This is according to Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who said the legislative agenda for the government is going to be extremely busy this year.
“In the next couple weeks we will be going back to the House to pass a lot of legislation to strengthen our justice system, to be able to strengthen our good governance system,” Premier Fahie said on the Virgin Islands Party’s radio programme, ‘Let’s Talk’, on ZBVI 780 AM last night, February 16, 2021.
The Premier reminded that most of the legislation on good governance and the justice system is what the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), prior to being elected, had promised to bring to the HoA.
“And these are things we campaigned on, no one is pushing us to do it, no one has written us to do it, no one has insisted that we do it. If you pick up the manifesto of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), you will see Integrity in Public Life legislation, you will see Contractor General legislation, you will see Whistleblowing legislation, and a plethora of legislation to improve good governance.”
The Integrity in Public Life legislation, along with others relating to strengthening the justice system, was also mentioned in the Speech from the Throne as delivered by ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert in November 2020.
The Speech from the Throne, which is written by the Government of the day, represents the Administration’s legislative agenda.
“These are some that we are bringing forward to the next sitting of the House of Assembly and the next one after that, along with plenty other legislation, including the extension of the Stamp Duty legislation, including legislation to make amendments to the Customs Act to allow duty-free for all renewable energy products and hybrid cars for a specific time...” Premier Fahie stated.
2020 was one of the most eventful and productive in years for the House of Assembly, with June 2020 alone seeing a record-breaking 15 pieces of legislation.
Those include legislation that previous governments and legislators had shunned for years, such as the Consumer Protection Act 2020; Gaming and Betting Control Act 2020; and the Cannabis Licencing Act 2020, the latter of which is yet to be assented to by the Governor.
Other legislation in June included the Stamp Duty Amendment Act 2020 and Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Act 2020.
The Sixth Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) of the Virgin Islands will begin at 10:00 AM on March 4, 2021, and is will be carried live on the House of Assembly YouTube and Facebook page, along with live broadcasts on ZBVI 780 AM, CBN Radio 90.9 FM, CBN-Television and FLOW TV channel 101.