Acting Governor David Archer Jr. chaired Cabinet meetings on July 26 and Aug. 2, and Governor John Rankin chaired meetings on Aug. 16 and 23. Mr. Rankin was overseas on annual leave for the first two meetings; Education, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sharie de Castro was overseas on official business on July 26; Deputy Premier Lorna Smith was overseas on official business on Aug. 2; Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer was overseas on official business on Aug. 16; and Attorney General Dawn Smith was on annual leave for all three meetings and was replaced by Solicitor General Jo-Ann William-Roberts. All other members were present and took the following actions, according to a summaries published in the Gazette on Aug. 24 and Aug. 31.

July 26

1. Decided that the land grant formerly issued to Pauline Maduro-Barrett by Cabinet be revoked in accordance with her letter expressing that she is no longer interested in ownership of the allotted land; and that Ms. Maduro-Barrett be refunded monies paid toward the purchase price for the land.

Aug. 2

1. Reviewed and approved the draft Supplemental Agreement No. 6 of the Water Purchase Agreement between the government and Seven Seas Water (BVI) Ltd.; and decided that the Ministry of Communications and Works instruct the Attorney General’s Chambers to vet the draft agreement.

2. Approved one non-belonger land holding licence application.

Aug. 16

1. Accepted the annual report of the Governor’s Office for the year ending Dec. 31; and decided that the report be laid on the table at the next convenient sitting of the House of Assembly.

2. Decided that in accordance with Section 13 (1) (7) of the Immigration and Passport Act Revised Edition 2013, Shakira Skelton Leonard and Michelle Todman-Smith be appointed as members and Rexella Hodge and Kimberly Seagojo be reappointed as members of the Immigration Board from Aug. 15, 2023 to Aug. 14, 2025 for a period of two years, respectively; and endorsed:

a. the minister’s recommendation, in accordance with Section 13(2a) of the act, that Troy Christopher be appointed as member and chairman of the Immigration Board for two years with effect from Aug. 15, 2023 to Aug. 14, 2025; and decided:

b. that the Premier’s Office instruct the Attorney General’s Chambers to draft the instruments of appointment for signature by the governor and publication in the Gazette; and c. noted that the members of the board would be paid the following monthly stipends from Premier’s Office Head 22204090 (Premier’s Office) and 3 Subhead 528150 (Stipends for Boards and Committees) for their attendance and participation in board meetings and related matters as follows: chairman at $1,200 per month and members at $800 per month.

3. Approved the renewal of the contractual appointment of Hadassah Fraser as director of the Commission of Inquiry Implementation Unit with effect from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024 as a single-source procurement; and approved the new contract, which is an amendment of dates from the contract previously vetted by chambers following Cabinet’s approval.

4. Received the Independent Reviewer’s Report on Recommendation B33 of the Commission of Inquiry’s Report prepared by Kedrick Malone and titled, “Review of Policy and Process for Granting Residency and Belongership;” and decided that the report be tabled in the HOA at the next convenient sitting.

5. Designated the Financial Services Commission as the entity responsible for hosting any economic substance data and urgently initiating the process of sourcing an estimate to incorporate the hosting of beneficial ownership data in its revamped VIRRGIN platform, VIRRGIN LEAP; and decided that recommended changes or the introduction of new hosting functions to the VIRRGIN Platform by government must be communicated via the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade.

6. Approved 10 non-belonger land holding licence applications.

Aug. 23

1. Approved the extension of the Constitutional Review Commission from July 8, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2023; decided that Lisa Penn-Lettsome’s contract as the CRC chairwoman be extended for the same period; and amended a previous decision regarding payment of stipends to commission members so that they can be paid 70 percent of their stipends now and 30 percent upon submission of the report based on the amounts that the chairwoman recommended.

2. Decided that the Hotel Aid Licence for Peter Island (2000) Limited be amended to include an additional list of items in accordance with the Hotel Aid Ordinance (CAP 290).

3. Noted the national priority areas of study submitted by the Human Resources Department and the Deputy Governor’s Office; and approved the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports’ national priority areas of study in keeping with the 2022 Virgin Islands Scholarship Programme Policy as follows: i. education professions (secondary school specific, guidance counselling, educational psychology, measurement and evaluation, curriculum, etcetera); ii. medical professions (medicine, nursing, medical technology, and any other related fields); iii. technical skills (plumbing, electrical, mechanics, etcetera); iv. law (inclusive of criminal justice (professional certificate programmes); v. hospitality; vi. architecture, engineering and related fields; vii. artistic and other creative skills, such as music; viii. information technology (software development, IT analysis, database architecture, etcetera); ix. agriculture and fisheries (bio-marine, agricultural economics, biochemistry, ecology, etcetera); and x. international relations, policy analysis, global affairs and related fields.

4. Noted and endorsed the BVI Scholarship Committee’s suggestions regarding the recommendation and non-recommendation of applicants for scholarships for fall 2023 to spring 2024; and approved the recommendations of the BVI Scholarship Committee to award government scholarships to 25 applicants to pursue studies in the coming academic year.

5. Approved one non-belonger land holding licence application.