Saturday, September 01, 2012

Premier Explains Situation with Protocols to the Public Finance Act

The Opposition of the British Virgin Islands expressed its concerns about several issues, including the possible breach of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management by the administration, and the penalties that might follow from the United Kingdom (UK) Government. Hon. Andrew Fahie is going to ask over 30 questions at the sitting of the House of Assembly on September 3. 

The Protocols were signed in April 2012 by Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith on behalf of Government and Mr. Henry Bellingham, the United Kingdom Minister for the Overseas Territories. They called for the implementation and entering into force of the enhanced Public Finance Act by August 2012. 

Premier Hon. Orlando Smith said that the BVI Government has already reviewed the new provisions to the enhanced Public Finance Act, and after they are tabled at the next sitting of the House of Assembly, they will be debated and passed at the next sitting of the House.

Also, Premier said that this set of protocols to which the BVI Government has agreed will provide for effective management of finances, to be fully transparent and accountable. He stated that one of the significant things with the protocols is the question of liquid assets, as the British Virgin Islands jurisdiction from time to time has been in breach of the liquid assets under previous agreements. However, he assured: "I will say based on what is contained now in the protocols, we are in breach, but we also have an agreement that by 2015 we will meet all the requirements of the protocols."

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