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Fmr Ports Boss defends TPP price tag

-says $50M figure was never possible as a Gov project
Former Ports Authority boss, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, has come out swinging against the current NDP Government, specifically the Minister for Finance and Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), for allowing a “lie” to continue to be peddled in the public domain, surrounding a perceived $40M, cost overrun on the construction of the Tortola Pier Park. Photo: Facebook
The matter was raised by Honestly Speaking’s Guest, this week, Wednesday January 16, 2019—Independent Candidate, Mr Rajah A. Smith—in light of the recently publicly released, Audit Report into the project—which remains inconclusive, a result of missing documents. Photo: Facebook
The matter was raised by Honestly Speaking’s Guest, this week, Wednesday January 16, 2019—Independent Candidate, Mr Rajah A. Smith—in light of the recently publicly released, Audit Report into the project—which remains inconclusive, a result of missing documents. Photo: Facebook
Fmr Ports Boss defends TPP price tag; says $50M figure was never possible as a Gov project. Photo: VINO/File
Fmr Ports Boss defends TPP price tag; says $50M figure was never possible as a Gov project. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The Former Ports Authority boss has come out swinging against the current National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, specifically the Minister for Finance and Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), for allowing a “lie” to continue to be peddled in the public domain, surrounding a perceived $40M, cost overrun on the construction of the Tortola Pier Park (TPP).

The matter was raised by Honestly Speaking’s Guest, this week, Wednesday January 16, 2019—Independent Candidate, Mr Rajah A. Smith—in light of the recently publicly released, Audit Report into the project—which remains inconclusive, a result of missing documents.

Failing/Duping People

Smith was at the time blasting the NDP government for not only failing the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) but also for duping them at each election cycle.

Drawing reference to words ‘transparency and accountability,’ as being bandied about by politicians at each election cycle, Mr Smith spoke to the perceived cost overrun on the TPP Project and the fact that contracts are handed out just prior to elections and that there needs to be a cut off point for such practices.

Skelton-Cline defends

Honestly Speaking’s Host and former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, at this point immediately sought to set the record straight and said that it was the Administration which peddled a $50M construction cost and not the Authority.

He told smith and radio listeners, that the BVI Ports Authority had in fact submitted a budget to the government for $79M and had never bandied about a $50M price tag.

According to Skelton-Cline, when the BVI Ports Authority had been commissioned to do the project—at which point he was at the helm of the entity—a private consultancy company, BCQS was brought in to do an evaluation of project and they had supplied a budget of $79M.

This, he said, is the only budget ever turned over from the Ports Authority to the Government and Finance Ministry.

Mr Skelton-Cline was adamant that it was the private sector that initially touted a $50M price tag for the TPP and that government simple ran with this figure, since this was what was already provided to the United Kingdom (UK) Government in its mid-term report.

The radio host and former ports authority boss reminded that when the project was initially conceptualized, it was supposed to have been pursued under a Public/ Private Partnership model.

Mr Skelton-Cline, pointed out that in such a case, the private component of the project would include that partner brining in their own equipment such as cranes and personnel such as Engineers.

He was adamant the project being undertaken by the government alone, could in no way cost $50M.

In fact, Mr Skelton-Cline claimed that the matter was raised with the Minister of Finance and Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), who simply brushed it aside—a situation he had deemed problematic ever since then.

11 Responses to “Fmr Ports Boss defends TPP price tag ”

  • Outlaw (17/01/2019, 16:38) Like (34) Dislike (12) Reply
    Whether is cost $50 million or $79 million, I still cannot see anything down there that can assure me that the people of the BEE WEE EYE got value for money. Simply put, “I am not convince”.
    • wize up (17/01/2019, 17:56) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
      @ outlaw: I have seen projects and real estate in my travel that cost far less than the numbers in question(I talking about massive structures for far less).....just a reflection: that Beef Island Bridge cost almost 10 million dollars, on a good day you can jump from one end of that beef Island bridge to the other: 80 million(for what???!!!!)
  • one eye (17/01/2019, 18:01) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Little to late
  • me (17/01/2019, 18:35) Like (7) Dislike (17) Reply
    It's obviously u had to be down there and more than one occasion so just shut your mouth it was good investment it's awesome
    • Jacperlance (17/01/2019, 20:15) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
      @wow, no body will deny that it’s not good investment but the cost is outrageous. People like you they can rub shit in your mouth and tell you it’s honey and you will say yes, it’s honey indeed.
      • Satisfied (18/01/2019, 06:40) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
        @jacperlance. people like you they can rub honey in your mouth and tell you it’s shit and you will say yes it’s honey indeed. This is a beautiful project and worth every penny. My only regret is that this stupid government allowed the image of this important investment to be tarnished by not telling the truth. Since the completion of this project the VI received more than a million tourist for the first time in its history.
        • Jacperlance (18/01/2019, 08:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
          @satisfied. Well I will prefer they rub honey in my mouth. I like honey indeed but no one can rub shit in my mouth.
  • Political Observer (PO) (18/01/2019, 06:15) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    No doubt, the TPP project was a capital project investment. Nonethless, it is the actual cost, the procurement process, the documentation ( missing files)........etc that are raising eye brows. The project could have been sold on its own merit but somewhere along the way things went awry and off the rail. Was the project deliberately low balled at $50M to get buy in from key stakeholders? Was the change order process used to make up the delta between the actual market cost and the deliberate low balled initial estimate? Should not a funding source be identified, authorized and appropriated before a contract, any contract is awarded? Does a 78% change order rate seemed outrageous and inconsistent with good capital project management? Yes. Do most major capital projects entail change orders in the range of 10-20%? What are the key reasonable issues that drives change orders, ie, latent and unforeseen conditions, owner’s addition/deduction, minor architect/engineer errors and omissions, material/equipment changes/substitutions......etc? Did major project files developed wings and fly away? Did aliens (flying saucers) snag the files? Is 1+1 not adding to 2? Did even the hired consultants (KPMG) could not even apply enough perfume to hide the stench? Are more sunshine, transparency, and accountability needed on this project? Is a commission of inquiry needed on this project? Does the BVI need strong capital project management process? Yes.
  • wize up (18/01/2019, 06:34) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    some of we need to stop taking somethings so personal: any person residing and contributing taxes to our economy is entitled to an opinion: the pier park is a good project: the planes was a good idea however people have quarries in relation to the execution of the projects: accountability and value for the exchange of your tax dollars is a concern
  • Fedup!! (18/01/2019, 11:33) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Point Blank, We the people of this country have been taken advantage from the VIP & NDP. Remember the Beef Island Air Port Project, The Bridge, The High Way, The Hospital, The Pier Park, Even the cruise ship dock when it was first constructed went over budget. Claud you know better because you are a pastor. For the VIP or any party to align themselves with this nonsense speaks volumes. We are Fed up of the NDP & VIP taking us for a ride. We need better options.
    • wize up (18/01/2019, 19:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ fedup: be careful, some of we do not like the truth but you are right: you forgot when government contracts were handed out the day before the 2007 elections(house of assembly was already desolved).....


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