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VI Gov’t picks apart lame excuse by CoI for 3-month extension

- laments further extension may continue to cause unnecessary harm to territory’s reputation
The Government of the Virgin Islands led by Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, has suggested the Commission of Inquiry led by Gary R. Hickinbottom, left, is not being entirely truthful about the reasons for the further 3-month delay to the CoI's final report. Photo: GIS/VINO/File
The CoI, via Secretary to the Commission Steven Chandler, claimed that documents produced to the Commission and which the Commissioner may wish to consider for publication 'have been produced often in very poor order.' Photo: VINO/File
The CoI, via Secretary to the Commission Steven Chandler, claimed that documents produced to the Commission and which the Commissioner may wish to consider for publication 'have been produced often in very poor order.' Photo: VINO/File
The CoI was called by ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert (in photo) who was known to have a strained relationship with Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1). Photo: VINO/File
The CoI was called by ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert (in photo) who was known to have a strained relationship with Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1). Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The excuses given by the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on January 4, 2022, for the further 3-month-extension of the Inquiry has been questioned by the Government of the Virgin Islands.

CoI plays the blame game

The CoI has attempted to lay the blame for their failure to meet two deadlines to submit a final report on the Inquiry squarely on the feet of the Government of the Virgin Islands.

The CoI, via Secretary to the Commission Steven Chandler, claimed that documents produced to the Commission and which the Commissioner may wish to consider for publication “have been produced often in very poor order.”

Further, the Commission accused elected Ministers, including Members of Cabinet, of not taken timely advantage of opportunities to make applications to the Commissioner that documents (or parts of documents) which have been sent to the CoI should not be disclosed to the public.

“Had such applications been made in a timely way, the Commissioner could and would have been able to have published the documents already, which would have helped the BVI public to understand the issues as they arose,” the CoI stated.

VI Gov’t hits back

The Government of the Virgin Islands has; however, hit back at the CoI by suggesting that the CoI is not being truthful and transparent in their reasons for the further three-month delay to the CoI’s report.   

In a press statement this evening, January 5, 2022, the Government of the Virgin Islands said it is “puzzling” that the main reason cited by the Commission for delaying submission of the report to the Governor is the need to decide which parts of sensitive documents should be redacted (withheld from publication).

“All documents provided by the Government to the Commission are accessible by the Governor in unredacted form and could be supplied by the Commission to the Governor immediately and without change.”

The press statement also stated that it is understandable that the Commissioner wishes to prepare a report in publishable form, but “it is also surprising” that the Commission should complain about delays in Ministerial indications about which parts of thousands of pages of documents should be withheld for good reasons such as national security. 

“The Commissioner himself said on 22 October 2021 that, recognising the scale of the task, he would let Ministers know which documents, in particular, he would quote or rely on in his report.  

“Despite requests from the Attorney General on 25 November 2021 and 2 December 2021, as well as on 30 December 2021, this has yet to be done.”

CoI delays may continue to harm reputation of VI

According to the statement from Government, the Ministers “are anxious to enable as full and fast publication of relevant documents as possible and expect, as they have already promised, to be able to obtain Cabinet consent for any redactions which are needed within 10 days of being informed by the CoI which documents they should be looking at.

“Therefore, if this is really the only issue causing this delay, then notification by the Commissioner about those documents on 4th January 2022 would still enable the Report to be published by the previous 19 January 2022 deadline,” the statement indicated.

The Government of the Virgin Islands said it continues to seek to co-operate with the CoI in every way possible.  

“It is regrettable that this further delay in the process, which already consumed very considerable amounts of Government time and resources in 2021, means that there will be further calls on these well into 2022 – and further unnecessary harm may continue to be done in the meantime to the reputation of these Islands.”

Suspicious CoI

While there is no question that all Virgin Islanders support good governance, many suspect that the CoI, which alleges unsubstantiated reports of corruption and victimisation, is an old tactic of the colonial powers to hamper the VI's progress towards self-determination and for the UK to gain control of the territory.

The CoI has been unable to unearth any major corruption or even victimisation in its hearings, apart from exposing the need for strengthening of policies for accountability and transparency. This continues to be worked on by the incumbent government that has been adamant in bringing forward a suite of good governance legislation.

The CoI was called by an ex-governor who was known to be at loggerheads with Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who has been determined to prepare the people of the VI to manage its own affairs for the inevitable position of self-determination.

21 Responses to “VI Gov’t picks apart lame excuse by CoI for 3-month extension”

  • asura (05/01/2022, 22:39) Like (10) Dislike (75) Reply

    these people from the CoI are not only ev** they are rac**t so happy the Government set the record straight

    • Save Gus's skin extension of time (06/01/2022, 16:11) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
      The problem is despite Gus's hysterical allegations for corruption and dishonesty, the CoI has only found evidence of mis-management - no evidence of corruption and no evidence of dishonesty. It has not proved that there is no dishonesty or corruption, only that it can't find any - even after 15 months!
      This does not fit the narrative of the report that Gus needs to save his career, not does it help the Commissioner find his next tax payer funded junket.
      What do do? - ask for another 3 months to try and find a way to be more critical of the Government and save their own career prospects. Blame the BVI Govt for not responding to requests, but don't mention that you have not made those requests yet.
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (06/01/2022, 00:35) Like (108) Dislike (2) Reply
    It seem like some persons that which other a happy New year are not experiencing a happy New year
    Honourable Ministers, did you comply properly when questioned by the CoI in reference to the of mismanagement of our finances?
    Could it be that your neglected to fully cooperate is a factor in the need for the requested, and granted extension?
    The Bible says, "Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he reap. That means, all who sow prickly pear seeds, will reap pears with many prickly spikes.
    He that is innocent of guilt neither fears nor worry. This saying is true 2022.

  • WOW (06/01/2022, 01:09) Like (11) Dislike (44) Reply
    The COI had an agenda before they started. It is the most racist show in town.
    • @wow (06/01/2022, 09:10) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
      Can you please explain what the agenda was? So tell me WOW, what was the agenda when big Willie was running up to Government house dropping names.
    • @wow (06/01/2022, 11:17) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Like Martin Lawrence use to say, WOO, WOO, WOO, yeah some WOO, WOO, WOO IS COMING This way soon. I agree, time to stack up on DEPENDS AND PEPTO BISMOL. Ain’t no amount of bush tea going to easy those rumbling stomachs. LMAO. The old people always say you get just what your hands called for. Told you all not to stick your hand in Pandora’s box.
  • Ah boy (06/01/2022, 01:19) Like (43) Dislike (85) Reply
    One thing Fahie is a fighter for the people of the Virgin Islands
  • Slavery (06/01/2022, 01:21) Like (25) Dislike (49) Reply
    This Commissioner and his COI team has behaved from the beginning of the COI to now as if we do not have any right to speak up and defend ourselves in the BVI.
  • jah (06/01/2022, 01:55) Like (91) Dislike (5) Reply
    Asura: the reason why COI has to always extend the time period because the VI government doesn't produce documents that the commissioner requested in a timely manner..have you ever look at live streaming and see that the commissioner keep asking for documents from the AG! Last year when the commission resumed covid was on the rise now when the commission is about to resume it process it's about the same situation,so this time persons have excuse to stay away or delay documentation that was requested..
  • 911 (06/01/2022, 06:52) Like (5) Dislike (37) Reply
    The coi is like the usa jan 6 mob that took over the capatial
  • SOME OF US (06/01/2022, 07:04) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    • Anddddd (06/01/2022, 09:15) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
      The devil want his payback from the ones who sold their souls. You dig a hole for someone, a bigger hole will be dug for you. Karma is no joke. Karma is worse than the devil.
  • It looks (06/01/2022, 09:03) Like (15) Dislike (5) Reply
    Like it is time to start stacking up on depends again. No kind of excuse or trying to throw the COI under the bus is going to stop what is coming. If documents were submitted that were requested in a timely manner, the delay would not have happened. Blame yourselves, not the COI.
  • Quietly Watching (06/01/2022, 09:11) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ah saw, we are off to the races. 2022 it seems will be an exact replica of 2021. We have to answer everything whether right or wrong. Send the documents. Aren't we a year older?
  • the plan (06/01/2022, 09:13) Like (4) Dislike (19) Reply
    Extended COI right up to elections watch and see I guess they think we’re stupid to not notice how contrived this fishing expedition was.

    Seriously a few late submissions is the biggest scandal they uncovered. OMG politicians missed their deadlines Oh my, oh wait isn’t that exactly what the governor who called the COI did himself? missed the dead line to submit his report on the airline.

    You all wimpy suck up politicians should have scolded his donkey when you had the chance Fraser stood up to move that motion to reprimand the governor and y’all shot him down with no votes.

    If you all could turn back the clock every man & woman would vote to reprimand that immature governor.

    Now you see how they press us (oppress downpress) after you handled them with gloves. stop playing yes man for the UK it’s getting us and you politicians no where.

    They were f-in slavers. Now they’re unrepentant ex-slavers. I wish they weren’t.

    Furthermore y’all realize how silly it was to be running to the governor playing snitch telling tales. Now your eyes are open to reality.
  • Chris (06/01/2022, 09:40) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    For many years I hear talk about National Security and wonder what the heck they talking about. If they talking about “ side deals” they don’t want made public that is personal embarrassment we talking about , not National Security. I have never heard of any threats made by Russia or China or Cuba or even the USA or Britain to invade us . If government has not learnt from history , see Richard Nixon , and doesn’t know not to write stuff down or make a recording you don’t want leaked then we shouldn’t be electing them as they must be dumb.
    If someone can help me understand what National Security in the BVI is I would appreciate the info.
  • Hmm (06/01/2022, 09:40) Like (6) Dislike (17) Reply
    People starting to see the coi for what it really is
  • Windy (06/01/2022, 15:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    They're just playing with you. Makes you nervous ? GOOD
  • Really? (06/01/2022, 15:25) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    A government renowned for missing deadlines, non-completion of projects, promises not kept, unpaid contractors, 6+ months waiting for work permit renewals with nobody willing to step up and tell the public what is going on despite many complaints.... and they're puzzled as to why the COI is taking a 3 month extension.... perhaps they're more puzzled at the fact that that the COI have addressed the issue publicly and announced the extension as opposed to just waiting for the deadline to roll around and producing nothing... or perhaps they're puzzled at the fact that the extension is only for 3 months..... but I don't think the need for an extension should puzzle anyone who routinely announces deadlines that are never kept to...
  • Road Town Rebel (08/01/2022, 03:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    A white man never like to see a black man prosper. He will never teach you to out smart him. He's a virus that's omnipresent.

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