The Hon Chief Minister has said repeatedly in the House of Assembly that he is opposed to the holding of such an inquiry. He must be speaking for the government when he says so. The Turks and Caicos government was similarly opposed. The Inquiry was still set up, in spite of their Premier's protests. It was done within days of the FAC recommendation being published. The TCI Commission of Inquiry is pursuing its investigation, despite legal challenges made by government supporters. What makes
The Report was published on 6 July 2008. You can download a copy of the entire thing here. Be patient, it is 3.17 MB in .pdf format. Or, you can just look at the two relevant extracts copied in red below for you.
The TCI recommendation is quite different from the one for
“We conclude that the UK Government must find a way to assure people that a formal process with safeguards is underway and therefore recommend that it announces a Commission of Inquiry, with full protection for witnesses”.
The recommendation for
“We recommend that the [British] Government should encourage the Anguillan government to establish an independent inquiry into allegations that Anguillan ministers accepted bribes from developers in the Territory”.
These are fundamentally different recommendations. In the case of TCI, the FAC recommended that the British Government should announce a Commission of Inquiry. The British Government did so almost immediately. In the case of
So, it is for the FCO to first react, if it chooses. The Mandarins in the FCO have to decide whether they see any advantage for themselves in recommending an Inquiry to the Anguilla Government.
They may reject the recommendation. They may decide that they should continue their history of benevolent abandonment of all principles and policies of good governance in
Even if the FCO should comply with the recommendation, that is not sufficient. The FCO may accept the FAC recommendation. They may “encourage” the Anguilla Government to hold an Inquiry. Then, it is up to the Anguilla Government to respond.
The Anguilla Government may decide to hold the Inquiry. Alternatively, they may decide to reject the “encouragement”. The Anguilla Government has a choice. The recommendation was not made in binding and obligatory words, as in the case of the TCI. It is open to the Anguilla Government not to take the encouragement. If they do not call for an Inquiry, they will not be flying in the face of anybody. They will be exercising a choice they were given.
If they decide to hold the Inquiry, that is not the end. They have to decide who they will appoint as the Commissioner. Unlike in the TCI, it will not be the British Government who will decide on who the Commissioner in
Meanwhile, the FAC has washed its hands of
It has been well said that, “There is many a slip twixt cup and lip”.