Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The people of the BVI have been promised that when good governance is not being practiced, the Office of the Governor will intervene in their interest.
This came from Mr. Augustus Jaspert, who was sworn-in as the Territory's new Governor, during a ceremony held at the Supreme Court today, August 22.
"I will be engaged, but I will not shy away from acting where the values of fairness, security and good governance are not at the highest standards," the new Governor assured.
The Governor, who arrived in the Territory on Monday with his wife and two sons, said that he will approach his task with humility, but is also conscious that he is here to serve Her Majesty, for the people of the Virgin Islands.
"I am conscious that my priority is to learn and listen. I intend to visit as many of the islands and connect with many people as possible to hear your prospective and views...My ears as Governor will always be opened...My goal here is to serve Her Majesty for the people of the Virgin Islands, to serve in your best interest," he said.
Governor Jaspert said that he is not here to direct, but to work in partnership for the continued advancement of the Territory.
"... That (brighter) future needs to be shaped by the desires of those who live here, and their aspirations...My goal is not to direct these but to engage with all parts of the community; to listen, to hear their hopes, aspirations , dreams and also the challenges and problems and to work together to find ways to tackle these," he related.
Governor Jaspert continued, "I see the role as Governor as one of service and partnership. A service dedicated to bettering the lives of all who live in these islands and to securing a prosperous future for the young and future generation."
He said that the partnership must also see him working with the elected government, public services, community and faith organization, businesses and most importantly the people who live in the Territory.
"The role of the United Kingdom is also a partnership, a modern partnership that helps and support the Virgin Islands, a partnership based on respect."
Meanwhile, Governor Jaspert noted that, he has worked in different areas of public service all his life and through it all, he has been driven by making a difference to improving people's lives.
He said that he has learnt that prosperity, united communities, and safe neighborhoods are like a three-legged stool, noting that they are all critical parts of a flourishing society.
"On the seat of the three-legged stool holding together all of the above is good governance, with transparent government, leadership and public services, in which people have confidence that we are always acting in their best interest," he noted.
The Governor assured, "I will serve with integrity , fairness and impartiality. I want to be approachable and part of the community and will listen to all views, and wants to support the institutions of these islands to own and tackle any challenges."
The Governor has already toured the areas affected by the recent Tropical Wave and noted that it is clear that there were extensive damage.
Meet The New Governor
Mr. Augusus (Gus) James Ulysses Jaspert takes office as Her Majesty’s thirteenth Governor to the Territory of the Virgin Islands.
He recently served in the United Kingdom’s Cabinet Office leading on matters relating to national security and intelligence. He also served in the office of Prime Minister Cameron in Downing Street as the Private Secretary on Home Affairs issues such as policing, justice, immigration, security and Northern Ireland.
The Governor family, Mrs. Millie Jaspert, and their sons Oscar and Tobias at the Swearing in and Welcome Ceremony.
Photo Credit: GIS
Mr. Jaspert’s previous career has been spent in varied roles in different aspects of public services, throughout all of which he has focussed on improving services to deliver better outcomes for citizens. After a brief attachment in Ghana, he started his career in local government in Surrey, a County Council in the south of England, with roles that included supporting vulnerable children and those who needed extra support through learning or physical disabilities. He also had short roles involving emergency planning and response.
Mr. Jaspert joined central government in the UK in 2007 as part of a team tackling social exclusion where he designed new approaches for how different services can best work together to improve services for families in need and support some of the poorest members of society.
He also worked on systems to improve the performance of key public services such as the police, prisons and the courts in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. Ensuring safety and security for people became an increasing theme for Mr Jaspert’s career. He served in the UK Home Office as a Deputy Director, leading local policing and improving the public’s confidence in the police and the Government’s strategies to reduce harm from the misuse of alcohol and illegal drugs from 2007-2009.
During this time, he also served as a Magistrate in a criminal court in South West London. Mr. Jaspert went to his local school in London prior to studying History and German at the University of Edinburgh, including some time in Vienna, Austria. Whilst working in local government, he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies at the University of Kingston.
He later became a Member of the Royal College of Defence Studies and completed a second Master’s degree in International Strategy and Security at Kings College, London in 2014. Mr. Jaspert is joined in the Virgin Islands by his wife Millie and his two sons, Oscar and Tobias.