Statutory Boards Not Fully Functional

Javon Liburd, Staff Reporter | 3 Opinions
Published: April 20, 2017 6:23 am AST
Former Opposition Leader, Hon. Julian Fraser
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
While in the House of Assembly earlier this week, Hon. Julian Fraser took the opportunity to lambaste the efficiency of Statutory Boards across the Territory, noting that the persons who are usually appointed are not a proper fit.

Hon. Fraser, member of the opposition benches and Representative of District Three, stated that too often persons on boards across various sectors in the Territory are not fully informed, properly advised, nor do they have the requisite authority to make decisions.

“I don’t think our boards are serving in the way they are intended to function, having to go this route.”

He noted that he is terribly concerned with how the appointments of such persons are made.

“…This is what I’m really concerned about and I have asked this question my entire political life. I was faced with these situations once.”

For the boards to be as effective as possible, Hon. Fraser noted that Permanent Secretaries and other high ranking officials should be placed on the various boards, “in order that decisions can be made by the boards at the highest possible level.”

He added, “When persons at the highest possible level are not present in the room, decisions are deferred because they have to consult, the persons sitting have to consult [the superiors].”

This is something that has been happening for a very long time in the Virgin Islands, according the former Leader of the Opposition.

“That’s my problem. How many times this happens, where you go in to a room, a board meeting, and you find the people sitting in there not fully informed, wholly advised, don’t have requisite authority to make decisions. That’s my concern about the issue with the nominees of the substantial holder.”

He added, “I understand that it is not possible for Permanent Secretaries to be in these places because they don’t have the time, and I know that they are very busy and they have a heavy workload, but what can we do short of having it done this way. I’m sure you will hear arguments saying that it's ok and leave it the way it is, until someone has a better idea, but as it is right now, I don’t think our boards are serving in the way they are intended to function, having to go this route.”

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