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No wrongdoing | $82M cruise pier cost was ‘fair’, says Vanterppol

The Tortola Pier Park. (File photo)

Works Minister Mark Vanterpool on Monday maintained that the Cruise Pier Project did not have a cost overrun because the $50 million estimate that government initially gave for the controversial project was an ‘incomplete assessment’.

Government has been under considerable pressure for the last two years concerning the project, which had a final reported cost of $82.9 million. This represents more than $30 million above the initial estimate.

While citing a report from consultancy firm, BCQS International, Vanterpool said the final project estimate of more than $80 million “was fair for the development of this project”.

And while dismissing concerns about a cost overrun as ‘negative talk’, Vanterpool said: “The initial cost for the entire Cruise Pier Project was estimated at $50 million, but this was not based on any final and approved designs. However, once the plans were completed and as construction progressed, the estimate was revised to approximately $85 million.”

He continued: “Why didn’t the BVI Ports Authority prepare its own estimates? The answer is: Time was not on the side of the BVI Ports Authority to do this, as they already had contractual arrangements with Disney and Norwegian Cruise Lines to deliver this project by a specific deadline.”

Vanterpool then said it was not possible for the project to be completed for $50 million.

But, despite the Works Minister’s assertion, residents have continued to question why government only announced their so-called ‘true estimated cost of more than $80 million’ until after the project was completed.

Meanwhile, the Premier Dr D Orlando Smith-led government commissioned a cruise pier audit back in 2016 to ‘silence the critics’. But, up to present-day, the results of that audit has still not been released.

The Premier’s latest claim in relation to why the pier park audit is still incomplete is that former BVI Ports Authority employees with intimate knowledge of the cruise pier project are behind the delay.

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15 Comments

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  1. Brad Boynes says:

    L—- straight from hell.

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    • Auditor says:

      There needs to be a criminal investigation into who knew what when. The General public and opposition assumed the project was within the scope that was made public. We were not informed of the massive cost overruns until 1) after the election and 2) after money had been raised from private citizens who weren’t aware of the cost overruns.

      • Biggee says:

        Round em up and lock em up. And while you’re at it, ask them to return all the kickbacks. We can use the money now to rebuild our schools and roads.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You people have no concept of what $82 million will build in the real world compared to the corrupt BVI. First, you take no competitive bids from real companies outside your racist island so you have no idea what things should really cost. The locals are not competent to provide a contractual number to build anything. Thus, when they run out of money because they don’t know what they are doing the government just gives them more. This helps in filling the pockets of all involved. This is the main reason the government doesn’t want to release the beneficial ownership of the offshore companies. Too many politicians and there family members will show up. You locals in charge are worse to your own people than any slave Master was 200 years ago.

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    • smh says:

      Who was dumb enough to like this comment? Why are you just letting an outsider disrespect BVI people like that? Read to understand!

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      • Biggee says:

        Wait a minute sister. There is a lot of truth in @anon’s words. Somebody is hiding something from us. Right? Our elected officials hid the cost overruns for the pier until after the last elections. Our elected officials may also be hiding their beneficial ownership interests in the money that we sent to the BVI Airline.

        Orlando stand up for your party today and pledge to us that no one in your party or their family members received any payola for the $7 million you sent to that airline. OK? If you are honest, we will build a statue of you next to the hospital. On the other hand if you have filled your pockets with our money please get down on your knees and raise your arms to the Almighty and beg for His forgiveness. Then, apologiize to us and give us back ALL OUR MONEY. Ok? Praise the Lord.

  3. Jokes says:

    The land-side development is a sham! Empty shells cannot cost that much! What about the much touted but never appearing franchise restaurant? That building hasn’t been built yet! The floating docks got damaged – what was the cost of the damages to that development? The fit and finishes (externally) are not nowhere near the purported final cost for the project. Way too much sloppy workmanship, conduits/pipes with nothing running through them buried underground. That development is a loss generator and not producer. The government only looking and head tax and not quantifying the other hidden costs that us tax payers have to shoulder the brunt of. What’s the annual maintenance costs for the land-side and the dock? I know the businesses out there are suffering due to lack of shoppers – GOd bless the locals whom have supported them. Audit needs to come before next general elections! No more damn excuses!!

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  4. Concern says:

    If no wrong doing Mark, why the U.K won’t allow you to run come general elections – that’s what the school children them saying. It is because of the audit. Tell the people why you not running..

  5. NDP says:

    The NDP have always taken the people of the BVI to be fools and now that the country is worse off today than it was 20 years ago- with nada done since IRMA -who are the real fools? Tell me!

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  6. Quantity Surveyor says:

    It cant be hard to get an independent valuation (Smiths Gore?) – then demand an explanation for the difference/heads roll/jail time. What happened to the KPMG report?

  7. Visitor says:

    64% more – that seems quite good, it´s not double.
    I think he should quit.

  8. Retired says:

    “While citing a report from consultancy firm, BCQS International, Vanterpool said the final project estimate of more than $80 million “was fair for the development of this project”.”

    Please provide the public with the entire report. Thank you

  9. Political Observer (PO) says:

    In the private sector, we as consumers price/cost comparison shop all day, making decisions as to whether a price is fair and equitable. The public sector typically does the same. As such, normally in public sector construction projects acquisition, the government agency develops a solid government estimate (GE) to compare bids to. Thus, if the low, responsible and responsive or best value bidder is either substantially below or above the GE, the contracting officer alarm bell should go off, requiring further analysis.

    Further, it is poor contract management to award a project if the GE is substantially incomplete. Apparently this was done with the Tortola Pier Park (TPP) project; the apparent GE employed was $50M but the actual cost according to Mark Vanterpool (D-4), MCW, was approximately $83M. Consequently, the substantial cost overrun, assuming that the $83M was the true cost, should not be a surprise.

    Moreover, what was the exigency is ploughing forward without a strong, credible GE? Did the BVIPA lack the capacity and capability to perform a true and GE? Why did the Premier, HOA, NDP caucus……..etc let the TPP project go forward without a proper GE? Is the $83M a fair and equitable cost? Are most BVI government contracts over priced? Is the TPP project consultant conducting the audit so “LESS” that it cannot complete an audit in 2 years? Is government the hold up in completing the audit? Do consultants normally produce what clients want? Is government making a calculated decision that what is known( little) put it in a better position than releasing the TPP project audit?

    • Po fan says:

      thank you. a highly educated gift . this commentary is worth more than the cooked books audit, consultants and other complicit actors in all their horsesheet charges, combined.
      nuff respect fo he

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