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Are there two Public Works Departments?

-Close to five of the department staff have been moved out to a new Special Projects Unit allegedly leaving the department short staffed
Within the last seven months, the Ministry of Communications and Works has set up a new Special Projects Unit outside of the Public Works Department (PWD). This unit does many of the same things the Department at Baughers Bay (left) is mandated to do. Minister for Communications and Works Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool (right) confirmed that a special projects team under the Ministry has been established. Photo: VINO/File
Shortly after the 2011 elections, Dr. Drexel Glasgow (right) was removed from the PWD- a story first and accurately reported by this news site- and given a new title announced by Communications and Works Minister Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool as the ‘technical person’ for planning, infrastructure and development in the areas of roads, water, sewerage and seaports. Mr Jeffrey Skelton was named Director of PWD. Photo: VINO/File
Shortly after the 2011 elections, Dr. Drexel Glasgow (right) was removed from the PWD- a story first and accurately reported by this news site- and given a new title announced by Communications and Works Minister Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool as the ‘technical person’ for planning, infrastructure and development in the areas of roads, water, sewerage and seaports. Mr Jeffrey Skelton was named Director of PWD. Photo: VINO/File
The new special infrastructural unit, which is housed in the old Department of Motor Vehicles/Traffic Department Offices in Road Town, is reported to be headed by former Acting Director of Public Works, Dr. Drexel Glasgow. Photo: Team of Reporters
The new special infrastructural unit, which is housed in the old Department of Motor Vehicles/Traffic Department Offices in Road Town, is reported to be headed by former Acting Director of Public Works, Dr. Drexel Glasgow. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Within the last seven months the Ministry of Communications and Works has set up a new Special Projects Unit outside of the Public Works Department (PWD). This unit does many of the same things the Department is mandated to do.

The new special infrastructural unit, which is housed in the old Department of Motor Vehicles/Traffic Department Offices in Road Town, is reported to be headed by former Acting Director of Public Works, Dr. Drexel Glasgow.

Shortly after the 2011 elections, Dr. Glasgow was removed from the PWD- a story first and accurately reported by this news site- and given a new title announced by Communications and Works Minister Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool as the ‘technical person’ for planning, infrastructure and development in the areas of roads, water, sewerage and seaports.

4 officers in new Unit; more to come

It is reported that some 4 officers from the PWD, including a Quality Surveyor, Project Manager, and Planning Officers are now seated at the new unit ‘down town’. It is also reported that two engineers, one from the PWD and one from the Water and Sewerage Department, are expected to join the unit, however, due to spacing and computer issues they have not reported to the new location.

With the removal of the officers from their assigned departments, it remains unclear who they report to and who will be responsible for their performance evaluations and appraisal at the end of each year. The officers received letters advising them that they will be called upon to assist both PWD and the Ministry of Communications and Works.

Hon. Vanterpool- “They can sit anywhere, even in space, once they do the work!”

At a news conference held on July 23, 2013 at Maria’s by the Sea and responding to questions pertaining to a number of staff within the Public Works Department being moved to a new project unit outside the department, the Minister for Communications and Works confirmed that they have established a special projects team under the Ministry. This special projects team has been placed under the watchful eyes of Dr. Drexel Glasgow.

“We consider what we call the Public Works Department is going to do more maintenance of roads and the buildings of government and other projects. We have established as a part of the whole ministry what we call a special projects team for infrastructural development under Dr. Glasgow,” said the Hon. Minister.

He explained that under the current structure persons would be moving among various locations to work based on the given assignment for a day or any given period. “They can work in space I don’t care, once they do the work. So it doesn’t matter where they be, some might be down at the Ministry, once they carry out the works. Those things don’t bother me.”

He said the special projects team is working on some major projects including CDB and some major roads. “The important thing to understand is that you are working for the ministry whether it’s the Public Works or not. I have asked them to be flexible,” said the Hon. Minister.

A source within the National Democratic Party (NDP) claimed there is more in the mortar than the pestle, as maybe “the public needs to understand the relationship between Jeffrey and his Minister,” and “you could not confirm Drexel as the Director of PWD, but you are now using him to do much of the same things,” the source alleged.

The source also asked this news site to “talk to the persons in this new Special Projects Unit about morale, working conditions and the real reason behind their move.”

As of post time we were unable to speak to any of the officers in the new Special Projects Unit or the Acting Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mr Gary Penn.

It is also unknown how the move of so many staff from one department has affected the day to day operations of the PWD.

35 Responses to “Are there two Public Works Departments?”

  • A. Fahie (31/07/2013, 10:13) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
    WOW
    • do the math (31/07/2013, 13:02) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Something does not add up
    • wupwup (31/07/2013, 21:59) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Wow is right, I do not know why the minister think that he will get anything done right out of the good Doctor and he handpicked friends, when he could'nt get nothing done when he was running the department, aryou see and infrastructe development start yet. Heh Heh the minister will learn about that group. That is the yes Doc group.
  • ooooo (31/07/2013, 10:22) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply

    maybe M cant get jeffery to do he dutty wuk so he branch off a set of guyz to carry out his orders

  • . (31/07/2013, 10:25) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    With that waste ah time drex them aint going get a thing do.
  • GoonSquad (31/07/2013, 10:31) Like (15) Dislike (5) Reply
    We need an investigation on the gorgie hill road…hope Jeffrey speaks to the police and the Audit general
    • Village Girl (31/07/2013, 23:19) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      I smell a rat!! Corrupt Rat??? Now you NDP paid bolgers really do not know what corruption means, do you?
  • Truth (31/07/2013, 10:45) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply

    PWD is very corrupt which is why they made this move. Act like ya'll don't know, this is why they're complaining. Works are under Communication and Works. Who cares where they have their office as long as they do the damn work and do it properly. They are still working with MC&W on infrastructure so I don't see the issue. PWD short-staffed? WTF???? These people sick. I see a set of them milling around doing f@$k-all for the entire day.

  • ABC (31/07/2013, 12:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes there are two PWDs. One does the shady work and the other is just there and cannot carry out a single project unless the Minister is present for a photo shoot.
  • parent (31/07/2013, 13:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The election of the ndp has even affected the civil servant
  • Chill (31/07/2013, 13:10) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    The PWD has been impotent for decades. They sits sit around for most of the day doing nothing. The department is over staffed. Water and Sewerage and BVI Electricity is no different.
    • nuf said (05/08/2013, 02:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      no it is not over staffed, it is hungry for a competent leader for at least the last decade.
  • facts (31/07/2013, 14:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well are there two PWD? Based on the article it seems clear to me. There's one PWD which will now be focused mainly on road works and then there's a Project Unit, staffed with people that are with PWD which will be tasked with undertaking, managing, planning, overseeing major projects. I don't get what the question is about.
    • ayu hear??? (05/08/2013, 02:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

      The point is, that the NOTHING they doing down there is the same nothing they could have been doing at PWD. DRE... just want things his way and suckin up to Mark is the only way to get it.

  • insider (31/07/2013, 15:06) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    vino you only tell half of the story get the other half
  • dead man (31/07/2013, 15:16) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    their might be three PWD what about the one ran by gaskin, the DPS in MCW and the Minister??? MOUNTH OPEN STORY JUMP OUT
  • reality (31/07/2013, 15:18) Like (0) Dislike (16) Reply
    The Police Force has different departments, HSA has different departments, all major units have different departments with varying tasks. What's wrong with having a project unit that works alongside PWD? Office location doesn't mean a thing.
    • @ reality (31/07/2013, 22:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You completely missed the point.
    • Sadness (05/08/2013, 02:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @realilty, you need to get real. Ever heard that we are in a recession? Have you ever hear about wasteful government spending and abuse of power. Look up these phrases and you will get the point
  • ooooo (31/07/2013, 16:09) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    one to carry out clean work and the other to carry out dutty wuk
  • thief (31/07/2013, 17:31) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    they say that the minister left all the thieves up baughers bay and carry the elite squad down the road but when they need brains they call baughers bay ha.. ha.. ha... food for thought lmao
  • fast track (31/07/2013, 17:45) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dr. Smith you got two cats to bell mark and Myron do it fast before they sink you
  • Online Now (31/07/2013, 18:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    ...the great flood during the days of Noah will soon hit the BVI
  • the solusion (01/08/2013, 00:10) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dem set of workers need to go back to the dept and jeffrey need to go home
    • musseee (05/08/2013, 02:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

      @solusion. Totally agree!!!!!!! BUT LEAVE DREXEL down there. Don't bring him back. and don't appoint J... nidda, let him continue chauffering his family through town all day every day, he is another educated waste of government money.

  • bajan (01/08/2013, 07:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I would like render much needed assistance to the public works/ road repair crews or whatever agency is mandated to repair the roads. It was interesting to observe that maintenance teams were busy repairing pot-holes behind Lime, Rite-way Supermarket and Scatto's . What interests me is that while driving to Cane Garden Bay for the last few weeks I have noticed a crevice/ ditch in the road nearing Todmans' Estate, deep enough for an adult to lay in and remain hidden from view, while traffic cones have been erected to warn motorists of the impending danger. Drivers are forced to cross into the opposing lane in order to avoid the defect.
    In my view, the large, marked crevice needs urgent attention while the alley pot-holed do NOT>
    I wonder what coordination exists between the crews erecting the warning/traffic cones and those who make the repairs to the road.

    My suggestion is a person/persons whose function is to traverse the roads of the territory while taking note of the defects an prioritizing them for maintenance. this would include gabions, road markings, signage etc, even reporting on dangers such as the many electric poles which lean precariously over us as we traverse the roads of tortola- things which fall under the purvue of other departments but affect public safety. Just a few thoughts and suggestions
    • @bajan (05/08/2013, 03:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      and who gon pay you???? Are tax payers money going to be invested in a third PWD specially for you? Ayo hear wuk.
  • NPolitico (01/08/2013, 09:31) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    PWD is an already dysfunctional, poorly manage, micromanaged, underperforming.......etc department. And robbing it of much needed personnel is would just exacerbate a bar situation. What is needed is the MCW taking charge by restructuring the department, setting expectations, rewarding outstanding performance, coaching and counseling poor performance, and terminating non responsive employees. But most of all the MCW must give authority and hold people responsible and accountable for action taken and for actions that should have been but did not. The restructuring can start by proper staffing.

    Yes, PWD can have a remote division, special unit, a tiger team team if you will but for effectiveness, efficiency and economy it must remain under the purview of the PWO. The MCW can establish a separate Engineering Department that will provide engineering services to other departments. The services provided can be funded by allocations or paid when services are demanded. Further, it is typical to separate planners and maintainers yet the overall control is workable under the PWD. The current approach is like a scatter shot approach.
  • ??? (01/08/2013, 11:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is it ok to say that skelton was a bad move by the ndp???
  • ZZZ (01/08/2013, 18:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Stealing from the public purse must STOP !
  • cat and dogs (02/08/2013, 10:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    look how pwd gone to the dogs
  • one eye (03/08/2013, 20:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What kind of errant nonsense is this? a special project unit not at the department? At this stage of the BVI's continuing slide to economic ruin we can do better than this!!!!


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