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TPP raked in $1.7 Million in fees on Ports Project - Ed DeCastro

- Who are Tortola Pier Partners & what were they paid for? DeCastro confirmed Claude O. Skelton-Cline part of the negotiating team but was not carrying out instructions of the Board
Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority Board J. Edward DeCasro told the Public Accounts Committee that $1.7 Million was paid to a company called Tortola Pier Partners (TPP) for drawings for the expansion of the Ports Development Project. He said the work has been incomplete however payments on the contract were made. Photo: VINO/File
The Controversial Ports Development Project continues to raise red flags both in the Public Accounts Committee Report and the Auditor General Audit of the Project. The two men at the centre of the Project are Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (left) and Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority Claude O. Skelton-Cline. Minister Vanterpool has hit the airways with paid ads from a speech in the House of Assembly trying to defend the project and discredit the PAC report. Photo: VINO/File
The Controversial Ports Development Project continues to raise red flags both in the Public Accounts Committee Report and the Auditor General Audit of the Project. The two men at the centre of the Project are Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (left) and Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority Claude O. Skelton-Cline. Minister Vanterpool has hit the airways with paid ads from a speech in the House of Assembly trying to defend the project and discredit the PAC report. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - While testifying before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the controversial Ports Development Project Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority Board Mr. J. Edward DeCastro confirmed that Tortola Pier Partners (TPP) had been paid some $1.7 Million of Ports Authority funds.

The Chairman of the PAC and Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE stated that based on what he had heard there seemed to have been a lot of mystery surrounding TPP and asked Mr. DeCastro, if he knew of any BVIslanders who had been involved with TPP.

In response, the Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) Board stated that he did not know of any BVIslanders who are involved with the TPP. However, in another report released some months ago to some media houses the Virgin Islands’ Auditor General Ms. Sonia M. Webster reported that the local partners for TPP had they gotten the Ports Devolvement Project would have been the BVI Investment Club.

When asked by Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) if the TPP had ever met the Ports Board, Mr. DeCastro confirmed that the TPP had met with the Board. When further pressed by Hon. Fahie about who came to the Ports Board meeting for TPP Mr. DeCastro named a Mr. Todd Malphrus and a Mr. Jay Cashman.

However, the Board Chairman said he would have to go back to his notes to remember the others who attended the meeting on behalf of TPP.

Mr. DeCastro also stated that the Ports Authority Managing Director Mr. Claude O. Skelton-Cline would remember the names of the TPP from the negotiations and discussions that he had with them and noted that “the Managing Director was a person who would remember names easily.”

The member for the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie specifically enquired about whether the Managing Director Claude O. Skelton-Cline had been apart of the negotiating team or if he had carried out the instructions of the Board. To this Chairman DeCastro said that the Managing Director had been a part of the negotiating team.

Pay TPP before work was completed?

When asked about a resolution by the Ports Board to pay TPP although their work was incomplete, Mr. DeCastro told the PAC the resolution had been passed before his time.

When asked what was a $1.7 Million fee billed and paid [final payment recently] to TPP the Chairman of the Ports Board Mr. DeCastro reported that this money was for the preparation of the architectural drawings and other preparations.

The Chairman also testified that the TPP had a contract with the Ports and promised to provide a copy to the PAC. When asked by the Auditor General Ms. Webster an advisor to the PAC which aspect of the TPP work will be used on the project Mr. DeCastro said the TPP’s work will be used to implement the Cruise Pier Project.

However, it remains unclear whether or not the recently signed contracts between the Government of the Virgin Islands for $30.7 Million with IDL Projects Inc./Meridian Constructions Company Ltd., for the first phase of the Ports Development Project will be using the $1.7 Million drawings.

Double paying for work done already?

Another red flag that was raised in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting was the fact that another company CH2M Hill had already did detailed drawings for the Ports Development Project. This work was also confirmed by the Auditor General Ms. Webster.

In response the Chairman of the Board Mr. DeCastro told the House of Assembly Special Committee that the $1.7 Million paid to TPP he had gathered had been “for more detailed matters.”

Mr. DeCastro further told the PAC that the $1.7 Million was for the development of the Cruise Pier dock and included the detailed drawings etc., which could be used for the completion of the dock. When asked if payments were made on the $1.7 Million drawings the Ports Chairman stated payments had been made.

It was also unearthed in the Committee’s report that TPP was not working with any specific cruise lines but was willing to work with anyone. While also telling the committee the $1.7 Million plans were more detailed Mr. DeCastro still told the committee the plans were incomplete.

Therefore, after allegedly paying $1.7 Million for incomplete plans the Chairman stated that both the new contractor or successful tender and the ports will be using the plans for the expansion of the dock.

33 Responses to “TPP raked in $1.7 Million in fees on Ports Project - Ed DeCastro”

  • apple pie (29/04/2014, 08:20) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just more coruption
  • tricks (29/04/2014, 08:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Easy money
    • open wide (29/04/2014, 11:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      No surprises here a million here a million there..some body sitting fat.....
  • park (29/04/2014, 08:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Here we go again
  • here we go again (29/04/2014, 08:52) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Look whos building suddenly getting work done on it after sitting half built for 2 years?????
  • pete (29/04/2014, 09:50) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    How many plans do we have to pay for? There are so many wrong things about this. Who will decide on the final design of the shopping mall and are they trying to copy Haven Site, or Jamaica or St marten etc? The current drawings show a closed contained street of non-descript big buildings built to fulfill a preconceived fantasy for the new visitor. St Thomas was lucky they had their historical ware houses. BVI is creating a new "identity" but is it accurate? This area is looking to be exclusive, not a part of Road Town accessible by everyone. And again, the acting director/ negotiator was just a plant to move this ill-conceived project forward.
    • dog (29/04/2014, 10:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The project is good. The plans stink. Too many cooks and no one qualified to see the overview and impact as it stands now.
  • !!!!!!!! (29/04/2014, 09:50) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Stinks from the head down.
  • blow the house (29/04/2014, 09:53) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I smell a rat again a big fat rat!
  • Windy (29/04/2014, 10:27) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Money for nothing and your checks for free. These guys are out of control and it seems they're proud of it ! London help !!!!!
  • cay (29/04/2014, 10:55) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    mark rant and rege in the HOA has not help the people are nt buying it!!
  • voted out (29/04/2014, 11:27) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    If I was the NDP I would move to another planet come next elections
  • under the bus (29/04/2014, 11:37) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    VIP WILL get in by hair of its chinny chin chin beacue of how pople feel about this project.
  • pat (29/04/2014, 11:42) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    this ports deal is gettin sweeter day by day!
  • foxy (29/04/2014, 11:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Chickens coming home to roost, everything will work itself out just give it time......
  • Yes (29/04/2014, 14:01) Like (0) Dislike (7) Reply
    Grasping at straws are we? As far as I'm aware the ink has dried and works will commence shortly. I hope you cover the ground breaking ceremony guys. LMAO!
  • THE US IS WATCHING U (29/04/2014, 14:30) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    the government aint want to loose the elections . but guest what ..........DR SMITH YOUR GONE ................MYRON OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IS STUPID YOUR GONE .........RONNIE NHI IS STUPID YOUR GONE.............ARCHI U NEED A JOB SOLID WASTE YOUR GONE ..............................MARLON YOUR GONE .................ALVERA YOUR GONE .......................................DELORES YOUR PEOPLE SAID U HAVE DONE NOTHING YOUR GONE ...........................................MARK THIS BAD CRUISE SHIP DEAL AND NO CARNIVAL YOUR GONE ...............................DR PICKERING U MIGHT BE THE ONLIEST ONE LEFT STANDING .PEP ALVIN U DIDNT EVEN HAD THE BRAINS TO BUILD A BETTER AIRPORT AND U WANT TO LEAD ....................SHAWONDE GO SIT DOWN
  • ooooo (29/04/2014, 15:17) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    why mark dont replay this on TV and radio like what he is doing all week long?
  • wet well (29/04/2014, 17:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mark replay not selling ndp must go
  • x factor (29/04/2014, 17:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some of that money right here
  • Outspoken (29/04/2014, 19:59) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everytime I read these story pertaining to the port project I come to the conclusion that these people are very bear faceted they have no shame and to add insult to injury they have the nerve to be playing excerpts everyday from the HOA meeting. Goodness gracious me, these guys need to make a jail
  • shelia (29/04/2014, 21:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ndp has lost its moral authority to lead!
  • HELP HELP HELP (30/04/2014, 08:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    God and the uk please help us
  • +++ (30/04/2014, 17:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is what $1.7 mil landside plan includes. Was unaware of residential in the mix of 10 retail buildings. 34 separate buildings on 4 acres? Is that true?

    Terminal and Welcome Center (1)
     Mixed-use building: retail and offices (3)
     Mixed-use building: retail, offices, residential (7)
     Restaurants (2)
     Market (1)
     Chapel (1)
     Boat Museum (1)
     Pier Bar (1)
     Kiosks (18)
  • Virgin Son (02/05/2014, 12:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    someone needs to resign or be fired and investigate for corruption.
  • Release (02/05/2014, 12:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Something smells rotten in that contract..What a disgrace , these people are running the BVI like a 'fish shop'...
  • mmmm (02/05/2014, 13:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is the transparency

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