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Governor ‘missing in action’ on cruise pier scandal — Malone

Former President of the Virgin Islands Party Carvin Malone. (BVI News photo)

Having only taken up office nearly a year ago, Governor Augustus Jaspert has inherited responsibilities which some argue his predecessor failed to act on while serving in the post.

One matter a number of residents have been hoping Governor Jaspert will exert his authority on is the controversy surrounding the cruise pier project.

Residents are clamouring for the governor to commence a commission of inquiry, considering more than two years have elapsed since reports that the project had cost massive overruns.

But, former president of the Virgin Islands Party Carvin Malone has suggested the incumbent governor should have, perhaps, acted already.

“I think, constitutionally, the governor is somewhat missing in action in terms of what is the next step … It is the constitution that gives him or the holder of that post the responsibility of taking it to the next step — that of a commission of inquiry,” Malone reasoned.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) government had come under heavy pressure after Works Minister Mark Vanterpool said the completed project cost $82.9 million — exceeding the estimated budget by $30 million.

And, in what can be described as improper conduct, the said government responded by appointing its own auditor to probe their conduct in relation to the project.

Persons, therefore, have questioned the legitimacy of the audit — the findings of which are still outstanding some two years now.

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith recently said the audit would be ready ‘in a couple of months or weeks’.

Audit complete, gov’t knows results?

However, while speaking on the Honestly Speaking radio programme on Tuesday, Malone said he believes government already knows the findings of the audit but have opted to withhold the results.

He said: “I will be bold enough to speculate that the results of the audit are well known. The results are known to the folks who should know; except the public who should have been the first to have it.”

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17 Comments

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  1. Rolling eyes says:

    Am I missing something here? The same host of Honestky Speaking was the main person who was handling that project and we all know the stories. If there was corruption in this project wouldn’t he be the first port of call? The minister wouldn’t have the level of contact that the managing director would have? The minister can’t do anything on the project without the knowledge and support of the Managing Director. What games are these people playing?Whenever — doesn’t get the contract for sewage works the principal of the company shows up in the media trying to pull ranks. Spoilt child!

    • @ rolling eyes says:

      You need to get your ducks in a row. The project fell under the Ministry of Communication & Works. Who is the head? Find out why he can’t run for politics in the upcoming elections. The managing director had to take instruction from the head of Communications and works. Don’t get it twisted.

  2. Boomy says:

    Where is the scandal? They built the pier, the cruise lines signed the agreement and they’re coming. The park is fully occupied with tenants and is a really nice escape from the horrors of Road Town.

    • Scandal says:

      the scandal is how much the cronies pocketed.

    • You are a Boomy says:

      Boomy we are talking about the 53ml over run

      • Boomy says:

        Again, where is the scandal? Nobody in their right mind can look at what was there before and what’s there now and think $50 mil could have built that. I think we need to stop the foolish politicking and wishing things are bad so we have a reason to complain. There are many other things the Government have not done right that we can bring to bear and beating the cruise pier and the high school wall is just ridiculous now. The pier park is the largest development undertaken by Government and their agencies that was completed and serving the purpose that it was set up for. Disney & Norwegian are massive corporations and would not be on board if we didn’t have something of value to offer. I do agree we need to hold government accountable for providing proper and factual information to the public but on this particular topic, we should all be proud of the pier park.

  3. BVIYoungman says:

    $82.9 MILLION?!!!! ME AS- YAH!

  4. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Was the cost overrun a result of poor plan review, poor estimating of construction cost, inflated construction cost……….etc? Every project should have a government/project estimate to compare bids to. If bids are way over or way under government estimate, further discussion(s) must be had with contractor(s) regarding bids.

    The actual construction cost will rarely equal estimate; well-designed, reviewed, bidded and managed projects often come in slightly under or over estimated cost.

    However, a $30M (36% of actual cost) cost overrun of an estimated $53M project is outside of the norm. By the way, was the $54M estimate consistent with market rates. If poor plan review, estimating, project management…….etc is not the cause of the $30M cost overrun, then what could it be? Regardless of the cause(s) for the $30M overrun it must be investigated.

    A fair and balance investigation would settle all swirling speculations and set the record straight. The result of this investigation/commission of inquiry could be a teachable moment for government construction projects management.

    • RealPol says:

      “Every project should have a government/project estimate to compare bids to. If bids are way over or way under government estimate, further discussion(s) must be had with contractor(s) regarding bids.”

      Real talk. Did this happened on this project? This should be the normal, routine process. Why does every government construction project seems to have cost overruns, does not finish on time, poorly inspected , warranty/workmanship issues rarely pursued, then to be inflated, ie, 7 figures, poorly designed and constructed……etc. and do not talk about maintenance. Little to no maintenance happens. The government pays too much for construction and other services and does not get value for money. Taxpayers get shafted regularly.

  5. Agreed says:

    The Governor is not doing his work.

  6. Truth says:

    In order to get away with wrong doing just join the NDP.

  7. SMDH says:

    Between the cruise pier project and the 7mill plane somebody should be up balo.

  8. Oh says:

    I agree with Malone. While we are at it with good governance we need to review ALL of those sewage contracts given out over and over to the same company and yet we are here in 2018 with sewage running all through our streets with no end in sight. Would Mr. Malone agree that we should pull the files on those sewage contracts as well?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Was VIP honest and transparent in all of their dealings? Do you all remember the famous “Cookie Jar” ? Who has never stole a cookie from the cookie jar Point a Finger !!! Political parties all over the world has some measure of a “ cookie jar “ syndrome but some so more than others . Parties here in the BVI is like the coal pot calling the kettle black. Go sit down !!

  10. Truth says:

    The pier park was never going to cost $50 mil and it is working like it was intended to. If Road Town could look like the Pier Park, we would be golden.

    The Government was obviously bamboozled into giving the airline the $7mil and now have egg on their faces.

    The Government has done very good things for the Territory as well in the last 7 years so if the above is what the VIP plan to campaign on in order for us to vote NDP out then I think they should just save us all the time, save themselves the money and throw in the towel from now. We want solutions and a pragmatic approach to the issues we face and stop with the pandering.

  11. Diaspora says:

    The public sector/government project construction process is poorly structured, managed, corrupt, unaccountable, non transparent, flawed……..etc. The indications are that the project was under estimated from the get go and everybody knew it. If so this was dishonest, grossly negligent and a disservice to the poor suffering taxpayer. It seems unimaginable that there could be a $30M cost overrun on a $54M estimated project. During the construction phase with skyrocketing cost, did any alarm bells go off? Lots of questions?

    Did the HOA authorized and appropriated the capital budget for this project? Did the HOA approved this project? Was the HOA briefed periodically on the project’s progress? How much did the contractor bid on this project? How many construction change orders/modifications, if any, and cost were there? What % of budget was earmarked for change orders? Was this %/dollar value exceeded and the did HOA appropriate the increased funding?

    Continuing……….What were the reason(s) for the change orders, ie, unforeseen and differing site conditions, errors and omissions, poor design, material changes, MCW changes, scope changes ……..etc? Was the Premier briefed during the construction of the skyrocketing cost overrun and what action, if any, were taken?

    Continuing…….. Is it good governance for government to investigate itself on such a controversial project? No. If there were no malfeasance, what is the harm in letting an independent entity conduct an investigation? What were the findings of the government initiated investigation and when will the results be released to the public? Is a commission of inquiry (COI) needed? Yes. Did the former Guv drop the ball? Can the current Guv make the process whole, do the right thing? Is not an ongoing COI on the $1M+ ESHS Wall?

  12. CW says:

    HAHAHAHAHA lots of experts in construction in these comments. Must be why most of you crying about your houses and work places still. If you’re so smart and such experts FIX THAT YOURSELF. or are you just haters with keyboards looking tough now? HAHAHAHAHA oh BVI (b*tchy Virgin islands) you make me cry and laugh at once.

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