ON THE PROVISION OF ADDITIONAL WRITTEN INFORMATION TO THE COI
On Friday October 1 the Government provided a further quantity of documents to the Commission of Inquiry – around a thousand pages. Their discovery was the result of continuing intensive efforts by the public service of the Virgin Islands to find any and all evidence which might be helpful to the Commission in its work.
This is on top of 9,000 documents, totalling 130,000 pages, and dozens of affidavits provided to the COI in response to its requests already, a very time-consuming task which has soaked up a huge proportion of the administrative capacity of the public service while a continuing global health emergency continues to rage.
Premier Honourable Andrew A. Fahie said,
“It has always been the wish of the elected Government to provide the full facts to the Commission and public officers continue to look for and find relevant documents.
“Regrettably, the Commission has sometimes given the impression that it does not welcome the provision of additional evidence, however illuminating or important. We anticipated that the Commission would once again have criticisms to make about the provision of these documents. However, hard pressed public servants have worked hard to locate and retrieve them and have simply been trying to do their duty.
“It was also puzzling that on Friday the Commission was heavily critical of the Government for missing a deadline for the provision of other information, due by 4pm and provided at 10am the following day and stated that this delay required the Commission to postpone part of its hearings by two weeks.
It seems extraordinary that the Commission should say that it needs a fortnight to assess thirty pages of evidence when Ministers and public servants are regularly given a week or less to produce or respond to hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of pages of documents and are even expected to comment in the witness box on documents they have not seen and of which they have received no notice.”