BVI News

A better Procurement Act could fix these damaged roads

(Photos by BVI News)

As the BVI continues to deal with another round of battering on roadways across the territory, former Speaker of the House of Assembly Julian Willock has called for the government to improve the Procurement Act so roadways can be fixed in a timely manner.

Within the last 48 hours, the territory experienced more than four inches of rain that has further gutted roads and damaged utility infrastructure in several communities.

Willock, who has been speaking on issues affecting the Third District, made a Facebook post which said the district has been hit hard with heavy flooding at Pockwood Pond, blockage of the Ghut in Nibbs Estate, and heavy debris on the roadways in many areas throughout the community.

Willock also used the opportunity to call for improvements in the Procurement Act, which dictates how the government hires contractors for projects, including emergency road repairs needed after heavy rains.

“I know both our District Representative, Honourable [Julian] Fraser, and the entire government is aware that another look needs to be taken at the Procurement Act to bring much more flexibility to works before, during and after these kinds of disasters,” Willock said. “It’s not possible/practical in most instances to get three estimates when homes, businesses, roads and lives are at risk and have to remain so while the wheels of government turn slowly.”

The 2021 Commission of Inquiry (COI) report found that there was no public tendering in roughly two-thirds of government contracts issued between January 2019 and April 2021.

The law has since been changed to make procurement more transparent, but legislators have been complaining about it since then, saying the new law makes it harder to get vital projects completed, further adding to the frustrations of the general public.

Recently, D8 Representative Marlon Penn has bemoaned the cumbersome procurement process used by the government, stating that there is a growing number of businesses that are choosing to not work with the government.

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22 Comments

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  1. Styles. says:

    The government needs to be able to act quickly and promptly.

    However we have seen government officials hand out contracts to cronies like it’s nothing.

    So we cannot under any circumstance make it easier for these corrupt leaders to hand out money without receiving value.

    Like 25
  2. Ignorance says:

    Willock’s comments on the Procurement Act on as it relates to instances such as “natural disasters” shows his lack of understanding of the said Act, and that the usual procedures do not apply in such situations.

    Like 19
    Dislike 3
    • @ Ignorance says:

      WHAT A BIG FAT LIE I AM A CONTRACTOR AND MY REP TOLD ME THE MINISTRY OF WOKS SAID THRY NEEDED 3 estimates

      WILLOCK HAS YEARS IN GOVERNMENT SO HE KNOWS THE SYSTEM SO GO FROM HERE HATER

      Like 3
      Dislike 10
      • @ “@ Ignorance” says:

        Tourist Board had a tender for furniture advertised with a 4 June deadline but on the same afternoon of the deadline was outfitting the new office with furniture.

        A lot of these tenders and job vacancies only for show with persons already pre-selected for jobs.

      • @ ignorance says:

        Excerpts of the Procurement Act

        Section 8:
        (3) A procuring entity may engage in single source procurement in accordance with section 24 in the following exceptional circumstances

        (e) where there is an emergency and the products or services cannot be obtained by the procuring entity, in time by means
        of open or restricted tendering; …….

        (4) For the purposes of paragraph (e), procurement during an emergency shall, as far as possible, be limited to the period of the emergency.

        (5) In this section, emergency includes

        (a) a declared period of public emergency;

        (b) a public health emergency, including a pandemic;

        (c) natural disasters; or

        (d) any other exceptional circumstances which the Cabinet may prescribe.

        So in the instances of the flooding and so forth, it would take Cabinet making a decision to consider it an “emergency”, and thereby the usual 3 quote requirement period would not be applicable. I am quite sure in such an obvious circumstance where the “damage” and clean up needed, this would be an instance where Cabinet could justify taking such action.

  3. Hog city says:

    We going give Willock a chance this election he is the only one working

    Like 4
    Dislike 19
  4. LB says:

    I am not a fan of the esteemed but I agree with him

    Like 3
    Dislike 6
  5. Jeez says:

    We need people who can build infrastructure and actually deliver lasting improvements.

    Not some guys who just keep poring asphalt into holes that keep opening up.

    Stop hiring cronies.

    Like 31
  6. maria louisa varlack says:

    the british virgin islands has been totally destroyed.

  7. WTF says:

    Weird how we had these problems before the procurement act was revised. This has nothing to do with the procurement act.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  8. Lenovo says:

    thEM Always with some act and legislation for everything instead of deal with the problems hands on

    since yall like acts and lesgilation

    make one that prevents yall from giving family and friends contract to do piss poor jobs on the roads for self enrichment

    start outsourcing and do the dang roads properly!

    yes its going to cost some money but yall have money to waste on music fest and slapping asphalt on the road over and over

    Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.”

    Like 16
  9. Mother nature says:

    They think they can make water run up hill. Sidewalk to no where west end no drain holes ,water never flooded road before. Freshwater pond land filled in to store cable no drain road floods now. New wall for marina in sea cows bay no drain water over road. Do you need more!

  10. engineer says:

    The real issue in this topic is road engineering. The engineers at PWD need to do their jobs of assessing the roads and the adequate repairs required. Politicians, equipment operators and truck owners are not civil engineers.

  11. Vex says:

    Which one of them clown was on a backhoe yesterday getting in the way of the clean up?

    • @ vex says:

      The little red boy I saw it posted on facebook. The Jedi desperately looking for a political job he has nothing to offer the country let alone sea cows bay

  12. HELLO says:

    While you guys are having an intelligence competition you might want to note that the rains of lately are occurring with the phases of the moon and becomes more intense as we approach the full moon. If what occurred this week is any indicator the next round might very well be more destructive. This is no time for debate. Serious emergency action need to be carried out post haste to prepare for what is predicted to be an intense hurricane season. It is quite obvious that one of the main actions need to be the drainage on main roads. I had the experience of being caught on the highway between East End and Road Town and it was horrific. There are areas that need urgent attention including at Whelk Point, Hodge’s Creek, Fat Hog’s Bay and Greenland Road which is being undermined by the ghut. There are obviously issues in every community across the territory and it might be helpful if residents could highlight these to be given priority. There must be a way for government to act in an emergency situation for the protection of lives and property. I will be watching and am prepared to take action if this
    silly ass colonial charade continues…enough is enough.

  13. citizen says:

    You mean if the esteem walks across the street its news? BVI news is it a slow news day?

    Hope you all not getting $$$$ like the dude from that AM station for coverage of the tall man

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  14. Lieing says:

    Who knows know that the procurement act is not the real problem.

  15. Chupes says:

    I can’t wait for either Fraser or Aaron to mop the floor with this pompous, egotistical, wig wearing clown. District 3 people would be out of their minds to elect this clown soup to represent them.

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  16. Stealth says:

    The road network is poorly designed, constructed and maintained. This, coupled with in experience contractors, is adding cocobay pun tap ah yaws. The procurement process needs to be upgraded and enhance to ensure road construction and repair and other services contractors have the knowledge, skill, ability, experience, responsiveness, responsibility, professionalism, capability and capital to do the job on time with quality, providing value for money.

  17. Sl**ande says:

    It’s the freeze – thaw cycle that damages the roads

  18. Disagree says:

    An improved procurement act will never replace proper planning, design and engineering of roads. It’lll probably only make it easier to get substandard services.

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