Governor Still Hopeful About FOI Bill

BVI Platinum News
August 09, 2018 10:27 am AST
Photo Credit: File
Governor Augustus Jaspert said that he is hoping the promised Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation will be heading to the House of Assembly soon.

“I hope that when we get back from summer break it will be brought forward,” Governor Jaspert told the media on July 26 during a press briefing as he was pressed for an update on the legislation he promised in March.

The Governor, like a few of his predecessors told the House of Assembly on March 1, during his Speech from the Throne that the Freedom of Information Bill was coming. He announced: “During this Session, the Freedom of Information Bill will be introduced by our Government. The Bill will include the guidelines for how people can access public records and it will outline the exempted categories.”

When asked for an update on that particular promise that he made in the Speech from the Throne the Governor said: “Speeches from the Throne often include sections that get repeated. I don’t think that’s a good thing. I think when [promises] are made they should be delivered on. So, the Freedom of Information Act is something that I support.”

Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
A Freedom of Information Bill will allow public access to documents or other data in the possession of government, and at least two former Governors and members of the Opposition have expressed interest in seeing the legislation passed.

During Governor Jaspert’s first press conference on August 29, 2017 he told the media that the introduction of such an Act in the BVI is something to be discussed.

“One of the principles I come here with is the principle of openness and transparency…For me, a Freedom of Information Act is a good thing in the right way, but that’s something for me to discuss with Ministers or with Cabinet,” the Governor said.
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