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HoA to seek more exemptions for Hon Neville A. Smith

HoA to seek more exemptions for Hon Neville A. Smith

Two motions to prevent Deputy Speaker Hon Neville A. Smith (AL) from having to vacate his seat as a legislator because a company he is affiliated to is seeking to or has entered into contracts with the Government of the Virgin Islands, will be moved at the 12th Sitting of the 3rd Session of the 4th House of Assembly (HoA), which starts today, September 22, 2021.
Motions to exempt Hon Smith from Vacating HoA seat


According to the Order Paper, Hon Smith is the Director of Caribbean Security Limited, which is desirous of providing services to the Government of the Virgin Islands for the installation of Access Control, Video Surveillance and Burglar Alarm in the Ministry of Finance and additional installation including Building Wide Fire System at RFG Place, Road Town, Tortola for a total contract sum of Eighty-seven thousand and thirteen dollars ($87,013.00).

In a second motion, also to be brought by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), exemption will be sought for Hon Smith to not have to vacate his HoA seat since the Government of the Virgin Islands, through the Ministry of Finance, entered into a contract with Caribbean Security Limited on December 6, 2019 for the delivery of items such as access controls and intercoms for the refurbished Police Headquarters at Sir Olva George’s Plaza for a total contract sum of fifteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty dollars and twenty-four cents ($15,980.24).

It was on July 29, 2021, that the HoA voted to exempt Hon Smith from vacating his seat after the company the legislator is a Director of entered into two contracts with the Government of the Virgin Islands.

What the constitution says?


Section 67(3)(e) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 (U.K.S.I. 2007 No. 1678) provides that subject to subsection (7), an elected member of the House of Assembly shall vacate his or her seat if the member becomes a party to a contract with the Government of the Virgin Islands for or on account of the public service, or if any firm in which the member is or becomes a partner, or a company of which the member is or becomes a director or manager becomes a party to a contract with the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Section 67(7); however, provides that if in the circumstances it appears just to do so, “the House of Assembly may exempt an elected member from vacating his or her seat under subsection (3)(e) if the member, before becoming a party to a contract, or before or as soon as practicable after becoming interested in a contract with the Government of the Virgin Islands by virtue of being a partner in a firm or director or manager in a company which has a contract with the Government, discloses to the House of 14 Assembly the nature of the contract and his or her interest in the firm or company involved in the contract.”

44 questions from Opposition


Meanwhile, the Opposition will be waiting in the wings with some 44 questions ready to be fired.

The HoA Sitting is slated to start at 10:00am and will be carried live on CBN Radio 90.9 FM, CBN-Television Channel 101 on Flow TV and can also be followed on the HoA YoutTube channel and online at www.cbnvirginislands.com.

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