The completion of the next constitutional review process could see an altering of some of the Governor’s current responsibilities. This is something that successive governments have called for and a change that His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert stated might be a good thing.
From the time the last review ended the calls within the Territory for what was termed as a “scaling back of the powers of the Governor” commenced. It is a call that has been reignited now that Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that the Government will be advancing the Constitutional review process.
The question on whether the role of the Governor should be tweaked was even put to His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert during a press conference on 30 June; in response, the Queen’s Representative said, “I think there should be a debate about where does the governor have certain authorities now, or we rely on the governor to do certain things.”
The Governor further mentioned that the betterment of the people of the Territory and the advancement of good governance is the main role of every UK representative in the Territory. Therefore, he said that no Governor would shun any measure that works towards those two areas. “Every governor and myself, we should be looking to take the territory forward every single review. So forward, more successful, more self-determined, having more ability to govern effectively in whatever way is best,” Mr. Jaspert said.
Premier Wants Governor’s Code
While previous conversations centered around the scaling of the Governor’s powers the Premier said that he wishes to see more done. The Premier told the House of Assembly on 26 June that he would like to see a code of conduct for the Governor of the Territory.
Hon. Fahie in making the calling for that addition to the Constitution said: “I still believe in the Governor’s Code. As far as I heard they are trying to explain that they are bound by the public service code in England – but in England, you are a public servant, when you come down here you are a Governor. There is a difference – get a Code for the Governor in the new Constitution.”
The BVI Leader said that he is making that suggestion even though it is an unpopular call to make, “There are those who don’t want you to touch that topic at all because it seems that the only football you could have round here is the politicians but nobody else. Nobody else action could be evaluated. I said well look …I have never seen this in my all eternal life.”
The Premier also emphasized that the call for such an inclusion in the next Constitution is not by any issues with the Governor. In fact, he said that the suggestion had nothing to do with the Governor as an individual but rather the Office itself. “We are not against anyone, people take professional disagreement to mean hatred, feud, and whatever the case may be. We as a government have to carry out the agenda of the people who brought us here to carry out. It is plain and simple as that and wherever there are areas that are clashing along those lines they must be known,” the Premier explained.
However, Hon. Fahie said that such addition will help to solve some issues that are being noted. “In the 21st century I must be afraid or a government must be afraid of certain entities or even Governor or whoever…We are seeing a lot of things happening and in the 21st century everybody has to have some kind of area to be able to make complaints and have them heard in a proper way when things are foul especially when they are abusing the Constitution.”