BVI News

Even more millions misused for EE sewerage project than we thought

Recent legal proceedings have revealed that well in excess of $20 million earmarked for the National Sewerage Programme’s East End/Long Look Project were misused over the decades.

This is according to Premier Andrew Fahie who made the statement during last week’s relaunching ceremony of the sewage project.

He said: “The people of the East End/Long Look definitely need the apology because there’s more to this project that you will hear soon. The amount of millions of dollars that the people of the Virgin Islands had to pay out for this project that has never been completed, it will bother your mind.”

He added, “Some of it has just completed itself in the courts and I can’t speak any further. So a lot of political games got played with this project and we paid for it and are going to pay for it. Millions literally and I’m not talking in the tens of millions, I’m talking in the twenties of millions, and the project hasn’t been completed.”

Better management of tax funds needed

The Premier said better management of the taxpayer’s money is needed in the territory as the previous mismanagement of those funds have disadvantaged many other projects as a result.

“I said it already and I’ll say it again, all these monies that you were warning against for many years and now I reach as Minister of Finance I have to be the one to go and look for the money to go and payout for the things that I was warning against,” he said.

“Everybody forget about that now and asking where is the money to move forward? Why this project isn’t being done? And why this other project isn’t being done? We have to make better decisions with the taxpayers’ money because it does come back to haunt you,” the Premier said.

In March 2016 when Fahie was an Opposition member, he accused the then governing National Democratic Party of illegally transferring $8 million from a loan meant for the East End/Long Look Sewerage Project to the Cruise Pier Development Project without the approval of the House of Assembly.

According to Fahie recently, some of the funds was paid back to the government, but it was not redirected to the sewerage project from which it was initially taken.

 

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16 Comments

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  1. YOUTH says:

    I am glad the project has started. Under the Marlon NDP Government the project was a disaster.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
    • @youth says:

      The project and Marlon have been a disaster for the people of the 8.

    • Big Youth says:

      The Project was a disaster from b 4 NDP. It started with the VIP. Ask the Health Minister about it.

    • Lilly says:

      The Project did not start under NDP. Our memories are short. If I recall correctly, that project started under the VIP with [a minister’s] company contracted to do works and laid some pipes which they claimed were too small

  2. WOW says:

    In the past too many politics was played with this project.

  3. Haha says:

    So according to Fahie, getting this under control and managed better is issuing 40 petty contracts?? Lmao!

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
  4. SMH! says:

    Ummm was it not the current Minister of Health that got paid twice through his sewerage company for this project in the past? Both NDP and VIP administrations are guilty of mismanaging this project.

    Like 22
    Dislike 2
  5. VI gyal says:

    Do we remember for years EE/LL was full of s**t, VIP could not even get the project started. NDP at least made a start, if VIP have to finish it oh well..so what. Just get it done. I just do not know why everything does cost so much no matter which govt.

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  6. RDA says:

    That’s the reason why we now have the RDA and the BVI Government should trust in what they do… UK was not allowing misuse of their money!!

    Like 14
    Dislike 3
  7. E. Leonard says:

    A comprehensive forensic audit/ investigation should unearthed how previous appropriations for the EE/LL sewage project was expended, why it is still not complete and useable and determine if any wrong doings, if any, occurred. Nevertheless, this project is long over due and much needed. However, urgency not withstanding, the relaunch of this critical project must be structured and manage so as to avoid past mistakes and shortcomings .

    Moreover, here are a few givens on this project. First, the East End/Long Look(EE/LL) community is one of fastest growing community in the VI. Second, the safe collection, conveyance, treatment and discharge of sewage is long over due in the EE/LL community, as well as in other VI communities. Third, the EE/LL community wants to put septic systems in the rear view mirror and needs an effective and operational central sewage system. And finally, proper, quality, quantitative, and safe sewage management is a standard of living and quality of life issue/necessity in a developed country/ first world.

    The much delayed EE/LL sewage project relaunched, the project should not be rushed; it must be done right the first time. It must be effectively designed and constructed with the capacity and capability not just for today, but also with the capacity and capability for the full build out of the community. As a minimum, it must be designed so that it can be easily expanded as needed.

    Further, sewage projects are much more complex than they appear. They are designed by highly knowledgeable and experienced engineers and constructed by experienced contractors. Thus, a project of this scope should not be constructed by petty contracts. Typically, such a project will/should be awarded to an experienced prime contractor who in turn will subcontract some of the work to experienced/specialists subcontractors. I’m mindful of the fact/truth that everyone has to live and eat. And constructing the project through petty contracts spread the wealth around, Nonetheless, government must be mindful of the outcome and best practices.Undoutedlt, some services can be provided through petty contracts but not too sure about a major sewage project. The life of sewage projects typically exceeds 50 years and must be done right upfront.

    Finally, though the project is long over due and much needed, its effectiveness and efficiency should not and cannot be slaughtered on the altar of political expediency. Petty contracting on this project may be a good political action but not too sure it is a good business action. In politics, there is frequently a tug-a-war between what is a good business decision and a political decision. Politics offen prevails.

    • waster says:

      You are naive in not recognising the extent of political influence acting directly against the common interest. If memory serves me correctly, a Minister formed a partnership with a foreign engineering firm that collected over $1m in consultancy fees for a Master Sewerage Plan. The study was never made public. His company were then awarded contracts for this project.
      Global – aligned with another local politician, signed a contract with the NDP for a treatment plant that was never built. They sued the BVI for millons. In fact the only player to have made any progress was Biwater, who handed over the Paraquita Bay and Road Reef plants to W&S, which then were run down and are now non-operational.

  8. money says:

    TREASURY, FINANCE DEPARTMENT AND THE AUDIT DEPARTMENT NEED TO GO GET THE MONEY FROM THE POLITICIANS OF NDP IF THEY CANNOT ANSWWER TO THE CAUSE PUT THEM IN THE CABIN IF IT WAS THE COMMON PERSON WHO HAD DO ANY THING WITH THE MONEY THEY WOULD BE IN THE DUNGEON UN FAIRNEEE IT DOES NOT PAY BUT PAY DAY IS COMMING

  9. He l** too much says:

    I am sorry but I cannot believe a word coming from the mouth of Premier Fahie. If some of you want to have people l***g to your face day in day out then be my guest.

  10. Face facts says:

    We simply do not have the required skills or the numbers of experienced contractors in the BVI. We need to import expertise and manage projects properly. This is of course a massive cultural shift to go honest and do things properly but everyone will benefit long term.

  11. Doh says:

    I’m ok with expenditure. My company profited from the expenditures and I was able to trickle down the funds to the local clubs and bars. I literally made it rain money. Those illegal workers from DR loved it.

    I also added two new vehicles with full sound systems. They are listed as government trucks, so no taxes paid which is banging. My friend at customs got them cleared in for free.

    Bought a new boat too. It’s registered as a “fishing vessel.” She has 3 300hp engines and can fly to red hook. 15 mins. And she can carry lots of goods. Need anything in USVI, hit me up.

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