Hon. Myron Walwyn, Minister of Education and Culture
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Hon. Myron Walwyn, Minister of Education and Culture believes that the BVI will address issues of concern, citing that even in the United States of America, the issue of conflict of interest is still being ironed out.
"There are things yes, we have to get done; in time they will get done. For instance, a few weeks ago in the great United States of America, the whole issue of conflict of interest with the President (Donald Trump) and whether he is properly captured by that," Minister Walwyn said publicly this week.
The Minister added, "This is the great United States of America we are talking about; compare it to little BVI, Governor."
Minister Walwyn was responding to Governor John Duncan, who made comments about the BVI Government moving slow on several pertinent legislation to allow for good governance, including the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), Whistle-blowing and Data Protection legislation.
Governor Duncan also slammed several Members of the House of Assembly who he said has not declared their interests to the Registrar of Interests in some six years.
Subsequently, when approached, Minister Walwyn said that he has been declaring since he took up political office.
"I understand the importance of transparency and openness in government and I can say that I am very current with all my obligations with the register of interests. And I have met my obligations every year since being in office," he briefly told BVI Platinum News.
The National Democratic Party (NDP) has been repeatedly accused of unfairly competing with local businesses for Government projects and services.
Opposition Leader, Hon. Andrew Fahie has accused the NDP of rampant conflict of interest by competing with small businesses.
"Under the leadership of the VIP I can assure you that the days of elected officials unfairly competing with the people of the V.I. for Government projects and services will be a thing of the past," Hon. Fahie said.
The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) leader further charged, "This practice is now rampant in this government to the point where persons have been lured to believe that this is the norm and hence acceptable. This course of action must be called out for what it is---conflict of interest; and it must be brought to an abrupt end."
According to government's own website, a conflict of interest is any situation where an individual’s private interests may be incompatible or in conflict with their public service responsibilities. A conflict of interest could occur when an individual/company could benefit from their relationship with a public officer.
For example, an employee whose brother owns a large construction company is assigned as the lead for a project to select a company to build a courthouse. The brother is interested in the contract. In this case, the employee must report this potential conflict of interest to their manager in order for a resolution to be found. If a real or potential conflict is determined, the activity may be curtailed, modified or stopped in order to resolve the conflict.