Ministry of Finance News, Bulletins, and Speeches

Entries for 2012


Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the BVI London Office on Monday, December 3, at the annual Premier’s Reception in the United Kingdom (UK) where he is attending the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), formerly called the Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC).

The annual BVI House event attracted over 150 guests and dignitaries that included, among others, Heads of Government (i.e. Premiers, Chief Minister), High Commissioners, Governors, former Governors, Members of Parliament, Lords, Commonwealth Officials, private sector representatives, UK Government officials and BVI students. The evening’s programme was moderated by Director of the BVI London Office, Mr. Kedrick Malone, who highlighted the importance of the occasion, set against the backdrop of the UK White Paper on the Overseas Territories and European Union’s (EU’s) revision of the Overseas Association Decision.




My Lords, Excellencies, Colleagues, Honourable Ministers, friends, supporters and guests, a pleasant good evening.  I would to like first thank everyone for braving the cold weather and waiting patiently to enter the building.

Ladies and gentleman I take great pride in welcoming you to tonight’s reception.  It is always good to see old friends as well as new faces.  On behalf of my Government and the people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), I would like to sincerely thank you for all that you do for our beloved Territory.

Tonight I would like to update you on progress made since I last addressed this gathering in November 2011, shortly after taking office.  This is also a very special occasion as it marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of our London Office, our de facto embassy in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe.




Customs Officers and traders on Tortola are currently receiving training which began on November 26 on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).  Mr. Errol Skerritt, a resource person from the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council is conducting the training and will facilitate another in Virgin Gorda from December 10 to 14. The training is geared at assisting participants to understand the systematic classification and uniformed coding of all goods found in international trade that all traders must understand in an effort to successfully complete the Trader Declaration Form also known as the HMC-12.  The HS Training is in keeping with Government’s commitment to improve services provided to the public while meeting international and local responsibilities. It is necessary that all stakeholders are adequately trained and understand the need for this transition in compliance with the Customs Management and Duties Act No. 6 of 2010. (Photo Credit: Mr. Ronnielle Frazer/GIS.)

 




Heads of Departments, Senior Managers, Supervisors and other staff in the Premier’s Office enhanced their skills at a recent “Leadership and Motivation” workshop. On November 30, participants received enrichment training on their role as leaders in Government, building trust, challenges faced by leaders, emotional intelligence and self-awareness. The workshop was facilitated by Jamaica native, Ms. Dorian Lennon, a professional trainer with over 30 years experience in training and group facilitation, social work, project management, human resource management and health care. The workshop was geared towards developing the Territory’s leaders, in line with the Government’s vision for an effective and efficient public service that delivers to the people. (Photo Credit: Mr. Ronnielle Frazer/GIS.)




The Government of the Virgin Islands is inviting tenders for an Asphalt Batch Plant for the Public Works Department on Tortola.

Interested tenderers are required to submit certificates of good standing from the Director of the Social Security Board, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and the Registrar of Corporate Affairs, as well as a valid trade license. The issue date on the certificates should be no earlier than one month prior to the date of submission.




Her Majesty's (HM) Customs Department continues to modernise its services and is announcing that its Web site now has a new look with added features and upgrades to allow for easy navigation and improved services.

According to Commissioner Mr. Wade Smith, persons now visiting www.HMCustoms.gov.vg will appreciate user friendly enhanced features, more information on the department' services and activities, in addition to policies and procedures that are in compliance with the Territory's Customs laws.

He said the initiative was necessary to increase public awareness and interaction and to allow customers to complete some procedures online to help save processing time.

"I encourage the public to utilise our enhanced website as we provide current information on HM Customs procedures and services in the Virgin Islands,"he said.




In fostering a modern partnership between the United Kingdom (UK) and Virgin Islands, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will attend the first ever Joint Ministerial Council (formerly the Overseas Territories Consultative Council) meeting from December 3 to 7.

The Joint Ministerial Council is set up as a forum for discussion of key policy issues between British Ministers and Heads of Overseas Territories' and is established as a result of the 2012 White Paper "The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability".

Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mrs. Rosalie Adams told the Department of Information and Public Relations, "This is a very high level meeting as it is the inaugural meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council that is based on the new structure outlined in the White Paper, released by the UK earlier this year. It is critical that the Territory's representation reflects the new policy direction presented in the paper.




HM Customs Officers along with new Traders are now receiving training for the next two weeks on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).

Speaking to the Department of Information and Public Relations, HM Customs Commissioner Mr. Wade Smith said, "The training is indeed necessary as legislation approved the HS which mission is critical for the utilisation of the Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS), which will both facilitate smoother processing as they relate to the clearance of goods."




The Department of Inland Revenue is informing all businesses and persons selling liquor in the BVI that all outstanding Liquor Licences, for the period from June 1 – November 30, 2012 or prior periods must be paid at the Department of Inland Revenue offices no later than 3:30 p.m., Thursday, November 29, 2012.

Payments can be paid at the following locations:

  •      Tortola - Inland Revenue Department, first floor of the Central Administration Building;
  •      Virgin Gorda – Inland Revenue Department, Vanterpool Administration Building;

Business owners are encouraged to update their Liquor Licence records and make the required payment/s without further delay. 




In reaffirming Government’s commitment to enhancing tourism, one of the BVI’s main economic pillars, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, announced plans to increase visitor arrivals and enhance the BVI tourism product, in his budget address last week.

These plans, which are part of Government’s strategy to move the Territory towards the path for economic growth, include the implementation of the BVI Tourist Board’s (BVITB) new marketing strategies.

During his address at the House of Assembly Chambers on November 15, he remarked, "The BVI simply cannot afford to lose market share in its tourism sector. A majority of our people is directly or indirectly employed in this sector and we must do all that lies in our power to keep it vibrant."

He continued, "Over the last several years, the BVI as a destination has lost significant market share in our primary markets in the United States and United Kingdom in particular. As a Government, we have been diligently working




The Department of Information and Public Relations invites the public to tune in to CBN Channel 51 and HLSCC Channel 52 throughout the week at 7:30 p.m. to view excerpts of the 2013 Budget Address delivered by Premier and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Dr. D. Orlando Smith, OBE on November 15. The programme will also be broadcast on JTV Channel 55. Excerpts of the 2013 Budget Address will also be aired throughout the week on all local radio stations during the department's "GIS Radio Report" programme. Persons can also log on to www.bvi.gov.vg to access this and other programmes.




In demonstrating Government’s commitment to recognise Virgin Islanders who have contributed to building a better Territory, the first female Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), Her Ladyship, the Honourable Justice Janice Mesadis Pereira received an official welcome by BVI officials yesterday; upon her arrival to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.

This is Madam Chief Justice Pereira’s first trip to the BVI since being appointed chief justice in late October.




Pointing to the synergy between the completion of the New Peebles Hospital and the Government’s health financing reform initiatives, Premier and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Dr. D. Orlando Smith, OBE has announced that the highly anticipated National Health Insurance (NHI) System is slated to be implemented in 2013

The NHI forms part of a national health reform agenda aimed at ensuring equitable and affordable access to quality health services for all residents of the Virgin Islands. This is one of Government’s initiatives to improve the quality of life and the standard of living for the people of the British Virgin Islands.

This was shared by Premier Smith during the delivery of the 2013 Budget Address at the Fourth Sitting of the Second Session of the Second House of Assembly on November 15.




Finding a “third pillar” to diversify the economy is critically important to the Government of the Virgin Islands. As such Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE has announced that reviving of the fishing industry in important in moving towards the path for economic growth and sustainability.

Premier Smith was at the time speaking during his 2013 Budget Address in the Fourth Sitting of the Second Session of the Second House of Assembly on Thursday November 15.

The Minister of Finance said that this initiative is a strategy towards making the Territory less vulnerable, adding, “We have already begun to explore the development of the fishing industry as this holds much promise by way of job creation in all aspects of its operation from fishing to export.”

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural




Now that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE has announced Government’s path towards economic growth in yesterday’s Budget Address, public service agencies will go before the Standing Finance Committee to justify operational expenses starting next week.

In his address, Premier Smith announced that the projected operating revenue is in the region of $298,729,000 and net operating expenditure of $252,397,600.

Of the $298,729,000 appropriated in the budget, $8,340,500 has been appropriated to the constitutionally established entities including the House of Assembly, Cabinet and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

An amount of $36,958,500 has been appropriated to the Governor’s Group, while $26,471,400 goes to the Premier’s Office.An amount of $36,958,500 has been appropriated to the Governor’s Group, while $26,471,400 goes to the Premier’s Office.




A combined increase in revenue from tourism, increased market share in the financial services industry, and renewed activity in the other components of the economy, are the keys for achieving the positive economic growth, according to Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, during his 2013 Budget Address to the Territory yesterday.

With a projected operating revenue in the region of $298,729,000 and net operating expenditure of $252,397,600, Premier Smith said the fiscal strategy for 2013 – 2015 takes into consideration, the global economic crisis which continues to have a profound impact on the Territory.

Premier Smith in discussing the fiscal strategy explained that the budget for the first time in the history of the Virgin Islands is being done over a rolling three-year period, unlike the year to year budgets. This will assist the Government in planning, not just in the short-term, but in the medium term.




INTRODUCTION

1. Madam Speaker, I move that the bill entitled, Appropriation Act 2013, be read a second time and that in so doing invite this Honorable House to extend its customary indulgence, in permitting me to read the Budget Address.

2. Madam Speaker I would like to first thank God for the good fortune of these islands during the past eight months and more as we have been spared the wrath of natural disasters that affected many of our neighbors in the Caribbean and the North Eastern United States. Allow me to also express my sincerest appreciation to the people of the BVI for being patient through this period of significant challenge.




The Premier’s Office, Government of the Virgin Islands, is inviting the public to join in activities to officially welcome home Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship, the Honourable Madam Janice Mesadis Pereira, who will be in the Territory from Sunday, November 18 to Wednesday, November 21, 2012.

The public is invited to greet Madam Chief Justice Pereira upon her arrival at the airport on Sunday, November 18 at 1:30 p.m. On Monday, November 19, there will be a thanksgiving service in Her Ladyship’s honour at the North Sound Methodist Church at 3:00 p.m. Also, the public is invited to join public officers in greeting the Chief Justice at the East Atrium, Central Administration Building on Tuesday, November 20 at 8:45 a.m.

For more information on the historic occasion, contact Information Officer with the Premier’s Office, Ms. April Glasgow at 468-3701 extension 2076.




The Territory, through the Premier’s Office, is finalising plans to officially welcome home Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship, the Honourable Madam Janice Mesadis Pereira.

Premier Smith said Government extended an invitation to Madam Pereira to visit the Territory, in her official capacity, so that Virgin Islanders can get the opportunity to share in the historic occasion of her appointment.

Chief Justice Madam Pereira will be in the Territory from Sunday, November 18 to Wednesday, November 21. She is a Virgin Islander who hails from Virgin Gorda and is the first woman to serve in this post since its establishment in 1967.

Premier Smith said, “I was there to witness Her Ladyship take the Oath of Allegiance and Oath for Due Execution of Office in St. Lucia and it was indeed a gratifying moment to do so. In fact, this historic achievement brings pride to the British Virgin Islands and the rest of the Caribbean.”

In reiterating the pride he feels, Premier Smith said, “Her Ladyship has been recognised by Caribbean leaders




Good Morning,

Let me add my words of welcome to the delegates of the 36th CFATF Plenary. We in the Virgin Islands are indeed glad that you’ve been able to make it to our Territory and I am advised that some of you have travelled far and wide to be here. I trust that your presence here this week will be worth the hours spent on the road and in the air as you embark on the important task of discussing issues of mutual interest in the continuing fight against those who engage in the activity of money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. I’m sure you will find the Virgin Islands, affectionately referred to as Nature’s Little Secrets, and Virgin Islanders and all those who inhabit our shores to be friendly and welcoming.

For some of you this may be your first to the Virgin Islands; well, I invite you to discover Nature’s Little Secrets in




Over 150 delegates from various jurisdictions in the Caribbean region will be in the BVI this week to attend the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) 36th Plenary from November 12 to 15.

The main meeting of the week will take place at the Multipurpose Complex in Tortola. The CFATF, for which the BVI serves as vice chair, is a regional organisation established to address issues pertaining to the detection and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. The organisation hosts plenary sessions at least twice a year, attended by its 29 member jurisdictions.

The Director of Policy, Research and Statistics of the BVI Financial Services Commission, Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC, currently occupies the vice chair post, on behalf of the BVI. Commenting on the significance of the BVI hosting the CFATF plenary meeting, Mr. Jallow said, “It is important, not only from the promotional angle, but in terms of making the public aware that we are all part and parcel of the process. We all play a key role in driving the process




Commenting on the training HM Customs Commissioner Mr. Wade Smith said, "I am overwhelmed with the huge turnout to both symposiums as residents have now left with the knowledge of how to successfully complete the HMC-12 Form transitioning to the Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS), as we strive in moving forward for submissions to be entered electronically."

The commissioner highlighted that a major concern by traders is the utilisation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS); a systematic classification and uniformed coding of all goods found in international trade.




The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is the most important offshore financial services jurisdiction according to the 2012 report, Offshore 2020 - Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Offshore Industry, produced by OIL Offshore Incorporation.

The BVI beat out 25 other offshore jurisdictions to achieve the top position. In addition to its overall top ranking, the BVI also ranked first for asset protection and estate planning, individual tax planning, special purpose vehicles, and investment holding for corporations.

The report not only ranks jurisdictions by importance, but also examines how well offshore financial centres are measuring up to market challenges and global regulatory pressures. It also attempts to predict how these centres will fare in the next five years.

The report noted that “the principal challenge [for offshore financial centres] of the changing regulatory and competitive environment is consolidating existing advantages or repackaging themselves in order to stay




The British Virgin Islands (BVI) continues to be the jurisdiction of choice for the Asian business community according to Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre (IFC), Elise Donovan, who says this was the clear message received by the BVI delegation during a two-week series of meetings held in Hong Kong and Shanghai in October.

Financial services practitioners from the BVI’s private and public sectors were in Hong Kong (HK) attending STEP Asia, the annual meeting of the region’s Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. They also attended the China Offshore Summit in Shanghai. The delegation held meetings with industry officials who do business for the BVI in Asia, all of whom welcomed recent developments which include changes to the legislative framework that make the jurisdiction even more attractive.

According to Ms. Donovan, the general sentiment was summed up by Chairman of the Portcullis TrustNet Group, David Chong, who said to her that “the BVI is the Gold Star in Asia – everyone has to have ‘a BVI,’” meaning a BVI




Firstly, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all of you for joining us this morning here at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium for what is a continuation of my Government’s commitment to informing you about how we are progressing with different sectors of the economy.

This morning’s meeting is to inform you of how we are continuing our efforts to re-establish our BVI tourism brand, locally, regionally and internationally.

As you know, Tourism is the primary economic engine of the BVI. It is the sector that touches the daily life of most men, women and children in the Territory.

It is also the sector with the strongest linkages to the other vital sectors of the economy such as construction, agriculture and fishing, marine trade, retail and transportation. It is also the sector where a significant amount of investment has been made by the people of this Territory.




In showing his support to the first female chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship, the Honourable Justice Janice Mesadis Pereira, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE travelled to St. Lucia to observe this morning's swearing in ceremony and join her in celebrating this major achievement.

The new chief justice, formerly Janice George-Creque, is a Virgin Islander, who hails from Virgin Gorda. Since the establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in 1967, she is the very first woman to serve in this post.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Premier Smith said, “Witnessing today's swearing in of Her Ladyship the Honourable Justice Janice Mesadis Pereira, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, is a great privilege and will long be remembered. It is historic; a moment in time that brings pride to the British Virgin Islands and the rest of the Caribbean, especially the legal fraternity.

The swearing in ceremony began with the reading of the letters of patent by Governor General of St. Lucia Her




Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Her Ladyship, the Honourable Justice Janice Mesadis George Pereira who has now been appointed Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Her Ladyship, who is a daughter of the soil hailing from Virgin Gorda, is a shining example of how commitment and dedication to service could result in great accomplishments. She is indeed an inspiration to us all.

With today's confirmation, Her Ladyship's name is now etched in history books as the first female chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and we are proud of this achievement.

Her Ladyship has been recognised by Caribbean leaders and in turn Her Majesty the Queen for her extraordinary qualities as a lawyer, which is also a matter of great privilege and pride for the British Virgin Islands and the entire Caribbean, especially the legal fraternity.




Her Majesty’s Customs Department is inviting the public to a Merchant Symposium on the new Trader Declaration Form also known as the HMC-12 Form on Wednesday, October 24. The symposium will be held at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports Conference Room located on the 2nd floor of the Ward’s Building from 9 a.m. to midday.

Persons who wish to attend are kindly asked to confirm their attendance or for further information please contact the Customs Department at 494-3475.




In an effort to ensure a smoother transition with the implementation of the New Trader Declaration form, Her Majesty’s (HM) Customs Department will continue to utilise the T12 form along with the newly launched HMC 12 form until January 1, 2013.

Speaking to the Department of Information and Public Relations, HM Customs Commissioner Mr. Wade Smith said through consultation with traders who experienced some challenges with the implementation of the new form a decision was made to extend the phasing out of the T12 form, the Commissioner added, “As we seek better ways to modernise and expedite cargo clearance and revenue collection, we also understand that this transition will require a learning curve for both the public as well as the HM Customs Department.”

“As we seek to improve the services we provide to the public while meeting our international and local responsibilities it is necessary to ensure that all the stakeholders are adequately trained and understand the need for this transition as we seek to comply with the Customs Management and Duties Act No. 6 of 2010,” he added.




The H. Lavity Stoutt Community College was officially handed over during a brief ceremony yesterday, signaling the intended growth of the BVI hospitality industry, particularly in the culinary arts.

During his remarks, Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE told attendees yesterday, “As my Government continues to ‘Brand BVI’ like never before, we are looking to this Culinary Arts Centre to help us position ourselves in the global market, promoting to the world our talented chefs and local cuisine.”

Premier said he reflected on the many achievements of the Territory’s chefs whose talents help attract visitors to Destination BVI, adding, “I think of the National Culinary team, who over the years, have competed on the world stage, showcasing one of the many outstanding characteristics of our destination – our local cuisine.”

Premier Smith also spoke about the quality training young chefs will receive at the new centre, adding that it will strengthen the BVI tourism product.




In delivering on its mandate ‘Bringing the World to You,’ the BVI Post celebrated World Post Day with staff members on hand to welcome customers who visited the BVI Post on October 9, educating and informing them of services offered.

Under the theme, "A new strategy for a new world", BVI Post joined with other countries across the world and participated in this annual celebration introducing and promoting new postal products and services.

Speaking to the Department of Information and Public Relations, Retail and Marketing Manager, Ms Debra James said that the purpose of World Post Day is to create awareness of the role of the postal sector and its contribution to the social and economic development of countries. "The celebration is aimed at generating a broader awareness of the Post’s role and the services offered."




ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED BY
THE MEMBER FOR THE THIRD DISTRICT TO THE HONOURABLE PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE -
TUESDAY 9TH, OCTOBER, 2012

Question 1

Madam Speaker, regarding the first official request made to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the approval of the CDB Loan of $15.7 million dollars for infrastructural rehabilitation, could the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance please present this Honourable House with all subsequent correspondence, since the second letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office dated July 28, 2011, (particularly the FCO's response to this July letter) up to but not including the previously submitted letter of April 12, 2012. 

 




Madam Speaker, a few sessions ago I came before this house and give a statement on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the effects that it would have on the Government and the people of the Virgin Islands. In this statement I described briefly the rationale behind FATCA and how it would be expected to affect the industry and private citizens here in the Virgin Islands. 

I also stated that the Government of the Virgin Islands was working feverishly to ensure that the full effects of FATCA were understood and that we would be coming to this house later on to report on the latest developments. 

To date Madam Speaker, we have had initial conversations with the United States Treasury, and as a result of those conversations, discussions with the industry here in the Virgin Islands and other technical investigations; we have made the decision to enter into the non-reciprocal version, or Model 1B of the FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement or IGA.




"Fixing Tourism: Strengthening the Hospitality Industry through a Culinary Arts Centre"

Today, as I stand here, I reflect on the many achievements of our chefs throughout these Virgin Islands and I think of how important their roles are to attracting visitors from around the region and the world to taste the best of the Virgin Islands.

I think of the National Culinary team, who over the years, have competed on the world stage, showcasing one of the many outstanding characteristics of our destination – our local cuisine.

Each year, chefs with their talents and creativity represent this Territory participating in the "Taste of the Caribbean" culinary competition where they bravely challenge other Caribbean islands for the number one spot.

I continue to recognise how important the H. L. Stoutt Community College is to the success of our chefs.




The BVI Post is inviting the public to the annual observance of World Post Day, which will be held on Tuesday, October 9 at the BVI Post located in the Maduro Building near the Road Town roundabout from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm. The theme for this year’s celebration is "A new strategy for a new world."

Officers from the BVI Post will be at hand to provide information, educate and answer questions on the services and postal products the BVI Post offers.

Come out and learn more about the BVI Post philatelic, eZone, Amerijet and other services that will be on display.

For further information, please contact the BVI Post at telephone 468-3701 extensions 5160 or 5162.




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE today presented Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) with a Virgin Islands coin set to show his appreciation for Mr. Collymore’s contribution to the Territory’s disaster management regime, in addition to his contributions throughout the region. Yesterday, Mr. Collymore made the official handover of the planning database, a system for collecting and monitoring development applications, to Premier Smith. The database project was one of Mr. Collymore’s last assignments before he demits office after 21 years with CDEMA
 




Construction work to improve the road network on Jost Van Dyke began today as part of the Government of the Virgin Islands’ and Caribbean Development Bank’s (CBD) Infrastructure Rehabilitation Loan Project.

According to Project Coordinator, Dr. Drexel Glasgow, the project, which is the first of many, will be completed under the terms of the CDB Infrastructure Rehabilitation Loan.

He told the Department of Information and Public Relations that the scope of work will include the restoration to severely damaged roadways and the installation of culverts and wall structures to accommodate proper drainage in the area.

Construction works will be concentrated on East Road, which sustained severe damage as a result of continuous flooding, landslides and hurricanes.




Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you for being here this afternoon.

My focus is to tell you about my recent trip to Europe and the United States of America, where I led a delegation to promote the interests of the Virgin Islands. 

Our primary focus was to build international relationship in the areas of financial services and tourism, as well as strengthening our position in the global marketplace.

This afternoon, I will first tell you about my recent trip to the Monaco for the annual popular boat show.

The Monaco Yacht Show is the premier international mega and Super Yacht Show internationally where all major vendors, service providers, and yachts of significant size and design converge annually to network and showcase their offerings.

The BVI's presence on the world state as a sailing destination, and our desire to achieve significant status as "The Super Yacht Destination" mandated our presence, to notify the industry of this and to showcase our offerings.




Mr. Chairman , Fellow Heads of Government, Ministers, Member of the European Parliament Mr. Maurice Ponga, Representative of the Cyprus Presidency of the European Union (EU Heads of Delegations), European Commission (Commission) officials, Greenlandic officials, delegates and other invited guests, a pleasant good morning.

It gives me great pleasure to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Government and people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) as the revision of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD) enters its final phase.

Let me first thank Premier Kuupik Kleist and the Greenlandic Government for the generous hospitality we have received thus far here in Ilulissat. Greenland is a most beautiful country and boasts one of the most striking environments I have ever seen.




Mr. Chairman , Fellow Heads of Government, Ministers, Member of the European Parliament Mr. Maurice Ponga, Representative of the Cyprus Presidency of the European Union (EU Heads of Delegations), European Commission (Commission) officials, Greenlandic officials, delegates and other invited guests, a pleasant good morning.

It gives me great pleasure to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Government and people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) as the revision of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD) enters its final phase.

Let me first thank Premier Kuupik Kleist and the Greenlandic Government for the generous hospitality we have received thus far here in Ilulissat. Greenland is a most beautiful country and boasts one of the most striking environments I have ever seen.

I would also like to thank the Commission for the invitation to attend this year’s forum and for your efforts to sustain dialogue and develop a partnership with the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

My Government recognises and appreciates the complex fiscal and economic challenges currently being faced by




Mr. Chairman , Fellow Heads of Government, Ministers, Member of the European Parliament Mr. Maurice Ponga, Representative of the Cyprus Presidency of the European Union (EU Heads of Delegations), European Commission (Commission) officials, Greenlandic officials, delegates and other invited guests, a pleasant good morning.

It gives me great pleasure to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Government and people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) as the revision of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD) enters its final phase.

Let me first thank Premier Kuupik Kleist and the Greenlandic Government for the generous hospitality we have received thus far here in Ilulissat. Greenland is a most beautiful country and boasts one of the most striking environments I have ever seen.

  




Mr. Chairman , Fellow Heads of Government, Ministers, Member of the European Parliament Mr. Maurice Ponga, Representative of the Cyprus Presidency of the European Union (EU Heads of Delegations), European Commission (Commission) officials, Greenlandic officials, delegates and other invited guests, a pleasant good morning.

It gives me great pleasure to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Government and people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) as the revision of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD) enters its final phase.

Let me first thank Premier Kuupik Kleist and the Greenlandic Government for the generous hospitality we have received thus far here in Ilulissat. Greenland is a most beautiful country and boasts one of the most striking environments I have ever seen.




Now that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) programme under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) is approved, and the financing agreement signed, the BVI, which serves as the Deputy Regional Authorising Officer (DRAO), is moving ahead with the project that is expected to assist businesses in both the British and Dutch Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

The project financing agreement was signed on Wednesday in Ilulissat, Greenland by Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith in his capacity as DRAO, while Deputy Director-General of EuropeAid Mr. Marcus Cornmaro, signed on behalf of the EU.

The approval of the project, worth approximately €15 million (over $20 million) allows the Government of the Virgin Islands to proceed with setting up the related administrative operations and headquarters in the Territory. The BVI deputised Curacao to manage the project among the Dutch OCTs, while retaining oversight responsibility for the entire project.




Representing the Territory’s interests at the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Ministerial Conference, Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, said the event was a success in strengthening the BVI’s relationship with the European Union (EU) and other Overseas Countries (OCTs).

The conference, held on September 25, took place in Ilulissat, Greenland. Premier Smith joined the leaders of 25 other OCTs to discuss green growth and the revision of the EU’s Overseas Association Decision (OAD) that governs the relationship between the EU and OCTs.


In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Honourable Smith said, “This year’s Ministerial Conference was successful in that the OCT leaders were able to come together to discuss the important revisions of the OAD, that will undoubtedly




Vice Premier of Greenland Mr. Jens B. Fredriksen, other fellow Heads of Government, Heads of Delegations, Ministers, delegates and guests, a pleasant good afternoon.

I would like to first express my appreciation to OCTA Chairman Premier Kuupik Kleist for the opportunity to sit on this distinguished panel alongside my colleagues from the Caribbean region as we discuss financial services and tourism in the context of green growth, our theme,


as well as within the context of the ongoing revision of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD), which I will touch on later.

As most of you are aware, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) economy is a services-based economy that remains highly dependent on tourism and financial services.  These two critical industries account for nearly 50% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Notably financial services is the...





Finance officers across Government are enhancing their awareness of their responsibilities in ensuring the Government of the Virgin Islands not only complies with the Protocols for Effective Financial Management, but also their fiduciary responsibility to the people of this Territory.

The briefings began on September 12 with officers that represented various Government agencies including Treasury, Inland Revenue Department, Ministry of Finance, BVI Post, Education and Health.

Speaking about the protocols in an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith said, “This agreement cements a partnership between this Territory and the United Kingdom; in which the Government of the Virgin Islands committed publicly to manage public funds responsibly, improve accountability and increase transparency pertaining to all the decisions, activities and operations of the Government.”

In a separate interview, Deputy Financial Secretary and briefing facilitator, Mr. Wendell Gaskin said, “These briefings are facilitated to ensure that all Government finance and accounts officers are well versed with the particulars of the Protocols. We want them to understand that this is a binding agreement between the Government and the people of this Territory to ensure public finances are managed responsibly.”





In promoting the BVI as a choice jurisdiction for yacht registration, the Territory’s newest ports of registration, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke and Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda, are being highlighted in discussions at the Monaco Yacht Show by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE.

The show attracts over 28,000 visitors to southern France; including brokers, designers, equipment manufacturers, shipyards and other members of the luxury yacht industry.

 




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE was visited by representatives of the international trust and corporate business leader, Mossack Fonseca on Friday, September 14, 2012.
L – r Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ruben Hernandez; Director and Partner Mr. Jurgen Mossack; Honourable Premier; Managing Director of Mossack Fonseca’s BVI branch Mrs. Rosemarie Flax; Directors/ partners Messrs. Ramon Fonseca and Christoph Zollinger. The group’s visit is in time for the Mossack Fonseca BVI branch’s 25th anniversary celebrations. Also, the visit is in line with Government’s mission to enhance and solidify the BVI’s reputation as a pre-eminent financial services jurisdiction through establishing and improving its relationship with the private sector. (Photo Credit: GIS/ Mr. Reynold Corum).




The Ministry of Finance - Procurement Unit is accepting bids for a 2010 Grey Hyundai Getz located at  the Central Administration Complex parking lot (East Wing).  The starting price is  $8,000.00.  The best offer will be accepted.

Bids should be submitted no later than the 5th October, 2012 to:

The Ministry of Finance
Procurement Unit
RFG Place, Third Floor
Waterfront Drive, Tortola VG1110
British Virgin Islands
 




Enhancing the shipping and yachting industry, while improving regional and international relations are on the agenda for Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE; who is presently out of the Territory on duty travel until September 30.

Premier Smith is on his way to Monaco, southern France, for the Monaco Yacht Show, after which he will travel to Copenhagen for the first meeting of the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories Council (COCTC); ending his travels in Greenland for the 11th Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCT-EU) Forum and Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Ministerial Conference. 

The BVI, known as the ‘Sailing Capital of the World’, is participating in the Monaco Yacht Show from September 19 to 22, to promote its first...

Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE 





The Ministry of Communications and Works is inviting interested eligible consulting firms to submit Expressions of Interest to provide consultancy services for Hydrology Study and Flood Risk Reduction – Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project.

The consultancy will entail the drainage assessment for storm-water flood risk reduction within the capital, Road Town. The objective of the assignment is to provide the Government with options for the reduction of storm-water flood risk to Road Town through the assessment and analysis of surface area, slope, soil, and general drainage conditions during high rainfall events. In addition, the assignment will map levels of risk, identify cost-effective drainage improvement measures, develop drainage policy and plans, as well as enhance the Government’s capacity to better manage flood hazards.

According to request for expressions of interest guidelines, the duration of the assignment is expected to be eleven (11) months and consultants shall be eligible to participate if the following requirements are met.




Mr. Raymond Phillips

In promoting the need for up to date information and enhanced data collection, the Government of the Virgin Islands is joining its regional counterparts in celebrating Caribbean Statistics Day (CSD) in mid October.

The Development Planning Unit, whose remit includes statistics, intends to use Caribbean Statistics Day as a way to educate the public on the importance of statistics, promote its usage and demonstrate how statistics are used by Government.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Director of the Development Planning Unit Mr. Raymond Phillips said, "Government intends to diversify the BVI economy on a sustained level, and statistics are vital in informing the process and monitoring progress towards that desired outcome."




In strengthening the Territory’s regional relationships and financial services offerings, the Government of the Virgin Islands will amend its customs legislation to allow exemptions on tax and customs duties for the governments of the Member States for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC).

The Virgin Islands Customs Management and Duties Act, amended in 2010, will be further amended to provide the exemptions.

Speaking at the House of Assembly Sitting on September 3, His Excellency the Governor Mr. Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO announced the initiative, stating, "My Government is committed to the amendment to the Act to allow for the strengthening of relationship."

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office said, "As an OECS Associate Member, Government’s intention to exempt its fellow OECS associates from taxes and other duties tell of its commitment to improved regional relationships."

She added, "Government recognises the importance of securing these relationships in order to speak in one voice and be represented on a global scale."




The public is being reminded of an auction of building supplies to be held at the New Peebles Hospital warehouse and site yard, located across the street from the hospital this Friday, September 14 beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Potential bidders are asked to note registration will be conducted from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 14 to allow for a more effective and fair bidding process. Persons that are not registered will not be able to bid. All items are offered for sale “as is”.

Auction items include electrical and plumbing materials, reinforcing steel and other supplies.  For a complete list of items, click here.

For additional information, telephone the Procurement Unit of the Ministry of Finance at 468-4245.




Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mrs. Rosalie Adams affirms that the Ministry is poised to fulfil Government’s legislative agenda, specifically as it relates to stimulating the economy.

The legislative agenda, read by His Excellency the Governor Mr. Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO at last week’s House of Assembly sitting, outlines plans for Government’s policies and programmes for implementation over the next three years.

Speaking to the Department of Information and Public Relations, Mrs. Adams said, “Now that the legislative agenda is clear, officers within the Ministry and its departments have already been steadily working to achieve those deliverables as stated in the address.” The agenda covers seven broad areas.

Mrs. Adams said although the Premier’s Office may be indirectly linked to each of the seven areas, the Ministry is mainly focused on the following: stimulating/fixing the economy; improving the standard of living; protecting our borders and enhancing law, order and public safety; and re-establishing/strengthening regional and international relations.

Referring to Stimulating/Fixing the Economy, Mrs. Adams said the goal is to urgently modernise the existing Arbitration Act that can help bring new business to the Territory, adding, the BVI is well poised to become an




ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED BY
THE MEMBER FOR THE FIRST DISTRICT TO THE HONOURABLE PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
AT THE FIRST SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SECOND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
MONDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER, 2012

Question 1

Madam Speaker, would the Minister of Finance please tell this Honourable House what year was the ReserveFund established by the House of Assembly or the then Legislative Council ofthe Virgin Islands?




ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED BY
THE MEMBER FOR THE THIRD DISTRICT TO THE HONOURABLE PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
AT THE FIRST SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SECOND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
MONDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER, 2012


Question 1

Madam Speaker, the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance in an answer regarding the cash balance of the Reserve Fund as of July 15th 2012 stated that the balance was twenty two million, four




The Premier’s Office is informing the public that the Wickham’s Cay Development Authority (WCDA) portfolio has been reassigned to the Ministry of Communications and Works.

The Authority was established on March 14, 1975 to promote and manage the development of Wickham’s Cay. The WCDA has the power to investigate, formulate and implement plans and projects for the physical layout and development of Wickham’s Cay; to negotiate, approve and revoke leases of land and other property on Wickham’s Cay; and to arrange for any construction or engineering work which may be required to achieve the objects of the Authority.

The WCDA was officially reassigned on June 27, 2012.

For more information, persons are asked to telephone the Ministry of Communications and Works directly at 468-3701 extension 2183; or contact Wickham’s Cay Development Authority Estate Manager Mrs. Lucille Lettsome-George via telephone 494-3172.




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will discuss Government’s strategies for increasing transparency and ensuring accountability through the Protocols for Effective Financial Management on tomorrow evening’s Public Eye programme.

The programme will be aired live on CBN Channel 51 and ZBVI Radio 780AM at 7:00p.m. Persons with questions relating to the Protocols are asked to telephone 468-2355 during the programme.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Director of Communications Mrs. Arliene T. Penn said Premier Smith is expected to discuss the important principles of the protocols including Government’s commitment to medium-term planning and transparency; accurate measurement and reporting of fiscal and economic data; better value for money; and more effective risk management.

“The programme is an opportunity for the public to understand how Government is illustrating its commitment to manage the Territory’s finances in a modern, transparent and planned way,” Mrs. Penn said.

The Protocols for Effective Financial Management were signed on April 23, 2012 by Premier Smith, His Excellency the Governor Mr. Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for the Overseas Territories Mr. Henry Bellingham, MP.




The public is invited to tune into a special Public Eye programme this Thursday when Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will discuss Government’s strategies for increasing transparency and ensuring accountability through the Protocols for Effective Financial Management.

The programme will be aired live on CBN Channel 51 and ZBVI Radio 780AM at 7:00 p.m. Persons with questions relating to the Protocols are asked to telephone 468-2355 during the programme.

Persons can contact April Glasgow in the Premier’s Office via telephone 468-3701 extension 2076 for more information.




The Territory’s newest centenarian is Ms. Ruth Ann Baptiste.

In congratulating her on this major milestone, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, extended hearty greetings in a letter presented to Ms. Baptiste on her birthday on Saturday, August 25.

Ms. Baptiste also received a $5,000 cheque; part of a decade old tradition by the Government of the Virgin Islands to honour the Territory’s “golden citizens”.

Premier Smith wrote: “It is with great honour that I recognise, pay tribute to your legacy, and celebrate with you and your family in spirit on this ‘Golden’ and memorable day.”

He added that, “Becoming a centenarian is indeed a privilege and blessing from God, a blessing that many of us would like to experience as we live this life.”

Premier Smith further stated, Ms. Baptiste, you have seen the world change in many ways, shaped not only by technology, globalisation and migration but also by tragedy, and the lessons of life.”

Premier wrote that Ms. Baptiste has influenced the actions of many, in both her home and community, adding,“You too would have helped to shape the social, economic and cultural fabrics of society.”

“The fact that you are here celebrating this golden milestone is evidence that trust in God, a healthy diet, a high level of care, and support from the family and friends are important to living long, fruitful and productive lives,” Premier Smith stated.

According to the Premier, attaining the age of 100 speaks of Virgin Islands’ traditional culture and lifestyle, adding, “We were a people who grew old because of how weate and lived. Your achievement is an inspiration to us all.”




Property owners who disagree with the tax assessed upon their property may object to the assessment before the Magistrate on both Tortola and Virgin Gorda before the deadline on September 1.

Persons with property located on Virgin Gorda can state their case on Monday, August 27 at 10a.m. at the Magistrate’s Court at the Valley, Virgin Gorda. Property owners on Tortola, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke and other locations within the BVI may object to their assessments on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 10a.m. at the Magistrate’s Court at John’s Hole, Tortola.

For additional information, telephone the Valuation Unit at the Inland Revenue Department at 468-3701 extension 2155 (Road Town) or extension 6533 (Virgin Gorda).




Property owners in the BVI are reminded that property taxes for 2012 are due and payable to the Inland Revenue Department by September 1, 2012.

Payment can be made at the department’s main office on Tortola, which is located in the Central Administration Building on Wickham’s Cay.

For property located on Virgin Gorda, owners can pay at the Vanterpool Administration Building, Valley, Virgin Gorda. Owners with property located on Anegada can pay at the Theodolph Faulkner Administration Building at the Settlement to the District Officer. On Jost Van Dyke, payment can be made to the District Officer at the Government Building.




The public is invited to an auction of building supplies at the New Peebles Hospital warehouse and site yard, which is located across the street from the hospital at 10:00 a.m. on September 14.

Potential bidders are asked to note registration will be conducted from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Friday,September 14 to allow for a more effective and fair bidding process. Persons that are not registered will not be able to bid. All items are offered for sale“as is”.

Items that are up for auction include electrical and plumbing materials, reinforcing steel and other supplies. For a complete list of items, visit the Ministry of Finance’s website at http://www.finance.gov.vg

For additional information, contact the Procurement Unit of the Ministry of Finance via telephone at 468-4245.

 




Property owners in the BVI are reminded that property taxes for 2012 are due and payable to the Inland Revenue Department by September 1, 2012.

Payment can be made at the department’s main office on Tortola, which is located in the Central Administration Building on Wickham’s Cay.

For property located on Virgin Gorda, owners can pay at the Vanterpool Administration Building, Valley, Virgin Gorda. Owners with property located on Anegada can pay at the Theodolph Faulkner Administration Building at the Settlement to the District Officer. On Jost Van Dyke, payment can be made to the District Officer at the Government Building.

Failure to make payments may result in legal proceedings as set out by the legislation Section 19 of the Land and House Tax (Amendment) Act, 2006.

For additional information, telephone the Valuation Unit at the Inland Revenue Department at 468-3701 extension 2155 (Road Town) or extension 6533 (Virgin Gorda).




Property owners who disagree with the tax assessed upon their property may object to the assessment before the Magistrate on both Tortola and Virgin Gorda before the deadline on September 1.

Persons with property located on Virgin Gorda can state their case on Monday, August 27 at 10 a.m. at the Magistrate’s Court at the Valley, Virgin Gorda. Property owners on Tortola, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke and other locations within the BVI may object to their assessments on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 10 a.m. at the Magistrate’s Court at John’s Hole, Tortola.

For additional information, telephone the Valuation Unit at the Inland Revenue Department at 468-3701 extension 2155 (Road Town) or extension 6533 (Virgin Gorda).




The Government of the Virgin Islands will be holding a public auction on building supplies Friday, 14th September, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the New Peebles Hospital warehouse  adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Park, Road Town, Tortola ,British Virgin Islands.

Items to be auctioned can be found in the link below.

Original Release (and list of items)




The Inland Revenue Department is inviting the public to view the Property Tax lists posted throughout the Territory, which show the names of property owners and the amount of tax due by the deadline on September 1.

Copies of these lists are posted at various public buildings and other public places. Property owners can also view the lists at the Inland Revenue Department offices on Tortola at the Central Administration Building and on Virgin Gorda at the Vanterpool Administration Building.

For additional information, telephone the Valuation Unit at the Inland Revenue Department at 468-3701 extension 2155 (Road Town) or extension 6533 (Virgin Gorda).




In an extraordinary edition of the Official Gazette published today, His Excellency the Governor Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO, acting on the advice of the Premier Dr. the Honourable D.Orlando Smith, OBE has issued a proclamation appointing the First Sitting of the Second Session of the Second House of Assembly to be held at the House of Assembly Chambers on Monday, September 3 at 10:00 am.

Section 83 (1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 states, “The sessions of the House of Assembly shall be held at such times and places as the Governor, acting in accordance with the advice of the Premier, may appoint by proclamation published in the Gazette.”

The constitution further states that, “...there shall be a session of the House from time to time so that a period of three months does not intervene between the last sitting in one session and the first sitting in the next session.”

The House of Assembly was prorogued on Thursday, July 26 by the Acting Governor, Mrs. V. Inez Archibald who was acting on the advice of the Premier in accordance with Section 84 (1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007.




The Inland Revenue Department is inviting the public to view the Property Tax lists posted throughout the Territory, which show the names of property owners and the amount of tax due by the deadline on September 1.

Copies of these lists are posted at various public buildings and other public places. Property owners can also view the lists at the Inland Revenue Department offices on Tortola at the Central Administration Building and on Virgin Gorda at the Vanterpool Administration Building.

For additional information, telephone the Valuation Unit at the Inland Revenue Department at 468-3701 extension 2155 (Road Town) or extension 6533 (Virgin Gorda).

 




Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mrs. Rosalie Adams congratulates Chief Planner Mrs. Marva Titley-Smith for her recent achievement on becoming a Chartered Manager and admission as a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The professional designation is awarded by the CMI and is the highest status that can be achieved in the managerial profession. The designation of Fellow is awarded to members who have over 10 years demonstrated management experience, with a minimum of three years at a strategic level.

"I congratulate Mrs. Titley-Smith for her recent professional achievement that includes the ultimate accolade in management. I know she will use her much enhanced managerial skills to facilitate the further growth of public officers in the Town and Country Planning Department and Government as a whole," Mrs.Adams told the Department of Information and Public Relations.

The Permanent Secretary added, “Achievements such as Mrs. Titley-Smith’s should be celebrated as they are in line with Government’s vision to build a productive nation through continued training and development.”

Both of Mrs. Titley-Smith’s designations as Chartered Manager and Fellow allow herto use the initials CMgr FCMI after her name.




As the Government of the Virgin Islands continues to find innovative ways to boost the Territory’s tourism product, the public is being informed that the tendering process for the development of the cruise pier and surrounding areas has been extended to August 28, 2012.

Interested persons are encouraged and invited to submit their concept proposal.

In a recent press release, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. The Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE announced that Government would be issuing an open invitation to tender, and bids would be assessed in line with internationally accepted standards, while ensuring the most competitive offers and best value for public money.

Currently, the invitation to tender is advertised in the local media, both print and online; on the Web sites of BVI Tourist Board, BVI London Office, and Caribbean Community (CARICOM); and in the Wall Street Journal’s global print publications in the United States, Asia and Europe. In the advertisement, interested persons are directed to the Ministry of Finance’s Web site at http://www.finance.gov.vg for the terms of reference and additional information. Additionally, persons can contact the Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith at 1-284-468-3701 ext. 2144 or e-mail. NMSmith@gov.vg.




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE joins in congratulating Her Ladyship, the Honourable Justice Janice Mesadis Pereira who will soon become the first female chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court when Her Majesty the Queen signs the letters patent.

 According to Premier, "I was excited when I received this news. I am pleased that another Virgin Islander is making history for these beautiful Virgin Islands."

Justice Pereira, formerly Janice George-Creque, is from Virgin Gorda. She has been appointed to act as chief Justice and president of the Court of Appeal effective August 1, 2012.

"I congratulate Mrs. Pereira for her continued and steadfast commitment to the field of law, locally and regionally. I have known her to be very professional, forthright, progressive and dedicated not only to her personal and professional development, but to her contribution in building law abiding communities," Premier Smith explained.

He said, "She followed her dream and has now reached the highest pinnacle in her profession. I encourage other Virgin Islanders to follow her lead: dream big and bring those dreams to reality through hard work, commitment, and perseverance. That is how success happens."




The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to enhancing its relationship with the United Kingdom and welcomes further partnership as proposed by the White Paper.

To that end, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE wrote in his official message for the BVI Art and Culture Show and Territory Day Reception in London, "My Government is fully aware of our obligations as a Territory and we stand ready to meet our responsibilities under the new partnership."

In delivering his keynote address at the London art show on July 24, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and Chairman of Ways and Means Mr. Lindsay Hoyle, MP, also spoke of a new partnership, stating, "It is time for a grown up relationship between the United Kingdom and British Virgin Islands. The Overseas Territories should determine their own future and not have it imposed by Britain."




Premier Smith told the Department of Information and Public Relations that he commends and congratulates Mrs. Scatliffe who retired after over three decades of dedicated service to the banking industry.

Honourable Smith said during her tenure, Mrs. Scatliffe assisted in raising the profile of the bank with an aggressive advertising campaign to promote the bank’s range of services.

Honourable Smith said during her tenure, Mrs. Scatliffe assisted in raising the profile of the bank with an aggressive advertising campaign to promote the bank’s range of services.

“The bank also became more responsive to its customers’ needs by extending its hours of operation to 3:00 p.m.,” according to Premier Smith.




The Government of the Virgin Islands has today announced that it intends to launch an open invitation for the cruise ship pier development.

This announcement follows public consultation and is in line with the new Protocols for Effective Financial Management agreed with Her Majesty’s Government.

Announcing the decision to the Department of Information and Public Relations, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said, "The cruise ship pier development is one of the important projects that has been under consideration for some time. We believe it has the potential to be a major, long-term success story for our people and our economy."

Over the past months, Government has taken steps to ensure this is the case by conducting due diligence with its departments and by holding various levels of discussion with groups and individuals.




 

The Government of the Virgin Islands (VIGOV) is desirous of building a cruise terminal that integrates the seamless transfer of passenger from the latest class of cruise ship to the shores of the Virgin Islands and a heightened cruise experience within walking distance, through the availability of shops and leisure activities to these passengers.

Status: Closed




The public is invited to submit bids for the purchase of a 2010 Grey Hyundai GETZ by Friday, August 17, 2012. Bids should be addressed to:

Ministry of Finance
Procurement Unit
RFG Place, Third Floor
Waterfront Drive, Tortola
Virgin Islands

For more information or to arrange a test drive, contact Procurement Officer Mrs. Diana Percell-Gumbs via telephone 468-4245 or email dpercell-gumbs@gov.vg.

The vehicle is being sold "as is". The sale is in accordance with the Public Finance Management Regulations, Statutory Instrument No. 17 of 2005, Section 255.




The Territory is one step closer to upgrading the roads and drainage system, now that the Government of the Virgin Islands has launched the Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE sees this project as an opportunity for economic growth and development.

The project, a loan agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), sets out the works to be completed in the areas affected during the passage of Tropical Storm Otto in October 2010.

At the launch this morning, Honourable Smith explained how the project can facilitate enhance economic growth and development by linking it to future savings for taxpayers.

 





Good Morning:

I am especially pleased to be here today to witness the official launching of this initiative that is aimed at improving our infrastructure, both through some selected projects and more importantly through the development of better building practices and strong regulations.

First I would like to thank the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and its staff and make special mention of its former president Dr. Compton Bourne and current president Dr. Warren Smith, whose graciousness have facilitated the events we see unfolding here today.




Works to rehabilitate, upgrade, and reconstruct the damaged roads and drainage in the Territory will soon commence as the Government of the Virgin Islands in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) launch the Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project on Monday, July 30.

According to Director of Communications Arliene T. Penn, the launch of the project is two-fold: (1) It includes a brief ceremony to provide an overview of how the rehabilitation, upgrade and reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure will be approached; and, (2) immediately following the launch is the procurement training for two days to explain to project staff the expectations and procedures of the works to be completed.During the launch, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool and Chief Economist of Caribbean Development Bank, Mr. Carl Howell will give remarks.

Mrs. Penn said, “The Government is eager to move forward with this initiative as it stems to improve the quality of life not only for residents of the Virgin Islands, but our visitors. Furthermore, the Government believes that an improved road




In highlighting the success stories of the British Virgin Islands’ financial services industry and the Territory’s role in the global economy, the BVI International Finance Centre recently launched its first online newsletter, “BVI Finance”.

The newsletter, found online at www.bviifc.gov.vg, features articles, legislative updates, industry news and upcoming events. Highlights from the BVI Financial Services Commission are also included. 

In this issue’s welcome message, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, stated: “Our aim is to showcase how the BVI is playing a full role in the global economy, and through a commitment to high standards, offering a sophisticated array of quality products and services in financial management for the discerning clientele.”

Premier Smith noted the BVI’s strength is found in its leadership in meeting the needs of international business, adding, “The BVI has a proud tradition of providing a competitive business environment, while still meeting international best practice standards of regulation and good governance.”

The Honourable Premier stated that this month’s issue of BVI Finance highlights the strong




As the emancipation celebrations continue, the public is invited to attend the August Tuesday, Festival Sloop Races on Tuesday, August 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Nanny Cay Beach.

Governor Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO on board MoonBeam will challenge Premier Dr. the Honorable D. Orlando Smith on board Sea Moon and President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Mr. Karl Dawson on board Youth Instructor.

Persons are encouraged to watch the cultural races in traditional sloops built by local shipwrights. The winner will receive $2,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.

For more information, contact Mr. Geoffrey Brookes, Curator of the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum and race organiser at 852-7169.




The BVI Post Office is inviting the public to its Customer Appreciation Day on Friday, August 3 at its new location in the Maduro Building near the Road Town roundabout.

Visitors will receive more information on new services, such as EZ Shopper, and treated to lots of giveaways.

The BVI Post thanks the public for their continued patronage and wishes everyone a safe and happy Emancipation celebration. For more information, telephone 468-5160/5162 or 5163.




ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED BY
THE MEMBER FOR THE THIRD DISTRICT TO THE PREMIER
AT THE EIGHTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE SECOND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY HELD ON TUESDAY 24th JULY, 2012

Question 1

Madam Speaker could the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance please tell this Honourable House what were the cash balances of the




ANSWER TO QUESTION ASKED BY
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION TO THE PREMIER
AT THE EIGHTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE SECOND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY HELD ON TUESDAY 24th JULY, 2012 

Question 1

Madam Speaker, would the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance please tell this Honourable House how many Tax Information and Exchange




BVI House in London is officially designated the Territory’s National House for the London 2012 Olympics. As such, BVI residents and supporters visiting London are invited to watch the games and cheer on the BVI Olympic Team.


Enis Adams Hawks Club Dancers

BVI House was officially designated an Olympic House by the London Olympic Organising committee.

At the welcome reception and post flag raising ceremony for the BVI Olympic Team on July 17, BVI London Office Director  Mr. Kedrick Malone remarked, “We are proud to have BVI House serve as the Territory’s official




In enhancing international relations and maintaining the global reputation of the Territory, the Government of the Virgin Islands is thrusting its support behind protocol training for public officers.

Currently two officers from the Premier’s Office: Assistant Secretary Ms. Najan Christopher and Personal Assistant to the Premier’s Private Secretary Ms. Nadia Demming are in Denver, Colorado attending the 11th Annual International Protocol Education Forum from July 24 to 27.

According to Ms. Christopher, "Protocol dictates how communication is carried out between Governments and high profile officials as well as guides interaction between constituents and elected officials.

In addressing the significance of the training, the assistant secretary said, "The way that we conduct ourselves when doing it on behalf of the Territory, speaks on both the Territory and its people, and can positively or adversely




In following through with its commitment to adhere to international sporting standards, the Government of the Virgin Islands has agreed to comply with the International Convention against Doping in Sport, 2005.

This commitment, which is effective July 1, is important as Government continues to create initiatives to boost sports tourism.

Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE told the Department of Information and Public Relations, "By adopting this convention, the Territory’s reputation has further improved in the international sporting arena, making our sports tourism goals even more achievable."

Premier Smith said, "Eyes will be on BVI as a compliant jurisdiction for the hosting of regional and international sporting events."




Residents and visitors of London are in for a treat on Tuesday, July 24, when 12 artists from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) showcase their work during the 9th Annual BVI Art and Culture Show and Territory Day Reception.
The event is hosted by BVI London Office and will take place at BVI House.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, BVI London Office Director Mr. Kedrick Malone said the show is expected to attract a wide spectrum of visitors including Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom (UK), public officials, representatives from other Overseas Territories, and persons from the BVI visiting London for the Olympic Games.

He said the event is usually held the week of Territory Day on July 1, but was pushed back this year to coincide with the Olympic festivities, which begins later in the week.

To that end, Mr. Malone said, “The influx of visitors into London is an opportunity to expose the talent found in the BVI, in addition to showcasing our unique culture.”




BVI-US LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO DETER TRANSNATIONAL CRIME
Group photo of the Puerto Rico/ United States Virgin Islands
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Executive Committee
at the Moorings on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
(Photo credit: GIS/ Ronnielle Frazer)

Following yesterday’s discussions of the USVI Executive Committee of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) programme, law enforcement agencies in the Virgin Islands are better equipped to protect the Territory’s borders from transnational crime.

The HIDTA programme was

established to reduce trafficking through the enhancement and coordination of drug control efforts among law enforcement agencies.




In delivering on its mandate to ‘bring the world to you’, the BVI Post Office has a new location and is offering a new service in all efforts to provide convenience and enhance the customers’ experience.

Speaking to the Department of Information and Public Relations, acting Postmaster Ms. Pascha Stoutt said the BVI Post Office now operates its new internet shopping service EZ Shopper, in addition to eZone, out of its new location in the Maduro Building near the roundabout.

She said both the relocation of the office and new service corresponds to the department’s mandate of being customer-focussed.

"We strive to keep on the competitive edge, while keeping our




The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is committed to maintaining its position of zero tolerance to organised crime and terrorist financing to ensure that the jurisdiction remains reputable.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said the United Nations (UN) Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (also known as the Palermo Convention) and the UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (the Terrorist Financing Convention) have both been extended to the BVI and came into force on June 20. Both conventions were extended through declarations by the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

According to Premier Smith, “With both conventions being extended to the BVI, we can continue to speak highly of our reputation as a compliant jurisdiction in the areas of border security, financial services and international cooperation.”

He added, “Keeping up with international standards is key in participating in the global economy.”
Prior to the




In its continued quest to boost and diversify various sectors of the economy, the Government of the Virgin Islands has sought technical assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat.

According to Director of Trade and Consumer Affairs Ms. Lizette George, the Commonwealth Secretariat through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) is conducting a comprehensive assessment to determine the areas for economic growth and development.

BVI TAPS INTO COMMONWEALTH FUND FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mrs.
Rosalie Adams, Director of Trade and Consumer
Affairs Ms.Lizette George and Assistant
Secretary (Premier’s Office) Mrs. Elvia Smith-
Maduro met with representatives from the
Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation
Messrs. Adeyemi Ogunmeffun and Jose Maurel,
where discussions focused on trade and the
European Union funded Small and Medium
Enterprise Project.
(Photo credit: GIS/ Ronnielle Frazer)

Last week, representatives from the CFTC Messrs. Jose Maurel and Adeyemi Ogunmeffun visited the Territory for the initial phase of the assessment, by meeting with Government stakeholders to discuss public service, health, tourism, trade, small business and vocational education.

Ms. George said the assessment, which is being conducted in partnership with the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, is the first step in determining strategies to bolster the economy. The trade director said the assessment falls under the department’s remit for




The Development Planning Unit is informing businesses chosen for the National Accounts Survey exercise that the deadline to submit questionnaires has been extended to July 31, 2012.

The survey, targeting financial information for both 2010 and 2011, is needed to produce statistics which represent a direct measure of the Territory’s economic performance.

Questionnaires can be submitted via email to AHerbert@gov.vg, or can be dropped off at the DPU’s main office at the Central Administration Building. Also, persons can call the department to arrange pick-up. For more information, please contact Ms. Adriana Herbert at 468-3701 extension 3285.




The BVI Post Office is reminding the public of its new location in the Maduro building near the Road Town roundabout.

Persons wishing to contact the office can telephone 468-3701 extension 5160/5162 or 5163. 




In maintaining the Territory’s position as a reputable financial services centre, three BVI firms have received top ranks in the 2012 Offshore Law Firm Awards.

BVI firm Ogier was named Offshore Law Firm of the year by leading global publication, The Lawyer. BVI firms Harneys and Maples and Calder were runners up.

In extending congratulations, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, told the Department of Information and Public Relations that he is pleased with the continued commitment of the firms, adding that the Territory is further being recognised as a reputable jurisdiction in offshore law.

“The awards reflect the quality of the legal and support services available to companies wishing to do business in the BVI,” Premier Smith said.

In an invited comment, Managing Partner of Ogier's BVI office Mr. Ray Wearmouth said, “The top three places went to firms who have significant BVI practices both locally and around the world. The BVI has an excellent body of law firms who work well together to promote our first class global offering.




Madam Speaker, Honourable Members will be aware that the BVI Financial Services Commission is celebrating its 10th year of service to the community having commenced its operations in 2002.

I know Honourable Members would want to join me in congratulating the Board of Commissioners and the Commission and its employees for their sterling contribution to the development of the BVI financial services industry over the years. Members would also want me to implore the Commission’s Board and management to continue to shape the regulatory policies, practices and procedures with a view to ensuring the continued viability and competitiveness of the Virgin Islands as a jurisdiction of choice for the conduct of legitimate financial services business.

Honourable Members will recall that prior to 2002 much of the work done by both the FSC and IFC were done by a government department, the Financial Services Department. With the enactment of the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001, the FSC was established in January, 2002. The move from a Government department to an autonomous regulatory and




Madam Speaker, I rise to make a statement on an initiative that has been launched by the United States Government and has the potential to not only significantly affect our business practices here in the Virgin Islands, but also to impact the lives of many of our citizens who currently have dual citizenship.
By this I mean residents of this Territory who are US citizens, or are Green Card holders.

This initiative Madam Speaker, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA as it is commonly called was enacted as part of the HIRE Act (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment), by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US Treasury, and is expected to come into force in the coming year 2013. It will affect the lives of individuals in, and manner of doing business with, every country around the world that has US citizens living and or working within their borders.

Madam Speaker, according to laws of the United States, the US taxpayer is liable for tax on their global income. The purpose of FATCA




Legislative Council of the Virgin Islands for its first and only reading. That Bill was the product of many months of drafting, research and stakeholder consultation and provided for comprehensive regulation of Virgin Islands legal practitioners.
The express objects and purpose of the 2007 Bill, included but were not limited to:

  1. Providing for fusion of the various branches of the legal profession within the Virgin Islands;
  2. Providing for admission of legal practitioners to practice law; and
  3. Providing for discipline of legal practitioners.

To ensure that these objectives were achieved, the 2007 Bill, among other things, established a General Legal Council to provide regulatory oversight of the legal profession. Generally speaking, the powers vested in the General Legal Council are related to a number of important areas, including the following:

  1. monitoring and establishing standards for admission and enrollment of legal practitioners;
  2. promoting observance of the rule of law and supporting the administration of justice in the Virgin Islands; and
  3. protecting the public interest with respect to the practice of law in the Virgin Islands.




Madam Speaker, I am indeed pleased that a new White Paper has been developed to speak to the relationship between the British Government and its Overseas Territories.

As a major nation of the world, the United Kingdom has had special relationships with many territories, large and small, most of which have over many years progressed to independence and are now Nations in their own right contributing to global commerce.

Many continue to have a relationship within the British Commonwealth.

There are others such as the BVI, much smaller which have retained that special relationship and are today known as Overseas Territories, and for whom that relationship continues to be important.

This relationship continues to evolve as the 14 territories seek more and more self-government within that framework. Public statements have been made from time to time about the evolution of that relationship such as are contained in the recently released White Paper.

The White paper developed and published prior to this one recognised the aspirations of the people of the territories in that regard and set out a partnership between




Madam Speaker, stimulating and fixing the economy in an effort to enhance the quality of life of the people of these Virgin Islands continues to be the number one priority of my Government. There is no matter that is of greater urgency. Madam Speaker, this is the reality that continues to be brought home to me and my colleagues everyday when we meet with citizens, employees, employers and business people from all over this Territory, representing small and large businesses, local and foreign alike.

Madam Speaker, at the sitting of this Honourable House on December 19th 2011, I made a statement on the appointment of a new Board of Directors for the BVI Tourist Board. Subsequently, on January 12th 2012, I spoke at a Tourism Stakeholders Meeting at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College. Madam Speaker today I want to give this Honourable House an update on some of the principal areas of focus of the new Board.




Dormant or inactive accounts will soon be transferred to the Government of the Virgin Islands and monies will be used to increase the reserve fund, in accordance with the Dormant Accounts Act, 2011.

According to the legislation, dormant accounts are bank accounts that have not been used for more than seven years.

Prior to the commencement of the act, inactive accounts were managed by banks. The shift in management from the banks to the Government of the Virgin Islands will begin tomorrow, June 21, when banks will publish lists of all accounts which show no activity, in accordance with the legislation.

The publishing of the dormant accounts lists is in accordance with Part II, of the Dormant Accounts Act Section 6 (2), which states: “an institution shall publish or cause to be published at a conspicuous position in the Gazette and in two newspapers of wide circulation in the Territory, a notice containing a list of dormant accounts....”

All banks are mandated by law to publish a list of all inactive accounts in both the Gazette,




Let me first say, congratulations, Class of 2012! You did it!

You made the sacrifices you needed to make and you put in the hard work needed and now you are here today to get your well-earned degree. I and all my colleagues are very proud of you. We are looking forward to hearing more great things about all of you as you continue your journey on the path of life.

It is my dearest hope that you will take the lessons you’ve learned here at HLSCC with you out in the world to make our beloved Virgin Islands a better place to live and work.

For years you have sat in your classrooms, listening to the voices of your teachers, studying your books, learning and sharing new ideas. The knowledge written in your textbooks reflects the most up-do-date information known to humankind.

Your lecturers and professors have studied the great questions of the day and examined our past to provide you with the information you need to be




 

Good morning to everyone.

I am pleased to be here this morning to speak on behalf of our Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith who is presently in St. Vincent and the Grenadines attending sessions for the 55th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority.

Students of the Elmore Stoutt High School, today is a new beginning for you and for the life of this institution.

Libraries are precious and wonderful places. They are the repositories of human learning throughout the ages. The books on their shelves contain entire worlds, stories of great imagination, histories of the great and the good. In our libraries,




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is presently attending sessions for the 55th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Agenda items include discussions for the OECS Economic Union, OECS Work Programme, Activities in Support of the Free Circulation of Goods, Commencement of Operations of the Economic Affairs Council, Report on the OECS-EU Relationship and the Inauguration of the OECS Assembly. – Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is presently attending sessions for the 55th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Under the 2007 Constitution Order, the Government of the BVI holds responsibility for external affairs matters as they relate to regional organisations like the OECS. The Territory is an associate member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States since November 1984. Other members and associate member are Antigua and Barbuda,




Ladies and gentlemen, we are here this morning as a collective body:

  • to identify the underlying elements of crime;
  • to examine the impact of crime on our Territory; and
  • to begin the process of creating strategies that will deter and reduce future criminal activity.

As you know, I am enthused about building this ‘Great Little Nation’.

A ‘Great Little Nation’ where the Territory’s business leaders, religious leaders, neighbourhood activists and other prominent members in the community commit to doing their part to help combat crime.

A ‘Great Little Nation’ where regardless of our diversity we come together as one community to fight this crime disease with every ounce of our being.

A ‘Great Little Nation’ where crime becomes a stranger in our islands.

And, a ‘Great Little Nation’ where we are embracing decades of hard work built by a generation of visionaries who have laid the foundation for the BVI that is now the envy of our region.

But while this is so, and while we are basking in







The Town and Country Planning Department is informing the public that the draft plan and report for the Carrot Bay Community Development Plan 2010 – 2020 is available for review at the BVI Post Office, Methodist and Seventh-day Adventist churches in Carrot Bay and the Town and Country Planning Department office in the West Atrium of the Central Administration Building and the Road Town Public Library until Tuesday, July 3.

Persons can also contact President of the Carrot Bay Community Council Mr. Frank Mahoney via mobile 541-2369 to view a copy.

To download, visit the Ministry of Finance’s website at www.finance.gov.vg, go to the Gov’t of the VI option under the Resource tab and click on the plan under Forms and Publications; or copy the following link into your web browser: http://finance.gov.vg/Resources/GovtoftheVI.aspx.

Persons are asked to document feedback via letter which should be sent directly to the department within the 28-day period. Feedback is also invited via email at dypenn@gov.vg or tcp@gov.vg. For more information, please telephone Physical Planner Mr. Dylan Penn at the Town and Country Planning Department at 468-3701 extension 2157.




In fulfilling Government’s agenda to achieve coordinated physical development, the Town and Country Planning Department is inviting the public to review the draft plan and report for the Carrot Bay Community Development Plan 2010 – 2020, which is available from midday today until Tuesday, July 3.

The document can be reviewed at the BVI Post Office, Methodist and Seventh-day Adventist churches in Carrot Bay and with the Carrot Bay Community Council - a group of individuals from Carrot Bay whose purpose is to ensure the continuity of development in the area. Persons can contact Council President or Vice-President Mr. Frank Mahoney or Mrs. Ayanna Glasgow-Liburd.

Additionally, the report can be found at the Town and Country Planning Department office in the West Atrium of the Central Administration Building and the Road Town Public Library.

Deputy Chief Planner Mr. Ronald Beard told the Department of Information and Public Relations that constructive feedback from the community will aid in the completion of the development plan.
Persons are asked to document feedback via letter which should be sent directly




The public is invited to an artwork exhibition showcasing the talent of 14 local artists this Friday, June 8 at the West Atrium of the Central Administration Building on Wickham’s Cay I at 7p.m.

The collection with the artists’ best work in sculpture, pottery, painting, batik and a variety of other art forms will remain at the building until June 15.

Artwork for the upcoming BVI Art and Culture Show in London will be selected from this collection of work.
For information, persons may call Mr. Reuben Vanterpool at 543-8557. In addition, persons can contact the International Affairs Secretariat, under which the BVI London Office operates, via telephone 468-2152. 





Caption: Premier and Minister of Tourism, Dr. the Hon D. Orlando Smith,
OBE and Lorna Smith, OBE together with Russell Harrigan, Chairman of
the BVI Tourist Board, newly appointed BVI London Office Manager, Ginny
Hawksley and Myrvina Jeria from the BVI London office are pictured with
Joyce Kinniburgh from BVI Holidays and Joanne Ellis from Caribtours at a reception held at BVI House on 31st May 2012, where the Premier announced
plans to re-energise tourism in the Islands.

Speaking at a trade reception held at BVI House yesterday, the Premier and Minster for Tourism for the British Virgin Islands Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE announced plans to re-energise and reposition tourism in the Islands together with a renewed focus on the United Kingdom (UK) as a primary market with the appointment of a BVI Tourist Board Manager in the UK.

Since taking office in Novemeber 2011, Premier Smith’s Government has embarked on a vigorous re-positioning strategy to

strengthen the British Virgin Islands tourism product. With tourism being the largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product of theTerritory, the Premier announced that the focus will be on improving long term air access, growing the Superyacht sector, further developing the destination’s wedding and honeymoon business and strengthening the cruise tourism sector.

Commenting on air access to the Territory, Premier Smith said, “Air access is the number one strategic challenge facing tourism in the British Virgin Islands. To address this issue in the long term, we have taken the decision to extend the runway at the Terrance B. Lettsome International airport to accommodate direct air access from North America. In addition, we are in consultations with local, regional and international carriers to ensure that visitors

 




Thank you Russell for your kind introduction.

Firstly, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all of your for joining us this evening here at BVI House for what will be the first of many such events as we re-establish the BVI tourism brand here in the United Kingdom.

As I am sure you are aware, The British Virgin Islands is a British Overseas Territory with Her Majesty the Queen as Head of State. Our status is exactly like Bermuda and Caymans with which all of you would be familiar.

While we have been responsible for our own internal affairs since 1967, our people are proud to be British and we have always given our British guests a huge welcome. Indeed the British Virgin Islanders are also looking forward to celebrating The Queens Diamond Jubilee this weekend.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for Overseas Territories Mr. Bellingham who recently accepted our invitation and visited the BVI. I was most happy to show him our world renowned tourism




Revitalising the Territory’s tourism and financial services product continues to be critically important to the Government of the Virgin Islands.

As such, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is travelling to London, United Kingdom, today for several tourism and financial services business meetings and to attend events scheduled for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, after which he will travel to New York for meetings with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

Premier Smith will be absent from the Territory from May 29 to June 9.

While in London, the Premier will attend meetings covering a broad spectrum of topics including financial services, yacht registration and tourism matters.

In addition, the Premier, as an invited guest by Her Majesty the Queen and head of Government will represent the people of the British Virgin Islands in celebrating Her Majesty’s 60 years of service at several events including the Thames River Diamond Jubilee Pageant and the Diamond Jubilee Concert and Thanksgiving Service.

While in New York, the Premier will attend the CTO Invest Caribbean Now Power Forum in




Good Morning:

It is my distinct honour to welcome you all to this, the 12th Islands of the World Conference.

I want to extend a particularly warm welcome to those of you who have travelled to the Virgin Islands from overseas and to the distinguished members of academia who will be presenting over the next several days.

My hearty congratulations to the hardworking people here at the H. Lavity Soutt Community College who made this happen along with the International Small Islands Studies Association, itself, and all the sponsors of this important event.

A million years ago, man walked out of Africa, spreading across the vast plains of Asia. The tide of human migration had begun and the planet was to be forever changed.

A mere two thousand years ago, merchants crossed great distances to trade gold for silk in China. At around the same time, trade routes linking the kingdom of Ghana to Alexandria and Baghdad ensured the steady supply of gold to the Islamic Empire and salt and other products to the people of Ghana.




The public is invited to join the Government of the Virgin Islands, family and friends at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport to welcome home X Factor winner Ms. Melanie Amaro who will arrive in the Territory on Saturday, May 26 at 10:00pm.

Amaro is one of the headliners for Sunday night's BVI Music Festival. The three day event takes place May 25 to 27 in Cane Garden Bay.

Premier and Minister for Tourism, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said he is excited and pleased that Ms. Amaro is returning home for a visit. It is the first time since her debut on the hit musical competition, The X Factor USA.

In December, during a personal conversation, Premier Smith asked Ms. Amaro to put the Virgin Islands high on her priority list of places to visit.

Additionally, he told Melanie that the BVI Tourist Board will speak with her about possible areas of mutual cooperation.

In response, Ms. Amaro said, “I love the BVI, it is my home. I will definitely promote the




In commenting on Gun Creek’s official declaration last Friday, BVI Tourist Board Chairman Mr. Russell Harrigan said that the port is a critical development for strengthening the Territory’s tourism product, with benefits to both visitors and residents.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Mr. Harrigan said that North Sound is a major destination for both land and water based visitors to the British Virgin Islands and that the port will increase convenience and maximise leisure time while in the Territory.

He indicated that visitors sailing from St. Maarten and Antigua, the dominant sailing points east of the BVI, can now come straight to North Sound for clearance procedures as opposed to checking in at the other points of entry. “This means that visitors can begin their actual vacation earlier and almost immediately enjoy the Territory’s offerings,” said Mr. Harrigan.

The chairman, who is part of the committee to oversee Gun Creek’s landside development, also said that the port will promote the further development of the area, hence strengthening the North Sound community,




Download the Statement by: Dr. Hon. D.O. Smith, Premier and Minister of Finance Government of the Virgin Islands on behalf of: Anguilla, The Cayman Islands, The British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is currently in the Cayman Islands attending the annual meetings of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Board of Governors, following his announcement of Her Majesty’s Government’s (HMG) approval of a $15.67 million loan for this Territory’s infrastructural development.

Prior to his departure, the Honourable Premier told the Department of Information and Public Relations, “HMG’s approval of the loan signals the mature relationship formed and firmly establishes Government’s vision to build a better British Virgin Islands through various programmes to stimulate the economy. Representation at the CDB’s annual meeting affirms BVI’s appreciation, commitment and involvement in this programme.” The meetings begin tomorrow and end on Thursday.

The Premier first announced CDB’s approval on Friday, May 18 at the ceremony to declare Gun Creek a port of entry.

During his remarks, he said that he received approval via letter last week from the Minister for United Kingdom Overseas Territories Mr. Henry Bellingham, MP. The actual loan was approved by the House of Assembly on July 14, 2011, but was not pursued due




In forging ahead on the road to economic recovery, Government, with Cabinet’s recent approval to halt the levying of duty on cost, insurance and freight on imported goods for merchants, is following through with plans to lower the cost of goods to stimulate the economy.

As of March 7, in accordance with No. 1 of 2012 of the Customs Management and Duties (Amendment) Act, 2012, all merchants will bear duty based on the purchase cost of the goods less any insurance and freight costs. The seller will bear freight, insurance, commission and all other cost, charges and expenses incidental to the sale and delivery.

According to Commissioner of Customs Mr. Wade Smith, the act defines a merchant as an importer who has a valid trade licence for the wholesale and retail of goods in an unchanged state.

Mr. Smith encourages merchants to be compliant by completing a ‘Declaration of Merchant’ form which states the said business is licensed by the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs to carry on the business of merchant, and currently




On Friday, the Government of the Virgin Islands will reinforce its commitment to the development of Virgin Gorda in a ceremony to officially declare Gun Creek, North Sound, a port of entry.

According to Director of Communications Mrs. Arliene T. Penn, the declaration of Gun Creek as a port of entry is part of Government’s agenda to further bolster the tourism product of Virgin Gorda.

“Government sees the development of Gun Creek as a catalyst to improving the destination's competitive edge in the global marketplace,” Mrs. Penn said.

On March 1, Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE in a statement to the Territory declared Gun Creek a port of entry. He explained that North Sound attracts high-end visitors and is considered to be one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the British Virgin Islands, adding that capitalising on this opportunity to stimulate the economy of Virgin Gorda is critically important to enhancing the tourism product.

The official declaration ceremony will be held at the Captain Owen G. Harrigan Visitor Centre in Gun Creek. Residents of Virgin Gorda are invited to be a part of this historic




The people of Virgin Gorda are invited to a ceremony to mark the official declaration of Gun Creek as a port of entry on Friday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony takes place at the Captain Owen G. Harrigan Visitor Centre in Gun Creek, North Sound.

The Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and the Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool are expected to give remarks focused on Government’s plans to collaborate with residents to further boost the tourism product and stimulate the economy in the sister island.

For more information please contact the Premier’s Office at 468-3701 extension 2152 during office hours between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will hold office hours at the Vanterpool Administration Building in Virgin Gorda on Tuesday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Residents are kindly asked to telephone the Premier’s Office at 468-3701 extension 2152 to schedule an appointment.

Premier Smith will hold office hours on Virgin Gorda every first and third Tuesday of the month.




Madam Speaker, I would like to make a statement about the financial management of the British Virgin Islands.

As Honourable Members know, just two weeks ago on 23rd April we signed with Mr. Henry Bellingham, the United Kingdom Minister for the Overseas Territories, our Protocols for Effective Financial Management.

This important agreement will help to set the Virgin Islands’ finances on a steady course for the future.

Madam Speaker, I would like to take a few minutes to set out why I trust that the full Houses will welcome the Protocols and lend them their full support.

This excellent document illustrates a clear commitment by the Virgin Islands to manage our finances in a modern, transparent and planned way. It commits us to effective medium-term planning and to transparency; to more accurate measurement and reporting of our fiscal and economic data, to better value for money and to more effective management of risk.

Madam Speaker, there is an old saying that runs, “If you do not know where you are going, any road gets you there”. That is no way to run




The proprietors of establishments licensed to sell liquor are advised that all unpaid liquor licences for the period December 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012 and for prior periods must be paid to the Department of Inland Revenue no later than 3:30p.m. on Friday, May 25, 2012.

Payments can be made at the offices in the Central Administration Building on Wickham’s Cay, Road Town, Tortola or the Vanterpool Administration Building in Valley, Virgin Gorda.

Liquor licences outstanding after May 25, 2012 will be subject to additional enforcement measures. Business owners are strongly encouraged to update their Liquor licence records and make the required payment without further delay.

Liquor licence fees are payable semi-annually on June 1 for the period June 1 to November 30, and December 1 for the period December 1 to May 31.

For more information, telephone the Inland Revenue Department at 468-3701 extension 2155 (Tortola) or 6564 (Virgin Gorda).




Team British Virgin Islands (BVI) has successfully strengthened the Territory’s international relationship with the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union.

Upon his return from Curacao, Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering told the Department of Information and Public Relations, “I am pleased with what we have accomplished. We went with a mission to form the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories Council, and I must say; we did exceptionally well.”

During his opening remarks on

behalf of Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, Deputy Premier Pickering at the inaugural meeting of the council said that the new body will serve as a mechanism for greater cooperation between the British and Dutch Territories in the Caribbean.




Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said enhancing tourism and international relations are of critical importance to the Government of the Virgin Islands.

As such, Honourable Smith is currently in Puerto Rico representing the Territory at the 16th Annual Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC) until April 26, while Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. Kedrick Pickering is representing the Premier in Curacao at the Inaugural Meeting of the Caribbean Overseas Territories Council for the European Union’s (EU) British and Dutch Overseas Territories (OTs).

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference is hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and is staged by the region’s not-for-profit organisations, with all funds being reinvested in the region for the benefit of the Caribbean tourism industry. The event, attended by nearly 400 delegates representing the Caribbean, United States of America and the United Kingdom, provides networking opportunities with key players of the Caribbean’s hotel and tourism




Download the Protocols for Effective Financial Management

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me take this opportunity to formally welcome Mr. Bellingham, MP to our beautiful shores. I say "formally" as I was honored and pleased to accompany him to our sister island of Virgin Gorda yesterday to not only experience its beauty and charm but to get a better appreciation of multi island living - BVI style.

I am very pleased that Mr. Bellingham accepted my invitation extended last November to visit the BVI at this time as today is a very significant day in the evolution of the partnership between the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom. In a few minutes we will sign the Protocols for Effective Financial Management, signaling a commitment from the Government and people of the Virgin Islands to management our fiscal resources in a more transparent and efficient manner, and in turn the United Kingdom‟s commitment to support us in this effort.

I am grateful to Mr. Steve Johnson and his colleagues Naomi Jeffries of HM Treasury for agreeing to travel to the BVI in February so that we could sit down and hammer out an a




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE joins the Territory in remembering the life of Mr. Stoutt who will be laid to rest tomorrow at the Cappoon’s Bay cemetery, following a funeral service at the Zion Hill Methodist Church; viewing is from 9:00a.m. - 10:30a.m. followed by the church service.

Premier Smith said, “This Territory will always remember Easter Saturday 2012 as the day of the passing of yet another “BVI Giant” – Elvin ‘Soupy’ Stoutt.”

Mr. Stoutt who passed on Saturday April 7, 2012 is a retired public officer who served as a school teacher, principal and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works and was a member of the Public Service Commission.

Premier Smith told the Department of Information and Public Relations that as a former principal of the Alexandrina Maduro Primary School, Mr. Stoutt left his footprint and philosophy that teachers and parents must collaborate and work closely in raising a child.

“He was one who firmly believed that it took a village to raise a child,” Premier said.




The public is invited to tune in to 780AM ZBVI Radio or log on to www.jtvlive.net on April 23 at 12:15 p.m. for live coverage of a joint press conference with Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and Minister for the Overseas Territories Henry Bellingham, MP.

Premier Smith and Minister Bellingham are expected to sign the Protocols on Effective Financial Management.

Mr. Bellingham is on his first visit to the British Virgin Islands (BVI). This visit will reinforce the relationship between the BVI and the United Kingdom (UK) and the close ties between the two governments.

Premier Smith looks forward to the upcoming discussions with Minister Bellingham’s on ways the two governments can further strengthen their partnership.

Mr. Bellingham’s will be in the Territory from April 21 – 25, 2012.




Forging a new direction in Tourism to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry is critically important to the Government of the Virgin Islands.

This was the message by Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE speaking with the media in a press briefing this afternoon.


Premier Smith outlined three of many initiatives which are part of Government’s tourism agenda to revitalise and re-energise the sector. He discussed Government’s approach to improving the airlift to ensure sustainability of the tourism sector; the official opening of Gun Creek, North Sound as a port of entry and the appointment of Mrs. Janice Brathwaite-Edwards as the Tourism Liaison Officer.




Her Majesty’s Customs is informing importers that if goods at any port for more than two months are not cleared by 4:30pm on Friday, April 20, they will be put up for public auction the following day.

This is in accordance with the Customs Management and Duties Act No. 6 of 2010 Section 52 (8) which states that the duration of time goods can remain in a Customs Warehouse before removal is two months. The auction is sanctioned under Section 137 of the same legislation.

A copy of the list with all goods and importers’ names will be posted at various HM Customs stations for viewing at Port Purcell, West End, Beef Island and the main Headquarters for viewing only.

Importers are asked to provide an airway bill, bill of lading, invoice or any other relevant documentation before goods are cleared. In addition, shipping fees or any other incidental need to be paid to shipper of goods before HM Customs will allow clearance...




The public is invited to a grand auction to take place at the Her Majesty’s Customs office located in Port Purcell on Saturday, April 21, to begin at 9 a.m. Auction items include household furnishings, automotive and industrial equipment, electronics, major appliances and personal items.

A copy of the list with all goods and importers’ names will be posted at various HM Customs stations for viewing at Port Purcell, West End, Beef Island and the main Headquarters for viewing only.

All items are offered for sale “as is”. Auctions by Her Majesty’s Customs are held in accordance with the Customs Management and Duties Act No. 6 of 2010 Section 137. For more information, contact Her Majesty’s Customs Headquarters at 468-3701 extension 6800.




Government is moving ahead with its tourism boosting initiatives and fulfilling its agenda, as a committee for the proposed development of Gun Creek discussed plans this afternoon to launch an aerodrome and develop surrounding land side amenities, with a view to further improve upon the Territory’s tourism product.
 

The committee is being chaired by Tourism Liaison Officer in the Premier’s Office Mrs. Janice Braithwaite-Edwards who told the Department of Information and Public Relations, "North Sound, Virgin Gorda is one of the most desirable vacation locations in the Virgin Islands and welcomes a great deal of first class visitors. It is poised to continue once integrated tourism development planning takes place; hence the purpose for the discussions," said Mrs. Braithwaite-Edwards.




Collaboration between the public and private sectors has placed the BVI banking industry "on the map" internationally with the introduction of the International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN), unique codes assigned to bank accounts to standardise and simplify the international money transfer process.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE told the Department of Information and Public Relations that the IBAN is a very important development for the BVI saying, "Government recognises that this step has positioned the BVI as a world-class banking centre, by putting the BVI on the same level with more than 50 other countries, giving us presence on the global playing field and nurturing the BVI’s banking business overall."

Honourable Smith added, "We are convinced that the BVI banking industry, although very small compared to other banking centres, will grow further as it continues to participate in activities to engage international standards of the industry."




A recent decision by Cabinet to establish the Financial Services Business Development Committee (FSBDC), illustrates Government’s commitment to reinvigorate the BVI’s financial services industry through public-private collaboration.

Approved on February 15, the Committee’s role is to build on the ideas gleaned from the financial services industry/ Government consultation in January of this year, and to create action plans to foster the enhancement of the financial services industry. The members are currently engaged in the review of the various sectors for the purpose of reporting to Cabinet its various recommendations for industry growth.




In strengthening the Territory’s tourism market and product and improving the quality of life for all, the Government of the Virgin Islands is presently spearheading several projects to see to it that industry offerings are enhanced and developed to address the needs of both visitors and locals.

One such project is the revitalisation of the Crafts Alive Market, a joint initiative by the Premier’s Office and the Ministry of Communications and Works.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Tourism Liaison Officer in the Premier’s Office, Mrs. Janice Braithwaite-Edwards said the project will be a centre for commercial and cultural activities for visitors and locals alike, explaining, "The new plans that have been proposed for the revitalisation project are only part of the Cruise Tourism programme that will encompass the Cruise Pier, waterfront and the entire bay side of the Wickham’s Cay area, to create a beehive of activities for our visitors and locals."




Nationals of member states with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have new rights which have been established under the recently founded OECS Economic Union, and its Freedom of Movement protocol.

The Economic Union, which came into force on January 21, 2011, was established with a view to improve the relationship between all OECS member states and encourage economic development in the areas of trade, labour, education and telecommunication.

Last Wednesday, Director General of the OECS Dr. Len Ishmael visited the




On Wednesday March 28th, the Department of Disaster Management executed their annual full scale Tsunami Exercise to test the Territory’s Early Warning and Notification Systems and to afford organizations and government departments the opportunity to test their own plans and procedures. Since 2009, these annual exercises have been taking place during the month of March, and are held in conjunction with other localities in the Northwest Atlantic.

Every year a different scenario is applied to allow countries to fully test their response to major earthquake events. We have been fortunate to receive the consistent support of the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN), the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, the West Coast Tsunami Warning Center and the United States Geological Survey to receive tsunami advisories, watches and




Reducing public expenditure through an increased level of accountability is of crucial importance to the Ministry of Finance.

As such, the Ministry is asking the public to report any misuse of Government-owned vehicles.

Deputy Financial Secretary Mr. Wendell Gaskin told the Department of Information and Public Relations, "In seeking the public’s assistance on this matter, our goal is to ultimately reduce public expenditure and effectively manage resources."

The Ministry is asking the public report unauthorised drivers and passengers (other than public officers) of all Government-owned vehicles; driving in excess of the speed limit and/ or in a reckless manner; vehicles parked with engine and air conditioner running; vehicles parked in restricted areas; and/or transporting of unauthorised goods, including animals.




The Development Planning Unit is asking members of the business community chosen for the 2010-2011National Accounts Survey exercise to fill out and submit questionnaires before the deadline on June 15, 2012. Questionnaires can be downloaded from the DPU’s website http://www.dpu.gov.vg.

The survey uses specific financial data and is needed to produce statistics which represent a direct measure of the economic performance of the various sectors of the Virgin Islands’ economy.




In fostering an environment of openness and accountability, and encouraging an informed and educated public, the Government of the Virgin Islands is asking the public to tune into the budget debate to begin today at 10am.

The two-day debate of the 2012 Appropriation Bill, more commonly known as the budget, takes place at the House of Assembly Chamber and will broadcast live on radio station ZBVI 780 AM and on television CBN Channel 51.

Members of the House of Assembly are presently readying themselves for the debate which indicates the completion of the Standing Finance Committee report. The report is a record of the committee’s deliberations which began on January 26 and ended on February 28. Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will table the report in the house.

All permanent secretaries, heads of departments and other top managers appeared before the Standing Finance Committee to justify their 2012 revenue and expenditure initiatives.




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and his Government join with the family, friends and the rest of the Virgin Islands’ community in remembering and celebrating the life of Nurse M. Adina Donovan, MBE.

Miss Donovan, who will be laid to rest tomorrow, served the Territory as a health care professional for 35 years.

In a recent interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations Premier Smith said, "Miss Donovan was a stalwart and pioneer nurse who has helped to strengthen the fabric of health care in these Virgin Islands."

In speaking about Nurse Donovan, Honourable Smith reminisced on his days as a medical student and Chief Medical Officer, stating, "She always spoke about the nobility of the health care profession, further encouraging me to continue to make a mark and valuable contribution to its development."

Premier Smith added, "When I became the Chief Medical Officer, I was able to learn even more with her encouragement — the most important lesson being the delivery of exceptional health care service."




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and his Government join with the family, friends and members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in remembering the life of Sergeant Joseph Toulon who will be laid to rest tomorrow.

Sergeant Toulon, a long serving police officer, succumbed to injuries sustained from a vehicle accident in Spooner’s Estate on March 2.

In speaking with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Premier said the news of Sergeant Toulon’s death came as a shock and has now left a void in those who knew him.

In remembering Sergeant Toulon, Premier Smith said, "He had a very serious devotion to law enforcement and to the security of these Virgin Islands. He believed firmly that police-community relations were important to deterring crime."

According to Honourable Smith, when he served as Chief Minister, Sergeant Toulon was his protection officer at different intervals. Premier said, "He was always frank, yet professional with his comments. He was committed to what he was doing. He was always diligent and steadfast in his commitment to my protection. Although he was seen as serious about his business, he had a very gentle heart."




Economic development is critically important to the sustainability of these Virgin Islands, according to Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE during his 2012 Budget Address.

As such, on March 20, the Development Planning Unit (DPU) will begin conducting its annual National Accounts Survey (NAS) to ascertain the economic performance of the various sectors in the economy. The survey is focused on obtaining 2010 and 2011 accounting information from a random sample of businesses.




The Government of the Virgin Islands (British) is desirous to auction the following items listed below.  The public auction will take place at the back of the Central Administrative Complex, Breezeway, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands on Friday, 23rd March, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.

 

All items offered for sale “as is” without recourse against the Government of the Virgin Islands (British).

 

QTY

 

ITEMS

1

Area Rug

1

Wicker Shelf

4

Wicker End Tables

1

Wicker Center Table w/glass

1

Entertainment Center

 




In his speech titled "Journey to Recovery: Changing the Direction of the Virgin Islands", Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will report on Government’s first 100 days in office, while addressing the different initiatives to enhance the Virgin Islands’ economy.
  The address to the Territory airs tonight on CBN Channel 51 at 5:30pm, JTV Channel 55 at 6pm and HLSCC Channel 52 at 8pm.

Speaking to the Department of Information and Public Relations Director of Communications for the Government of the Virgin Islands Mrs. Arliene T. Penn said, "The report on Government’s activities in its first 100 days since taking office in November is aligned with the administration’s core principles of accountability,




 

Mr. Stoutt has also been responsible for guiding the Virgin Islands throughout its development as an international finance centre and was described as very passionate and committed to the development of educational opportunities for the people of the Territory.

At the Wreath Laying Ceremony on Monday, March 5 at 10 am, several Government Ministers will pay homage to this visionary leader. Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn and Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE are among the Government dignitaries to be present.

Director of the Learning Resource Centre Ms. Bernadine Louis who also serves as curator of the "H. Lavity Stoutt Memorial Room" at the H. Lavity




My Government has entered office at a time of great political and economic upheaval around the world and at a time when we understand more than we ever did before about the fragility of our environment and the threats posed to our wonderful world by our actions. From the time of our earliest ancestors, we have become accustomed to taking the Earth and its rich bounty for granted.

Centuries ago, slash and burn agricultural practices eradicated huge swathes of forest land and converted them into crop lands. When industrialization came, it made work easier but it also accelerated the growth of environmentally destructive practices. Factories spewed waste into the air and over the land. Mining and other interests eradicated hundreds of thousands of acres of virgin forests and created huge scars on the earth. We have probably done more harm to the earth in the last two hundred years




 

 Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE says security, trade, the environment and climate change continues to be pertinent areas for further cooperation between the Virgin Islands, its Caribbean partners and the United Kingdom (UK).

 

The Caribbean leaders voiced concerns to UK representatives including the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. William Hague MP, Minister of State with responsibility for the Caribbean Mr. Jeremy Brown, MP and UK Minister of State for International Development, Mr. Alan

 




Property owners are reminded that outstanding taxes for 2011 and prior years are due to the Inland Revenue Department by February 14, 2012.

In accordance with Section 19 of the Land and House Tax (Amendment) Act, 2006, failure to make payments may result in legal proceedings as set out by the legislation.




 

"Food security is essential to the sustainable development and survival of our Territory," said Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE during the opening ceremony of Farmers’ Week at Paraquita Bay on Friday.
"We see agriculture in these Virgin Islands as a way to strengthen our economic base, and to make our Territory more financially secure to withstand the fluctuations in the global economy," said Honourable Smith.

The Tourism Minister stated Government’s goal to develop a National Agricultural Policy and introducing Agribusiness Development Legislation to promote agriculture as a viable profession in the Virgin Islands.




As a young boy growing up, I well remember accompanying my father to Coxheath before sunrise to work in our ground to harvest crops; then venture out to sea to pull our fishpots. Later in the day we would take our animals to the well for water before leaving them to graze the pastures. Although my mother stayed at home, I know that many women were part of this experience too.

In those days we burned and picked charcoal, cut and scraped the mauby bark and some of us processed cane rum.

Ladies and gentlemen, those were the days when we heavily depended on the bountiful harvest of fish, livestock, fruits and vegetables which filled the Market Square on a daily basis and especially on weekends. Those were the




 

Members of the European Commission and leaders of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) heard the collective concerns of the OCTs when Deputy Premier Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering addressed them during the 10th OCT-European Union (EU) Forum in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday.

 

In another statement on behalf of Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and the people of the BVI, Deputy Premier conveyed the Premier’s good wishes for the forum and the BVI’s desire for closer cooperation with the EU through wider access to its programmes on trade and the environment.

In another statement on behalf of Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and the




 

His Excellency the Governor Mr. Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO acting on the advice of the Public Service Commission, has approved the appointment of Mrs. Rosalie Adams as Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office until further notice.

Mrs. Adams joined the Public Service in 1969 and has taught at various public schools throughout the Territory until 1990 when she was transferred to the Department of Education and Culture and served as an Education Officer until 1997. She also served as Assistant Secretary, Chief Minister’s Office (now Premier’s Office) from 1997 – 1998 and Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Education & Culture from 1998 – 2001. Mrs. Adams was promoted to the post of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Welfare (now Ministry of Health & Social Development) in 2002. She also served as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications & Works from




Her Majesty’s Customs invites the public to join the department in celebrating its14th Annual Customs Week from January 21 - 28, under the theme, “Borders Divide, Customs Connects through Compliance”.

In explaining the significance of the theme to the Department of Information and Public Relations, Commissioner of Customs Mr. Wade Smith said, “We have affirmed our commitment once more to compliance with international standards in relation to border protection and trade facilitation,” adding, “The theme also speaks to dedication to uniformity in our performance.” – Her Majesty’s Customs invites the public to join the department in celebrating its14th Annual Customs Week from January 21 - 28, under the theme, “Borders Divide, Customs Connects through Compliance”.

The commissioner is inviting the public to participate in the information sharing activities which are designed to apprise all stakeholders of the very important role the Customs department plays in the development of the Territory.

There are several planned activities. On Saturday the department will attend church services at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Road Town. On Sunday the




What do you think of the Virgin Islands’ existing relationship with the United Kingdom?

The public is asked to tune into ZBVI 780AM tonight at 9pm to voice your concerns on topics ranging from the Territory’s current challenges, cooperation with the UK and the quality of the VI’s good governance and financial management.

Assistant Secretary in the Premier’s Office with responsibility for External Affairs Ms. Najan Christopher, who is one of the panellists, told the Department of Information and Public Relations, “Government needs to hear from the people of the Virgin Islands in order to better inform the UK of our position on the relationship. Persons should take advantage of this opportunity in voicing their opinion on what the relationship should be like and how do they see the VI and UK working together.”

Ms. Christopher will be joined by Financial Literacy Coordinator at the Financial Services Commission Ms. Elise Donovan and Managing Director of Smith and Associates Ms. Shaina Smith.

As a British Overseas Territory, the VI is being invited to share




The Government of the Virgin Islands is seeking responses from the public on the following:

  1. “How do you assess the quality of good governance, public financial management and economic planning in the VI?”
  2. “What are the priorities for improvement?”
  3. “How can the UK best work with our Territory to strengthen these areas?”

In a statement by Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, on Tuesday explained that the relationship between the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories (OTs), as outlined in the ‘White Paper’, is presently being revisited.

As an OT, the VI Government is being invited to share its views on various issues affecting its relationship with the UK, which will in turn be considered in preparing the new White Paper.

In his statement, Honourable Smith encouraged the public’s response to the various questions being sent in GIS press releases. He said, “This is yet another opportunity for the public to let their voice be heard as we collectively share our views with Her Majesty’s




The Government of the Virgin Islands, in keeping with its mission to obtain feedback in defining the Virgin Islands-United Kingdom relationship for the pending White Paper review, is asking the general public to express their views on the Territory’s current challenges

The review of the existing White Paper is part of the process in renewing the United Kingdom Government’s relationship with all its Overseas Territories, including this Territory.

The first question being asked, “What are the problems in the Virgin Islands?”, is expected to generate many opinions from a broad spectrum of this Territory’s residents.

Persons may contact Acting Information Officer II with the Premier’s Office, Ms. April Glasgow via telephone 468-2076 or email aglasgow@gov.vg with their responses by Friday 13th January, 2012.




Government has recently confirmed several initiatives to boost its reserve fund.

In speaking with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said the cost cutting measures, which will take the form of a 50-percent cut in performance increments in 2012, a 7-percent cut in operational expenses of individual ministries and departments, together with a cut in the pay package of elected officials. These cuts will be used to significantly boost appropriations to the reserve fund and pave the way for a stronger fiscal position.

In providing background to the recent initiatives, the finance minister explained, "Government is now acting as a result of the current global economic climate, which has affected governments around the world in the ability to retain public officers and engage in public investment initiatives."




 

Key players from financial services organisations are currently in candid discussions at the Eileen L. Parsons Auditorium to map out a viable structure to enable full cooperation between the private sector and the public sector.

  Premier Smith stressed, "I expect each and everyone of you to make the best use of this platform today to express your views in a frank, sincere and non-adversarial manner; to explore the possibilities for the Virgin Islands (VI) not only today but for the years ahead; to recognise the realities of the international dimension with respect to the products and services we provide and




2012 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Acting in accordance with Section 5 of the Public Holidays Act (Cap 199), as amended, Cabinet has approved the following public holidays for 2012:



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