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'It's a slippery slope'- Hon Penn on HoA exemptions for Hon Malone

- raises concerns over gov't contract renewals to Hon Carvin Malone
Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has called 'a slippery slope' the renewal of state contracts to companies connected to Minister of Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) while calling for more transparency in the House as it relates to members of the Executive receiving government contracts. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Carvin Malone as HoA Member is a Director in the company known as Island Block Corporation, Ltd,and Caribbean Basin Enterprises (BVI) desirous of providing paid services to the Government. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Carvin Malone as HoA Member is a Director in the company known as Island Block Corporation, Ltd,and Caribbean Basin Enterprises (BVI) desirous of providing paid services to the Government. Photo: VINO/File
One of the contracts is at the Ministry of Health and Social Development for operations of sewerage treatment plant at the H. M. Prison; commenced 2009. Photo: VINO/File
One of the contracts is at the Ministry of Health and Social Development for operations of sewerage treatment plant at the H. M. Prison; commenced 2009. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has called “a slippery slope” the renewal of state contracts to companies connected to Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) while calling for more transparency in the House of Assembly (HoA) as it relates to members of the Executive receiving government contracts.

Even though his National Democratic Party (NDP) has been accused of lacking transparency and accountability over its 8-year administration, Hon Penn made the calls at the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA, on September 2, 2019, during the process of Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) moving a motion for Hon Malone to be exempted.

Care & Caution

In his warning, Hon Penn said, “We have to be very careful when we are members of the executive where decisions are being made on matters of this nature, in terms of involvement. Just simply stepping out of the room doesn’t remove you from executive responsibilities and your involvement in the Process.”

According to the HoA Order Paper, Honourable Malone as HoA Member is a Director in the company known as “Island Block Corporation, Ltd,” desirous of providing paid services for the rental of its properties to the Government.

The company will continue renting to the Ministry of Transportation and Works and well as the Deputy Governor’s Office, storage space for three departments.

Further, the Minister as a Director of Caribbean Basin Enterprises (BVI) will continue to provide services to the Government including his Ministry, the Ministry of Health and Social Development for operations of a sewerage treatment plant at the H. M. Prison; commenced 2009.

As per the rules of the HoA, through the Motion, Hon Malone must disclose to the house his interest in the company else risk vacating his elected seat.

'Slippery Slope' - Hon Penn 

According to the Opposition Leader, he said in principle, what is being laid out is concerning since it seems as though Mr Malone’s contracts were automatically renewed.  

“We don’t know whether the contracts are over $100,000, meaning that if they over 100,000 they might need to go out to tender. If they are under $100,000 the decision has to be made by the Ministry responsible.”

Hon Penn disclosed that in the case of the contract at the Ministry of Health and Social Development, it would be the responsibility of the Ministry to make a decision on that contract awarded even though the subject Minister is the leader of the said ministry. 

“This is not about; as is being portraited or being spun or being weived, as an attack on anyone or trying to [damage] anyone’s character, its an issue of the institution,” he said.

Hon Penn noted that legislators should avoid putting themselves in situations where, “it is being perceived that we are doing things that are not above board,” while at the same time providing transparency and fair opportunities to members of the community.

"It is a slippery slope I believe," the Opposition Leader said while noting that even though the contracts were going on for several years, it doesn't suggest that there is a right to continual renewal. 

NDP Gov't was not transparent

It should be noted that when the NDP was in Government with Hon Penn as a sitting member of the House, one of its legislators, Myron V. Walwyn, through two of his companies, had been providing services to Government without permission from the House of Assembly.

This only came to light after some Members of the Opposition challenged the breach of the Constitution; however, Mr Walwyn was never made to vacate his seat.

The two companies in question were MVW International Ltd., and The Pub (2012) Ltd, which was found to be beneficially owned by Mr Walwyn.

26 Responses to “'It's a slippery slope'- Hon Penn on HoA exemptions for Hon Malone”

  • thank you (11/09/2019, 07:09) Like (9) Dislike (18) Reply
    Marlon keep the pressure on... These greedy people will find all kind of creative ways to enrich themselves... Give them All that Money they fighting RDA for. Hmmm.. All of them will become millionaires...
    .
    • Wow (11/09/2019, 07:49) Like (15) Dislike (4) Reply
      Sound like one of them stupid NDP's. If I read correctly, the contract was renewed which means it was first signed under the same NDP. I'm really trying to understand your reasoning with 'greed'.
      • sense (11/09/2019, 11:53) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        Good job ndp gave VIP men contracts, now is time VIP give ndp men contract. How that sound. Think before you talk my friend!
      • 'concerned (12/09/2019, 10:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        At least the Hon. Minister is being transparent , unlike some of those same NDP, including those who did not get back, who did business with government without going through the proper procedure. The leader of the opposition should be ashamed !!!!! The same MVW directed all the business connected with education and food catering for the same and HOA to his businesses, why it was not an issue then,,,maybe because they did not bring it to the HOA like the Hon. Minister has done...
    • @ thank you (11/09/2019, 09:00) Like (13) Dislike (6) Reply
      The people have spoken we wish not to see or hear from the wicked ndp, or their bloggers Vip hands are clean
  • No wonder... (11/09/2019, 07:13) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    They will not get control over RDA and all that money they aggressively after. Scotland yard has all the intelligence...England won't bend. In the end, the country will remain at a stand still.
    • @ no wonder... (11/09/2019, 10:48) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply
      Because of the thieving by the m and m boys that is why we have the RDA now go talk that
  • Lb (11/09/2019, 07:24) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    This has nothing to do with any darned political party! Stop bringing up NDP or Myron. None of them in power. Deal with the issue at hand. Hon Penn is absolutely correct in his stance here. We are telling government workers and statutory agencies that they shouldn't do personal business with the places they work even if they declare their interests, but the Ministers get to?
    • Excuse Me (11/09/2019, 08:01) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
      @lb this issue is being framed so it does have alot do to with Myron. Them NDP did illegal business with the gov't while sitting in the government, where was Penn's voice? This is a case where the Constituton makes provisions for politicans... So even when you do things the right way you are still wrong. That's the issue at hand.
      • my people (11/09/2019, 10:54) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
        If l could remember didn't Hor Marlon Penn also exemption to do work for the NDP gorverment?
      • Lb (11/09/2019, 22:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Petty BS answer! Save the crap. We can't improve our systems if we continue this cycle of "well the other party did it so". Deal with and punish, or correct the nonsense head on and now!
  • clap clap (11/09/2019, 07:35) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is the kind of balance we want to see from VINO. It's interesting how these NDP trushies now speaking when they were silent for so many years when Dr. Smith was destroying this country. This is a really great discussion, one one hand this contract was signed under his very NDP government but renewed under the VIP, I don't see what is the issue. It's still an interesting discussion.
  • Irma (11/09/2019, 07:38) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    If you did business with the government before you run for politics how do you address that? This is the real deal here. One should not have to give up their business to serve the people.
  • Cb (11/09/2019, 07:43) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
    Cyril B. Romney was a pioneer in the cruise tourism industry and that business is still well and alive today. He was also one of the greatest politicans in the history of this country. I understand Penn's points but people should not have to close shop because they are in politics. Looking forward to this discussion.
    • ChOkE! (11/09/2019, 09:36) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      1986 article https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1986-10-23-8603040655-story.html
      led the way to the Panama (lol BVI ) papers and CBR lost his seat in a special election in relation. Money Money, history of money, how to get more of it and keep it.
  • E. Leonard (11/09/2019, 08:51) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ideally, having been elected to public office, a representative should put all his/her business(s) in a blind trust and should not have any business dealings with the government with which it is part of. However, the BVI is a small locale with a small economy so the ideal has to tempered with some flexibility. Government is a major purchaser/demander of goods and services in the BVI. As such, many businesses, including those owned by elected and appointed members, will conduct business with government. Should there be a hard and fast rule that if you are an elected member, you cannot conduct business with the government with which you are a part of or try to strike a balance. IMO there should be balance. But that balance should be air tight. The member should abstain from any discussion(s) relating to his/her business operations with government. In fact, the member may not even need to be in HOA during any such discussion or vote. Any contracts with members should be closely monitored and should be officially reviewed by the HOA at least biannually. The preference should be that elected members not be conducting business with a government with which he/she is a part of, promoting transparency and good governance and avoiding the appearance/ perception that members are using their positions as a passport to private gain.

    On the other hand, should one’s personal business operations be a hindrance to attracting the best and brightest talent/skill to the HOA to serve the territorial needs(residents), promoting its continued growth and development?
    • Disinterested (11/09/2019, 15:57) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Meh son, what f....t you chatting. Simple, you can’t do biz with the government you are a part of. If you know your biz dealings will result in a conflict of interest stay of active politics. Who else will need an exemption to maintain their elected position?
    • RealPol (12/09/2019, 11:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Real talk.
  • facts (11/09/2019, 08:58) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
    The corrupt ndp has no credibility to talk penn and his gang destroyed the bvi
  • Faithful (11/09/2019, 10:44) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    My friend Esther would say: "Marlon, honey child, Go sit down with this stupidness.".
  • Not2Sure (11/09/2019, 10:51) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    Thank God the NDP gone now we can have a discussion about getting rid of the RDA. The uk would have not even entertained such discussion with funny man as premier
  • Tired (11/09/2019, 11:03) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Them NDP's should be ashamed to talk about these things... How the contract have an issue now and it was signed by the same NDP? They really think the people of this country stupid and gullible. But Malone should just remove himself as director it's as simple as that...
  • long look me come from (11/09/2019, 11:47) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Where was smuf when Myron was doing business with the house and some statutory boards? Them just desperate to get back in power set of oppressors
    • My Honor (11/09/2019, 12:56) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      Marlon stop fooling the people you were doing the same thing..Now you having meetings why you didn't have meetings when you were getting the Goverment job under the NDP.
  • Peaches (11/09/2019, 15:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Marlon Penn should be ashamed of himself after he had no voice with 8 long years of financial misstatement , victimization and yes CORRUPTION as stated by former Governor Duncan
  • one eye (12/09/2019, 08:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let freedom ring


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