Government in ongoing talks on statutory advice, PM says

Cabinet ministers of the new government of national unity.

There is an ongoing discussion within the administration of the national unity government about statutory councils and their formation, Prime Minister Natalio Wheatley said.

The head of the territory said that applications have been received from people wishing to serve on the BVI Tourism Board, which reports directly to his ministry.

“We had a pre-screening process and these members of the Tourist Board are now being interviewed. And I will bring them to Cabinet soon,” Dr Wheatley recently said at a press conference.

The Commission of Inquiry (COI) report recommended a review of statutory councils and suggested, among other things, that there should be a protocol for the appointment and removal of statutory members of councils, published and applicable to all such councils. , which should be identified in the protocol itself.

But the Prime Minister also reminded people that the issue of statutory councils is also being discussed in other areas.

“It is also part of the terms of reference of the Constitutional Review Commission as to whether a commission of statutory boards is the appropriate thing to do. So we will have ongoing conversations about boards,” Dr Wheatley said. .

The Prime Minister also said there was already an examiner in place to determine, among other things, whether the outgoing VIP administration has appropriately selected and even removed people from these boards.

Recommendation B24 called for a review of statutory boards to determine the extent to which these boards applied policies aimed at promoting good governance – such as a conflict of interest policy and a political interference policy – and to what extent these boards follow a due diligence policy.

Dr Wheatley assured that his administration was respecting the terms of reference for the reviews that were taking place under the framework agreement signed with the United Kingdom for the implementation of the reforms recommended by the IOC.

“But we agree with the principles that advice should be independent and, of course, that it should not be subject to political interference. [and] that we have to pay attention to conflicts of interest,” said the Prime Minister.

“We need to make sure board members have the experience and skills to be able to contribute to boards,” he added. “We recognize that we have had challenges in these areas in the past and we want to be able to move forward in a different way.”

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