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'I can confirm I have the wall report’- CoP Michael B. Mathews

- Says he would not comment further, “as to the next steps”
Steve Augustine from SA Architect along with Police Commissioner Michael B. Mathews and Education and Culture Minister, Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL). Photo: VINO/File
Hon Walwyn in embarrassing the outgoing Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), tried to get a head start on the ‘spin’ by leaking the wall report to the press, however, it backfired and Governor Jaspert demanded an apology since he, Hon Walwyn, had violated proper protocols and laws. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Walwyn in embarrassing the outgoing Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), tried to get a head start on the ‘spin’ by leaking the wall report to the press, however, it backfired and Governor Jaspert demanded an apology since he, Hon Walwyn, had violated proper protocols and laws. Photo: VINO/File
In her report, the AG noted that there was “no value for money, workers being paid for which was not done,” and blatant violations of the law, in particular the “Public Finance Management Regulations.” Photo: VINO/File
In her report, the AG noted that there was “no value for money, workers being paid for which was not done,” and blatant violations of the law, in particular the “Public Finance Management Regulations.” Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Speaking exclusively to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), this afternoon, Friday, December 14, 2018, Police Commissioner Michael B. Mathews confirmed that in his possession is the Auditor General’s (AG) Report—received from Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert aka ‘Gus’—on the small wall constructed by Education and Culture Minister, Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL) around the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS).

When pressed this evening, Police Chief Mathews says he would not comment further, “as to the next steps,” however, Hon Walwyn’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Marcia Potter, who has already distanced herself from the wall project—saying “it was the minister’s pet project”—was not implicated in AG Ms Sonia M. Webster’s report.  

Hon Walwyn broke the law

Hon Walwyn, in embarrassing the outgoing Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), tried to get a head start on the ‘spin’ by leaking the wall report to the press, however, it backfired and Governor Jaspert demanded an apology since he, Hon Walwyn, had violated proper protocols and laws.

The Premier never disciplined his co-leader, which led to internal conflicts within the National Democratic Party (NDP), to which former NDP 1 Member, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) described recently as “double standards.” 

In her report, the AG noted that there was “no value for money, workers being paid for work which was not done,” and blatant violations of the law, in particular the “Public Finance Management Regulations.”

The report also noted that, “Altariations to the design was adopted after the commencement of the project.” 

One such variation was the rear entrance facing FedEx along the West Exit/Gate Lower Estate Superette perimeter to accommodate a drop-off area for school buses.

That work was done by one contractor via a petty contact for some $53,883.50,” according to the report.

A tale of corruption

The AG also noted in her special report that, “throughout the project, inconsistencies were noted with the length and height of the walls."

"Some wall segments were between 8-9 feet long... Most noticeable, is the irregular height of the walls especially the low walls to hold the rails.”

In another bombshell conclusion, Ms Webster stated, “inconsistencies were also noted in the rendering of the wall, in some areas, the block wall was visible through the unpainted plaster.” 

She noted that the wall did not withstand the flooding and Hurricanes of 2017.

Who else played a role?

Steve Augustine from SA Architect was handpicked and hired by Hon Walwyn for the project.

The Minister ignored all the expertise available in the Ministry of Finance’s Project Management Unit with Mr Augustine—according to the reports—providing architectural drawings, bill of quantities and project management services.

SA Architect was also responsible for overseeing the works, reporting on progress and signing payment request to certify that the contractors had completed work and were entitled to get paid.

This, according to Ms Webster, created its own conflict, as there were, “no segregation of duties [nor] secondary checks.” 

It allowed for, "incongruences in the bill of quantities to go uncorrected" and "contractors to be paid for unfished work," resulting in a project that was incomplete and overpriced.

20 Responses to “'I can confirm I have the wall report’- CoP Michael B. Mathews”

  • Socrates (14/12/2018, 18:42) Like (53) Dislike (1) Reply
    Is this a routine audit by the Audit General? Does every audit conducted by Audit General flow through the RVIPF? Is the fact that this report is with the RVIPF indicates that there were serious violations of the procurement process? Why did the ministry feel the need to ignore the in place procurement rules? Do ministries they are their own government and answer only to themselves? What is the Premier’s role in this fiasco? Should all the tens of players on this project be worried?
    • come now (16/12/2018, 07:14) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
      Socrates....for real? Anyone who spends much time in these islands and who reads the press could easily conclude that these are accountability free islands. The government for years has pretty much done whatever it wants, mostly to the benefit of those in leadership positions and or those with the right connections, with impunity. The real question IMHO, is what happens to the captain of the ship.
  • Fungus (14/12/2018, 18:54) Like (45) Dislike (1) Reply

    Let them girls take that. Corruption at its highest. Quiet but deadly.

  • facts (14/12/2018, 18:59) Like (31) Dislike (3) Reply
    Lock up time yall
  • Halleluah (14/12/2018, 19:01) Like (32) Dislike (1) Reply
    I hope it don't get throw under the rug.
    • Outlaw (14/12/2018, 19:56) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
      @halleluah, trust me it won’t. The Governor handed it over to the police, rest assured it will be investigated to the fullest.
  • This the type (14/12/2018, 19:05) Like (9) Dislike (7) Reply
    of scenarios that get the bvi horney, tea piping hot eh .... just watch em
  • wize up (14/12/2018, 19:53) Like (17) Dislike (4) Reply
    There are 3 photos on display(kindly pick the one of the three who might end up doing any jail time): I have personally made my select....
  • me (14/12/2018, 20:02) Like (23) Dislike (8) Reply
    Wall-win is going to be the next premier jail bird.
  • Yh you (14/12/2018, 20:24) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    It’s a whole lotta corruption and schemes going on , streets and government a Like MS
  • "Small wall" (14/12/2018, 20:44) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply
    Is there a bigger wall anywhere in the BVI ? Why is the wall around the E S High School being referred to as "small"?
  • legal team (14/12/2018, 21:56) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    Send me the facts,I will apply the law..
  • wize up (15/12/2018, 03:51) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    when will the police be given the files for the pier park and the aeroplanes projects: it is unreasonable to conduct criminal investigations against just one project: what about the 8 million allocated to the sewage project in the east(those funds were confirmed in the house of assembly however that 8 million went else where)....after each 4 years we must have an audit so the people of this territory will have a clear understanding that all is well with their tax donations)...by the way(whatever happened to those police officers..you know the ones in question; what is the position associated with that investigation....crime and punishment goes hand-in-hand
    • ReX FeRal (16/12/2018, 05:20) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Dont forget the basketball court in VG. Hmm
    • oops (16/12/2018, 16:47) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Could not say it any better. Is this no peculiar? Is this a vendetta well supported by the QR because the MOE "violated proper protocols"? Wait who is inwestigating the CC for the failure before and after Irmaria? Is Gibraltar an island and is the BV part of a chain of islands in the Caribbean?
  • ... (15/12/2018, 07:16) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    Poor myrun I told you so
  • DON Q (15/12/2018, 07:29) Like (9) Dislike (18) Reply
    He going still get in
  • Freemans? (15/12/2018, 10:59) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    They deserve this shame. That boy mix up with some devil gyals.
  • no not one (17/12/2018, 00:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    None of these NDP persons should be re-elected. No not one.


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