The CRC will make recommendations on how to hold the government accountable


The central administration complex in Road Town which houses several government offices. (GIS photo)

The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) is tasked with making recommendations on, among other things, ways to hold the elected ministerial government accountable to the House of Assembly (HOA).

This was revealed to be part of the Commission’s mandate, according to a post-meeting Cabinet Decisions statement released recently.

The Commission is also expected to make recommendations on how checks and balances and accountability mechanisms can be used to militate against abuse of power, the Cabinet statement said.

The 16-member Commission, chaired by Janice Stoutt, is also tasked with assessing the current Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007, and determining whether it is a strategic adjustment to help the people of the Virgin Islands achieve a revised vision. of the preamble to the current constitutional order.

This adds to the consideration of the likely next step towards self-determination for the Virgin Islands; and examining how law enforcement and justice agencies can best sit within the constitutional framework.

Other mandates of the Commission include recommendations to examine whether the independent institutions enshrined in the Constitution are sufficient and effective enough to ensure good governance.

The CRC is also invited to consider making recommendations regarding the powers that should be reserved to the Governor and how issues relating to the exercise of devolved and reserved powers, respectively, when they arise, should be resolved.

Recommendations should also be made on a mechanism for transferring the reserved powers to the devolved government of the BVIs in the future, without the need for further constitutional amendment.

Whether the President should continue to be a political appointee, or whether he or she, even if elected, should be independent of political parties will also be the subject of CRC recommendations.

It will also make recommendations on the proper relationship between ministers and their departments and whether statutory councils should be incorporated into the constitution and whether there should be a commission of statutory councils.

In the meantime, the cabinet statement says the vice president and CRC members are to receive an allowance of $12,000 and $10,000, respectively, upon submission of the CRC’s final report.

This is the provision that the amount can be pro-rated based on the submission of the President’s report and the level of participation of members in the CRC.

The Cabinet, while noting that the chairperson chosen is currently a central government contract employee, said she would be engaged as chairperson of the CRC at the end of the current contract with the Ministry of Finance.

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