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Statutory Bodies like Ports Authority needs reining in—Opposition Leader

-says people’s business cannot be conducted behind closed doors
Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) cited as a practical example, the BVI Ports Authority and the $40M cost over-runs on the Tortola Pier Park Project. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was at the time engaging media operatives, during a press conference he venued at the Village Cay, Hotel and Marina. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was at the time engaging media operatives, during a press conference he venued at the Village Cay, Hotel and Marina. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Nobody does what is expected, they only do what is inspected, and as such Opposition Leader, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) is pressing for statutory bodies, such as the BVI Ports Authority to be held more accountable by the public.

The Opposition Leader has again lambasted the way several such ‘statutory bodies’ conduct business in the Territory, saying the entities routinely conduct the “people’s business behind closed doors” and are “hiding as statutory bodies.”

Stripped

Hon Fahie was at the time engaging media operatives, during a press conference he venued at the Village Cay, Hotel and Marina on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.

Asked if he would support having the statutory bodies stripped of their autonomy to manage their affairs, the Opposition Leader responded in the negative, saying “no, I would now enhance their reporting to the public in a timely manner…You see nobody does what is expected, they only do what is inspected.”

He told media operatives these bodies/agencies “have come to realize that nobody inspects them other than their Minister and the Permanent Secretary.”

Lamenting the state of affairs, Hon Fahie noted that “most times the laws don’t even allow the minister to direct them for the most part.”

House of Assembly

The Opposition Leader observed that, “it has come to the point where they (statutory bodies) have become fully autonomous, that they are not reporting and you don’t know these things unless you go to the House of Assembly and ask a question, or if something great happens and then the Ministry who is responsible for the statutory body, holds an opening ceremony or something and you see all grand things.”

He noted however, “…you don’t hear a lot of what else has happened, so we are going to push for the resolutions of these statutory bodies to be made public except for areas that would cause security issues.”

 Hon Fahie cited as a practical example, the BVI Ports Authority and the $40M cost over-runs on the Tortola Pier Park Project.

He pointed out that the projected had initially been billed by government to cost between $5oM and $55M and, “had we not gone to the House and continue to ask questions—which they were denied at first—we would know that the project was over-run by $40.”

Hon Fahie disclosed that this information had only been reported to the United Kingdom and not the people of the Virgin Islands.

Contracts

This obtained since the government at the time required the UK’s permission to borrow the money.

He identified too, the $2.1M that the Ports Authority had given out in contracts “that up to now we don’t know all these contracts…all we know is that the Minister said that the acting director of the ports gave out these without the permission of the board.”

The Opposition Leader identified a project for the Road Town Jetty, where the successful contractor had been one who did not even submit a tender for the project.

HLSCC

Hon Fahie pointed to the H. Lavity Soutt Community College (HLSCC) which is also run by a board as an autonomous agency with some oversight from the Ministry for Education and Culture.

He told media operatives “we already know about the confusion that (was) caused with the amount for the repairs for the college building.”

15 Responses to “Statutory Bodies like Ports Authority needs reining in—Opposition Leader ”

  • good (17/08/2018, 10:19) Like (31) Dislike (4) Reply
    Fahie you are right on ppint.
  • BVIAA (17/08/2018, 12:43) Like (22) Dislike (3) Reply
    Yes you need to look into the Airport asap once in office... look the finance lady leaving from what I’ve been told she was on leave and they had to call her back in to clean up the muck up there. They are wasting money and can’t keep staff, that’s why you see most security officers are expat.
    • Where's your source? (17/08/2018, 16:09) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      She was called off of MATERNITY leave. She wasn't leaving. The other one who was acting in place of her left tho.
      • Yep (17/08/2018, 17:11) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
        She sure did. now tell them why? Up there need auditing quick before that one clean up. She didn't need to be back there.
        • Ting feh talk (19/08/2018, 21:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          They still up there getting a travel allowance CHECK including hotel, transportation, meals AND on the trip charging EVERYTHING to BVIAA credit card....then guess who pays the VISA bill. Hmmmm, so wah happen to the CHECK?
  • oh boy (17/08/2018, 13:02) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
    Fahie you are on to something major here now. Now you are cooking with gas. I am now with you100%.
  • Political Observer (PO) (17/08/2018, 13:19) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is the value of some statutory bodies offering relative to them being departments? Are they delivering higher quality service and cost less to operate and deliver service? Are statutory bodies supposed to be self supporting?
    Nonetheless, whether these service providers are statutory bodies or departments, the need closer oversight of their operations. Furthermore, some need to be reverted to departments.
  • Clearly (17/08/2018, 19:32) Like (22) Dislike (26) Reply
    Fahie has matured in to a true leader.
  • YES SIR (17/08/2018, 19:45) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Go take a look at the nonsense at Tourist Board.
    Sloppy overpriced marketing campaigns, inability to present any sort of tourism direction for the industry, overpaid consultants, agencies and completely over staffed local and New York offices led by unethical, overpaid ‘leaders’ with ridiculous bonuses and allowances
    • Exactly (17/08/2018, 21:07) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
      Look at all the contracts they have in that place you’ll be shocked and visitors ain’t coming here because of them!
    • stop (20/08/2018, 12:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @yes sir. You sound like a disgruntled employee or one that was let go because you didn’t do your job.
  • Outlaw (18/08/2018, 05:05) Like (31) Dislike (3) Reply
    You all talking about Tourist Board and Airport. They need to take a serious look into the National Bank of the Virgin Islands now, now, now. Examine closely who are the workers, what’s their salary and compare it to what they were making before they came to the bank. There is running like a friendship club.
  • Lb (18/08/2018, 07:29) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Very irresponsible statements. Speak specifically to the bodies that are challenged and not speak so general as though ALL stat bodies are delinquent. Because that is not true. Many submit their budgets and Financials far ahead of deadlines. The government however takes its time to lay these documents before the HOA.

    We need an "Accuracy of Informatio" act as badly as The freedom of Information act.
  • pell (18/08/2018, 14:57) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Reel in Immigration and Labour too.


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