The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands acknowledges the interruption of the publicising of Cabinet decisions in 2020. However, the Cabinet remains committed to good governance principles of transparency and accountability. It is in this spirit that the Cabinet Office will resume publicising Cabinet decisions with effect from 11th February, 2021 covering the period of decisions taken from its first meeting held on 7th January, 2021.
In 2020, the number of Cabinet meetings dramatically increased to 94, compared to 42 held in 2019. This was due to Government’s shift to urgently provide the necessary strategic response to the declaration by the World Health Organisation that COVID-19 had been characterised as a pandemic.
The public is asked to note that the majority of Cabinet decisions taken at its 2020 meetings were made public as part of Government’s COVID-19 Updates. Additionally, the Premier and Minister of Finance, and Ministers made statements in the House of Assembly based on COVID-19 related and unrelated Cabinet decisions; thereby maintaining Government’s commitment to being accountable and transparent.
The procedures for the confirmation of Cabinet Minutes and the associated confirmation of decisions were developed for non-crisis conditions and will be strictly observed as much as possible. In that regard, it was agreed that the backlog of decisions that are yet to be confirmed will be ratified by the Cabinet and the Cabinet Office will make a determined effort to release those decisions within the shortest time possible.
The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands reiterates its commitment to effective and timely communication of all Cabinet decisions. This, however, is not the only means by which matters of territorial significance will continue to be communicated. Government will continue to use all available means of mass communication to ensure that residents and visitors are informed at all times.
Cabinet decisions will continue to be publicised under the following guidelines:
- Cabinet decisions will be published by the Cabinet Office following confirmation of the minutes.
- Only a summary of the decisions will be published.
- Cabinet discussions will not be disclosed.
- Cabinet decisions of a sensitive nature, matters of national security, those in breach of regional or international conventions and those relating to personal privacy will not be disclosed.
- Cabinet decisions will be published in the Virgin Islands Official Gazette every Thursday at www.eservices.gov.vg/gazette and on Twitter.
The Cabinet apologises for any inconvenience caused during the interruption of the publicising of Cabinet decisions.
The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands is constitutionally charged with the formulation of policy, including directing the implementation of those policies. It is also collectively responsible to the House of Assembly for such policies and their implementation.
The Cabinet meets every Wednesday and is supported by the Cabinet Office, which facilitates and monitors the implementation of executive decision-making within the government.
10th February, 2021