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‘$3M payment request for piles before approval’ - Vincent V. O’Neal

Former BVI Ports Authority Managing Director detailed meetings at Moorings over Ports Development Project & a request for the passenger tax to be paid directly to a Mr. Cashman in violation of the law!
Former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority Vincent V. O’Neal (left) told the Public Accounts Committee that he was given an invoice for 3 Million for piles by the then Ports Consultant Claude Skelton-Cline saying that the Minister had asked for it to be paid. However, Mr. O’Neal indicated that he was uncomfortable paying it without the Ports Board’s approval. Photo: VINO/File
The former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority Vincent V. O’Neal told the Public Accounts Committee that he was invited by Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool and then Consultant of the Ports Claude Skelton-Cline to meetings at the Moorings (left) to discuss Ports Authority’s Business. He said no minutes were keep of those meetings. To this First District Representative Honourable Andrew A. Fahie asked whether the Moorings was now a branch of the BVIPA and its facilities. To this Mr. O’Neal responded to his knowledge ‘no!’. Photo: VINO/upscalelivingmag
The former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority Vincent V. O’Neal told the Public Accounts Committee that he was invited by Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool and then Consultant of the Ports Claude Skelton-Cline to meetings at the Moorings (left) to discuss Ports Authority’s Business. He said no minutes were keep of those meetings. To this First District Representative Honourable Andrew A. Fahie asked whether the Moorings was now a branch of the BVIPA and its facilities. To this Mr. O’Neal responded to his knowledge ‘no!’. Photo: VINO/upscalelivingmag
Former Acting Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority Board Gregory W. Adams (right) was uncomfortable with the request to pay $3 Million Dollars for piles. He insisted that the Board approve it before it was paid. The former Consultant to the BVI Ports Authority Claude Skelton-Cline told the former Managing Director that 'the Minister wanted it paid.' Photo: VINO/File
Former Acting Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority Board Gregory W. Adams (right) was uncomfortable with the request to pay $3 Million Dollars for piles. He insisted that the Board approve it before it was paid. The former Consultant to the BVI Ports Authority Claude Skelton-Cline told the former Managing Director that 'the Minister wanted it paid.' Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI: Testifying before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority Vincent V. O’Neal made some serious allegations over instructions given to him to pay out $3 Million of the Ports Authority funds for piles for a Cruise Ship Project that was not yet approved by the Authority's Board or the Government of the Virgin Islands.

The PAC is a Select Committee of the House of Assembly with three Members from the Opposition’s side and two from the Government’s side. The PAC is chaired by Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE.

Pay $3M for Piles - Vincent V. O’Neal

In his testimony before the PAC the former Managing Director (MD) Mr. O’Neal said that the then Ports Consultant Claude Skelton-Cline instructed him to pay out three million dollars for piles. Mr. O’Neal told the Committee in responding to a question from Honourable J. Alvin Christopher (R2) that Skelton-Cline’s words to him were “the Minister said to pay for the piles.”

The former MD said he was brought an invoice from Skelton-Cline indicating the specifics to be paid only for the piles.

When Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) asked O’Neal about the Minister meaning the current Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool conveying through Mr. Skelton-Cline to Mr. O’Neal that the Minister wanted the payment of the piles “expedited”, Hon. Fahie further asked the former MD to whom the payment was to have been expedited.

In response, the former MD indicated that he could not recall the name of the company but there was an invoice that was presented to him by then Consultant Skelton-Cline and that the invoice for the piles is a part of the record of the BVIPA and the PAC should subpoena it.

The former MD Mr. O’Neal stated that the invoice amount “was for 3 Million plus dollars.” When asked by Hon. Fahie if the former MD could have remembered the company’s name, Mr. O’Neal stated that “it was not the company that was concerned with the development at the time. It appeared [to me] that it was a manufacturer or broker or somebody who sold piles”.

Mr. O’Neal said however, if he saw the invoice he would be able to tell. The former MD further stated that is was not the Ports Authority Board giving him instructions about the purchasing of piles, but the request was “coming through the company that was negotiating with the Consultant, Mr. Claude Skelton-Cline.”

The Member for the First District asked Mr. Vincent V. O’Neal if he was sure about this, because it was on record, to which he answered in the affirmative. He stated he was sure. When Hon. Christopher asked whether Mr. O’Neal had ever met the persons that were involved with the company who was discussing with Skelton-Cline, he told the PAC that he met some of the people.

The Member of the Second District asked whether he could remember any of their names, to which the former MD stated that he could remember some of the names. He indicated that he was invited to a meeting at the Moorings when he met them.

When asked by Hon Christopher of the Second District how he knew how much piles were part of the invoice, Mr. O’Neal responded that all of the information was on the invoice. It was also revealed that the Board was asked to make a decision on the purchase of these piles in a resolution after everything that had transpired with the invoice.

Adams uncomfortable with 3 Million payment request

The then Acting Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority Board Gregory W. Adams told the MD that the invoice itself did not provide sufficient information to meet the policy required by the Ports Authority for any payments exceeding $40,000.

The former MD met with the Ag. Chairman of the Board Mr. Adams who indicated to him that he was not comfortable to pay the invoice for the piles in the manner being requested to him as Managing Director and that he needed to get more information.

The MD then contacted two local banks in which the Ports Authority has accounts and information was provided as to what was required to affect a wire transfer. Mr. O’Neal then conveyed the information to Mr. Skelton-Cline however he never got back to Mr. O’Neal with the information requested.

Both the MD and former Chairman raised red flags on the way the payment for the piles was being requested by the Minister and Consultant and they both insisted that the Ports Authority Board had to approve it.

According to the PAC report this prompted Mr. Wendell M. Gaskin Deputy Financial Secretary who sits on the BVI Ports Authority Board representing the Financial Secretary to move a motion to approve a resolution for the funds of over 3 million dollars to be paid for the piles.

Meetings at the Moorings? Does Ports Authority have an office there?

Mr. Vincent V. O’Neal the former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority in his testimony detailed many meetings at the Moorings where no minutes were taken. The First District Representative asked if the Moorings was now a branch of the BVI PA and its facilities. The former MD responded to his knowledge no.

When asked who invited him to meetings at the Moorings, the former MD told the House Select Committee that he was invited at times by the current Minister for Communications and Works Vanterpool and the then Consultant Claude Skelton-Cline. At one of the meetings Mr. O’Neal met specifically with a Mr. Cashman.

The member for the First District asked what the purpose of the meeting was and whether minutes of the meeting were kept.

To this the former Managing Director of the BVIPA responded that no minutes were kept and the meeting with Mr. Cashman was about him wanting to know how they could get the passenger tax paid directly to them.

Mr. O’Neal informed Mr. Cashman that this was in violation of the law as the Passenger tax was to be paid to the Ports Authority or to the Central Government.

36 Responses to “‘$3M payment request for piles before approval’ - Vincent V. O’Neal”

  • smelly (23/04/2014, 10:38) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    these two face stinking son of a b@#$heZ.
  • bay yute (23/04/2014, 10:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    More corruption
  • ooooo (23/04/2014, 10:54) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    is the m00r!n&$ the secret headquarters where we are traded?
    • wize up (23/04/2014, 17:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      a blad headed man owns the moorings SO all government meetings must be held there
  • High level corruption (23/04/2014, 10:56) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    High level corruption- this is what you get when rat guard cheese- I SMELL A RAT
  • Windy (23/04/2014, 10:58) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Here we go. Construction hasn't even started and they're already trying to embezzle funds.
  • Go on (23/04/2014, 11:13) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Mr Cashman"? Sound like Mr O'Neal has a bad memory, more like "Mr Bag Man".
  • pete (23/04/2014, 11:20) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is alarming and just the tip of the iceberg. Is this the same Mr. Adams who is now the director of Town and Country? Are town and country, PA and minister of the 4rth part of shuffled members to push this project through? The negotiator is now MD of the PA. It seems like one big fat shell game. Payments directly to Cashman? secret meetings? NO DOCUMENTATION IN MINUTES?? $3 mil? this is all so basic to a governing body. I hope they get to that invoice before the evidence mysteriously disappears... a moratorium should be placed on this project so that all these irregularities (to be polite) are ironed out or come to light. someone is looking at jail for white collar crime. But we know that will never happen.
  • Commission of Inquiry Needed (23/04/2014, 11:27) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    To: His Excellency, the Governor
    From: Public Accounts Committee
    Sir, I write as chairman of the PAC, after conducting investigation into this ports project. Having all the evidence of inconsistencies with the way govt conducts business. It is evident that there were irregularities with the way this project was handled.
    I'm asking that a commision of inquiry be conducted into the port project and that the findings of the inquiry be turned over to either the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force for review and for Criminal Investigation into the matter. No stones on this matter is to be left unturned.

    I await your response.
    PAC Chairman
    • lmao (23/04/2014, 11:52) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
      Where is the evidence? 2 pages presented in HOA with only 4 of the transcripts from interviewing 13 people. Where are the others? LMAO! Nobody falling for this BS.
  • Caramel (23/04/2014, 11:27) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    seems like Bribery to me. Interesting facts. Natures Little Secret
  • egg face (23/04/2014, 11:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow smh
    • Observer (23/04/2014, 12:29) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      Can anyone tell me if any money was paid and who it was paid too? I sure didn't see a statement where the money was paid out.I only see that the bank was waiting for information and that's all,who got the money, lets report that then we could talk about corruption........
  • jail (23/04/2014, 11:52) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    And still no one gone to jail
  • Solid as a rock (23/04/2014, 12:01) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thank you Mr. Vincent V. O'neal, expose them, free yourself my brother God bless you.
    • @Solid as a rock (23/04/2014, 13:00) Like (4) Dislike (16) Reply
      Exposing who? He just made imself look like an idiot..No money was ever paid out for those piles so what's the issue here? Nothing but sour grapes...
      • Observer (25/04/2014, 02:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        NO Money was paid out as people were brave enough to expose potential fraud, and the endless corruption that governs government.
  • Cash&carry Inc (23/04/2014, 12:20) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Three million dollars is just a little pocket change for the small guys at the bottom. I would like to meet Mr Cashman. What a fantastic name.
  • apple pie (23/04/2014, 12:28) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    This is thing to talk
  • TT & Deroit (23/04/2014, 13:00) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    its good there were a few good man to stand up to Claue and mark with dem 3 million crap
  • one eye roaster (23/04/2014, 13:11) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    1 million for he...one million for he and the other for the piles
  • My good doctor (23/04/2014, 13:24) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    Please do something dissolve government if you have to. Don't let this go to court. Mark and Claude can't deal with this thing. Nor can they do time over this mess. Pull the plug now please please. For your own reputation lord do something Dam&)$&& it.
  • we the people (23/04/2014, 13:29) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    thanks for this VINO as I was asking just yesterday that a PAC report made public and not one media house telling we what's in it...VINO you are the BEST
  • NDP must go (23/04/2014, 13:37) Like (21) Dislike (16) Reply
    NDP MUST GO! NDP MUST GO! NDP MUST GO! The new song and dance!
  • missing in action (23/04/2014, 14:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The only problem now is that the invoice and other important documents on the pier cruise dock will mysteriously go missing. The powers that be need to get in there now and seize those papers. Every passing day gives the criminals more time to cover their tracks.
  • wize up (23/04/2014, 17:20) Like (3) Dislike (12) Reply
    the virgin islands party is no better than the NDP,under the VIP we had the airport project and it is a fact that persons were sent to the jail.....call the leader of the VIP and ask him !!!!!
  • voter (23/04/2014, 19:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The big "C" stinks to high heaven here.
  • Real (23/04/2014, 22:41) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Since he cant remember it have a check stub of $3mil lying around some place that will be easy to find its that simple, then we gonna know who telling lies and who robbing from from us.
  • We Are Doom (24/04/2014, 00:15) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP must go!
  • wise up (24/04/2014, 08:02) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    why vincent talking NOW ????????
    • FYI (24/04/2014, 10:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The PAC, part of the HOA was interviewing him. He has no choice but to appear and answer!
      • wise up (24/04/2014, 18:49) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
        what; he was afraid to talk before or what??? or he thought that he will still be in charge of the port to get a CUT...its only a simple question
  • From Long!!!! (24/04/2014, 08:02) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    VIP SAME THING!!!!!! EVEN FROM UNDER CYRIL, LAVITY N RALPH!!!!!
  • cut (24/04/2014, 19:05) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The bunch of dem need jail


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