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'TPP investment was one of the best VI made' - Hon Vanterpool

- says NDP is 'pleased & proud' of project, which cost $85M with whopping $40M cost overrun
The construction of the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park was one of much controversy and allegations of corruptions by the now booted National Democratic Party (NDP) Government. Photo: VINO/File
Former developer of the cruise pier development project, Mr Hugh E. Darley, President of IDEA Inc., had accused the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government of perverting the process of the project’s development and causing it to balloon far beyond what it would have cost originally to build. Photo: Provided/File
Former developer of the cruise pier development project, Mr Hugh E. Darley, President of IDEA Inc., had accused the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government of perverting the process of the project’s development and causing it to balloon far beyond what it would have cost originally to build. Photo: Provided/File
Opposition Leader, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4), right, at a press conference called by the Opposition on November 13, 2019, said he remains please with the work of the TPP. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Leader, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4), right, at a press conference called by the Opposition on November 13, 2019, said he remains please with the work of the TPP. Photo: VINO/File
In a long-awaited Audit report, commissioned by the then outgoing Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, and tabled to the House of Assembly on January 15, 2019, a number of files have ‘mysteriously’ gone missing; the Charterland Chartered Surveyors Property Consultants report noted. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
In a long-awaited Audit report, commissioned by the then outgoing Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, and tabled to the House of Assembly on January 15, 2019, a number of files have ‘mysteriously’ gone missing; the Charterland Chartered Surveyors Property Consultants report noted. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Even though the project has a cost totalling some $85 million-plus, including cost overruns of at least $40 million for the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park Project (TPP), former Communications and Works Minister, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) insists that the TPP investment was one of the best the territory ever made.

According to Mr Vanterpool at a press conference called by the Opposition on November 13, 2019, he remains “very pleased and very satisfied to have taken that sector of tourism to the level that we took it, where we put a very solid and firm stake in the cruise ship industry in the territory that will last for a very long time."

In 2013/14, the NDP Government announced the cost of the project was around $45M to $50M; however, it became over $85M, a whopping $40M overrun.

Corruption - Audit Report 

Then in a long-awaited audit report, commissioned by the then outgoing Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, and tabled to the House of Assembly on January 15, 2019, a number of files had ‘mysteriously’ gone missing; the Charterland Chartered Surveyors Property Consultants report noted.

According to the Report, “…we have been unable to review details or either the original budget or the assessed final costs and thus we have no specific details, as result, cannot opine, justify or comment on the increases apart from the opinion stated based on experience.”

The report also stated that “some building did not follow proper process, others did,” and that in the end there was not enough information available, so a conclusion of corruption and lack of value for money could be made.

The report cited as example that development costs increased by some $4,915,905, adding, however, “…we lack details as we were unable to identify the reason for the increase.”

In December of 2015, a former developer of the cruise pier development project, Mr Hugh Edison Darley, President of IDEA Inc., had accused the National Democratic Party (NDP) of perverting the process of the project’s development and causing it to balloon far beyond what it would have cost originally to build.

He is also accusing the then government of not honouring their licencing obligations for the use of his designs some of which they changed in an effort to “cheapen” the project.

Mr Darley had also alleged that when he was part of the project it was planned that it would have been built for 45 million dollars.

One of the best investments - Hon Vanterpool 

Hon Vanterpool at the press conference said, “I believe we are going to look back 10 years from now and say that investment in the cruise pier was one of the best investments this territory has ever made and I am very comfortable with that," he said.

According to the Opposition Member, "it is a legacy that I want the former Premier to be proud of, and I as a minister and the rest of the government, the NDP, [are] very proud of it."

According to the Audit report; however, statements claiming value for money by Mr Vanterpool is not necessarily accurate.

“I can honestly and confidently account to you, that not one penny of your funds has been taken by myself," Mr Vanterpool said on the National Democratic Party’s (NDP), ‘Drive Time’ radio programme of September 3, 2018, while struggling to explain the cost.

At the November 13, 2019 Press conference, Mr Vanterpool claimed that even when booted out of government, he called Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) a week later and introduced him to Carnival Cruise lines. This he says was part of his commitment to the continued success of the industry.

20 Responses to “'TPP investment was one of the best VI made' - Hon Vanterpool”

  • Hush (18/11/2019, 12:05) Like (32) Dislike (4) Reply
    Mr. Mark could you please JUST BE SILENT!!!!!
  • results (18/11/2019, 12:08) Like (32) Dislike (6) Reply
    Several NDPees became instant millionaires because of this project
  • Wow (18/11/2019, 12:40) Like (31) Dislike (5) Reply
    Mark and the rest if these NDP'S aight tho be ashamed to even utter a word about this
  • Captain (18/11/2019, 13:35) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who is responsible for the broken floating docks? They were not meant for open water
  • Jaigon (18/11/2019, 13:38) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
    Best investment for your pockets indeed
  • budget (18/11/2019, 14:08) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    The budget included Margaritaville so its a lot more than $40mil overrun as we have an empty lot where the main building was budget. $85mil for a few buildings and some stands is a joke
  • Diaspora (18/11/2019, 15:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    It would have earth shattering news if the former MCW had voiced that the TPP project was a bad investment. It would bern like a fisherman saying that his stink up the place. Tourism is 1/2 of economic twin pillars and the TPP has add vs,use to the tourism sector. The project is with project management. Any project with a supposed $40M cost overrun should raise some eye brows. Few, if any, construction estimates will be exact. However, the final cost plus or minus should be in the ball park. Changes typically are between 10-25%.
    • Deh Watcha (20/11/2019, 13:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      In the private sector both the project team and contractor(s) would be fired.

      And trust that any bonds or professional indemnities were being sought. +$35 million overrun is nothing to be proud of.
  • Jessica Jones (18/11/2019, 18:30) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply

    This was the best investment for your pocket. Tell the truth.

  • Lord Hawk (18/11/2019, 19:25) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    No surprise here, the man will forever be talking about this pier park. The thing troubling the man conscience, thank God he have a conscience. Look down from the hills and it makes one wonder if 80 million is 800, 000. Am not convinced that it was a good investment at all.
  • Outsider (18/11/2019, 20:02) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply

    He aint got no shame bay, still talking sh*te!!

  • NICK (18/11/2019, 20:58) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    St kitts cruise ship park:46 millions.same size or bigger.why?
  • Agree (18/11/2019, 21:14) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just cost too much. Waaay too much.
  • Eagle Eye (19/11/2019, 00:31) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    40 million over run is another peir park simple.
  • 40 m over run (19/11/2019, 07:45) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I would have said the same thing
  • admit it (19/11/2019, 08:55) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    The pier park is definitely the best thing in the bvi right now. What the noise for? What else is in the bvi. I feel so shame when people think the bvi is the best place on earth. It’s crime free and the pier is the only thing going on here. Mr Vanterpool if you steal the money you still put a lot in the park thank you sir for not taking all like some other politicians would have done.
  • Jane (19/11/2019, 10:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Pier Park is really badly planned. Just look at Camana Bay in Cayman as to what might have been achieved. The Pier Park has not centre, no focus, the layout of the buildings limits footfall to the shop, the restaurants have been built without in-house toilets. There is no offering for children (no play area, no fountains or splashzone, no scooters allowed). There is no culture (no art, no sculpture) and the music is not culturally BVI it is regional. There is no seasonal decoration (Xmas decorations ought to be up by now). The website is poor and not updated. The events which are held are inimaginative and poorly advertised. Island customers are discouraged: why can we not park in it? Given the money spent, the return on investment is a poor one.
  • Money bags (19/11/2019, 13:15) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

    I wouldn’t expect you say anything different with all the money you took

  • musa (21/11/2019, 07:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The tought of the project is great but overall spending some body need to go up hill soon if not our leaders failing us.


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