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‘There are clouds over that project’ – Hon Andrew A. Fahie

- Hon J. Alvin Christopher bashes Speaker of the House modus operandi
Honourables Andrew A. Fahie and J. Alvin Christopher give their take on the NDP Government declining to have the PAC report debated in the Honourable House on Friday June 13, 2014. Photo:VINO/ File
Speaker of the House Honourable Ingrid A. Moses siding with the NDP government came as no surprise to Honourable J. Alvin Christopher. Photo: VINO/File
Speaker of the House Honourable Ingrid A. Moses siding with the NDP government came as no surprise to Honourable J. Alvin Christopher. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith objected to have the debate go through. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith objected to have the debate go through. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – “We have done it many times for the financial services. We have done it many other times for other aspects of Government. What is alarming is that the Premier has come today to seek the guaranteeing of the $35 million loan for the cruise pier project by the ports and is saying that we will debate the final report from the Public Accounts Committee at another time.”

This was said by Representative for the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, on the rejection of his motion to debate the Final Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Cruise Pier Development Project.

During the Seventh Sitting of the Third Session of the Second House of Assembly on Friday June 13, 2014, Fahie had moved a motion to have the final report of Public Accounts Committee report debated.

He along with other Opposition members of the committee were not pleased that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith objected to have the debate go through.

This news site caught up with Hon Fahie and Honourable J. Alvin Christopher who both expressed their feelings about the move taken by the leader of the NDP led Government.

“… what he (Premier Smith) is saying, we are going to come get the guarantee for the money, go with the money and then afterwards we will debate and see what’s wrong after we have the money, when he can avoid some of what is happening and clean up some of what is happening because there are clouds over that project and serious clouds, clouds that need to be removed so that the sunshine can be allowed in,” stated Hon Fahie.

Hon Fahie said that based on the evidence provided to the committee there are major concerns about the lack of transparency, the lack of value for money, the lack of the committee at times being given factual information and finding out afterwards that some of the information was false that was provided.

“The committee is concerned about many payments being paid out for the project that we consider to be over-payments in some instances and unnecessary payments in some instances,” said Hon Fahie.

He said that it is not a matter of one design vs the other as there are areas pertaining to the project that need to be addressed forthwith. “Failure to address this is saying that the Auditor General is not doing her job in an upright manner because her office highlighted these concerns,” according to Hon Fahie.

He said that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was able to validate the concerns of the Auditor General. “Of course there government members on the committee and it’s not surprising that they are not going to go against anything of their government. That’s the clear mode that they are operating under which they will explain to the public how come,” noted Hon Fahie.

He claimed that there were member of the public service who would have gone to the PAC literally crying that they had no one to turn to, “More than one of them came crying literally that they had no one to turn to. They have sighted areas of concern that raised red-flags for them and they became public enemy number one with the government.”

“These are major concerns because you are saying that the public servants would not be protected when they find any wrongdoing or any concerns that have happened in this government. The government is saying whatever they do is above board and no one can look into them and if you look into them their reports make no difference.”

He said that the message sent by the government’s failure to look at and debate the report before going with the $35 million is whatever they did was well done. “The only person that is going to be wrong in this country is anybody other than the NDP administration, this is not good.”

Representative for the 2nd District Honourable J. Alvin Christopher said that the move by the in-Government party’s decision not to allow the debate to go forward came as no surprise to him. His opinion was based on previous actions of the Speaker of the House Honourable Ingrid A. Moses.

“The last sitting the Speaker broke all the rules… broke all protocols as far as I am concerned, by allowing a matter laid on the table to be debated the same day,” said Hon Christopher.

He was of the view that the Hon Fahie should have continued with his motion, “…and when he was finished then he would have had the motion seconded and they would have been forced to debate but I think he paused after reading the motion…” he added.

Hon. Christopher said that he does not see the House not debating the motion a problem for the PAC. “It’s not a problem for us as an Opposition. They couldn’t prevent the paper from being laid on the table. Now it’s up to you what you do with it, so it’s a public document now, the public is entitled, the media is entitled to it. So the debate may or may not take place.”

He said that there are other options available to the PAC in terms of doing its work. “There is provision in there where we asked that the Governor have a Commission of Inquiry implemented and that is still one of the options left to the Opposition to pursue.”

He said that he does not understand why the NDP is afraid of procedures when the entire government system is based on checks and balances.

11 Responses to “‘There are clouds over that project’ – Hon Andrew A. Fahie”

  • well saw (16/06/2014, 08:22) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    If this Ports project is not investigated then it will be a slap in the face of democracy and good governance.
  • ooooo (16/06/2014, 08:24) Like (30) Dislike (2) Reply
    ndp government is something else
  • Help (16/06/2014, 08:29) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    The public service have no protection under this Administration especially when you know the wrong they are doing & have no one to turn to.
  • .... (16/06/2014, 08:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well saw look trouble for me
  • 6 and half-dozen (16/06/2014, 10:09) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
    The one man who spend over $1million on stupid studies and was planning to spend $40mil on a West End Port, along with the man who presided over the most expensive Bridge in the Region and perhaps the world, here talking about fiscal responsibility. AH HAAA!!!!
    • @6 and half-dozen (16/06/2014, 21:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree with you...say no more...pot calling kettle black. The only clouds I see are in Fahie's and Christopher's minds.
  • pete (16/06/2014, 10:27) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is getting deeper and thicker. Why plow ahead for a $35 Mil loan when there are so many questions about the project itself? One cannot ignore the controversy founded by the auditor general and confirmed by PAC. If the questions are without merit, then let the process determine that. But the project should be put on hold before irreversible damage is done to the site. Don't allow them to plow forward before there is a clear OKed plan. I would think Government would want that. This whole debate is no surprise given the appointments, plans, pay-outs and players involved. But let the process clarify the development procedure before monies are given. This should not be ignored like every other controversial issue.
  • my my my (16/06/2014, 10:28) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    What corruption. This Port Project needs investigating as a matter of priority & urgency.
  • ABC (16/06/2014, 10:32) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    First ensure that the project for which you are seeking funds is not tainted. Once there is no evidence to support the contrary, then proceed with your request. To seek approval for the funding of the project prior to carrying out a back ground check is highly questionable. Dr. Smith needs to be very careful less he be numbered with those who have neither character nor shame.
  • mvw (16/06/2014, 11:37) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    alvin can jump high and low he will not catch CSC and he will never be Premier BAM
  • WeInDeepTrouble (16/06/2014, 17:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is Democracy?.... Mark goes into the house of Assembly and gets to spend hours and hours debating the merits of the pier expansion, discounting the Auditor Generals report and findings. The PAc is allowed to lay their Report on the table; but however, the in-power government refuses to debate it. This is the same group of men that in 2003, before and after, who promised us "Government-in-the-Sunshine"; ...but these behaviors by the Government shouldn't surprise us. When they were thrown out of office the first time around ( 2-NDP), when they finally came out of hiding and licking their wounds, Dr. Pickering told us that he had tried to understand why the voters voted did that to his Team; and that the only thing he could come up with was that "they were to advance for us"

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