Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith criticised Opposition Member, and First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie for his sexual harassment allegations.
Last week, the BVI Leader in his budget debate recapitulation said that Hon. Fahie should have taken the complaint to the law instead of the House of Assembly.
“The member (Hon. Fahie) referred to harassment, sexual and otherwise of civil servants needing to stop, etcetera. I would have thought that if the member has this concern it would have been better if he approached the law enforcement authority on that; rather than necessarily bring it here (House of Assembly), and literally exposing our dirty linens in public, something that we don’t necessarily have to do. We should wash them first, right,” Dr. Smith declared.
The Premier told the House that Hon. Fahie’s allegations have the propensity to tarnish the reputation of the Territory, and noted again that it should not have been mentioned in the House of Assembly. “It would have been better to report to the law enforcement agencies and not necessarily brought to this House to the public that is the international public which is not necessarily good for the Territory,” Hon Smith added.
The mentioned allegation was made by Hon. Fahie during his Budget Debate contribution in the House of Assembly on 24 March. At that time the First District Representative announced that he received complaints of sexual harassment from persons who work in various areas of Government.
In recounting the reports Hon. Fahie told the House: “I get these reports from even the Police Force, statutory bodies.” Hon. Fahie explained that the sexual harassment practice of some senior Government workers is affecting the morale of some members of the service: “A few of them told me… that there are some persons, more than one in the senior positions in government that have made some sexual advancements at them.”
“They have informed me and when I asked them if they made a report, come let us make one, they have informed me that most of them have not made a report. They have also informed me that because of some of them feel that they are closely knitted to the current government, nothing is going to come out of it, based on some of the questions that they were asked at the start up,” Hon. Fahie announced.
The Legislator told the House that some of the harassed employees have tried to report the matter, but were treated worst that the perpetrator: “This is a tough one for me to deal with because I have been trying to talk to them to go certain places, and I have listened to somebody make a complaint at the highest level and it went nowhere.”