New rules that govern how lawmakers can spend the public’s money received initial approval in the House of Assembly Monday, a step that brings the Virgin Islands closer to compliance with the terms of an agreement signed in April with the United Kingdom.

During the bill’s first reading, legislators voted unanimously to introduce the Public Finance Management [Amendment] Act, 2012.

The bill’s passage is required under the terms of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management, which was agreed in April by the VI and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The amendment would require officials to engage in medium-term financial planning; to improve government’s financial statistics; to increase transparency on economic matters; and to seek value for money and manage risk when spending public funds, according to the protocols.

Premier Dr. Orlando Smith said the HOA will meet next on Sept. 13, when the bill may be debated and passed by lawmakers.


See the Sept. 6, 2012 edition for full coverage.