancing the need to implement the recommended reforms with the capacity to bring those reforms into effect.' Photo: Flickr
The Premier pointed out that some four actions are waiting on the Governor himself, 'as he admits in his report, he has faced challenges balancing the need to implement the recommended reforms with the capacity to bring those reforms into effect.' Photo: Flickr
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI– Virgin Islands (VI) Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has set the record straight that his government continued to work to achieve Commission of Inquiry (CoI) reforms in the VI, but with challenges just like Governor John J. Rankin, who instead wants to penalise the government but has turned a blind eye to his failures.

The Premier in a statement yesterday, January 8, 2023, said the CoI reforms were some 50% completed, according to the Implementation Framework between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the UK Government as of November 30, 2023.

He said within the 50 Recommendations, there are 131 Actions and of these 80 (61%) have been completed, while there are 34 actions (26%) that are in the red zone, meaning that they are not yet completed, and the deadline agreed for their completion has passed.

“The December report is currently being finalised, so I will be able to update you on additional progress within the next two weeks. However, today, I want to give you some perspective specifically on these red zone actions and where we stand on them. I would not ordinarily give this level of detail in a speech but given the Governor’s recent statement, I think that it is essential that I give a full measure of clarity, so you, the people of the Virgin Islands can understand where the CoI Implementation stands.”

Dr Wheatley said some four actions will need constitutional amendment for them to be marked as completed and two of the actions relate to Declaring House of Assembly Interests and another two relate to the Jury Act.

The Premier pointed out that some four actions are waiting on the Governor himself, “as he admits in his report, he has faced challenges balancing the need to implement the recommended reforms with the capacity to bring those reforms into effect.”

Gov wants to penalise Gov’t – Premier

“The reforms within his area of responsibility, including those in law and order and prisons are urgent and I find it questionable that the Governor can turn a blind eye to his own failure to make adequate progress on these reforms, but wishes to penalise the Government of the Virgin Islands for its capacity challenges,” he said.

Premier Wheatley said two further actions have actually advanced almost to completion but are now dependent on external action outside of the government's control. “These relate to our Criminal Procedure Rules reform. We have completed the draft for Cabinet’s approval but the Chief Justice has asked us to allow the OECS review to be completed before we advance our own so they can be in synergy. We have been advised that this will be completed by the end of March.”

It was noted too that the Audit Department is working assiduously to complete two reviews. "The Audit of COVID Assistance Grants covers two actions and the other has to do with Audit of Contracts over $100,000."

The Premier detailed that there are also critical law enforcement reviews that span three actions and which were initially delayed because the reviewers first selected could not conduct the reviews. “I should point out that the delay in this area has worked out to the benefit of the Virgin Islands as the reviewers now engaged wish to maintain a long-term relationship with our law enforcement bodies, and will help us to build capacity and standards moving forward.” 

He said outside the red zone, there are eight actions ongoing throughout the CoI Implementation process and cannot be marked as completed until the full process is finished.

“Finally, we had completed much of our election reform but in consideration of the 2023 election, we agreed not to make significant changes to our electoral process right before a general election. Following the election, the Elections Supervisor and external observers have submitted their reports and their recommendations will be considered for incorporation into the reforms that we already intend to implement,” he said.

29 Responses to “Governor called out for 'turning blind eye' to own failures & wishing to penalise Gov’t”

  • HMMM (09/01/2024, 12:37) Like (44) Dislike (9) Reply
    The Governor was quite clear that he missed deadlines and had to ask UK for assistance to get back on track. Our Premier is great at giving part of the story
    • History (09/01/2024, 13:32) Like (15) Dislike (21) Reply
      Never believe anything any senior British Officials says as they have no word. It has been so from the beginning of time and it has not and will not change. They cannot be trusted.
    • Hypocrisy (09/01/2024, 13:35) Like (12) Dislike (10) Reply
      The Governor admitted he is also behind with certain COI recommendations being implemented with the subjects he is responsible for. So how come in a modern partnership the BVi cannot take away some of his powers under him for his failure to hit the deadlines he help set? The Governor and UK are a set of hypocrites
    • @hmmm (09/01/2024, 14:11) Like (5) Dislike (10) Reply
      They are not looking out for us, they NEVER have! They are 'Westerners' it is not in their nature.

      They want to make sure that when they are ready to pack up and leave their Falling Babylon Kingdom the UK, that they can run to our shores and receive the many privileges that we enjoy. They are trying to constitute laws that safeguards their citizens wellbeing. They have their plans...but God has His!
    • List of a few of what the Governor wants (09/01/2024, 14:16) Like (19) Dislike (6) Reply

      Imagine the Governor wants more power to allow him to ignore the democratic process to do the following(Note these are just a few of his alleged intentions cloaked as good governance):
      1) Take over Immigration: He wants to immediately give over 4000 of his kind status so they can out number the people of the BVI and then allow them to have a secondary take over plan.
      2) Pass the new police act on his own: He wants to give the police unlimited powers to do many anti-democratic things such as but not limited to searching anyone's home without a warrant and do so on mere suspicion. Talk about making the BVI a police state where people will have no basic human nor democratic rights.
      3) He wants to pass the Jury Act: Here is where he wants the cases to proceed without any jury to decided the cases but rather have the Judge themselves decide if you are guilty. Not only is this anti democratic but it represents dictatorship as all the UK will do next is flood the position of Judges with persons from the UK who have like minds as them against the locals and Caribbean people. It is another tier of their take over plan.

      I will stop there for now but people of the BVI these people have no good intention for us. They have no respect for our democracy and democratic rights. It is time to wake up and stand up for what is right and represents true democracy and not sit back and allow a wicked agenda by the Brits to get through.

  • PREMIER GO DO YOUR D@RM WORK (09/01/2024, 13:06) Like (17) Dislike (8) Reply
    • Secure democracy (09/01/2024, 13:38) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
      The BVI has a democratic system and if any one wants to run the BVI then let them seek to get the people's support through the established democratic process. No one knows the agenda nor history of any Governor as they are appointed by the UK and not selected by the people of the BVI. So like most people in the BVI on the ground, I share in the strong views that no Governor should have such unlimited powers without going through the democratic system.
  • STOP YOUR FREQUENT FLYING (09/01/2024, 13:08) Like (27) Dislike (3) Reply
    • D8 (09/01/2024, 13:36) Like (9) Dislike (9) Reply
      Any form of suspension of any constitution of any country is supporting dictatorship.
    • The Governor must be held accountable (09/01/2024, 13:39) Like (13) Dislike (6) Reply
      The Governor is over the police and has failed in the area of crime and keeping the people safe. The Governor is over the public service and has failed to ensure fair promotions and salary increases. The Governor is over security and pardon of prisoners at HM Prison but only those who are white were pardon and all others refused in the last 10yrs. We have seen enough highhandedness by the Governor with the little power he has and now he wants more? Our democratic and civil rights as Virgin Islanders will be loss forever. We will fight against this slavery attempt with all we got.
      • The Gov must be held accountable (09/01/2024, 14:50) Like (6) Dislike (28) Reply
        Be Reminded;
        The Police Bill submitted by the Governor has been held in abeyance by the VI Elected resulting in missed efforts and opportunities to police effectively and hindering the efforts of the Governor ...and the,Governor has receipts..A prime example of local Official participation and their enabling of crime in these VI.
    • heavy is the crown (11/01/2024, 10:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      if he runs into decisions without speaking to ppl we mad! this its funny with some many likes .... any form of democracy takes time, because many will speak, and all want to be heard.
  • Circling the drain (09/01/2024, 13:33) Like (6) Dislike (19) Reply
    Natalee have failed miserably and the writing is on the wall for all to see! Now after disrespecting the opposition; he wants their support?!? Dude you and your cabinet have failed at governance! You’ve missed deadlines and will not graduate! Get the heck out of the way and admit you’re a failure. The VIP Congress - ayo see the mess you all have made???
  • vg youth (09/01/2024, 13:34) Like (13) Dislike (6) Reply
    The BVI or no one will ever satisfy the Brits. They are known for always shifting the goal post.
  • Colonial tactics still the same (09/01/2024, 13:41) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    The UK masters in getting us to fight each other and not them. They have been doing this from slavery days. For them it is not about JUSTICE but rather JUST US the people of the BVI. That's sad.
  • Not good (09/01/2024, 13:43) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
    How the Governor is handling the allegations of wrong doing by the Commissioner of Police is not only bad but it lacks transparency and is not in keeping with good governance. It shows he thinks his kind are never wrong.
  • Stand up for our rights (09/01/2024, 13:44) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    The UK cannot take care of their own affairs. Serious crime in the UK is at an all time high and they cannot get it handled. The UK economy is in a freefall and they have no solutions. The UK cannot keep a Prime Minister for a full elected term which shows how unstable they are. It is wrong to suspend any country's constitution especially when you can't handle your own affairs.
  • Modern Partnership? Balance? (09/01/2024, 13:46) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    How can the UK claim they are in a modern partnership with any OT when they can hold them accountable but none of them can hold the UK accountable. This does not represent a modern partnership. It represents highhandeness and dictatorship.
  • Analysis (09/01/2024, 13:52) Like (42) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am not a fan of the Premier nor the Governor. But I am 100% for good governance and to maintain democracy. Whenever one talks about suspending a country's constitution then they are saying that country in question has no rights other than the ones they give them. They are saying you are forbidden from being an adult until they are satisfied with how you manage your life. The issue with this is no one should have this kind of authority over another as anyone without sin cast the first stome and all countrieshave sins. The systems of the country needs to be robust to handle any issue that may arise and not a high handed move to dictate one's freedom by a bully big country. It is a slap in the face of democracy and this action should be banned.
  • Never seen (09/01/2024, 13:55) Like (14) Dislike (47) Reply
    A place that is filled stupid and half stupid people. You guys are embarrassing yourselves. The Governor stated that he himself missed deadlines however, he asked the UK for assistance to complete the task. What is it that you stupid and half stupid can’t/don’t understand or refuse to understand. Wheatley did not hold up his end of the bargain. WHEATLY is one of those fast talkers that you have to pay attention to. As far as I am concern, he wasted time on Tola Radio. Cindy was not allowed to ask the questions because of Heritage stupidity or a lack of respect for women. It is your show Heritage but how you are going to tell someone on air to shut up and then got the nerve to cat call her like you were calling a cat in your yard. COME ON HERITAGE.
    • @Never Seen (09/01/2024, 14:33) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
      It's obvious you simply do not like Hon. Wheatley and that is fine. The fact that the Governor can just 'explain' his failings and it's accepted but the Premier is raked over the coals. Firstly, is the Premier doing the work for the COI recommendations? NO, it's his PS managing the process along with civil servants doing the work so why aren't they being held accountable as well? It's also obvious, especially from the PS' remarks at the press conference that while some works are slower, the work is actually being done so it's not as if it's being ignored as is being put forward. The BVI has work to do but there is no reason for the Governor to be granted any additional powers when we elected a Government 6 months ago. If there is a problem then let us go back to the polls and vote for a change if we see fit but the Governor should not be allowed those additional powers being sought.
  • Examine the root & not the fruit (09/01/2024, 13:59) Like (27) Dislike (21) Reply
    The root of this issue is the Governor and UK launched a prearranged & preauthored COI and report. It was a well organized modern day lynching cloaked as good governance when in fact it was a tool used to try to justify their agenda for a take over while at the same time hide all their wrong doings and failures. There was no transparency in the hiring of the Commissioner of the COI. The Governor wrote the terms of reference and organized the entire COI as well as the staff that assisted the Commissioner and then want to insult the intelligence of the people of the BVI by trying to tell us the COI was done fairly and independent of the Governor and UK Officials. This is a lie. This whole matter needs to be challenged in court. It is abuse of power and a full fledged conspiracy. The time has come to expose it all.
    • Just me. (09/01/2024, 16:03) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
      I think the Gov is a nice man. I also think the Premier is a good man, this is about business, responsibility and accountability..The Premier kept making excuses for failing and each time he gets an extension..At some point enough is enough...To say the Gov falling short too is weak and ignorant So if I decide to take a day off from work, my child has the right to say my mama staying home so I ain staying home too I ain going school and that's ok. These excuses are weak, the failures appear to be wilful .Hickenbottom recommended suspension base on the evidence, the Governor disagreed and gave us the opportunity to get our house in order.. I am not hearing from the Premier no real serious commitment to fulfil his obligation...Just me..
  • Eye Shut (09/01/2024, 15:03) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    In the real World there is accountability for our actions. Accountability is a foreign concept to these VI.
    Ahhh so suffer the consequences. We the people suffer daily even with death and terminal illness due to the duly elected lack of responsibility.
    Sowande gave his word and signature regarding COi follow up but reneged as expected but cannot accept or comprehend his insensibility and lack of responsibility..He .im position as Premier is a danger to these VI and the future if it's people. No humility or regret just an ignorant nonsensical dangerous bully.
  • Gen Z / BVI youth (09/01/2024, 18:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Soon Gen Z will be in power and the UK's involvement in our country’s running will be past history.
  • BVI love (09/01/2024, 19:35) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    Showande has provided us with important historical content and a very balanced view of the wicked ways of the UK and white supremsy
  • Octavia Butler (10/01/2024, 00:26) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a COWARD is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a FOOL is to be led by the opportunist who control the fool. To be led by a THIEF is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a LIAR is to be asked to be told lies. To be led by a TYRANT is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.
  • cap (10/01/2024, 22:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So when the governor makes a mistake he must be held accountable? By the same logic so should everyone else, including our own government officials? The double standards in the BVI are incredible.
  • Breathe In Breathe Out (14/01/2024, 07:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    [ In 2024, a King in a distance country has the ultimate authority in the Virgin Islands (Br) and it is exercised on his behalf by an undemocratically "selected " Governor of the Virgin Islands (Br).]
    They cannot and should not be Trusted ever.

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