Sunday, May 27, 2007

The BVI Ministry of Finance Establishes Website

At the beginning of this month the Ministry of Finance of the British Virgin Islands has announced its website, www.finance.gov.vg, having the aim to inform public servants and the general public about the services provided by the Ministry. Minister of Finance Honourable Ronnie W.Skelton told the Department of Information and Public Relations that the website will provide valuable information on the work of the Ministry.

According to BVI Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith, the website is aimed at 'informing the public and the civil service of the Virgin Islands on the activities and expectations of the Ministry of Finance'. The site provides information on financial legislation and regulations, budget estimates, and global fiscal and economic issues. It also gives access to general public and Government employees to various forms. FAQ section of the site provides information on various processes including the tendering and contracts process.

As some criticism I should note that as of today some chapters (for example the chapter 'Current Initiatives') of the new website still do not include any information, however the website provides many useful information that will be completed at the course of site's development.

Actually, the main duty of the Ministry of Finance is leadership and policy direction relating to fiscal, economic growth and development of the territory. One of the Ministry's duties is supervising the Financial Services Commission and the Development Bank of the British Virgin Islands. Strategic objectives of the Ministry of Finance are implemented through its five departments that carry out the operational functions of the Ministry - Her Majesty’s Customs, BVI Post Office, Department of Information Technology, Inland Revenue Department and the Treasury Department.

The Ministry joined some other BVI Government departments that have recently introduced their websites - the Immigration Department, Social Development Department, Deputy Governor’s Office and Human Resources Department.

Currently the BVI Financial Services Comission website is considered to be the best BVI government’s website. It is online for several years, it provides up-to date information and it was even redesigned some months ago. It is expected that more and more BVI government’s structures will go online. I hope that BVI International Finance Centre will be one of them very soon.

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