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Premier: ‘I could’ve shut my mouth’ on hiring advisers like other Gov'ts

- said his Gov't is being honest & transparent despite the 'licks' that may come
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) told his constituents in the First Electoral District on Sunday, September 5, 2021, he could have been silent about hiring ministerial political advisers like past governments in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook
The now ousted National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, of whom Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) was a part, was known to have hired political advisors and speechwriters on taxpayers money, although they never made it public. Photo: VINO/File
The now ousted National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, of whom Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) was a part, was known to have hired political advisors and speechwriters on taxpayers money, although they never made it public. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Kevin C. Smith aka 'OJ', a former political candidate with the NDP, is the first ministerial adviser hired in the Premier’s Office. Photo: Facebook/File
Mr Kevin C. Smith aka 'OJ', a former political candidate with the NDP, is the first ministerial adviser hired in the Premier’s Office. Photo: Facebook/File
CAPPOONS BAY, Tortola, VI- Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) told his constituents in the First Electoral District on Sunday, September 5, 2021, he could have been silent about hiring ministerial political advisers like past governments in the Virgin Islands.

Since the announcement, the decision has gotten severe criticism from several quarters, including the Opposition, who said the funds could be placed to better use in this COVID-19 era and claimed that it was the government’s way of the people of the Virgin Islands funding its election campaign.

The now-ousted National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, of whom Opposition Leader Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8) was a part, was known to have hired political advisors and speechwriters on taxpayers money, although they never made it public.

“Just for the record, let me clear that up; we didn’t ask for an extra dime to do that; that was not true,” he said during a live community meeting at Leonora Delville Primary School in Cappoons Bay.

He said the Ministerial Political Advisers would be paid from the consultancy allocations, similar to the UK government system.

Premier Fahie had previously said Ministerial Advisers or Ministerial Aides are not uncommon in Government systems around the world - and that also includes the United Kingdom, where the model for the role was sourced and adapted to the needs of the Virgin Islands.

“You don’t have to take my word for it, just google and bring up budgets; and each budget, the money that is in there, you decide what consultants or consultancy is needed for whatever task given the financial year. All we did was do what was never done before, come and tell you what we doing with most of it. I found out in the last few years that when you are being more than honest about certain things, you get more licks.”

I could’ve been silent

When the decision to hire ministerial advisers was announced, Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R1) sought to give the public the impression that it would be a new expense and that it was unnecessary.

“I could have shut my mouth like all the other governments and don’t say what’s happening, don’t say we are hiring these people and just go and sing Hakuna Mamata along the way and don’t say anything, and it would not have been a big thing; but we came and said out of the funds that were available we are going to take and name three of them at the Premier’s Office for ministerial advisers.”

Premier Fahie said these posts are critical because they would assist in research and many other areas that the public servants are too busy to accomplish on top of their regular work schedule.

Mr Kevin C. Smith aka 'OJ', a former political candidate with the NDP, is the first ministerial adviser hired in the Premier’s Office.

The Premier is allowed to have three advisers, which he intends to utilise, and his other ministers and junior ministers would have one adviser assigned to each of them.

19 Responses to “Premier: ‘I could’ve shut my mouth’ on hiring advisers like other Gov'ts”

  • Good Advisor Free-Of-Charge Advisory (06/09/2021, 12:39) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am not against political advisors. Both spiritual and political advisors are necessary for the smooth running of all good governments everywhere. What I am not in agreement with is favoured picked political advisors of prior political affiliation with a particular party.
    • Nick name (06/09/2021, 19:03) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      You need political advisors when you have 79 million ppl like Britain. You shouldn’t need them for this tiny dot.
  • priest (06/09/2021, 13:07) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    Premier I understand that "All you are doing is what has never done before" The thing is, given the current state of things in the territory, is this the right time to do this and, some other things with respect of our finance?
  • WHAT NEXT (06/09/2021, 13:11) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVER WHEN WE TRY TO DECIEVE
  • Public Servants too busy. Wow (06/09/2021, 14:10) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Maybe if they show up to work on time or take one hour lunch instead of two, . How did they get too busy when they hardly work 6 hrs a day, Who's responsible for policing them and to ensure we get work for money..Every lock down they stay home and get paid,. Too busy, come with a better excuse than that......Also Premier, you are responsible for creating the budget, you put those funds in as part of your scheme...Stop trying to fool us..
  • indee (06/09/2021, 14:26) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    I could have shut my mouth like all the other governments and don’t say what’s happening.
    This guy is petty.
  • yesss (06/09/2021, 14:32) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    When one has power over the massive, there is always some form of corruption
  • waste (06/09/2021, 14:38) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    ...of 9 months!
  • hgfhgfhgf (06/09/2021, 14:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Wellsah (06/09/2021, 14:46) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I didn't know the bvi was a continent
  • Voters (06/09/2021, 15:24) Like (0) Dislike (17) Reply
    Premier we support you 200%
  • Local (06/09/2021, 15:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Name one government in the world that don’t pocket money I’ll wait
  • Big Difference!!! (06/09/2021, 19:08) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I believe there is a big difference between budgeting a certain amount for advisors and using some or all of what was budgeted for as and when particular consultancy is needed and hiring advisors up front who may or may not have the level of expertise in a needed area. Unless of course the advisors being hired knows everything about everything. What do we do when the set budgeted amount is already committed to specific individuals who may not be qualified in an area needed?
  • Readermon (06/09/2021, 19:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Scrolling through the comments none of the critics make sense. Then I came upon “ I didn't know the bvi was a continent” and lost my train of thought. Readermon used discern! It Hurt Itself In Its Confusion!

    Well played critics well played...
  • You could’ve (06/09/2021, 19:27) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Honorable Sir
    You could’ve but please note it’s not your personal money paying the advisors, it’s the tax payers money. Please note that the people are fed up with the way these elected members have handled public funds over the years (past and present government do a piss poor job with tax payers monies). Regulate you all selves accordingly.
  • hm (09/09/2021, 11:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Makes me wonder what he might of shut his mouth about!


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