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Controversy looms over use of Gov’t vehicle by Ex-Legislator

- Financial Secretary claims vehicle was purchased for Leader of the Opposition
This is the government vehicle (right) reportedly used by former Legislator and government Minister Mrs. Eileene L. Parsons, OBE that has caused several calls and enquiries. Many want to know if this is a new Government policy or a one time support provided for Mrs. Parsons who is an amputee having lost her two legs. Photo: VINO/File
The Financial Secretary Mr. Neil M. Smith [left] told our news site that the vehicle GV0530 was purchased for the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal OBE. However a senior civil servant told our news site that she has never seen Mr. O’Neal using the vehicle since becoming the Leader of the Opposition some two years ago. He instead is seen being transported via his family's private vehicle. Photo: VINO/File
The Financial Secretary Mr. Neil M. Smith [left] told our news site that the vehicle GV0530 was purchased for the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal OBE. However a senior civil servant told our news site that she has never seen Mr. O’Neal using the vehicle since becoming the Leader of the Opposition some two years ago. He instead is seen being transported via his family's private vehicle. Photo: VINO/File
GV0530 was seen yesterday, January 26, 2014 under a tent with Mrs. Eileene L. Parsons at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay at the horse races. Photo: VINO
GV0530 was seen yesterday, January 26, 2014 under a tent with Mrs. Eileene L. Parsons at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay at the horse races. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Over the past three months, many persons have called our news room to enquire if we had any information as to why former Legislator Mrs. Eileene L. Parsons, OBE was given the services of a state owned vehicle and whether this is now a new policy of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration.

Many residents have told our news room that they have no objections to the former Minister, Cultural Icon and NDP official having access to the government owned vehicle, GV0530, but said there must be a transparent process and suggested that if it is a policy, then others should also have the same access.

One Virgin Gorda resident, a Mr. George who did not want his first name to be used but said he lives in North Sound, told us, “I know her situation having lost her two legs but what happen to other sick former members? Would they get access to a government vehicle too?”

He said a former Legislator “from right here Mr. Reeial George had walking challenges and no one ever offered him a Government vehicle…so my only point is, if it’s done for one, it should be done for others,” the middle aged gentlemen told our news room.

Mrs. Parsons who was last year awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British Monarch Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her long outstanding service to the Virgin Islands especially in education, tourism and culture, is an amputee having lost her two legs.

In June of 2011 the then Virgin Islands Party Government of former Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE honored Mrs. Parsons by naming the publicly run H. L. Stoutt Community College auditorium in her honour.

When contacted by this news site a few weeks ago on the use of the government vehicle the former Minister for Natural Resources and Labour and founder of the popular Heritage Dancers said she had no comment.

Government denied vehicle was purchased for Ms. P

Many persons continue to report that they allegedly see Mrs. Parsons using the Government owned vehicle in question, GV0530, both for personal and social events along with a driver.

However, the Government’s Director of Communications Mrs. Arlene T. Penn told our news room that a vehicle was not purchased for the former Legislator and referred us to the Financial Secretary.

Financial Secretary Mr. Neil M. Smith told our new site that “the vehicle was purchased for the Leader of the Opposition.”

A call to the Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE’s home yesterday 26, January 2014 by this news site revealed that Hon. O’Neal was on Virgin Gorda at the time.

However, the government vehicle in question was seen transporting Mrs. Parsons up to yesterday January 26, 2014 at the horse races at Ellis Thomas Downs, in Sea Cows Bay.

A senior civil servant whose name could not be used because she was not authorized to talk to the press on this matter said, “I have never seen Mr. O’Neal using that Government vehicle since he became Leader of the Opposition some two years ago… he has always been driven in his family private vehicle.”

“Someone has to simply come clean with us, as I am sure the public will have no objections to this service being granted to our daughter of the soil as it is well deserving….again this is the problem we have had with this government for the last two years, they have not been transparent with the people,” the seasoned public officer told our news site.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith could not be reached as of press time to ascertain if this is now a new policy of his Administration in providing this type of support to former Legislators, or if it’s a one off policy for Mrs. Parsons a staunch NDP supporter.

The cost of the government vehicle, who pays the driver and the cost of gas and maintenance are unknown at this time.

Two eyewitnesses called our news room after the story was posted to report that they have allegedly seen Hon. O’Neal using the Government vehicle, GV0530 very recently attending a funeral in East End.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering has gone on record about the treatment of former Members of the Legislature and has advocated that they should be treated with dignity.

83 Responses to “Controversy looms over use of Gov’t vehicle by Ex-Legislator”

  • ka (27/01/2014, 08:18) Like (29) Dislike (30) Reply
    I have not a problem with the vehicle taking her to and from government functions, but not horserace.]

    Poor we taxpayers.
    • she the cat mother (27/01/2014, 11:01) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Oh VINO, you make me giggle
    • sus (27/01/2014, 12:25) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
      poor ayu island people tax payer money
      • Really (29/01/2014, 10:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        you still with this ayu island people? what the hell you is? not an island person? ayu Tortola people think this little ISLAND is so big like a continent......yet one of the smallest island around....ayu kill
    • Hell Gates (28/01/2014, 09:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Some of these senior civil servants and legislators are going to split hell wide open with all of their lies. I wonder if they know that the sins(wrong doings) of the mother and father follow the children down to the third and fourth generation.. A ya go ahead man, time longer than twine.
  • butterbean (27/01/2014, 08:22) Like (38) Dislike (28) Reply
    this should not be an issue because these peoples have paid their dues why are we worried about simple things like this.WHY are we not investigating the bigger things about these other power hungry peoples who want to sit in these high places
    • grammar (27/01/2014, 19:45) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      People is the plural word for person, why are you putting a s at the end?
      • illiterateall (28/01/2014, 08:13) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        It should be "an s" and not a s, so u are in the illiterate pool too!
        • @illiterateall (30/01/2014, 14:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          I thought 'an' is used in front of words that starts with 'a;e;i;o;u'.... The school system failed me or is it that I failed it :S
  • Yes (27/01/2014, 08:33) Like (30) Dislike (36) Reply
    These VIP supporters must be getting desperate if they will make a political issue out of this.
    • TO; lol (27/01/2014, 10:15) Like (20) Dislike (10) Reply
      Desperate not this time…. the NDP is the desperate ones something coming for ayo
      • @ lol (27/01/2014, 11:07) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
        Your blog/ piece misses the core issue: The public support the former lady politician use of the GV but just tell us if this is now the government policy…this is not hard to comprehend
        • Liat 521 (27/01/2014, 18:01) Like (21) Dislike (9) Reply
          we voters will die from boredom waiting for the next elections which is taking so long to come. NDP going through the door... we will fix them.
    • @ lol (27/01/2014, 18:04) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Very naive thinking.
  • Really (27/01/2014, 08:46) Like (23) Dislike (38) Reply
    Vino word of advice watch who you talking about ok stepping on hot rocks right now
    • 0_0 (27/01/2014, 10:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is a classic...
    • @ Really (27/01/2014, 11:11) Like (40) Dislike (3) Reply
      People like you frighten me, Really! You are bad for democracy and freedom…..why is this matter off limits? Thank god for a free press
  • yes (27/01/2014, 08:56) Like (23) Dislike (10) Reply
    • time will tell (27/01/2014, 10:45) Like (38) Dislike (6) Reply

      Don't forget Hon Terrence Lettsome and Louis Walters and Prince Stoutt. VIP have a nasty reputation. When you are of no more use they throw you away and let you rot. No loyalty. I have personally seen The Leader of the opposition in that vehicle going funeral together with Mrs. Parson's. Goes to show the Government respects our former leaders who have contributed soo much to the territory. Pity all so people can see is the negative. She is still a member of the board of Governors for the college, on a million advisory committees (form VIP times) and yet this is a problem to her a driver take her around to these functions. So what if she went horse race? She was the Minister who made the track possible because of the passion for the sport. She walked on hot coals for that track. Even sponsored locals to train as jockeys.. Some people need to just crawl under a rock and die. 

  • Need Facts (27/01/2014, 09:05) Like (29) Dislike (9) Reply
    The article states clearly that we are not against Ms. P having this service, all we want is clarification on the cost and maintenance and if we the people paid for it? We also want the same be offered to other ex-house of assembly members, who are in need.
    I am sure everyone would agree Ms. p deserves this, but what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Is this now a new policy? If so we need to know. Has it been offered to others? If so why not?
    • pat (27/01/2014, 12:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

      I agree. the questions are for me- do we compensate for hon. O'neal's use of his family car and driver, and does this constitute paying twice for the same service. no disrespect intended. And what other officials get the use of Government vehicles?
      Also what jumped to mind- rightly or wrongly- is the fact that PL got to bypass regulations when their are laws in parking spaces per new development, etc. Any correlation with rewarding loyal political figures? just asking...

  • ?? (27/01/2014, 09:12) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    If this car was ordered for the opposition leader why isnt he using it?
  • Petty (27/01/2014, 09:12) Like (18) Dislike (31) Reply
    Petty!! Petty!! Petty!!! Please find some meaningful work to do!!!
    • ccc (27/01/2014, 09:36) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
      You got two more years on the job
    • Tolian (27/01/2014, 10:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      As, William Bendix, in the life of Reilly would say "What a revolting development this is" Or " it's your bed, you made it now lay in it ! ".
  • mr p (27/01/2014, 09:29) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply
    This is abuse of the public purse. Was this car budgetted for?
    • charles (27/01/2014, 11:16) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
      There is absolutely NOTHING to be gained by us not being told the truth about Eileene use of our tax payers funded vehicle!!! thank you VINO for having gone there.
    • Hmm (27/01/2014, 15:55) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      I was asking myself the same question. And if it was not how come they could find the money to buy a new vehicle but they can't find money to pay the public servants their full increments. Please tell me I really want to know.
  • JACK BE STILL (27/01/2014, 09:47) Like (19) Dislike (6) Reply
    I am not a fan of VINO but I have read the story and must say its fair and balance and no one is bashing Mrs. P. The story has prised her for her work.

    Nonetheless it’s a legitimate question to find out if this is now the policy of the NDP on former Ministers of the Legislative council...Come on all the people want IS answers, we will always support Mrs. P and the use of the car but just tell us if this is the new way going forward….
  • Yousa Hypocrite (27/01/2014, 09:56) Like (21) Dislike (11) Reply
    That's why the territory is the way it is. It's not really a big deal but we all know if this was about Fraser or Fahie letting someone use their government assigned vehicle all hell would break loose. When VIP do it it's called corruption, when NDP do it they say so what VIP did it too. Too many hypocrites will sink the ship.
    • Come on (27/01/2014, 10:26) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
      If Andrew or Fraser had a vehicle transporting Ms P or any other former legislator that has contributed as much as she has, only idiots would have a problem with that.
  • x factor (27/01/2014, 10:04) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is ting to talk
  • Country Gal (27/01/2014, 10:08) Like (13) Dislike (6) Reply
    This is just another way to show how our people got TWO FACES... On one hand they complain how people are not GIVEN THIER FLOWERS WHILE THEY ARE LIVING.... then they complain how they treat NOEL LLOYD after he was almost gone.... now you all have the nerve to make this vehicle usage an issue.... Strupps.. You just cant please people.
    • @ Country Gal (27/01/2014, 10:20) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
      But the article done say the public has to problem with the use of the GV so stop trying to make confusion where there is none but it’s far to ask questions!!!
  • xxxxxxxx (27/01/2014, 10:40) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    The NDP would be much better off if they just provide people with information...not one man is against Ms. Parsons suing the Government vehicle but just tell us...plane and simple
  • triniboy (27/01/2014, 10:43) Like (6) Dislike (12) Reply
    I think VINO shoulda leave this one alone........this is just melee......this lady paid her dues
  • polo (27/01/2014, 10:52) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    It is really a simple matter just tell the people the truth
  • 1 (27/01/2014, 11:58) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    "He said a former Legislator “from right here Mr. Reeial George had walking challenges and no one ever offered him a Government vehicle…so my only point is, if it’s done for one, it should be done for others,” the middle aged gentlemen told our news room."

    this is it in one word!!!

  • ooooo (27/01/2014, 13:14) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    see the cronyism? when it's vip it is wrong when it's ndp it is right
  • lashing dogs (27/01/2014, 13:29) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    we got your back ms. p
  • wise-up (27/01/2014, 14:25) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    Big fu@$ing deal; Ms P is one of we; when government spending money on consultants and subsidizing airlines in and out of our country no one makes any noise….just leave the woman alone for heaven sake !!!!!!! when it comes to “our” own people there is always some dumb mofo talking trash(and its is always your fellow BV Islander)

  • school children (27/01/2014, 14:32) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    We heard that the vehicle came with an ice box/cooler. Fox will make a good choice of driver then!
  • know it (27/01/2014, 15:55) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Please get your facts straight, Mr Recial George was incapable of walking while VIP was in power. NDP won the election in Nov 2011,that time Mr George was in the hospital. How comes NDP is to be blamed?
    • @ know it (27/01/2014, 17:05) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      stop lie I saw with my two eyes in 2012 Mr. George in town trying to work ayo too dam LIE
    • stop (28/01/2014, 16:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      MR George was capable to walk for the rights of all and get your facts straight. How u know he was in hospital?
  • voter (27/01/2014, 17:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    And people wonder why I refuse to go back to the polls
  • yellow (27/01/2014, 17:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a diabolical waste of taxpayer dollars!
  • history teacher (27/01/2014, 17:56) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Let's not forget the other side of the "bitcoin" here: one x minister had two government vehicles, one for him to drive in the day and another at nights
  • Bulg (27/01/2014, 19:09) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Ms parsons is a great lady and she was both VIP and NDP. but this is just a drop in the bucket compared with the widespread an continuous use of GV vehicles for private use by our civil service members. How many times a day do you see a GV vehicle obviously not on gov business? And how much do these people put back into the public purse for gas and wear and tear in private use? All GV vehicles should carry a log and the user writes in it where they went and why. Any private use should be charged at 50c a mile. They log mileage at start and end of each trip. That would stop this gross abuse.

    As for legislators, they get a lovely fat pension for life after only one term - why can't they pay for the vehicles and gas like the rest of us?

    Wounded and disabled people are another issue and should be cared for by the National Health Plan when it . comes. This would apply to Ms Parsons and any one else needing special care.
  • my 8% (27/01/2014, 19:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    With bulge 100%...that would definately cut the abuse of gv's...not from here-but i pay tax...regulate how u spend and what u spend on...plain an simple...
  • unacceptable (27/01/2014, 20:47) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    With government claiming that money is tight, the expense of providing that vehicle for a non public service to burn my tax money lining in is not acceptable. Them say park up the cars at night and on weekends but yet this one is being used to lime in and that's acceptable? Who is paying for the gas, the maintenance, the driver? When done budgets slicing left and right. How can that then be acceptable?
  • Bam Bam (27/01/2014, 21:37) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The article was necessary nothing when coming to the public purse should be off limit. However I have no beef with Mrs. Parsons using the vehicle bam
  • gerrge w. touch (27/01/2014, 21:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    “Someone has to simply come clean with us, as I am sure the public will have no objections to this service being granted to our daughter of the soil as it is well deserving….again this is the problem we have had with this government for the last two years, they have not been transparent with the people,” the seasoned public officer told our news site.

    This statement is compelling and so TRUE…we cannot trust the NDP as dem too dam lie
  • virgin gorda (27/01/2014, 23:23) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    Some of you people got nothing to do so get a life
  • Come on (28/01/2014, 05:18) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    This should not be on the account of the Public purse. This is sad. I know i not voting them again. No not one. I will stay home. Because i not supporting Ralph .
  • in the news (28/01/2014, 07:27) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Government must put information in the media not Censorship
  • Wehicle Again For Walphy (28/01/2014, 08:05) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Wait How much more Wehicle Ralphy den Want? Lincoln Navigator, Jeep Cherokee, All the Illuminati SUVs in tola. wa More them looking for. Over LEt mrs. Parson Be please.
  • Bam Bam (28/01/2014, 08:11) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    When I need a ride Horserace, I now know who to call. Government Vehicle is the way
  • Mehson (28/01/2014, 08:27) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am so insulted when I read the BVI blogs, the grammar, the reasoning, the obvious hatred for each other....why would I ever think a BVIslander would like me when they don't like their own. It is very clear to me and I am sure many people around the region reading these Blogs that the BVI need to focus on educating its people. Let's try this, for the next 5 days let's digest what is being written in the Blogs and you will no ddoubt see where I am coming from...ddisgusting.
  • Str8Nose (28/01/2014, 09:08) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Aunt Eileene, you hearing what them making a fuss over? They really need some church!
  • 2 (28/01/2014, 10:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is it as simple as him lending her the vehicle? and is that ok?
  • Go on (28/01/2014, 11:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can't anybody read past the first paragraph? It clearly says vehicle bought for the leader of the Opposition. It is clear (to me anyway) that Uncle Ralph see fit to help Mrs. Parsons. Where does the Government come into this? Ayo nothing but trying to make a confusion where none should be.
  • rip (28/01/2014, 16:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. George was a grate man of all time what is his name doing in this mix up let the man soul RIP.
  • Myrna Fonseca (28/01/2014, 16:50) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Come on people mrs parson has done a lot for this community both as a teacher and a politician and is still working in the best interest of the BVI ,she should be respected and treated with dignity, there is a lot more we should be concerned about . let us all try with constructive ideas to make our 60th festival the best ever, I am looking forward to it I will be their, I cannot miss it . respect to all Myrna
  • ABC (28/01/2014, 18:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    And to think that Government is asking we the tax payers to report misuse of Government vehicles by civil servants. For heaven sake, Mrs. Parson is getting a fat pension and social security pay cheque every mth. let her pay her way. If she had a conscience she would never have asked for or accepted that vehicle. Had anyone else done it, her caustic mouth would have been all over that person. Wrong is wrong, butter coating it does not make it right.
  • big time (28/01/2014, 23:43) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    you think the NDP cares what ayo think? Miss P is one of there biggest supporters
  • Lucy (29/01/2014, 14:51) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    our country is small, but that is no excuse for the License Plate of vehicle to be posted. What ever happened to privacy? Should I go ahead and post the private numbers, license plates and addresses of those who own this site? 
    I see nothing wrong with Eileene Parsons, OBE to be allowed use of this government vehicle. What about the hundreds of others who have done NOTHING for this country riding around in government vehicles?
    Should it be public knowledge how much is being spent on this? Sure, why not. But you're asking the wrong person. I highly doubt Ms Parsons, OBE is the one signing the checks.
    I hate to doubt the intelligence of those we rely on for "news". 

  • another crazy (30/01/2014, 00:50) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Lucy you sound like a silly idiot go get lost
  • friend (30/01/2014, 01:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Come on B V I there are more serious matter to be addressed than Miss P having the use of a Government vehicle to take her around, Miss P like other legislators be it VIP or NDP have worked for this Territory so let us respect and honor them.
  • with my owe eyes (30/01/2014, 17:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I saw Ralph in this vehicle today by socita bank
    • @ with my owe eyes (31/01/2014, 06:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      so what's the issue it was brought for him and not Miss Parsons
  • v (01/02/2014, 03:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think BVIslanders can stand a little political malfeasance, and often adultery and such scandals, but we absolutely hate being lied to like we're too stupid to figure out the truth
  • Fraud Alert (01/02/2014, 23:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a case of inappropriate use of Government property. She is not entitled to private use of government property. Life is good for some and not so good for others.

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