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AG vetting gov’t contracts since error gifts CSC thousands in extra $

Following the stunning revelation of a contractual error that resulted in Claude Skelton Cline gaining thousands of unearned dollars at the government’s expense, the Premier’s Office adopted a policy that requires the Attorney General to screen all its contracts.

According to Elvia Smith-Maduro who is the Deputy Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Pastor Skelton Cline was engaged in a six-month government contract issued in 2019 just after the new Andrew Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration took office. 

Smith-Maduro told the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) that it was her understanding that Skelton Cline would be acting as Premier Andrew Fahie‘s personal advisor as part of the terms of his contract. 

Skelton Cline‘s contract — the details of which were entirely kept out of the public domain up till recently — outlined that he be compensated $16,330 per month for his services. This was in addition to a sum of $350 per month for expenses and any additional travel and accommodation expenses that might arise. 

Gross oversight on our part

As part of his contract, Skelton Cline was also offered a five percent tax-free gratuity of his gross salary, upon satisfactory completion, the Commission was told. 

It was this aspect, Smith-Maduro explained, that showed Skelton Cline was issued a contract based on a template that should’ve instead been for a government employee, and not an external contractor. 

Because of this, Skelton Cline was able to receive vacation days and other benefits that he would not have ordinarily received on any of his previous or future contracts.  

When told by the COI that this meant that Skelton Cline was given a major contract, Smith-Maduro told the COI that it was never the intent.

“What I would say to that is that it was never intended to be there. It was gross oversight on our part. We never intended for the contract to go over the hundred thousand [mark], so it was treated squarely as a petty contract,” she explained. 

The effect of the glaring error meant that he was now paid $102,879 instead of the nearly $98,000 that was initially agreed upon for the short term contract. 

Smith-Maduro agreed that this effectively put his contract over the petty contract limit.

Government’s petty contract limit is capped at $100,000 per contract, anything above this, means that the contract is a major contract and must be put out for tender. 

“Hindsight is always 20/20 and so from that experience, we have since adopted having the Attorney General vet all our contracts before we sign them just to make sure that we don’t have anything in there that should not be in there and we don’t miss important clauses such as those,” the Deputy Secretary told the COI.

CSC claimed gratuity even after clause was left in error

After the discovery was made very late into the contract, Smith-Maduro said she was unsuccessful in her attempts to have Skelton Cline forego claiming those monies that he would not have ordinarily been in receipt of. 

But according to Smith-Maduro, after explaining the dilemma to Skelton Cline, the clergyman insisted that he be paid whatever monies were owed to him based on the contract that he signed. 

“And that was his response, ‘I signed the contract, it’s in there, I want to be paid as per the terms of the contract,’” Smith-Maduro said of her interaction with Skelton Cline. 

These latest developments about Skelton Cline’s agreemnet with government follows previous reports coming out of the COI that there were also other irregularities with his contract.

Irregularities discovered in Skelton Cline’s contract with gov’t

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54 Comments

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  1. Dirty One says:

    CSC or Andrew. It ain’t Pockwood causing all that stink.

    Like 40
    Dislike 1
    • Hmmm says:

      A mistake in a contract renders the contract void or voidable. Hence, the contract was no longer valid when the mistake was identified.

      Why wasn’t the matter referred to the AG for advice prior to making payment to CSC? Something seems a bit strange to me.

      Like 29
      Dislike 2
      • Void vs voidable says:

        Void if it relates to a material part of the contract. Voidable if not but can be avoided by agreement of both parties.

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
    • Popcorn & beach sand says:

      The COI really got the Min of Health fired up on Facebook LOL

    • Well Well says:

      I have one Q. It says that he was the Premier`s Advisor. So how come he didn`t know about the flaw in the contract and tell his boss,; Boss someting wrong here, i can`t teck de people money like dat. And his boss would reply, Boy move from here with that talk. teck de ting and go. I got this.

    • VEXED says:

      This wolf used to drive around town looking at western union and moneyG talking about peopl sending out money and look what he is doing KNOW.
      Yes yes smoke that in u all a** now. My God doesn’t like UGLY

  2. Hmmmm says:

    Claude was the front man for the VIP campaign. We all know that and the tapes are there. You don’t have to have a degree to understand what’s going on here.

    Like 41
  3. Hmmm says:

    THis is the character of a man government after government elected to do business with. While some qualified morally just person out here suffering cant find employement, but we hand feeding the snakes at the zoo…wow!!!

    Like 38
  4. Report says:

    Hey somebody. Give me col contact please or the head of port. This man allegedly used gov funds to send Island woman to hlscc while he was at port. We born here cant get that treatment. Andrew what is going on, bvi people need jobs and you all have expats working at port still.

    Like 18
    Dislike 2
  5. Interesting says:

    Despite he was told that the gratuity in his contract was made in error, this so called pastor forged ahead with getting the payment insisting “I signed the contract, it’s in there, I want to be paid as per the terms of the contract”.

    IMO that’s dishonesty and amounts to taking what was not owed him.

    Reasonable people of fair minds would agree that if an error was discovered in a contract and that was brought to their attention, the right thing to do was to accept that and not forge ahead simply because the document was already signed.

    That’s not good faith all all, and appalling conduct coming from someone who calls themselves a pastor.

    The government admittedly made an error, yet he insisted on sticking to the terms of what was in essence a flawed document.

    The government should have cancelled the original contract once this was discovered, and corrected it rather than letting it go forward. It was made in error, and a court would have been sympathetic to the government side if the need ever arose.

    He should return the gratuity to the government in full. It was not meant to be his to begin. Short of that, I consider his action as inappropriate and taking what was not due him, a sin which he should understand.

    Now, the most important question here is this:

    What on God’s earth kind of advise he could have been given the Premier that was worth $16,330 plus?

    If I was to judge based on the government’s and Premier’s performance while in office, I would think tax payers deserve not only a refund of that gratuity but a full refund of this so call pastor’s salary as well. I don’t see what tax payers paid for. Value for money? I don’t see it. Refund please.

    Like 52
    Dislike 1
    • Strange says:

      Sadly but the contract is the contract. It had to be vetted before not after. The only contention is if his performance was unsatisfactory.

      Like 3
      Dislike 5
      • Interesting says:

        A contact is a contract was the same apparent reasoning this guy used to collect. I would argue that contract would not have been enforceable if the matter was taken to court because it was presumably created by error.

        I dont understand why it took them so long to discover this issue. Why after explaining to him the error they did not take it to the next level of voiding the contract or issuing a new one? Did they get an opinion on this from the attorney general or they just let it slide?

        The more I read, the more questions I have and make me wonder if the entire original petty contract designation was just a scam to avoid tender and financial scrutiny to begin.

        Like 8
        Dislike 1
  6. What? says:

    Money money money. This is outrageous on the part of the Premier and CSC. How can a ‘personal’ adviser be paid out of public funds and the terms be kept private until recently. How can a pastor insist on being paid on contractual terms that was a mistake. Now the Premier scrambling to do all sorts to appear good! The deceit. I smell a snap election!

    Like 28
  7. I call BS on this!!! says:

    What a load of hogwash! Gross oversight my behind (insert rolling eyes emoji here). So what Mrs. Smith-Maduro is saying is that no one in the Premier’s office or CSC himself realised that certain clauses were in the contract that should not have been there? Please!!! You people must really think that we’re stupid. I can bet my last dollar that these were the EXACT terms negotiated by our leader and CSC in private and it was done in this manner to make it appear that it was a petty contract. Bunch of cr**ks!!!

    Like 36
  8. Resident says:

    wow this guy is supposed to be a man of God but did he knowingly took money given to him in error?

    Like 31
    • full moon says:

      same thing am saying ,isnt he a preacher , who preachers to some of the same people on worship days , my great god WHAT A WI**ED MAN , and people still trust this man ,,h**l

  9. THE TRUTH says:

    IS COMING TO YOU LIVE AND DIRECT , AND AS USUAL HE IS GOING TO SAY HIKINBOTTOM IS PICKING ON HIM , AND BLONDIE IS GOING TO HOLLER PUT RACISM

    Like 14
  10. Dismissal from Church says:

    How can the church going public still accept this so called ‘Pastor’ at their church? Time to send him back to Detroit!

    Like 23
  11. The Truth says:

    First, please stop thieving my name. Second, CSC has been a blood sucking l**ch wherever he goes. Andrew should have been distanced himself from him.

  12. BVI Future says:

    I would like to know what his congregants are thinking. Does anyone know?
    If this behavior is not stop by the COI, it will continue with the next ruling party. Remember, CSC was part of NDP and then the VIP.

    Like 10
  13. Bumpy says:

    LOCK All Their A**ES UP. Wtf. We did not intend to commit a crime or engage in corruption. If these people don’t go to jail then the COI didn’t make sense. Lock um up. CSK is the worst.

  14. Hmmm says:

    Not counting the $350 per month but in effect this annualized to $195k+ per year. The six month contract without counting the $350 per month is $97k+.

  15. Somebody ... says:

    knows who botties to kiss and when to kiss them …

  16. Greed says:

    Now we understand why he was jumping up and frothing at the mouth during election to help them win. I hope we see that these people just for themselves. The same way the *** was rewarded for using his site to bring down the NDP. People pay attention. These people are all for themselves. All of the close cronies are picking away at the treasury. Watch it closely.

  17. heckler says:

    VIP gotta go bottom line

    Like 11
  18. Ting to talk says:

    This is an ecclesiastical mistake to chastise the man of cloth for a few thousand dollars. It is just an error but they want to jail Matthew H for $2.00 from a tips basket. Bishop or pastor my word of advise to you. BE HUMBLE EVEN WHEN YOU ARE RIGHT. AFTER SO MUCH NOISE YOU MADE WHEN THE COI LAWYER ASKED YOU A SIMPLE QUESTION, I THOUGHT YOU WERE PURE. NOW ,YOU BECOME A LAUGHING GIGI. PLEASE KEEP AWAY FROM THE PULPIT TILL YOU CONFESS YOUR SIN TO GOD AND THE PEOPLE OF THESE ISLANDS.

    Like 12
  19. Whitey says:

    If CSC was a white man, none of you all would say a darn thing. When the white men raping us time and time again, you all have locked-jaw. Not one word could be uttered

    Like 2
    Dislike 46
    • Deh Watcha says:

      So you are saying that it’s ok for us to get raped once the person is black?

      Must be you vetting paperwork for rapist to be considered for belongership.

      Like 23
    • @Whitey says:

      You got it wrong! If he was a white man then we would expect it because he would be foreign and have no reason to give a f**k about us. The fact that it’s a black son of the soil st**ling from his own people that is what should rile us up.

      Like 12
  20. No confidence says:

    No confidence in the Premier. This is not how a “young country” operates no matter how you look at it. This is the operation of crooks, thieves, snakes, liars, deceivers, money-hungry no-shame parasites that keep sucking up my tax paying money for their own personal gains. Then smiling in my face and asking for an X on the ballot paper. This has to come to an end. Backward backward backward forever unless this comes to an end.

    Like 13
  21. LOL says:

    As we would say in the BVI, “TIS GOOD!!!!”

    Nobody had any cause voting for these guys. CSC and Andrew have been in cahoots for YEARS before this go around and people still voted for them. They were both involved in over $500K of government money being spent on a so called youth/school/church program that amounted to nothing! They campaigned with lies, noise in a vile manner and you voted for them. Enjoy the next 18 months and stop crying!

    Like 22
  22. Please says:

    He needs to be banned from ever having a government contract again, typical behaviour from these so called men of God, just out for themselves.

    Like 18
  23. @ Whitey says:

    Not only that, what 99.9% of the comments relative CSC indicates is deep, very deep psychological disorder illustrating deep self hatred and envy jealousy.

    Unfortunately, Admin. will post one million like comments daily so long as they are negative, tear down and smear attacks from Black people against Black people. They bask in such. It is a requirement of their nature.

    On the other hand, write and post any thing they deemmed negative about them ( white folks, their ancestral atrocities) and their ancestors, they will not post it.

    That is the normal practice of a conceited, self-centered, arrogant and disliking mind, putting it mildly.

    Like 4
    Dislike 19
    • Interesting says:

      What does race has to do with a person who got money from a contract he was not entitled to? Not everything is about race, and I am one who will not tolerate it if it was.

      The use of the race card here does not apply. Tell your man to return the money he was not entitled to. If it was a person of another race, the same should apply. No one should get a pass on something like this regardless of skin color.

      Wrong is still wrong or suppose to be. For someone who claims to be a pastor, where is his moral compass?

      Like 18
  24. Cushy ride says:

    Mr. Skelton-Cline has had a cushy ride on my tax dollars so far. The only thing he seems to be doing for the money is screaming support for the VIP and for independence. Ain’t with a penny of what he’s been taking in.
    Any of my tax dollars spent on him… I want a refund!

    Like 16
  25. Justice says:

    VIP 1 was voted out of office in 2011, because we did not like how they were handling business.
    Along comes NDP who started out I would say pretty ok. We give them a second term and what did they do?
    If they believed you did not support them you were not going anywhere. 2019 we were ready to take them out and replace them with VIP 2. All seemed to be going well until hurricane COI blew by and exposed all that is going on. I’m ashamed to know that I was one that helped put them back in. Do we have a choice for 2023? Lord send help.

    • @Justice says:

      As bad as NDP were I would take them back today over this bunch. The last term of the NDP was rife with envy, jealousy and division that only got worst when M won the leadership election. NDP as a brand/party was not so bad, but it was a few individuals within that felt it was their way or no way and that’s what caused their demise. The same nasty ways will result in another VIP government unless the UK does something out of the ordinary.

      Like 8
      Dislike 2
  26. Disappointment Massive says:

    Frankly, the only person seems safe for the better political future of the BVI is Skelton.

    Hope he puts a likeminded team together to contest, as the BVI has arrived at a place that is very displeasing, where money greed is paramount and helping others is not in their hearts or politics. Of course they help, but a special class, not the average.

    But, can’t be surprised when an entire team are kown money hounds. One even had the audacity to say he going in to fill his pockets, so shut your mouth cause others before him did the same. One can only imagine what is going on in there on the daily.

    Skelton will always find a way to help, no matter what, those in need. He has and continue to receive blessings because of his caring heart. That’s his nature. Can’t say the same for VG reps.

    If Skelton does not put a massive team together, this one will have to be sat out. Not giving any vote to anyone who don’t help when help is needed, and when they transform their behavior, attitude and humanity after gaining elected office as superior to others including folks they once called friends and family.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
    • Not voting is not an option says:

      You should vote despite your frustrations and disappointments. You (We) cannot allow people to be voted into office who does not belong there because we fail to vote. No sir re. Defeat them at the polls.

      If people were to vote based on qualifications to do the job rather than being emotional voters who vote because they know someone, then the right people will be selected.

      Something has to give. Many of our politicians have been disappointments, but we cannot shut down and not participate in our election process.

      On the other hand, contesting elections and holding elected office is not an easy task as evidenced by the close scrutiny that we the public demand of our elected officials. We are not an easy population to please, and that causes good people to shun political office.

      As such, while we need to hold politicians feet to the fire, we do not need to burn their bodies completely because that serves no one and it certainly would not serve the country well.

      You clearly care about the country. I say please vote and express your thoughts to who ever would listen or even consider contesting office if you see fit.

      The country need good men and women in government. We cannot all be critics; somebody needs to do the job. Please vote.

  27. Really??!! says:

    I don’t believe that was “gross oversight” at all. None of them thought that this (these) contracts would have been scrutinized, so they were just drawing them up all the time to be petty contracts so they wouldn’t need vetting. None that they have been caught they are looking/making up excuses. Pay it back or go jail!! How about that?

    Like 10
  28. @ THE TRUTH says:

    hello , 👋 I have no intention of thiefing your anyone’s name OK, ( it was supposed to be ( THE TRUTH IS) so its just a simple mistake . I was only telling it like it is ( some people needs to get aQuainted with the TRUTH

  29. Government worker. says:

    Over $16 000 a month yet it’s a struggle to to pay us our increments.

  30. Eagle says:

    Greed is the word of the day.

  31. Hmmn says:

    When people get strike down on the pulpit others will do better and stop playing church.

  32. Lol says:

    Why aren’t all contracts already vetted by the AG before signing?

  33. love BVI says:

    so CSC in giving evidence to the COI arrogantly complained that he is a private person and so was his engagement to the government however this contract that he enforced actually gave him the benefits of a gov employee thus AN EMPLOYEE.

    CSC having his cake and eating it.

  34. Not my fav out it’s Guy but…. says:

    I’m confused and I don’t by this…. It’s not the first consultancy contract issued by the Govt. You present a contract to someone and they feel the terms are favorable, both parties sign…why should he forfeit? It’s up to both parties to perform due diligence! It’s a valid contract period! Pay the man..

  35. GANSTERS says:

    ONCE A CR**K ALWAYS A CR**K / THAT GRASSHOPPER FOUND GREENER WEED IN THE VIP BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL BIRDS OF THE SAME FEATHER

  36. The D says:

    Detroit..remember Detroit..ran the same church s**ms up there. advisor to the hip hop Mayor kwame.Fled home after sorting out biz with de gov.

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