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Details of corruption, breaking of laws & 1 man show confirmed!-Final PAC Report

- Both Former Acting Permanent Secretary Arlene Smith-Thompson & Former Acting Chairman of the BVIPA Gregory W. Adams were shut out of decisions
Former Acting Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority Gregory W. Adams and former Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Arlene Smith-Thompson both testified before the House of Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee that they were shut out of all decisions on the change of scope of the BVI Cruise Ship Port Development Project. Mrs. Smith-Thompson told the Committee that her efforts to properly guide the Minister Hon Mark H. Vanterpool and the Ports Consultant Claude O. Skelton-Cline were “largely disregarded”. Photo: VINO/File
Both Former Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works and former Acting BVI Ports Chairman confirmed in details the almost exclusive involvement in the Ports Project of Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool (right) and the Ports Consultant Claude O. Skelton-Cline. The Minister according the report attended meetings of the Ports Board giving directives and information on the projects. The Board under the Act is to advise the Minister not the Minister advising the Board. Photo: VINO/File
Both Former Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works and former Acting BVI Ports Chairman confirmed in details the almost exclusive involvement in the Ports Project of Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool (right) and the Ports Consultant Claude O. Skelton-Cline. The Minister according the report attended meetings of the Ports Board giving directives and information on the projects. The Board under the Act is to advise the Minister not the Minister advising the Board. Photo: VINO/File
The powerful final compelling report by the Public Accounts Committee was authored by the Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE (left). In its conclusion it details a tale of corruption, lies and lack of transparency. Many have accused the Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon. Ingrid A. Moses of being biased in her handling of the matter in allowing the Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool to debate the report the same day it was laid in violations of House rules. Photo: VINO/File
The powerful final compelling report by the Public Accounts Committee was authored by the Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE (left). In its conclusion it details a tale of corruption, lies and lack of transparency. Many have accused the Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon. Ingrid A. Moses of being biased in her handling of the matter in allowing the Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool to debate the report the same day it was laid in violations of House rules. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The final report on the controversial Cruise Ship Port Development Project authored by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Assembly (HoA) has already hit the streets of the Virgin Islands.

A copy of the final report was obtained by this news site’s traditional sources within the ruling National Democratic Party.

The report is to be laid on the table of the HoA on Friday June 13, 2014 according to the Order Paper dispatched to the media houses yesterday. The final report, an over 100 page document of evidence, information and testimony backs up all the PAC’s claims in compelling details of corruption, usurpation of the role of the BVI Ports Authority, absence of transparency, withholding of information from the Committee, along with questionable payments of Ports funds.

Gregory W. Adams & Arlene Smith-Thompson shut out!!!

Many would remember before the 2011 general elections the then Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government of Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE, signed a $12 Million Cruise Ship expansion Heads of Terms with Disney.

However, after the election of November 2011 the subject of the Ports was removed from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Communications and Works with Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool as Minister.

In his testimony before the PAC on January 15, 2014, the former Chairman of the Board Mr. Gregory W. Adams confirmed that the VIP project with Disney was transparent and it had been negotiated by the Board which led to the BVI Ports Board signing the Head of Terms.

According to many who would have been in charge at the time and who testified before the Public Accounts Committee, under the VIP Project the BVI Ports Board was allowed full involvement and participation in the project and it was controlled by the Authority.

The former Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Mrs. Arlene Smith-Thompson advised the PAC on January 29, 2014 that if there was a conscious decision to change the scope of the project it was a verbal one by the Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool.

She said the Minister advised her that he was not speaking alone, but it was a collective decision. However Mrs. Thompson-Smith confirmed that she had not seen any Cabinet Paper or Cabinet Decision representing a collective decision of that body to change the scope of the project signed by the previous VIP Administration.

Furthermore, the former Chairman Mr. Adams told the PAC that he had not been presented with anything that said the original project with Disney had been revoked. He said, if any decision was made it would have come from the Ministry of Communications and Works and not the Board.

This is a blatant violation of the Ports Act and the Board’s responsibility. Examination by the PAC of the BVI Ports Authority Board minutes for the period November 2011 to January 2012 show no Board decision to change the scope of the project for a pier expansion and Welcome Centre to a large scale, long term development increasing the cost to $75Million.

The BVI Ports former Managing Director Vincent V. O’Neal also confirmed in his testimony before the HoA Select Committee that he was never consulted about the new project and his input on the proposed new plans was never sought.

Both O’Neal and Adams told the PAC that they learned about the new project from media reports. The House Committee on the Territory’s Public Accounts Chaired by Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE concluded that the new Ports Project was commandeered by the Minister for Communications and Works and the scope changed between November 2011 and January 2012 without consultation with the BVI Ports Authority’s Board and without a prior Cabinet Decision.

Conflicting information between Ag. PS and Claude O. Skelton-Cline

According to the report the former Ports Consultant Mr. Claude O. Skelton-Cline told the Committee that he believed the companies who bid on the project were solicited for the development through an electronic bid-by-invitation process issued by the Ministry of Communications and Works.

However, the Ministry's Ag. PS at the time Smith-Thompson told the Public Accounts Committee that was not the case as her Ministry “did not send out any solicitations for bids”. She advised that the Minister and former Consultant were the ones “actively involved in this process” and that her efforts to guide the Minister and former Consultant on the processes were “largely disregarded”.

Ports Board was ignored in violation of the laws

The PAC noted the frustration of the many Ports members testifying before the Committee. In giving evidence one member of the Board referred to the process as “disrespectful”, another stated that the Board’s functions were being “minimised’ and yet another referred to the Board as becoming a “fifth wheel”.

 

More to come!

33 Responses to “Details of corruption, breaking of laws & 1 man show confirmed!-Final PAC Report”

  • MW (11/06/2014, 10:58) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Bouy de ting start
  • reality (11/06/2014, 11:07) Like (52) Dislike (0) Reply
    All of this is pointless as they will be allowed to get away with it as they always have. There is no accountability in the British Virgin Islands. If you have the right surname and know the right people you can pretty much do whatever you want. Personal greed is far more attractive and profitable than doing something for the greater good which will benefit future generations of Virgin Islanders. It is about 'Me' not 'Us' and it is for this reason that the culture will ultimately fail.
  • investigate (11/06/2014, 11:12) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    Investigate this mess-
  • open wide (11/06/2014, 11:16) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Again i am left speechless
  • weed (11/06/2014, 11:27) Like (22) Dislike (15) Reply
    London please help come taaaaaaaake back the BVI
    • Just saying (11/06/2014, 12:47) Like (10) Dislike (14) Reply
      Be careful what you wish for. London taking full contol would mean we are second class in our own country. They will always serve their interest first before the natives. We been there and done that. That is part of the reason why our Caribbean brothers and sisters opted for independence.
  • Windy (11/06/2014, 11:35) Like (37) Dislike (16) Reply
    how can I ever vote and trust the NDP every again
  • lmao (11/06/2014, 11:36) Like (16) Dislike (41) Reply
    I cant wait til Friday when Mark embarrass them like he did last time with this old report. This is old news. When the audit on the SCBay marina comes out I hope its reported with such zeal lmao!
    • @ imao (11/06/2014, 12:05) Like (13) Dislike (9) Reply

      My..n go sit down and refund tax payers

    • Outspoken (11/06/2014, 21:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well I will hope at the same time that you also welcome the audit on global water and the national bank of the VI. By the way where is L B
  • cay (11/06/2014, 12:05) Like (21) Dislike (9) Reply
    There is enough in this report to return to the polls
  • Observer (11/06/2014, 12:27) Like (17) Dislike (21) Reply
    So you all trying to tell me for fourty years the vip did everything right and don't need to be audited this auditor general is one sided ,where is the audit on biwater..
    • Ha! (11/06/2014, 12:53) Like (37) Dislike (15) Reply
      Oh Yes! Biwater has been audited. Actually, A complete audit was done on the last VIP administration requested by the NDP. Nothing illegal found. NOTHING THERE!!!. Put that in your pipes and smoke dat. You NDP supporters are hypocrites and refuse to accept that your were fooled! You all get the government you deserve. I am patiently waiting for the UK to swoop-in one of these days. That would be sad but we are working right into their hands if we continue on this path!
  • in the news (11/06/2014, 12:34) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lawd send help as I cry for my bvi
  • ooooo (11/06/2014, 12:55) Like (23) Dislike (10) Reply
    ndp is a dark cloud hanging over the BVI
  • just asking....... (11/06/2014, 13:13) Like (18) Dislike (15) Reply
    Where is dr smith in all this?
  • ting teh talk (11/06/2014, 13:41) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    Every time you google a certain minister's name the word CORRUPTION comes up.
  • Observer (11/06/2014, 13:44) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Oh well! Bi water in someone's heart ,i wonder who...
  • Octavia (11/06/2014, 14:26) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is a sad sad day for the BVI we need to call a snap election as this thing is not going away anytime soon!
  • Well (11/06/2014, 14:31) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    American greed showed how corrupt the Skull * can be. They ran from the heat and came here and want to do the same. May God judge him for he is calling the Lord name but playing with the devil…
  • Hmmmm (11/06/2014, 15:00) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    cant wait for next year......
  • car key (11/06/2014, 15:20) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Some body got to bell the Vanterpool cat
  • Gregra (11/06/2014, 17:07) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Corruption is rife throughout these our Caribbean islands. What is so interesting about all of this is how the masses of the nation are led down partisan street. The people are so divided that they will not examined the facts what they have done is to point fingers at who has done worse as if because someone got away then those who are doing to should be left to their own devices. It is indeed a sad state of affair as it is pellucid that all we argue about is VIP, NDP, PPQ, SAS et cetera. It is unfortunate what some will do in the so call name of progress and one have to ask oneself aloud PROGRESS FOR WHO. SMB the hair done lose root already.
  • rr (11/06/2014, 17:54) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Girl arlene you clear your conence
  • MW (11/06/2014, 20:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So who had a gun to rto head?
  • teacher john (12/06/2014, 03:22) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    The ndp will be remembered for allowing the British to take over the country
  • @ teacher john (12/06/2014, 07:07) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    And some people got the balls to still surport them
  • Interested (15/06/2014, 20:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lack of integrity, dishonesty, selfishness, innate corruption have absolutely nothing to do with NDP, VIP or any other party that is being formed in these islands. The problem here is greed, plain and simple. Most of our politicians think that they are God and can do as they please. They are not accountable to anyone, and they have failed to comprehend that it is "We the People". Who have put them where they are. We the people are too complacent. Look at the rest of the world, they speak up ; they verbally protest. Like sheep we get annoyed but remain silent as we are led to be slaughtered. Learn from past history, once we are sold we cannot and will not be allowed to buy back what our parents and grand parents have worked so hard to save for us. We are allowing corrupt and self interest dictate what is going to ruin us and we will have only ourselves to blame for sleeping and being indifferent to our present situation.
    This corruption did not just start. It has been going on unchecked for many years. There is no accountability for the Crown or the Peoples money. No politician, no Minister should be able to have access to or to spend, or even to give away Government monies as freely as they appear to be able to. Unless they are stopped they will go unstoppable and acting as if they are Lords. Who will have the courage to stop this type of behavior and hold every politician that behaves badly accountable? Look at our US Virgin Islands neighbors, they are going to jail and paying the price for participating in corruption. The same should happen here if it is proven that these acts were committed. Let us stop the stupid NDP vs VIP nonsense and put the blame where ever it belongs.

    We did not have this corruption when we had the Legislative Council. Progress to a Ministerial
    Government seems to have ruined everything for the peoples of the BVI. What we have all failed to understand is that we will be held accountable one day, foe the Creator who created us and gives knowledge, does he not know. He gave us sight does He not see, He allows us to hear, does He not hear and know our thoughts before we act.


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