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Freedom of Information Act among new legislation promised for 2022

Freedom of Information Act among new legislation promised for 2022

According to Premier Andrew Fahie, the new year will see his government introduce some new bills to the House of Assembly as well as advance the progress on the new constitutional review.
The Premier said residents of the Virgin Islands can expect the introduction of at least three new bills in parliament in the new year as he tries to further improve good governance in the territory.

“Your government will be bringing forward more bills for discussions, debates, and approval that will further strengthen good governance and cement in the minds of all our people in the Virgin Islands that we can continue to police ourselves and manage our own affairs as we have been since our fore-parents said no to grant-in-aid,” Fahie said.

“Hence, expect the following bills, among others the Human Rights Commission Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and amendments to the Registrar of Interests Act. More will be revealed with the Speech from the Throne, which will be on the 18th of January 2022,” the Premier added.

He also said the government will publicise the names of the persons that will make up the Constitutional Review Committee in “a few days”.

In the statement, Fahie also took time to reflect on the bills his government has passed in 2021, especially the recent Integrity in Public Life Act.

“I wish to say at this time that as we approach the new year, your government continues to further strengthen our good governance framework through the passage of many significant pieces of legislation in the House of Assembly. The latest is the Integrity in Public Life Act,” he said.

“It will clearly articulate the standards of conduct of public officers, statutory boards, and elected officials in the carrying out of their duties; further develop and strengthen systems of accountability, ensuring the adherence to public policy; and establish an Integrity Commission that would assist in achieving the government’s objectives to promote good governance, enhance ethical conduct of public officers, and strengthen the prevention and detection of potential corrupt acts by persons in public life,” the Premier added.

The Integrity Commission will be formed and made functional by the end if the first quarter of 2022. The public will further be briefed on this as well as other information during the Speech from the Throne.

The speech will be compiled and written by the Premier and his ministers and will be delivered by Governor John Rankin. This speech and will highlight the projection of the government’s legislative agenda.
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