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‘I have to ask Hon Walwyn about Festival payments’ – Premier Smith

- said he had no reports on the issue of late payments & needed to be briefed by his Culture Minister
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith said he needs to consult with Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn on whether outstanding balances for Festival 2015 performers were completely settled. Photo: VINO/File
Capleton - one of the international artists who performed during Festival 2015. Photo: VINO
Capleton - one of the international artists who performed during Festival 2015. Photo: VINO
A section of the audience during a performance by an international artist. Photo: VINO
A section of the audience during a performance by an international artist. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith said he needs to consult with Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn on whether outstanding balances for Festival 2015 performers were completely settled.

Premier Smith commented briefly on the matter during an event last Tuesday December 15, 2015 on the rooftop of the Cutlass Towers in Road Town, the Virgin Islands' capital city.

“I don’t know,” said Premier Smith when asked whether those outstanding payments were settled. “I’ll have to ask the Minister for Education and Culture. But I haven’t had any reports on that,” he told Virgin Islands News Online.

Many local artistes who performed at the 2015 Emancipation Festival, as well as persons who won prizes and those who performed other services, have long been complaining of not being paid for their work or given their prizes. Local artistes have noted that it is unfair that entertainers that came from abroad don’t have those issues.

An embarrassing situation

Speaking on his Speak Your Mind show on JTV Live some weeks ago, talk show host Richard Courtney de Castro commented on the issue after a viewer sent in a text message. De Castro called the situation embarrassing.

He suggested that the Virgin Islands Festival Committee gets its act together and ensure that the persons owed could get paid before Christmas. However, with one week to go and issues of payments for other contractors coming up over the past weeks, it is not clear whether this will happen.

“Ladies and gentlemen we have to be more accountable in the territory. We can’t take people for granted. You can’t just use people because they are local and pay other persons because of where they are [from],” de Castro had said on his show.

Mr de Castro then encouraged persons to have contracts drafted and signed before they entertain in future festivals. “Operate like a professional, treat them like another professional, and I guess we will get different results because we keep doing the same thing, going up there on the stage and performing every year and every year they holding the money until they feel like paying it. Jump up to the plate and make the change. Get a contract.”

16 Responses to “‘I have to ask Hon Walwyn about Festival payments’ – Premier Smith”

  • sister J (18/12/2015, 08:57) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do not forget some got paid to be quiet
  • spectrum band (18/12/2015, 09:10) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    "this government brokes brokes brokes"
  • NPolitico (18/12/2015, 09:26) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    A leader has ultimate responsibility and accountability for what goes on in an organization. And to do this effectively, he or she must have his/her finger on n the pulse. He or she is not expected to have at their finger tips every detail of what is happening in the organization. But there are some information he/she should be know. The answers should come as easy as breathing, especially when he/she knows or should know the question is coming. Frequently having to defer answers comes across as being uninformed and not in command. Is poor staff that is keeping the Premier out of the loop? Or is it the Premier's leadership style? Whatever the reason it is time for a change.

    OK. Now onto to paying local service providers for services rendered to the Emancipation celebrations. The celebration ended in early August and it is now December. It is time to pay up. How is it that international artists have been paid and local service providers are still sucking wind. Do not locals have obligations to meet? Treat local service providers with the same respect as international service providers. Xmas is next week so just pay the people. Enough already. Do not force local service providers to demand payment up front or even refrain from providing service. Does the Festival Committee lack the cash flow to pay up? Do we need an independent auditor to look at the operations?
    • blah (18/12/2015, 11:54) Like (3) Dislike (16) Reply
      When you all understand how Government works then you would stop talking nonsense. Each Minister, Permanent Secretary, Accounting Officer etc. have a responsibility to do their jobs. You really expect the Premier to know the answer to that off the top of his head? He says he will have to check with the Minister responsible, what's wrong with that?
      • NPolitico (18/12/2015, 12:29) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
        Excuses! True, I may not how government functions but I know that locals waiting for an eternity to get paid is a dated problem, not a 2015 problem. The problem has been going on for years; every year it is the same song with may be some different players. The Premier is aware of the problem and should have directed that the local p providers be paid in a timely manner. Each minister has an assigned portfolio but the Premier is ultimately responsible for what happens in government whether he is on island or overseas. What is so hard about paying for services received. Providers have met their contractual obligations. Now it is time for government to meet its contractual obligations.
        • blah (18/12/2015, 14:41) Like (0) Dislike (11) Reply
          You arm chair loud mouths, go contest elections and try running the country since it's so simple, go ahead. It's always easy to sit on the side and say this is how it should be. Google accountability.
  • Educator (18/12/2015, 09:29) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    While he's at that he can ask him about some teachers' increments too.
  • teacher john. (18/12/2015, 10:22) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dr smith tell myron also the money he used for the ungly wall to give out election gimick work should have gone to buy supplies for the education system
  • umpire (18/12/2015, 10:55) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    While he's at it, he can ask him about the last 2 years that softball umpires have not been paid
  • yellow (18/12/2015, 11:52) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    It’s one thing to ask is another to get a truthful answer…the answer will be Mr. Premier there is no money and you are the Minister of Finance
  • Ghost (18/12/2015, 13:54) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    All the money gone in the hairy bank
  • Yes (18/12/2015, 14:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I got the answer I have to wait for the SAP lol
  • Yes (18/12/2015, 18:32) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Doc had his good memory in london but memory loss problems as soon as he got back home.
  • son of the soil (18/12/2015, 18:34) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I bet all the outsiders already got paid?
  • ccc (18/12/2015, 19:23) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    ask him about the recrational trust too
  • jokers (19/12/2015, 08:06) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply

    M** GOT PAID FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WHO STAYED AT THE M***INGS AND EAT THERE THOUGH CONFLICT



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