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New anti-corruption law coming to govern public spending

New anti-corruption law coming to govern public spending

Amid the slew of scandals linked to public projects that have dogged successive administrations in the BVI, the government has signalled that it will be seeking to pass an Integrity In Public Life Bill in the new legislative year.
According to Governor Augustus Jaspert who delivered the Territory’s Speech from the Thorne on Thursday, the Integrity In Public Life Bill “will promote and enhance ethical conduct standards by consolidating laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the award, monitoring and investigating of government contracts and prescribed licences”.

According to the Governor, once the law is passed, the government will establish a public body that will be responsible for enforcing integrity and working with law enforcement officials to hand down sanctions where corruption is identified.

The law is a novel one in the BVI and comes amid years of public outcry against the lack of transparency regarding public spending.

Some notable scandals which have affected NDP administrations include the BVI Airways scandal, Pier Park cost overrun and the ESHS Perimeter Wall Project in which was investigated by police and handed over to the Director of Public Prosecution for consideration.

Scandals linked to the VIP include the Neighbourhood Partnership Project scandal, a $115,600 Cadillac Escalade for Premier Andrew Fahie and the hiring of personal bodyguards for Premier Fahie after winning the General Elections in 2019.
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