Premier Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley has assured his commitment to enacting Freedom of Information legislation in the British Virgin Islands and promised that he does intend to act on the promises of the Virgin Islands Party Administration to bring a Freedom of Information Bill to the House of Assembly.
While fielding questions from the press, the premier said, “we have such a robust reform agenda but I would have to say it is a focus of mine. Exactly when we’ll get to it, I’m not quite sure because we have so much work taking place but it’s something that I am committed to.”
“I believe in freedom of information… having more information accessible to the people is something that the Virgin Islands Party Administration committed to in its manifestos”, he added.
In the face of concerns that this area of reform may have been shelved to make way for the implementation of the Commission of Inquiry recommendations, the Premier admitted that the government does have a lot on its plate at the moment.
“We’re in a reform frame of mind, I believe it’s something that we have to be able to deliver on exact timelines that I am not in a position to say right now”, he said.
In a show of support for the government in this venture, His Excellency Governor John Rankin offered his own assistance and the full support of the United Kingdom Government.
“I would like to add full support from me, Premier, and the UK Government will stand ready to assist”, he said.
Governor Rankin also noted that there are various models existing among overseas territories, as close as Bermuda, for the BVI to draw from.