BVI News

Accounting company’s advice against BVI Airways deal was omitted from documents to Cabinet

The Office of the Auditor General’s recent report about the controversial BVI Airways deal has uncovered that global financial accounts company, BDO, had warned the former National Democratic Party (NDP) government against entering into the $7.2 million agreement with the airline.

But, according to the Auditor General’s January 2020 report, the document containing BDO’s advice was not even presented to Cabinet when they decided whether to enter into business with the airline.

Government had commissioned BDO back in January 2015 to assess the merits of BVI Airways’ proposal for the NDP government to fund the venture to commence commercial flights between the BVI and Miami in the United States.

BDO’s conclusion

BDO concluded that the proposal required governemnt to assume the financial risks while ‘guaranteeing BVI Airways significant returns’.

The accounting company said government would be taking on a “significant liability risk by signing a revenue guarantee contract with the parties that apparently lacked relevant operational experience”.

And while noting that the age of BVI Airways’ aircraft would likely lead to “greater maintenance cost”, BDO advised the government not to proceed unless all the issues were rectified.

“None of the above recommendations by BDO was adopted,” the Auditor General’s report said.

What happened?

When the decision documents were submitted to Cabinet for the approval, the Auditor General said, “the BDO financial assessment report that recommended changes for a more equitable arrangement was not included in the papers presented to Cabinet”.

It is not immediately clear what government department directly commissioned BDO.

But, indications from the Auditor General are that correspondence between BVI Airways and government largely went through the Office of the Premier, and the Ministry of Finance — both led by former Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

Criminal investigation

The NDP government gave 7.2 million of taxpayer dollars for the airline to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami, USA back in 2016.

However, operators of BVI Airways missed all of its promised dates for the commencement of those flights. And by July of 2017, the airline laid off its staff; claiming that it needed more money to fly.

After roughly three years, a criminal probe has now been launched into the controversial BVI Airways deal.

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  1. Can of Worms says:

    These Government departments famous for omitting information to swing things in their favour but time longer than twine

    Like 18
  2. ReX FeRaL says:

    Some one or many need to be arrested, prosecuted and jailed.

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
    • @Rex says:

      Nobody is going to be arrested and nobody is going to be prosecuted. The fact is that all of the politicians are corrupt and criminal. If they go after anyone there are those that will come after them. Ever hear “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”? Well it applies here. This report is all nonsense and it’s just a dog and pony show. All will forget about it in a month or so. Have a safe day.

      Like 19
      Dislike 2
      • So real says:

        If they go after anyone, they are going to get taken down. When you enter Politics, you are singing a contract with the devil.

        Like 3
        Dislike 1
  3. Case Closed says:

    Can we stop spending throwing good money after bad now? Or, should we keep pursuing expensive lawsuits, paying a Canadian lawyer handsomely, etc., when the issue is our own? Cut our losses or make the situation worse?

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  4. Political Intelligence says:

    Orlando Smith and his poor management style brought down the NDP. VIP is nothing better and is much worst. Stay woke.

    Like 15
    Dislike 5
  5. Anonymous says:

    What does Marlon have to say now. He should resign for his part in this, supporting his team and empowering them to Throw away our money

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  6. Confucius says:

    You elect persons with minimal qualifications, little to no common sense, some pompous, couple incompetent, and some who are famous for entering into contracts without understanding legal/accounting jargon or how contracts work, and then you go on the news to complain when they don’t perform their duties effectively, when they steal and when they lose your money in this manner. Blame yourselves!! Stop voting for people based on what they look like, their following, who their parents are, whether you can get favors from them or not, and start voting in the ones who are morally and knowledgeably sound – we will still have issues because they are only human, yes, BUT the damage would be less than what we continue to witness.

    Like 19
  7. Fact Confucius says:

    Many have bee stating and blogging those vital truths for year, but the majority of the populace are woefully non political astute and are devoid of any ability to judge character.

    A coalition government was the right way to go last election, but our people chose otherwise, to the nation’s detriment.

  8. What! says:

    “And while noting that the age of BVI Airways’ aircraft would likely lead to “greater maintenance cost”, BDO advised the government not to proceed unless all the issues were rectified.“

    OMG, National Democratic Party gave away $7.2 million dollars for an airplane that is not good. They were willing to risk killing the people with an old airplane just to say they did it. They got non stop flight but my God for how long. Anyone who was a part of the National Democratic Party administration must be voted out next term. Come on people. Virgin Islanders live matters. This is more serious than I thought.

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
    • Here goes... says:

      It does not say that the aircraft was dangerous or “not good”, just that it was an older aircraft that would require more maintenance. All aircraft flying in and out of the US have to have very high levels of maintenance, this just gets more and more expensive as the aircraft ages.

      Not supporting the BVI Airways idea in any way, just pointing out that I seriously doubt anyone’s life would have been in any more danger than on any other aircraft flying out of the BVI. Many of the aircraft currently serving the BVI are much older than the aircraft BVI airways were intending (or not intending as the case may be) to use.

  9. Hold on says:

    But a local BDO senior staff was also a director of BVI Airways. Are we talking about the same BDO? More in the mortar.

  10. BuzzBvi says:

    Are BDO advising on LIFElabs?

  11. H says:

    BDO should consider cutting ties with
    this senior staff. Reputation cannot be bought

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