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Commission of Inquiry called for after port audit revelations

Commentator Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru has called for a Commission of Inquiry following revelations from an audit conducted on the cruise pier development project. Photo: VINO/File
Julio S. Henry said he would love to see locals with money being allowed to invest in the project but stressed that their involvement cannot be behind closed doors. Photo: VINO/File
Julio S. Henry said he would love to see locals with money being allowed to invest in the project but stressed that their involvement cannot be behind closed doors. Photo: VINO/File
Henry has repeatedly questioned the absence of main players from the negotiation process such as tour operators and others involved in the cruise tourism industry for decades. Photo: VINO/File
Henry has repeatedly questioned the absence of main players from the negotiation process such as tour operators and others involved in the cruise tourism industry for decades. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – A commission of inquiry (CoI) is being called for following revelations from an audit report which described the government’s now ended negotiations with Tortola Port Partners (TPP) in the cruise pier development project as being flawed and having conflict of interest.

The audit was reportedly conducted by the Audit Department and also assessed the period November 2011 to July 2012. Government’s negotiations with TPP ended in September 2013.

Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru made the call on the Open Mic radio programme aired last evening, October 30, 2013 on ZRod FM.

“Just from what we have seen so far, I think now we have enough to say, ‘Governor, the situation as it stands seems to lack some integrity,’ and we need to restore integrity to the process so we need a commission of inquiry and I’m calling for that,” Wheatley said.

He noted that with all the stops that have come with the project, his belief is that these were opportunities for ‘us to get this thing right’.

Commentators bemoaned the idea that TPP was originally set to have a 49-year lease as part of the agreement, according to the audit report. “Forty-nine years man, forty-nine years of lack of opportunity for youngsters,” said host Julio S. Henry.

Henry said he would love to see locals with money being allowed to invest in the project but stressed that their involvement cannot be behind closed doors.

“Here it is now, that we have a few who are now hoping to benefit and the massive is outside waiting for a job. When they can’t provide jobs we’re in trouble,” he stated,

The host also expressed some level of vindication for his strident claims made in the past about the process surrounding to the project, “For a year and a half, from the minute I heard about Tortola Port partners, I called it a bluff. I said there was something wrong with the process.”

Henry has repeatedly questioned the absence of main players from the negotiation process such as tour operators and others involved in the cruise tourism industry for decades.

He felt the economy was still at a standstill even though there were signs of improvement along the way, adding that it was important for everyone to understand that all are involved together, either directly or indirectly, whether there is agreement on this or not.

31 Responses to “Commission of Inquiry called for after port audit revelations ”

  • ooooo (31/10/2013, 08:53) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    all ah dem need locking up...from captain to cook
  • facts man (31/10/2013, 09:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    both rto and wbc are two dead they will do nothing!!!
  • lmao (31/10/2013, 09:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Governor had this report over a year now if he hasn't done anything yet, when will he do it? These people don't read they just get caught up in the hype. The audit was done up to July 2012.
  • GoonSquad (31/10/2013, 09:21) Like (3) Dislike (12) Reply
    Commission of Inquiry into what? Please all you go sit down let the government build the port which is really needed at this time. I wish you all had show all this negative energy in the Bupa and BiWater/NoWater deal.
  • prayers (31/10/2013, 09:22) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Prayers changes things i prayed for this deal to go dead so the taxi drivers can survive ,i prayed that Bobby could get the big boat here and its here i am praying for craft alive vendors because since they moved they haven't made a cent and Pow want to collect them poor people.Its crystal clear all this government wants to is kill poor people.Mark and his side kick Claude wants Disney,Mark and Claude wanted to cut a deal with a white man to bring in two ferries to kill the other companies,Mark kill Elton as soon as ndp win FCB give Mark a big loan
  • soildier (31/10/2013, 10:02) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    They only lock up poor people in the Bvi not currup people.
  • ABC (31/10/2013, 10:03) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    What I find to be disgusting is the fact that the Premier stated that Government had broken off all negotiations with TPP and was pursuing the proposed development independent of that company, when in truth and fact they are very much in bed with the same people who make up the body of the TPP. What has happened is the name TPP has been silenced but the actors remain in place. My people, these representatives of ours are experts at deception. It would not surprise me if the next scandel erupts at the Airport as that authority up there is in the same boat as the one in town. "do as I say, ask no questions." Locals, brace yourselves, the powers that be are not on your side.
  • rattie (31/10/2013, 10:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    some body need to go to jail boss
  • Big 6 (31/10/2013, 10:07) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    It wasn't the entire Investment club. I would love to visit PKF (BVi) limited and then go down stairs to Eureka and walk across the street to BOLOS and then finally sleep at treasure isle. It will be interesting to know also that if you wake up the next morning and visit the investment club office who's wife is in there.
    • WHA!! (31/10/2013, 11:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Big 6 that's TING TE TALK meh brother!! Loaded. ha! What a thing in my Bee-Wee-Eye!!
    • @Big 6 (31/10/2013, 12:02) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
      Allu sound stupid!! They are all BVIslanders..If some white men had own BVI Investment Club, you all would not be on here blogging all this nonsense. That is why the white men going to always have power over us, Fools we are and fall divided, they stick together..
      • Big 6 (31/10/2013, 13:02) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        I have no problem with BVI landers what I have a problem with is a set of people who think their head is bigger than anyone else's. The investment club name was used but only the Big 6 plus the consultant and the minister would have benefitted. Get to know the people you all put on these high plots inside of them is filled with pure greed.
        • @ Big 6 (31/10/2013, 21:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Hey 6 of one half dozen of the former why kill this goose and put the others on a pillar...
  • NDP/VIP (31/10/2013, 10:12) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    The administration in general needs to be un seated just last week we had a meeting with the premier and its evidents that he did not want to answer any questions he was just dodging shows that the premier ,Mark and Skelton cline they all under the same plot too undermine the BVI tax payers, SMITTY boy I really thought u had more pride but when u lies with flies you Bombo cloth get Bite Tooooooooooo
  • Real!! (31/10/2013, 12:30) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    I agree, let's get the Commission of Inquiry but hold up! Let's not nit pick, let's have a Commission from 2007-2013 in order:

    - Commission of Inquiry into the $100K spent on drag study
    - Commission of Inquiry into the $500K spent on Medical School Study
    - Commission of Inquiry into the over $800K spent on the program between Education Ministry and Claude
    - Commission of Inquiry into the Greenhouse development on Tortola and VG
    - Commission of Inquiry into the Sea Cows Bay marina/land fill
    - Commission of Inquiry into the Biwater dealings
    - Commission of Inquiry into the Cruise Pier
    - Commission of Inquiry into the Airport

    Let us put all the cards on the table. I bet most of you will hush if the Government came out and made such a statement. POLITICS is killing us. Wrong is wrong no matter who so if we calling for inquiry let's call for all that got us up to this point. Who man enough? ----crickets-----
    • @ Real!! (31/10/2013, 22:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    • Box Cutter (31/10/2013, 23:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You still with these campaign propaganda? We now have the facts: The NDP told us VIP emptied the Reserves, we now find out that they lied. The NDP told us the VIP left the country broke, we now find out that they lied after learning about the many over priced consultants, airport & port multimillion dollar projects, over priced one night dinner & speechwriter; 10yr old millions in payment to cronies for airport; over priced manse road, Craft Alive project, Georgie Hill, & many more projects by the NDP.

      The one most unforgivable act that has damaged this country financially is the NDP's Santo eternity corrupt hospital construction project which sucked & is sucking the Treasury dry but ayo want us to leave that alone & forget it while you try to blame others for the nonsense Ronnie & the NDP has done. Millions & millions & millions & more gone through the hospital door thanks to the can't do no wrong NDP.

      The NDP is the political party of choice & majority but it is obvious to most of us now that they got the office through lies and malicious behavior and now it is coming back to haunt them which I don't mind but we the people suffering also which is where I have a problem. THE NDP MUST GO NOW!
  • wise up (31/10/2013, 13:35) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    these virgin islands are filled with funny people; you give work to outsiders its a locals getting the work its a problem..WTF
  • News (31/10/2013, 14:15) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    About PKF (BVI) Limited

    PKF (BVI) Limited is a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, located approximately 60 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico. We are in the unique position in the local market place of providing direct access to a number of financial services through our alliance partners. These include corporate restructuring, insolvency, investments, mutual fund management, corporate and legal services.

    PKF (BVI) Limited is a member firm of PKF International Limited (“PKF International”), which is a network of legally independent member firms. PKF International is dedicated to consistent and high quality standards of financial reporting and auditing practices worldwide.
    About Our Team

    Meade Malone - the Managing Partner of PKF (BVI) Limited is a Certified Public Accountant with over sixteen years experience and is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner in the BVI. Meade held the positions of Deputy Financial Secretary and Acting Permanent Secretary Chief Ministers Office in the BVI Government before rejoining Coopers & Lybrand in 1994. Meade remained Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers BVI upon the merger of Coopers & Lybrand with Pricewaterhouse in 1998. In 2002 Meade purchased the firm and changed the name to Meade Malone & Co. Today this firm is PKF (BVI) Limited.

    Everton Knight is the Senior Manager of PKF (BVI) Limited. Everton was employed for over 12 years with Coopers and Lybrand/PricewaterhouseCoopers in Barbados moving the the BVI in 1995 with Coopers and Lybrand. His audit experience includes a wide variety of large assignments such as retail, wholesale, manufacturing, hotels, banks, international businesses, insurance, investment and finance companies and mutual funds.

    Horace Cuffie is the Manager of PKF (BVI) Limited. Horace joined the firm in 2002. Prior to joining the firm Horace was employed by Grant Thornton in the Bahamas, and Ernst & Young in Trinidad. Horace has experience in audit and business advisory spanning thirteen years. He has been a team leader in several major audit engagements throughout his career, including extensive experience in the financial services and banking sector.

    Shanon Lawrence is currently an Audit Staff memberand has been in public practice since 2001. He has gained experience in a wide range of audit and audit assurance services in Jamaica and The British Virgin Islands. His accounting and financial services experience includes a wide variety of industries such as Banking, Manufacturing, State Corporations, Statutory Authorities, Shipping, Insurance, Non-profit Organizations, Telecommunications, and Mutual Funds.
    About PKF International

    What is PKF International?

    PKF International Limited (PKFI) administers the PKF network of legally independent member firms. There are over 245 member firms and correspondents in 440 locations in around 125 countries providing accounting and business advisory services.

    PKF International member firms have $2.4 billion aggregate fee income (year end June 2010) and the network is a member of the Forum of Firms - an organisation dedicated to consistent and high quality standards of financial reporting and auditing practices worldwide.

    Why you should choose PKF

    PKF International Limited member firms around the world offer a wide range of business advice and accountancy services that meet the needs of individual clients in their local markets.

    When you use a member firm of the PKF network, you can be confident that the work will be carried out by dedicated professionals with international expertise. Not only do PKF member firms have service and sector specialists in their own marketplace but they can also deliver an international service through their relationships with other network members.

    Each team is led by a partner who will deal with you directly and be your regular point of contact.

    As a PKF client you are assured of:

    a firm that is firmly established and respected in its own country
    a partner-led service
    experts who understand your market
    partners who work hard to understand your specific business and its needs
    knowledge of the local business landscape
    rapid access to technical guidance and support from other member firms if required
    seamless continuity of service for your international business needs.

  • The Visitor (31/10/2013, 14:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    • All the Way (31/10/2013, 22:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      To those calling for Commission of Inquiry and Investigation, I MUST SAY ME AGREE 100%!!!!

  • ComeAgain (31/10/2013, 14:48) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    And your point is what? NDP was elected to do better, in my opionion they are white collar criminals. Did the NDP government find any conflict of interests with the Biwater contract? Answer that. Actually, the NDP did have an audit carried out on the VIP and they came up with NADA! Those old tired campaign rhetorics will not overshadow these shady dealings of the NDP. So wheel and come again!
  • Protest (31/10/2013, 16:05) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    lets march on this
  • uHuh (31/10/2013, 16:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    And you conveniently left out that the owner of PKF (BVI) Limited is also the president of the BVI Investment Club. You conveniently left out that the audit report showed that both PKF (BVI) Limited and the BVI Investment Club were intricately involved in the negotiations of the Pier Project. And may I ask if the minister of C & W and other ministers are members of the Investment Club? CONFLICT OF INTERESTS AND GREED!
  • visionary (01/11/2013, 12:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    we need to ask royal and carnival to please come back and build a dock in west end by the towers in that deep waters a clean transaction should take place no interference from people who do not no about development let them do it themselves they been doing it for years no hotels coming and chuckie hanson said sorry to the marine people so some of our major yacht companies wiil be moving back to st thomas because u can fly in and get on your boat and would not have any ferry hustle so soon it will only be cruise ships pour tortola every body is going leave us where theres no vision we will perish everyday stay tune for more up dates
  • Halloween Characters (01/11/2013, 14:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    When the Attorney General Office going to vigorously investigate, prosecute
    and lock up these corrupt politicians? Any where else, they will all be in jail.
    • wise up (03/11/2013, 13:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      this AG was selected by the current administration- in the event you did not know the current Government is a "brother-hood"
    • check dpp (04/11/2013, 15:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Halloween characters---it's the dpp who does prosecute for the crown, not the AG.Just a correction
  • Legal team read the law (04/11/2013, 08:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    On 7th June 2006 His Excellency the Governor,David Pearey signed into law on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, The Criminal Code (Amendment) Act,2006, no.8 of 2006.

    [Conflict of interest]

    Section 81D (1) of that said Act/Law defines and criminalised "Conflict of interest"

    Section 81D(1) states...


    (a) A public body in which a public official is a member,director,manager or other senior officer prosposes to deal with a company,partnership or other undertaking in which that public official or a relative or associate of him has a direct or indirect private interest,and

    (b) That public official or his relative or associate of him holds more than ten percent of the total equity participation in such company,partnership or other undertaking,
    That public official shall forthwith disclose,in writing,to that public body the nature of such interst.

    Subsection (3) states-

    "" A public official who knowingly contrvenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence and is liable-

    (a) On summary conviction,to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars,or both"".. And if tried on indictment,the penalties will increase..

    The legal team does not have a comment on this topic:I will read the law and blogg on the law...

    But I trust that a news website like VINO,will exercise its freedom of the press,pursuant to the provisions of section 23 of the V.I Constitution,which defines freedom of speech,and VINO being a democratic news site will publish my blogg of my research on the law relating to ""Conflict of interest""

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