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Calls to stop naming contractors in HOA amid corruption claims

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie (left) and Education Minister Myron Walwyn.

By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff

Government minister Myron Walwyn is pushing for a policy that will bar legislators from reading the names of government contractors aloud in parliament.

The minister said the practice of ‘public naming’ in parliament is prejudicial to contractors.

“I find [it] to be not only unparliamentary but very destructive to the territory of the Virgin Islands,” Walwyn said in a public statement recently.

“Very often it (public naming) serves only to demonise those businesses that are providing such a valuable service to the territory. The Standing Orders need to be adjusted in this regard, in my humble opinion.”

Standing Orders are, effectively, rules governing the procedures of parliament.

Claims of conspiracy to cover up corruption

Walwyn made his statement in response to a suggestion that he is involved in a conspiracy to cover up government ‘corruption’. These corruption claims were made in relation to government contracts distributed for remedial works to H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) after the 2017 hurricanes.

The claims were made after Walwyn refused to publicly name the company who received two government contracts, which totalled just fewer than $1.5 million. The contracts were issued without a legally required bidding process being undertaken. HLSCC said they approved the company to become the contractor ‘as a matter of urgency’.

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie had been the legislator who requested for the name of the HLSCC contractor to be publicly stated in the House of Assembly last Thursday.

Though Walwyn never spoke the name of the contactor aloud, he gave Fahie a document which had the names of the contractor in question.

Document with details of the contract issued for repairs to HLSCC.

That document then began circulating on social media with the caption: “No bid for work at HLSCC. Pure corruption. This kind of money is what we have to compete against. This is why he didn’t want to read them out in the House.”

Walwyn subsequently released a statement suggesting Fahie was the author of the caption. He further said the corruption claims were a move to gain “cheap political points”.

“Recklessly using words to suggest that our institutions are corrupt only serve to make life harder for all of us. And so I, therefore, urge my colleagues to look beyond just winning an election and look at winning for our country.”

Walwyn then ran to the defence of the HLSCC board of directors, who would have been the ones to approve the contract without undertaking a bidding process.

“I find it important to defend the board of governors of the college headed by Dr Charles Wheatley on this matter because all the members of the board are persons who are highly respected in our community and are persons of the highest integrity. For something like this (corruption accusations) to be done is certainly taking us down a pathway that will only serve to hurt the territory,” Walwyn said.

HLSCC is is a statutory body which handles its own legal and financial affairs.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

62 Comments

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  1. Unbelievable says:

    … just committed political suicide.

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    • Sam the man says:

      I find it incredible that a man that aspires to be the next Premier fails to grasp the perilous danger of subscribing to John 3:19 principles . No wonder the UK has passed the legislation it has against money laundering which we have recently been found to be practising ! Unless Myron submits to biblical principles of openness, transparency and accountability – he will definitely be voted in as that is the low standard we accept! Lets take the “no direction party” to a new low of mediocrity….

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    • Not2Sure says:

      The report of this story on this website are very different from what is being reported on other websites. For example, this report ignores the Minister’s statement: “We should all seek to stamp out corruption wherever it exists, because this is important for the good governance of our Territory. However, we should never manufacture it to gain cheap political points and to bring the names of our good citizens into disrepute.”

      It also ignores the leaking of HoA documents by WhatsApp and making wild and salacious allegations which circulated on social media that the Minister was addressing.

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      • Mr. Crabby Patty says:

        The other website also conveniently left out his remarks about changing the rules of he house to reflect his opinion! So what’s your point exactly?!?! Like another poster said, if the companies and individuals are above reproach then there’s no reason to hide heir names. Just as with any other tax payer funded project before where names have been asked and divulged. What will be next? His opinion on that the values of projects/contracts need not be given? For Pet s sake HIS government has not produced ANY audited accounts for YEARS, yet those benefiting see no problems with this. Well thankfully the U.K. does and the hammer will soon fall. Take for e.g. the BVi Airways debacle – we would never know the BO of the company or how much money was gifted for nothing. We don’t need to know whom government gives scarce funds away to and for what?!?! Feel like the Twlight Zone…..

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  2. wow says:

    of course that’s corruption to the highest

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  3. good to great says:

    We will not change our laws to accommodate cronyism

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  4. Huh says:

    Aren’t there protocols for effective financial management still in place? I thought they applied to both government and statutory bodies.
    And what happened to the freedom of information we so desperately need here? These things are public matters and the people in the house of assembly, snotty as they would like to think they are, are public servants. They are elected by the people AND paid by the people and there should be transparency, not hidden agendas. Too much of what is done in the darkness is now coming to light to bite us in the butts. Shame.

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  5. Need to know says:

    If this is done right, the people need to know. If this is done wrong the people need to know. Everyone is up to scrutiny. No hiding behind good name!

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  6. Wrong says:

    Oh shut it. We need transparency. Everybody done know wha going on with some of these companies. Friends with benefits I say. Who the cap fit just fking wear it. Set of thieves.

    Do the people work Fahie.

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  7. no not for premier says:

    WE WANT TO KNOW THE NAMES OF ALL THE CONTRACTORS IN ORDER TO SEE FAIRNESS OF DISTRIBUTION. WE ALSO WANT TO KNOW WHO SUPPLY’S THE FOOD TO THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ????

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    • Food to House of Assembly says:

      I fail to see how this is relevant….. somebody jealous….

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      • Relevant? says:

        My dear let me enlighten you as to how it is relevant. A government contract or purchase order has to be issued to spend public funds for catering. It should be tendered every few months to ensure that the country is receiving value for money. This matter has nothing to do with jealousy but when there a little matters of corruption the big matters of corruption are not far off.

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      • stupes says:

        Jealous will help when things turn brown, boss all u better play the cards right. No more time for foolishness. If you doing something and its of purpose do it right, and with principle

      • Jane says:

        It’s relevant because the Right Hon Minister for Education, Mr Walwyn has a significant commercial interest in a number of restaurants/hotels. Those restaurants have historically received some very lucrative contracts for supplying catering services to the government. That’s why. And they say there is no such thing as a free lunch….

        • Rubber Duck says:

          To the best of my knowledge 95% of government food contracts and dinners and so on are by or in Mr Walwyns establishments.

  8. Albion says:

    So no more government in the sunshine, I guess. No bid contracts will now be a secret, and no one will be able to publish the names of those who win them. How exactly will this help transparency and prevent corruption?

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  9. wow says:

    No, they should be read!

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  10. Really? says:

    Ummm…Government in the Sunshine alright!!! It is not against the rules of Parliament!!!! and it is in the Public Interest….if persons are so concerned about being named maybe they shouldn’t bid on government contracts.

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  11. waylox says:

    Oh so some of the contractors were ——-? No wonder Skelton was defeated so easily?

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  12. i wanna know says:

    If it is not korupshun then wha yo call it ??????????????

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  13. too much secrecy says:

    wha we gah to hide

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  14. Disbelief says:

    The UK has stand back and let these people destroy the country. So no doubt there will always be corruption and abuse of power by Politicians in this country for they will feel that there is nobody to answer to.

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    • Seer says:

      Why blame the U.K. They have tried on many occasion to help and make sure things are done right but, the uneducated population allow the same politician to make noise that the U.K. is interfering and you all believe them.

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      • TOMFOOLERY says:

        AGREED! Whey now reeping what they sow

      • Bvi patriot says:

        But, but…we marched against the UK. Massive crowd ever. Winning winning winning ad nauseum.

      • Please says:

        When was this when the Governor wrote a letter to the premier saying that he is with standing the pressure of the PAC and Public.

        The UK dont have to try anything they can just do like how they passed a Law saying Capital Punishment is aborted, Same sex marriages and the Public registry.

        In addition the BVI has one of the highest literacy rate some of you all continue to come on here and post nonsesne to disrespect BVIslanders.

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        • @Please says:

          Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon…no matter how well you play, the bird is going to s**t on the board and strut around like it won anyway. There are a lot of pigeons on Tortola.

  15. snake in the grass says:

    F in D1 will say or do anything to get in power…If you think i lie ask F in D3

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  16. cuban says:

    So them wanna protect the crabs in the barrel?

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  17. LOL says:

    IT SEEMS LIKE He WILL GO AT GREAT LENGTHS TO PROTECT HIS SOLDIER CRABS

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  18. Thanks says:

    Thanks for letting us know one of your plans if you are elected. How you want to block the public from receiving public info? You think this is your private business? Keep on revealing your true self. Stupps.

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  19. Lordie says:

    Watch him come put q spin on this now to say nah I really meant to say this.

    The man just trying to get rich overnight.

    He already done say he is no longer living from hand to mouth.

    NDP fah ayo!

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  20. Soothsayer says:

    Be careful for what you wish (vote) for…

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  21. Political Observer (PO) says:

    This must be a Freudian slip, for the Hon Walwyn cannot be serious. Is this a peak into what a Walwyn government would look like? This is a serious political blunder; it is a self inflicted hemorrhaging chest wound. Trying to hide the people business from the people. What ah ting! The bottom line is the proposal is idiotic and pure nonsense.

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  22. keep it clean says:

    ”HLSCC is is a statutory body which handles its own legal and financial affairs.” So does this mean that as they are not part of the Government bidding process and can pick who they want – that this is a null point?

    On the other hand – are people getting favours due to the clubs or private members associations they are in together as well as political party preference?

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  23. Name them says:

    Why he want silence this information…name them!!! The public have RIGHT to know…

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  24. well meh boi says:

    He no longer want to pass laws protect locals and now don’t want to publish their names either?

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  25. snake in the grass says:

    HOW COULD THAT WANNA BE LEADER LEAKED THAT OFFICIAL DOCUMENT ON WHATS APP ?? NOW I SEE WHY F—- COULDN’T TRUST H–

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  26. Good says:

    So now that is all out there and you have made it clear that you want to cover up the corrupt processes, we have full clarity that we cannot expect the “integrity” that seems to be declared on every political poster. That helps with decision making come vote time. I want to know who is selected for work and I want all politicians to declare their interests in each company so we have the full picture.

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  27. Grodaguy says:

    All government contracts should be published – an RFP should be required and all the bids disclosed after a winning bid is selected = open and transparent.

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  28. Phoenix says:

    So the man is calling for LESS transparency??? He must have a reason for believing that will get him re-elected.

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  29. Guy Hill says:

    People ask questions and make suggestions that brings the question. Are you out of your darn mind? So how does something immoral when done privately become moral when it is done collectively? For truth there is no deadline and there is no excuse for being irresponsible. Two wrongs does not make a right at any point in reasoning.

  30. VG68 says:

    WOW! I believe the public would like to know how many of these ministers have vested interests in “The Club”. The oligarchy of the BVI.

  31. VOTER says:

    SOON THE VIP SUPPORTERS WILL BLOG THUMBS UP AND DOWN THEMSELVES THEY THINK PEOPLE STUPID.

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  32. A hungry man is an angry man says:

    Carry on like this Walwyn, and direct rule from the UK is just around the corner! I for one, cannot wait for that to happen.
    You shame yourself and your country, last election you spoke of being open, transparent and accountable, yet all along you just like everyone else in the government, … whilst your people suffer.

  33. Wise says:

    Voters, be wise. Politics is the same game being played over and over. Just different players. Wrong is wrong and right is right but do you see the VIP doing any different? Same game. Why was the VIP voted out in 2011? Same game, different players. How long can we endure this? I, for one wouldn’t mind if the UK takes over. Same game just different players. I have no dog in the fight and I hate the sport.

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  34. Sink sink sink says:

    I’m disgusted!!! Call election now dam it!!! This man a crazo or wha.

  35. son of the earth says:

    sound like someone has a receipt on a civil servant

  36. Diaspora says:

    Bright sunshine is an effective disinfection for government operations. Through the constitution and other mechanisms, government is granted the authority to act on behalf of the electorate. However, that authority comes with accountability, responsibility and transparency. These are principles of good governance; electorate must demand good governance.

    Moreover, except in a few instances, the public has a right to know all else what government is doing; secret information include issues of national security, law enforcement issues, personnel privacy information, proprietary info…….etc.

    In regards to procurement/acquisition, there must be a definite process for both genuine emergency, and non-emergency needs. Except for small purchases below a certain dollar value, procurement of goods and services should be open and competitive. The public has a right to know what contractors got what contract, what is the value, what is the term and conditions……….etc. Further, they need to know that the procurement process is being followed, if there is equity in awarding contracts……..etc.

  37. Lol says:

    So because of all the claims of curruption … Lets hide even more information from the public and that’s the solution. Lololol. My people please vote wisely next electon.

  38. Old ndp says:

    The views express doesn’t reflect the views of the old ndp party

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  39. Hah says:

    So many fishes in the sea but every time is crab, crab, crab. What about lobster and shrimp? This crustacean family got their claws all over the NDP for years.

  40. Just my 3cents says:

    But wait isnt it tax payers money we have a right to know

  41. John says:

    It is thing like this why the NDP will not form the next government. This is cronyism and it’s wrong. The same contractors getting government contracts since the NDP was elected. The same things happened under the VIP. This is just wrong and this is the reason why I heard so many people say they will not vote for VIP nor NDP. When are we going to elect leaders who care for the BVI?

  42. SHOVEL says:

    MYRON LOOSING VOTES EVERYDAY. KEEP DIGGING YOUR OWN GRAVE

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