BVI, Caribbeanand International News

Fourth HoA 'one of the most productive terms'; 101 pieces of legislation passed- Gov Rankin

Fourth HoA 'one of the most productive terms'; 101 pieces of legislation passed- Gov Rankin

The Government of the Virgin Islands has laid out its legislative agenda for the start of the Fifth Session of the current Fourth House of Assembly (HoA), which is ‘likely’ to be the last, according to Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, in his deliverance of the 2023 Speech from the Throne.

Mr Rankin, during the First Sitting of the Fifth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly today, January 24, 2023, said the Fifth Session of the House is focused on bringing forward legislation in the context of "Resilience, Revenue, Reform, and Recovery: The Virgin Islands in Transition."

The Government of the Virgin Islands has laid out its legislative agenda for the last Session of the current Fourth House of Assembly in the Virgin Islands which is ‘likely’ to be the last according to Governor John J. Rankin in his deliverance of the 2023 Speech from the Throne.

101 legislation passed so far in Fourth HoA - Throne Speech

“This theme is aligned with the 2023 Budget Address and its strategic objectives and outcomes of Government agencies. As this is likely to be the last Session of the current Fourth House of Assembly, it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the work and achievements of the current Fourth House of Assembly over the last three years,” he said.

The Speech from the Throne, which highlights the legislative agenda of the Government of the Virgin Islands is written by the government of the day and delivered by the Governor.

Mr Rankin said 101 pieces of legislation were passed in the Fourth House so far.

According to the Governor, during the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly, which commenced in March 2019, six pieces of legislation were passed and enacted and during the Second Session, 30 pieces of legislation were passed.

In the Third Session, he related, some 47 pieces of legislation were passed and the Fourth Session saw 18 pieces of legislation passed through the House.

“With the Fourth House of Assembly having considered and successfully passed 101 pieces of legislation in a single term and in extenuating circumstances such as the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, which began in 2020, it is fair to say that this has been one of the most productive terms of any legislature in the Virgin Islands – if not the most productive term,” he said.

Gov't should be proud of achievement - Governor Rankin

Governor Rankin added that elected Government and all Honourable Members should be proud of the achievement and that citizens should note how their legislature has functioned in addressing its responsibility to the people's business.

For the new session, he said Government will seek to amend the BVI Health Services Authority Act, 2004 (No. 14 of 2004) and the Tobacco Products Control Act, 2006 (No 18 of 2006) as well as the Social Security Act (CAP. 266).

In addition, he added that the Government also intends to make amendments to the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations, the Social Security (Benefits) Regulations, and the Social Security (National Health Insurance) Regulations to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the social insurance system.

Public Service Bill will be introduced as well as The Flexible Working Arrangements Bill, which will be brought to the House supported by policy. The government will seek to amend the Police Act (CAP.165) as well as the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act, 1997.

He said the Witness Anonymity Legislation will be brought forward to ensure the protection of witnesses and the preservation of their rights by making provisions for a court to make a witness anonymity order to protect the witness's safety, prevent damage to property, and prevent real harm to the public interest.

More areas to be looked at will include the Immigration and Passport Regulations, 2014, Magistrate's Code of Procedure, Chapter 44, the Criminal Procedures Rules and Amendments to the Elections Act.

The government will also seek to amend the Road Traffic Act (CAP. 218) to modernise the law as well as seek to amend the Wickham's Cay Development Authority Act (CAP. 281)

More legislation to come

“During this Fifth Session, Government will seek to have the adjustments to the Education Amendment Act (2014) and its Regulations completed to ensure that teaching and learning align with the needs of students to become proficient in their overall development with further adjustments to consider the drive of S.T.E.A.M. – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math education."

Governor Rankin disclosed that several pieces of legislation will be brought forward with regard to updating and strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legal framework.

These will include the following enactments: Anti-money Laundering Regulations, Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice, Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act and Customs Management and Duties Act.

Other areas to be looked at will be the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, the Trustee Act and the Financial Services (Private Trust Companies) Regulations to ensure full compliance with the FATF requirements with regard to the application of AML/CFT obligations in relation to trusts.

The Governor said Legislation will also be brought forward with respect to updating the regulatory framework via The Banking Code, The Banking Act, The Trust and Company Service Providers Act, The Financial Services Commission Act, The Credit Union Act, Virgin Islands Deposit Insurance Act, and the Virgin Islands Deposit Insurance Regulations as well as amendments will also be brought forward for the Customs Management and Duties Act.

Related Articles

Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Mission Improbable: Tom Cruise & Queen Elizabeth
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are not single anymore