BVI, Caribbeanand International News

Premier pledges to demand Freedom of Information law

Premier pledges to demand Freedom of Information law

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has promised to deliver greater transparency as his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government seeks to improve its image in the wake of some regrettable missteps during its previous term in office.
“One thing you have to do is trust your principles,” Premier Wheatley told reporters at a press conference recently. “So, you know transparency is key. So, you know that you can’t hide things from the public. Anything that you feel that you have to hide, you know it’s not the right thing.”

Even as he promised not to repeat mistakes of the past, Dr Wheatley suggested that full transparency and strengthening of the democratic institutions of governance will now be hallmarks of his administration.

“I’m going to go ahead and demand that we get that Freedom of Information Act to the people,” Premier Wheatley stated. The Premier did not give any indication at the time about who his demand would be directed towards.

Premier Wheatley made a similar promise last August but could not offer any timeline back then for the delivery of the legislation. “[It is] something that I am committed to, that the Virgin Islands Party administration committed to in manifestos in the past and in statements that we made to the press. We are in a reform frame of mind. I believe it is something that we have to deliver on,” Dr Wheatley said last year.

More good governance laws

In the meantime, Dr Wheatley referred to the whistleblower legislation passed under the Andrew Fahie-led government in 2021, pledging that an office will now be established for that Commission moving forward. The law in reference rewards as well as protects individuals for disclosing information about the corrupt practices of others once it is in the public’s interest.

He also reflected on the Integrity in Public Life Act — another Fahie-era measure that was put on the back burner after Fahie’s arrest — and asserted that the two-year-old law will now be enforced.

Under that law, the Commission will consist of a chairperson who is either a retired judge or a lawyer with at least 15 years of experience. The Governor and the Premier will agree on the chairperson’s nomination. Additionally, there will be one member nominated by the Governor, one by the Premier, one by the Leader of the Opposition, and one by the Christian Council.

And while acknowledging that democracy had been somewhat elusive in some of his government’s past decisions, Premier Wheatley commented that once there is greater collaboration and transparency, this will ultimately lead to better results.

Related Articles

Pfizer, the EU, and disappearing ink - Smoke, Mirrors, and the Billion-Dose Pfizer Vaccine Deal: EU's 'Open Secret
Actor Tom Hanks told Harvard University graduates to be superheroes in their defense of truth and American ideals, and to resist those who twist the truth for their own gain
The Sussexes' Royal Rebound: Could Harry and Meghan Markle Return to the UK?
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
France Arrests 10 on Suspicion of Failing to Respond in Time to Migrant Drowning
Neuralink Receives FDA Approval for First-in-Human Clinical Study
Is Saudi Arabia the holiest place in the world? Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions from "The Mount Sinai Stand" Discovered in Saudi Arabia
Ukrainian Intelligence Official Admits to Assassination Attempts on Putin
Bernard Arnault Loses $11.2 Billion in One Day as Investors Fear Slowdown in US Growth Will Reduce Demand for Luxury Products
Russian’s Wagner Group leader: “I am not a chef, I am a butcher. Russia is in danger of a revolution like in 1917.”
TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning the App
Ron DeSantis Jumps Into 2024 Presidential Race, Setting Up Showdown With Trump
Last Walmart in North Portland Closing Down
Florida's DeSantis seeks to disqualify judge in Disney case
Talks between US House Republicans and President Biden's Democratic administration on raising the federal government's $31.4tn debt ceiling have paused
Biden Administration Eyeing High-Profile Visits to China: The Biden Administration is heating things up by looking into setting up a series of top-level visits to Beijing by top officials in the coming months
New evidence in special counsel probe may undercut Trump’s claim documents he took were automatically declassified
A French court of appeals confirmed former President Nicolas Sarkozy's three-year jail term for corruption and influence peddling
Debt Ceiling Crises Have Unleashed Political Chaos
Weibao Wang, a former software engineer at Apple, was charged with stealing trade secrets related to autonomous systems, including self-driving cars
Mobile phone giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 jobs globally over three years as new boss says its performance not good enough
Elon Musk compares George Soros to Magneto, the supervillain from the Marvel Comics series.
Warren Buffett Sells TSMC Shares Over Concerns About Taiwan's Stability
New Study Finds That Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia Is a Major Cause of Death in COVID-19 Patients Who Require Ventilator Assistance
The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines calls the British monarchy "an absurdity" he wants to remove in his lifetime
King Charles III being crowned.
'Godfather Of AI' Geoffrey Hinton Quits Google To Warn Of The Tech's Dangers
A Real woman
Vermont Man Charged with Stalking After Secretly Tracking Woman with Apple AirTag
Elon Musk Statements About Tesla Autopilot Could Be 'Deepfakes,' Lawyers Claim. Judge Evette Pennypacker Does Not Understand How Far and Advanced This Technology Became
Ukraine More Prepared for Counterattack as Reinforcements Arrive
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Discuss Migration, Defence, and Ukraine
AT&T's Successful Test of Satellite-Based Phone Call Raises Possibility of Widespread Coverage
CNN: "Joe Biden is asking for four more years — when 74% of Americans think the country is heading the wrong way“
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Cuts Short Live TV Interview Due to Health Issue
US Congresswoman threaten Twitter Files journalist with arrest
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh slams New York Times' pro-government stance and treatment of sources
Enough is enough: it's time to end the war in Ukraine. While Russia may be to blame for starting it, Russia is not the one refusing to stop it
Fox News Settles their case with Dominion Voting Systems for a staggering $787.5 MILLION
AG decries scapegoating and rushed lawmaking by government
The land of the free violence
21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira has been arrested for leaking classified Pentagon Documents
The Supreme Court will allow a 12-year-old transgender West Virginia girl to compete on her middle school’s girls' sports teams amid a lawsuit over a ban
Bank of America cuts short conference after outrage at Ukraine comments
Revealed: royals took more than £1bn income from controversial estates
Mitt Romney calls Trump indictment 'overreach,' says charges were 'stretched' to suit a 'political agenda'
The G-7 aims to make global crypto regulations tougher
Don’t Dismiss China’s Peacemaking Bid
China and Brazil have signed a new deal that will allow them to trade in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar as an intermediary
Elon Musk and Others Call for Pause on A.I., Citing ‘Profound Risks to Society’