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Ports Project racks up an astonishing $9M in admin cost!

- after less than a year, the BVI Ports Authority has spent a whopping Nine Million Dollars for what it described as 'soft & administrative' costs on the Cruise Pier Project
As the public and perhaps tax payers try to come to grip with the announcement in a statement on January 25, 2016 by the Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) that to date the controversial Ports Development Project has cost $82.9 million, one of the breakdowns that has caught many by surprise is the administrative cost of the project. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4), left, had said that the entire project, both land and seaside, would cost $45 million. Amid the allegations of corruption at the Ports Development Project, Claude O. Skelton Cline's contract as BVIPA Managing Director has not been renewed. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4), left, had said that the entire project, both land and seaside, would cost $45 million. Amid the allegations of corruption at the Ports Development Project, Claude O. Skelton Cline's contract as BVIPA Managing Director has not been renewed. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- As the public and perhaps tax payers try to come to grip with the announcement in a statement on January 25, 2016 by the Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) that to date the controversial Ports Development Project has cost $82.9 million, one of the breakdowns that has caught many by surprise is the administrative cost of the project.

The Cruise Prier Development Project that started in July of 2014 must have hired the most expensive lawyers, accountants, project architects and engineers’ money could buy to have cost nine million dollars, according to critics.

Before the project started the public was told in the House of Assembly by Minister Vanterpool that the entire project, both land and seaside, would cost $45 million.

To date it has reached $82.9 million and is still incomplete, according to the Minister responsible for seaports.

What is Administrative Cost?

Our newsroom made contact with an International Engineering firm that has done work to the tune of billions of dollars in its 32 year existence and inquired what administrative costs involve for a project such as the Ports Development Project.

One of the founders of the firm, who himself is a British trained Engineer, reported that administrative cost usually covers telephone charges, copying, office supplies, postage, temporary office space on construction site, administrative support staff such as someone to answer the phone on project site, accountants to pay employees working on the project or to keep the budget in order, along with project architects and engineers to ensure that the work is being done to standard.

The administrative cost on major projects also include lawyers to resolve any disputes or interpretation of the contract, health and safely insurance, general office supplies such as computers, paper, pens and  rental or purchase of vehicles for the office or project managers.

When told about the size of the BVI Ports Authority’s Ports Development Project, the scope of work obtained by this news site, along with conceptual drawings and other information he requested, he was “shocked” that the administration cost for under 1 year came up to $9M.

He also asked if we had a breakdown for such a figure, however, the Minister for Communications and Works Hon Vanterpool did not provide the public with such a breakdown, therefore we could not have provided.

The seasoned Engineer from the highly respected Engineering Firm with Offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, South Africa and Japan said “maybe the persons working on the project on the administration side needed a lot of toilet papers....or bottled water.”

49 Responses to “Ports Project racks up an astonishing $9M in admin cost!”

  • X-Man (30/01/2016, 20:47) Like (30) Dislike (1) Reply
    The most highly educated government of your time...... How to say this----- rub the country again!!!!
  • tom cat (30/01/2016, 21:12) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    I want some of thoes million dallar pens!
  • S.R. (30/01/2016, 21:23) Like (0) Dislike (32) Reply
    Man some of ayo just jealous dem boy get a lil eat out of tis ports project LOL
  • what (30/01/2016, 21:55) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    Bunch a @#$*#@& thief!!!!!! No wonder the de country broke. Something got to give.
  • BuzzBvi (30/01/2016, 23:10) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    Need to look no further than who got a new car or house.
  • Political Observer (30/01/2016, 23:34) Like (35) Dislike (0) Reply
    This project seems as if it is in an alternate universe or reality. Some of the info that is slowly oozing out is so unbelievable that it makes one believe that one is dreaming. But then you are awaken and it is not a dream. Who reviewed the plans and specifications of this project to ensure it met the design intent? Who evaluated the contract bid price to ensure it was fair and resonable relative to the government estimate(every project should have a government estimate for comparison)? Who performed quality control/quality assurance on this project to ensure that it was being constructed consistent with plans and specifications? Who was evaluating and approving change orders to ensure that they were fair and reasonable and in line with government estimate? $9M for overhead for a year? Holy smokes! I'm in the wrong business, I should have been a project manager on this project for I would been sitting pretty today. It would interesting to see the breakdown of the overheard cost to see what $9M was spent.

    From $35M, $45M or whatever the original estimate was to the $89.2M current price. Up to the current price, the price escalated over 100%. Outrageous is too kind a word to attribute to this escalated cost. Everyone associated with this project should be embarrassed. It is not if this project should be investigated by an independent agency, commission, officer but when. The when is now. There is a fierce urgency of now to have this project investigated and let the chips fall where they may. Clearly, this gang cannot effectively manage and control the cost on capital projects. Can they be trusted with other projects such as the airport expansion, a boon doggle?
    • dog (31/01/2016, 12:27) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
      why didn't they hire this highly respected engineer to oversee the project? Obviously a preacher wasn't qualified and there was no financial officer it seems. All this was predicted long ago.
  • just asking... (30/01/2016, 23:57) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow 9 million for what?
  • rattie (31/01/2016, 00:03) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    Schools can not get toilet paper and here we are spending 9 million on soft admin cost SMH
  • mr premier (31/01/2016, 02:39) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sir can you please try and resolve this issue. It certainly not looking good. Thank you.
  • smart (31/01/2016, 03:30) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    Why you think they don't want Mr Lettsome there...They need someone who will continue to hold their secrets..
  • Contractor mess (31/01/2016, 03:36) Like (15) Dislike (23) Reply
    Ive been there. I am a builder. That project was grossly underestimated. I think the Contractor should be held responsible. Ain't no way 50 million could have done this project..
  • Charley Rose (31/01/2016, 03:46) Like (51) Dislike (2) Reply
    Whether you are a VIP or NDP, the cost of this project is outrageous. Let us don't be fooled. This project is over the limit. I think the governor erred miserably when he said that there is no need for an audit of the project. After all when the project is complete the taxpayers will pay the bills. For the next ten years the entire population will have to make the sacrifice and do without many social services and high cost of inflation in order to pay for the reckless spending at the pier. Minister Vanterpool would have been fired if he was in another country because of the whooping excessive spending.
    • Eagle and Buffalo (31/01/2016, 09:53) Like (48) Dislike (0) Reply
      Concur that Governor Duncan errored miserably. He gambled, played politics and lost. Now,he has rotten eggs on his face. Instead of doing the right thing eve of election or not, he punted and did not go forit---Commission of Inquiry. He should leave voluntarily or be recalled, for he blundered badly. That blunder and gross error in judgement will cost current BVI residents and follow on generations dearly. But will he pay a price for his poor performance? No. You will quicker see green donkeys fly. Hell, it is only some people of African descent out in the territory(colony). When his leasurely tropical vacation is over, he will head back to the UK but BVI residents will be left to suck coarse dirty salt. The Guv should be ashame to show his face in public. We do not want to see or hear from him. He is a failure that just needs to leave. LIAT has lowered its fares so this is a good time to catch a flight to ANU on the way home.

      Well, as for Mark Vanterpool (drop the Hon), he needs to be fired brother-in-law or not for gross incompetence and mismanagement that is bringing the BVI shame from across the globe. A relatively small construction project curently running at $48M over budget and it is not finish yet. And he is proud and joyful about it. Is he pissing on us and telling us it is raining. Others here and elsewhere have been fired for much less. What have former legislator J. Alvin Christopher ( by Premier Smith) and former legislator Alred C Frett fired for? It was nothing of this magnitude. If Mark love these Virgin Islands and its people as he claimed, he should do them a favour and exit stage left. Do Doc and sis a favour and just exit. But wait Doc is not off the hook, for he has ultimate responsibilty for government performance, ie, what it did and what it did not do but should have done. His reputation is also tarnished. The bridge cost over run in dollars is just peanuts compared to this-$48M.

      Moreover, the lesson here and there are many is that ministers need to throttle their egos and quit pretending that they are experts in areas that they are not. Disaster happens when they do. They should recruit and surround themselves with competent people and develop the skill to see when they are getting a 6 for a 9. Fire those people that try to pass off a 6 for a 9. Let's soar on the wings of Eagles and not led off the cliff like Buffaloes or sheep. We are not soaring as Eagles on this project.
  • B V I (31/01/2016, 06:26) Like (28) Dislike (1) Reply
    Admin cost has to be that if u have a Gastation attendant making 80 thousand a year an still have the balls to say she hate tolias an a monstrat Gul who uses the Bvi but can't stand us an a kittian making 90 a year an can't even greet the people like us
    • skills (31/01/2016, 09:02) Like (7) Dislike (24) Reply
      Your command of the english language is astounding. You must be a scholar.
  • reality (31/01/2016, 08:13) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is so sad. Very sad. Where is the bvi opposition.
  • Scary Mary (31/01/2016, 08:19) Like (31) Dislike (0) Reply
    This was a dog and pony show from start to finish. The players should be held accountable but sadly, we know they won't. This is just another case of the people not getting value for money and being taken to the cleaners with absolutely NO RECOURSE.

    The Governor should be ashamed of himself. I hold HIM just as accountable as the major players involved. He had the ability to investigate in the relatively early stages, yet steadfastly refused. This mess is as much on him as it is on the Premier, the Minister and the head of the Port Authority.

    Unfortunately, the only ones who will be held accountable will be the people of the BVI. "WE" will pay for this mess in the long run and so will our children.

    To add insult to injury, the entire project is seriously ugly. Unlike Craft's Alive, there is no charm whatsoever to the Pier Park "village". ZERO! It may as well be a series of barracks or even a prison. It looks downright institutional, right down to the paint colours selected. The whole thing is hideous and imparts NOTHING about our history or culture to visitors.

    I can't wait to hear about how this building is cracking because the pilings weren't done properly, or the underground plumbing has to be dug up and redone, or the wiring is faulty and has to be replaced, or the roofing wasn't engineered properly, or ... fill in the blank. Believe me, it is very likely to happen and it won't take that long.

    The entire project is a farce! My guess is that for the first several years, most of that $15.00 per head (if we get that much) will have to go into maintaining and fixing things in the pier park. The people of the BVI (other than the taxi drivers) will see very little benefit from any of it.

    The government has yet to address the wear and tear on our road systems and the increased costs to maintain the roads caused by the extra 425,000 people being shuttled back and forth to the various beaches and Soper's Hole. I guess we will all start paying much more to license our cars in the near future as well. They are such a mess right now, it will take millions upon millions to fix them. Where will THAT money come from? It sure as heck won't be from the transportation sector or the taxi drivers, I guarantee that! Stand by for a new road tax folks!
    • dog (31/01/2016, 12:46) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
      THANK YOU MARY!! for months, even years I have been yelling about the lack of traditional architecture and a lost opportunity for BVI identity in this design. There is a great design on a bulletin board right now sitting in TCPD which was ignored. This plan now looks like warehouses-- big, square, sterile-- nothing imaginative.

      If I was Hugh Darley (and I wasn't a fan of his ferris wheel and clock tower), I would be quiet about claiming the design. It is ugly. It is also on landfill which if not engineered correctly, will eventually sink the site. What a sad state. BVI is looking like everywhere else. nothing imaginative.

      also, the volume is too big to protect the natural resources around here-- mangroves, beaches, roads, trash, pollution, traffic, pedestrian congestion--- have you noticed that if something is kept special or exclusive, or has limits- people wait in line to attend or visit? If it is an open free-for-all it is taken for granted. We lost any sense of control for all mighty chicken feed. We grabbed at the dime today instead of the dollar tomorrow. Shame on Government!! FIRE VANTERPOOL.!!! and send people to jail.
      • cat (31/01/2016, 20:09) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
        Me-ow have a problem with you calling Darley's design ugly. Maybe you don't like it. That doesn't mean it's ugly. Maybe it is not what the BVi needs at it's port of entry. Maybe it could have been more "cultruly" appealing and doesn't 'fit' the Virgin Islands scene, or as you (dog) put it, 'nothing imaginative', but it's not fair to say it's ugly. Who accepted the design? The BVI government approved it. WE said it was ok to go ahead and put it there. Why not blame them. Did Darley build it? If they said they didn't like it and to do something different, it couldn't be there. Answer this. If an architect draws your house plan and you feel it's ugly, you going to pay him, still build the house and then blame him and say your house is ugly? Come on now. Stop being like that.
        • dog (01/02/2016, 11:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          look at some of the other comments on this page. The government choices are made not by people trained in design and cultural sensitivity, but by architects based in profit. Darley is one of those. What was built is different from what he proposed, but it is totally generic and basic. That was done for ease and not for identity. "Ugly" is catch all for all of the above- no imagination, etc. Your argument doesn't make sense. "WE" who said it was OK? How many public meetings were there and how many trained people were on the committee (if there was one?) this goes to transparency and community involvement. I DO BLAME the government. We have to live with this for the rest of our lives.

          If I had an architect drawing up my house plans, I would be overseeing every hour of every day with questions and suggestions to make sure it is what I wanted and what was needed. Stop being like what? exercising my right to speak my opinion? I wish more people did. maybe Gov would be more careful.
  • @Scarey Mary (31/01/2016, 09:13) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    Scarey Mary I agree with you. It's not looking good the design is bad. I've been to St kitts. They should have taken a copy of st kitts plan..St kitts port is very good. Very well laid out. I love it. There is no division local tourist everyone mingle drink. Go to casino. Its lovely. Great is great bad is bad never be afraid to say it.
    • SIDS (31/01/2016, 09:56) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      One of the beat in the Caribbean when I go their I don't want to leave that port of call.
    • De truth (01/02/2016, 11:12) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      Check out idea website - you see they designed Port Zante. Only half built but was done right without govt buying other things with the money. Thats what happens when developer follows the plans as they are done and not try to short change the project at every turn. Parking instead of people, plastic instead of wood, tar instead of paving. huts instead of buildings, palmettos instead of palms , on and on. ...SO port zante worked out good!
    • Hugh Darley (02/02/2016, 14:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Thanks for the comments on Port Zante. It was conceived and designed by me and our IDEA team for Royal Caribbean. When good design is followed and designers involved in construction projects can be successful and on budget. Thanks again for the comments.
  • Bernie Sanders (31/01/2016, 10:10) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the money isn't yours ,how would you spend it? Like a Drunking Sailor!!! On a Cruise Ship..
  • Accountability (31/01/2016, 11:17) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    As long as corruption and cronyism are allowed to flourish, this kind of thing will continue to happen. What other outcome can there be in a land where sunshine laws are off the table. If we, as a society, do not bring those responsible to account to face the consequences, this will continue. The saddest part of all this is that it is BVIslanders that are stealing from their own, and that are ultimately defiling whatever is left of the moral character of the Territory. H Lavity Stout must be turning in his grave at the absolute absence of vision of the leadership beyond personal enrichment.
  • one eye (31/01/2016, 11:24) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply

    Wow somebody got rich three new houses CSC DS MV?

  • Wolf Blitzer (31/01/2016, 11:43) Like (10) Dislike (20) Reply
    CNN breaking news you are watching CNN news out of the bvi a small british colony that is plaque with a major corruption scandal over its cruise ports development. Hugh Darley has called on British Police Scotland Yard to investigate a major fraud and corruption charges against port officials and govt at the centre of the scandal are Mark Vanterpool the small colony energy minister and Claude Cline the ports director. Cline was once the embattled and disgraced mayor of Detroit kwame kilpatrick spirit advisor kilpatrick went to prison for fraud and bribery. Scotland Yard will be going to bvi to investigate. It is said that bvi top govt officials are all corrupt that the colony small police force cannot investigate the scandal.
    • @ wolf Blitzer (31/01/2016, 21:50) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      I can sort of see the opposite sides of the same coin argument in terms of policy, substance and style..VIP, NDP the same set of basterts
  • voiceofthevoiceless (31/01/2016, 13:18) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    I maintain that the greatest impediment in the way of progress from developing to the land of the developed is corruption. Ask yourself why a country that boasts an annual budget of $300,000,000 still has inferior infrastructure like poor water and electricity supply, inferior roads, under-financed education and health system and I can go on and on. The millions that have been lost due to corruption could have been used towards a comprehensive upgrade of our infrastructure but this is not the case. We need to make an example of the guilty parties. It is amazing that if I go into Bobbys and pick up a Hennessy I get 2 years, but millions wasted and no one is held accountable and rarely does anyone see the inside of a prison cell. The one time they did it was a brief stay and the monies and assets that were derived from the people's purse were not even confiscated and returned to the people. The scales of justice are clearly imbalanced.

    The Governor failed us as he did not pursue the COI at the request of the PAC with the support of a damning report by the then auditor general. The Premier failed us as he should have had a hands on approach as the red flags were there from the beginning. He is the Minister of Finance so all roads lead through him. The Minister of C and W, the Ports Chairman , the Port Manager and Project Manager must be investigated as they were front and center on this project.

    The reality is that only the people can demand and force accountability for this egregious abuse of the public funds by our elected officials. We must speak out and let our voice be heard that we do not want another capital project until this one has been independently investigated and those responsible are held accountable. No airport expansion on the people's purse. Petition if we have to. Protest if we have to.
    • @voieoffhevoiceless (31/01/2016, 18:04) Like (9) Dislike (11) Reply
      Good question let me answer ask the government who was in power for 40 years. They have the answer bam. You know the answer too.
  • voiceofthevoiceless (31/01/2016, 13:54) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    @ scareymary

    The St. Kitts tourism experience does not end at Port Zante. There is so much to do whether it is going to the beach, taking the train a ride around the island for a historic and picturesque view of the Island, walking through town with its numerous traditional and historic architecture and museums or the eco buff can take a trip up to Mount Liamuiga ( there i a hotel and condos up there) maybe a boat ride to Nevis or up to the Brimstone Hill fortress. Multi- dimensional tourism product. For a Country that in the last 20 years diversified its economy from agriculture based to tourism and services, I hate to say it but they have caught up with us and passed us on the tourism side. They are now looking at building another pier expected to cost about 31 million, looks like a private entity will build and run it to be turned over to the Government in the future.
    • nonsense (31/01/2016, 14:35) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      SKB is where they are because the people there arent stupid like those in the BVI. Foreign investment is the reason SKB is in this position, the same things we consider being a sell out and grown upon. The people of the BVI are the ones that have it the way it is, not any political party.
  • YAWN (31/01/2016, 14:35) Like (0) Dislike (9) Reply
    Blah blah blah from people who havent set foot in the park.
  • George Fahie (31/01/2016, 14:50) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Friend's, The Worst IS YET TO Come With THIS Government ,Nothing Seems To BE GOING Right WITH What they Touch...
  • ting 2 talk (31/01/2016, 15:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    guess what ayo continue the Uk giving u enough rope to hang ayo self...continue, soon the announcement will be made, local government and constitution will be dissolved and the Uk will take over things for a year or two to sort out everything...we on track for a repeat of TCI!! its sad when people out to tief so much to become millionaires overnight!!
  • Building Courage (31/01/2016, 15:32) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our Elders often warned us, “Waste not, Want Not.” Should we attribute all these major projects undertaken by Our Governments, whether they were underestimated or overestimated, to just Gross incompetence! Just CANNOT BE!

    All general standards of project and procurement protocol/practices are continually being ignored for whatever reasons; and because we are a forgiving people, we keep turning the other cheek. Now, how many more cheeks do we have left to allow these things to continue happening without accountability. And then, after the Act has been done! All the Govt of the Day has to do is deploy the technique used by other Govts’ around the world, called- Shock and AWE!

    Once there has been no transparency, nor accountability for actions taken. Just introduce the SHOCK! And allow the Public to AWE! (Deplete all their energy, blow off steam), while the Govt stays SILENT! OFFER vague explanations here and there; and eventually, when all their energy has been exhausted and they have all burnt off steam, everything will eventually get back to business as usual.

    Well! Contrary to popular beliefs, the status-quo cannot be accepted any longer! Come on People! It’s time for a thorough investigation before we embark, once again, on the next major project. At the least, the findings would help us avoid the mistakes that were made here; that is, if it was fully attributed to Gross incompetence.
  • right (31/01/2016, 16:30) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    For the amount of ideas based on research imparted to Government officials over the years, the BVI Tourism product could have been enhanced in basic ways, now only requiring upgrades. Sadly, the focus on the messenger instead of the message always leads to delayed action, when the "right' messenger is late in arriving. Simple and accurate signs indicating important facts or legends about attractions impact on residents/visitors who read. Regular maintenance of structures including signs/markers at sites also enhance the product. Great expense is not always necessary, but care and interest go a long way.
  • Horse Path (31/01/2016, 16:34) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mrs. P I'm not hearing you at all u silent
  • Hmm (31/01/2016, 19:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't worry ya'll dey got up big poster saying Grand Opening! Febuary 16th..
  • SK Nice. (31/01/2016, 20:51) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I like the st kitts experience. The freedom. There is no fence no restrictions. You just walking into the port mingle and enjoy. I was there two years ago i was at the barrel bar and was joined by a female tourist from thr ship. We just drink and chat and laugh until the boat was ready. I guess she figure out i was a foreigner also...if I say to Port Zante is the liming spot in SK. For both local and tourist. Lovely. I love that . I'm going for music festival in June. You can find me at Port Zante everyday.
  • 4real (31/01/2016, 22:01) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP need to show the document and information to the opposition leader and the people of the British virgin island evidence that the project earn that amount of money. Because it is not your rich friend them money it is the tax payer money Dr.smith.
  • tola (01/02/2016, 01:26) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Ago vote them in tek what ayo get stop complain.
  • JACC (01/02/2016, 02:16) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    I had warned ayo about that guy who was living in detroit.
  • X- man (01/02/2016, 06:52) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply

    I really love all the feed back about this port Project. The thing is we new to stop talking an come together an protest our leaders to step down if there are doing SH*T!!!!!!! NDP or VIP it don't matter there should be working for the COUNTRY not the party.... Wake up BVI.. These leaders have no worries it's our money that there're playing with.

  • open eyes. (01/02/2016, 18:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    A huge tidal wave is on its way. Its call "England taking over"


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