PRESS STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR TO THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
JOHN RANKIN CMG
In my statement of 5 April on the Commission of Inquiry (COI) Report I said I would provide a further update after Easter.
I have now had the opportunity to review the Report in detail. It covers important topics and the recommendations include issues around governance, the Constitution, and strengthening or reinforcing existing legislation.
My aim remains to ensure that the best interests of the people of the British Virgin Islands are central to governance at all levels. The COI examined a broad range of issues which are the building blocks of any effective and successful jurisdiction. By addressing them properly, we can strengthen the foundations of governance in the British Virgin Islands to meet the challenges of the future in an open, transparent and fair way.
The Commission was established by my predecessor in January 2021, and it has been a long process to get to this point. I recognise that people want to see the Report as soon as possible in full, and for work to start on improving governance in the Territory.
However, I intend to share it first in confidence with the Honourable Premier Fahie, and then the leaders of political parties represented in the House of Assembly, to allow for discussions to take place on a cross-party basis between them, Ministers in the UK, and myself. I trust that the confidence in which the Report is shared will be respected and I hope that these discussions will take place in the third week of May. Thereafter, my aim will be to publish the Report as soon as possible - in June, if not before. It is essential that the handling of this Report is done in the right way and I believe by adopting this approach, we will get to an outcome that is in the best interests of the people of the British Virgin Islands.
As I said in my last statement, please be aware that there may be speculation and attempts to discredit or second-guess the COI Report and recommendations. I ask you to reserve judgement until it is published.
I thank you for your patience, and I will provide another update in May.