The Virgin Islands government will undertake more medium-term planning and provide detailed information about its spending to the United Kingdom, but the territory’s budget will not have to be sent to London before it is passed locally, officials said.

Premier Dr. Orlando Smith, Governor Boyd McCleary and Henry Bellingham, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s minister for the overseas territories, signed the “Protocols for Effective Financial Management” at a ceremony Monday afternoon.

The protocols commit the VI government to passing an updated version of the Public Finances Management Act, 2004 by August 2012.

The protocols state that the new act will require the VI government to undertake more medium-term planning; regularly deliver reports about fiscal and economic matters in the House of Assembly; measure economic and fiscal performance with “timely and accurate statistical data;” follow “standardised procedures” when completing capital projects to obtain value for money; and practise “proactive and comprehensive” risk management.

Dr. Smith said the protocol “signals a departure from the old ways of partisanship towards a partnership that is based on mutual respect and the shared value of doing what is in the best interest of our people.”


See the April 26, 2012 edition for full coverage.