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UPDATE: No jobs will be lost in BVIEC & W&SD merger- Works Minister

Workers attached to the British Virgin Islands Electricity Company (BVIEC) and the Water and Sewerage Department (W&SD) have been assured that there will be no loss of jobs when the government merges the two entities effective January 1, 2014. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Workers attached to the British Virgin Islands Electricity Company (BVIEC) and the Water and Sewerage Department (W&SD) have been assured that there will be no loss of jobs when the government merges the two entities effective January 1, 2014.

This is according to Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool who in the same breath said he was not sure on the details of the impending modus operandi as a committee has been set up to deal with the merger.

“I think what we are looking to do is to merge the two groups and we don’t expect that there will be any major change. I know we have some major works and some increased works that we are going to be putting on both groups which will require human resources so we hope that there wouldn’t be any change, I think you are talking about layoffs and so to get directly to the point, we don’t expect that.” said Hon Vanterpool.

This announcement was made by the Works Minister at a press conference held at Maria’s by the Sea on July 23, 2013 as he sought to bring the Territory up to speed on some of the issues being addressed by his ministry.

Still not being clear on the rationale behind the merger, Hon. Vanterpool said work has already commenced to have the merger realised and that a committee has been working specifically on the initiative. “We have asked the Attorney General’s Office along with our group to look at the legislative process that may be involved and so they are working towards this to be able to present to the Ministry a final report on how and where and when we will address this.”

Hon. Vanterpool said the proposals will have to be put to Cabinet before the merger can take effect but he was very confident that it is a move that is necessary.

See previous article posted July 23, 2013:

Govt to merge BVIEC & W&SD

- Not looking to bring in new ferry service- Hon. Vanterpool

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Minister for Communications and works, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool, announced at a press briefing today, July 23, 2013 that the Water and Sewerage Department (W&SD) and the BVI Electricity Company will be merged from January 1, 2014.

While the rationale behind this was not disclosed to the media, Hon. Vanterpool said work has already commenced to have this realised.

The press briefing, held at Maria’s by the Sea, was called by the Ministry of Communications and Works to update the media on the various ongoing projects across the Territory.

Regarding the Port Pier Project, the Minister said Government is now awaiting approval from the United Kingdom and once that is done the project would commence by midsummer. A public meeting has been organised for tomorrow evening to further discuss matters of the Port Pier Project.

Hon. Vanterpool also announced that Government is not looking at bringing in another ferry service to the Virgin Islands but that it is looking at attracting better ferry boats to the Territory and will see improved service between St Thomas and the Virgin Islands by November 1, 2013.

More details to follow.

47 Responses to “UPDATE: No jobs will be lost in BVIEC & W&SD merger- Works Minister”

  • AL (23/07/2013, 16:12) Like (21) Dislike (10) Reply
    We don't need a WAPA here !!!! We have a college (U.S.V.I) next door , and we just don't learn from it... Come on guys get your acts together for the betterment of the country.
    • Yes (23/07/2013, 19:10) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      The first thing that came to mind was WAPA in the USVI. WOW! This is so funny!
  • tt (23/07/2013, 16:25) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
    Bad idea
  • NDP SUCKS! (23/07/2013, 16:31) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    • price baby (23/07/2013, 17:04) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Dem lie too much after Ira article they went and met with bobby to try and buy his boats...set of no good trying to kill local businesses
  • me (23/07/2013, 16:36) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Call Speedy's
  • Yes (23/07/2013, 16:44) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    for wa!!!! b4 i could bath in the dark, with out a problem, u messing up.
  • Hmm (23/07/2013, 16:46) Like (54) Dislike (3) Reply
    ELECTRICITY & WATER DONT MIX, i learn that in primary school...
  • What tha (23/07/2013, 16:52) Like (2) Dislike (11) Reply
    Crap crap crap!! Who came up with that grand idea! My head hurting me meh son! Wouiii a nervous!!! What bull!!!

  • whatsup (23/07/2013, 16:52) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    A Wonder wa they up to? Do you all thing they want to squeeze us dry like wet cloth $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
  • Interesting! (23/07/2013, 16:54) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    OMG! Are you serious about merging these two?! W&SD is under Gov't and BVIEC is a statutory board. Management is not fine tuned and now going to complound an already existing problem? Action Man, this is the wrong way to go.

    Agree that the Pier Park has to be done but please revise the terms of the 'length of the lease". Furthermore, have you taken in account the existing traffic problems, sewerage and water shortage when ships are in port? We now want to bring the two largest ships in the world? Minister for C&W please do not concentrate on 'head tax' alone and there is a bigger picture in the whole scheme of things.
  • insider (23/07/2013, 17:03) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    More TTs in one place to hold! lol
  • Smart A$$e$ (23/07/2013, 17:04) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    "While the rationale behind this was not disclosed to the media, Hon. Vanterpool said work has already commenced to have this realised."

    NDP (Investment Club) think they smart! Here's their ratinale, they have contract for water and very interested in energy. Hmmm, let's merge the two to make the investment seemless. Action Man, we watching the behind the scenes antics!
  • Abby (23/07/2013, 17:25) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    With the two companies merging, I hope we only get one lower bill now. Every month, water company giving me bills I already paid and telling me I have to bring in my old bills to prove it. When I show my cancelled checks they cashed, they don't even say sorry for the error, they adjust the bill and the next month it happens again and again. Management is not managing and who is taking the money they claim I haven't paid. They also want to triple the bill sometimes. If people don't check their bills, they may be overpaying for things they already paid. BE ALERT!
    • Hmm (23/07/2013, 20:15) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      That's all we going say. this merge is a bad bad idea. maybe Water and sewerage by itself but with electricity nah sah. come again. they keep doing damaging things to themselves.
  • question (23/07/2013, 19:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Does this mean lay offs
  • Edison (23/07/2013, 19:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This way they can use the negative lead in the AC lines to pump your sewage out, and the positive
    lead to pump the fresh water in - it's all about ingenuity!
  • electricuted (23/07/2013, 19:49) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well boss, we the people of the BVI officially screwed now. Water and Electricity does electrocute. Electricity giving us exemplary service for years. Water and Sewerage giving us a bath pan of water now and again, huge unjustified bills, bills now and again and most of the time they're just for the meter rental. You show up to the office in Baughers Bay because no bill didn't come. It's the only place where you have to leave work just to go to find out what you owe them and you got to remember to walk with your bills for the past 12 months because they're likely to double charge you for a bill you paid for already. Putting a company that is way backwards and still with stone age mentality, to a company that is up to date (you can even see you bill and pay online). Mark, you putting yourself out of a vote. Maybe you can get the BVIEC staff to help in modernizing the W&S Dept because they need help, but don't merge them. This is crazy and a step in the wrong direction. I say again "WE SCREWED NOW"
  • ABC (23/07/2013, 20:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wonder, just wonder how much thought has been given to this "done deal". There may be some meret to this proposal but it simply escapes my radar. Am I to understand that Government is about to cancel the Agreement with Bi-water? I am just concerned about this Mark and the influence he has over the Minister of Finance.
    • Man About Town II (24/07/2013, 07:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Influence you say, or did you mean he runs things. School children say he's the front Runner negotiating loans for the government. Poor Dr. Smith, but in too deep swimming among sharks. Greedy ones at that. Heaven help us
  • Concern Citizen (23/07/2013, 21:39) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I think it would be a great idea because electricity is more organize niterm of reading meters on time and billing whereas water and sewerage giving you all kind readings you done pay. This department needs a over hall interms of management and the staff is a problem when it come to solving issues at hand.
    • .. (24/07/2013, 02:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      For a Department that has been lacking for so many years it has gone a long long way in s short space of time. the powers that be need to let the department continue fixing what need to be fixed. in time and in the right time then you can merge if that is the concern. but for now bad idea. leave that thing along Mark.
    • ABC (24/07/2013, 13:08) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      What is happening at W/S was predictable. Mark at the hight of his fun and frollick, sent the lady to head up the Department without giving any thought to the fact that the child would be managing a Department which was already in deep trouble. It was clear that he had a mind fix on something which had nothing to do with water and sewage.
      • nonsense (25/07/2013, 07:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Deep trouble for real and we should not forget that and ask what was the previous people after JW doing why all this mess in one place. years of too much nonsense was going on in there. too much corruption was happening and the lady pulling it out. people getting cut from truckers, sewerage people getting cut, people lining up them friends to work, staff trying to give themselves work - madam you have a few people up there vex vex for not giving them side work. now you know and you know who them is. these things were really happening. heard the lady stripped some already. now people who never work water and sewerage getting a chance. the only thing i vex with is that M.K. done gone before we could surcharge he backside. school children say you would hear.
  • brilliant (23/07/2013, 21:44) Like (4) Dislike (56) Reply
    The merger is absolutely brilliant!!!! Whoever thought this up deserves a medal !! The natural connection between sewer and electric is plain as day!! Everyone sh*ts when they get their electric bill !!!
  • E. Leonard (23/07/2013, 22:38) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    This merger is a surprise and like a bolt from the blue. Having seen the word MERGER, I thought the MCW had convinced ferry operators of the value of merging operations. But then it was about merging BVIEC and WSD. Nonetheless, merger, combining two companies into one company, and its cousin acquisition, the purchasing of one company by another with no new company forming, is a common practice in the public and private sectors. The question is what is the driving force behind this merger, as well as the value of this proposed merger?

    Was a due diligence and integrating process study performed that showed that there was synergies in merging the BVIEC, a statutory body and WSD, a department within government? Did the study show the following would result:
    a. improving operations through economy of scale
    b. eliminating duplicative services
    c. reducing and avoiding operational cost
    d. gaining use of leading edge technology and equipment
    e, sharing and tapping into experienced and proven managerial talent and expertise
    f. improving the delivery level of customer service and customer satisfaction
    g. improving service reliability and availability
    h. positioning electricity, water, and sewage utilities in a stronger short-and long-term position
    i. placing utilities in a better position to facilitate growth and development
    j, making the utilities more bankable
    k. improving efficiency, effectiveness and economy

    Additionally, will customers in the end experience lower overall cost and higher quality service? Will all three utilities remain self-supporting or will their revenue streams will be combined? Will WSD combine with BVIEC and become statutory body or the agency will become a department?

    Moreover, why BVIEC and WSD and not WSD into PWD, forming PW and Utilities? Why not convert BVIEC into an energy corporation, managing fossil fuel, wind, wave, thermal, solar...etc? What organizational culture will be brought into the new unit? Did stakeholders have input into the proposal or is it a done deal? Are there any other mergers in the offing such as merging sea and airports? what is the cost of the merger? The long-term benefits of this proposed merger should outweigh the cost

    • Islander63 (24/07/2013, 06:45) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      I look at it this way. Wouldn't be more feasible to merge P.W.D and Water and Sewerage?
  • Hmmmm (23/07/2013, 23:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Already ppl cant eat the way they want to we have to go on a tight buget with food and merging that to crazy high price companies will send grandma grandpa to the poles to pay those bills well sa
  • the green party (24/07/2013, 01:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    when people go to the bathroom it always produces electrifieing results. or at least ignites when you
    put a match to it. sounds like a 'back to nature' plan. half of america operates on this principle - it's
    what makes their government go around. works in london too. sounds like the star wars initiative.
  • heavy d (24/07/2013, 02:06) Like (0) Dislike (8) Reply
    What a mess.
  • Music (24/07/2013, 07:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The only advantage I can see is in meter reading and billing. BVIEC are super efficient at both and could read the water meters at the same time. But they could that now for a fee without the need to merge.
  • ooooo (24/07/2013, 08:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    heaven help us all
  • wine (24/07/2013, 08:45) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    this make no sense to me?
  • just asking (24/07/2013, 09:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    what is wrong with the NDP .
  • bay youth (24/07/2013, 10:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Hon. Vanterpool also announced that Government is not looking at bringing in another ferry service to the Virgin Islands but that it is looking at attracting better ferry boats to the Territory "

    Stop urinating on the people and saying it is precipitation.
  • Just Wondering............ (24/07/2013, 14:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Merge the two Major Utilities together then privatize them to the Investment club.....uuuuuhhhh. This just came to mind when reading the articled and the response.

  • Boom and Bust (24/07/2013, 16:07) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the rationale for the merger is not clear and there will not be any major changes, why is the merging initiative taking place? Typically, mergers are pursued to gain economies of scale, reduce operating cost, gain market share, extend into markets, tap into the strength of one party in the merger ......etc Further, in mergers the same level of workers are not retained.

    Some retire, vacancies are not filled, some are offered severance packages, some are offered early retirement......etc. What is the value of this merger ?
  • ha (24/07/2013, 16:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    "A promise is a comfort to a fool" OF COURSE JOBS WILL BE LOST! Don't be a MOMO cause some of the positions will be ummmm redundant if thats the word.
  • Batz (24/07/2013, 16:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The only thing out of this merger will be lay offs. If there is not going to be a structural change in both organizations what is the point of them being joined togeather? Do they take us for @$$ ? What is in it for them ? Power generation contracts like what they did with the water ? No confidence !
  • Liat 521 (24/07/2013, 18:11) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mark is clearly not paying attention.
    • Well Sah (24/07/2013, 21:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Obviously not. stick to the manifesto script before you cause your demise. pay attention.
  • Slim Jim (26/07/2013, 13:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is the point of a merger if not to make business leaner and more effective. To say there will be no job losses suggests that many functions within the merged entity will duplicate each other. For example admin functions, HR, pay branch, etc. Not a message that fills me with confidence that the customer is finally getting better value for money.

  • Ms D (26/07/2013, 15:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What I'm concerned about is that W&S has a bad reputation already for keeping bad records of customers' payments and theft by their staff. Why would they merge?

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