Former Premier had a $10M slush fund for assistance grants — Penn
Health Minister Marlon Penn has accused former Premier Andrew Fahie of having a more than $10 million ‘slush fund’ at his disposal when he distributed funds as part of Ministerial Assistance Grant allocations.
A slush fund is effectively a reserve of money used for illicit purposes, especially political bribery.
Penn made the allegation in the House of Assembly yesterday as lawmakers debated the Internal Audit Department’s report on Assistance Grants doled out between 2019-2022 under the Fahie-led administration.
According to Penn, the former Premier did this while ignoring Public Finance Management regulations and legislative frameworks where procurement processes are required for projects valued above $10,000.
Penn pointed to the varying amounts over the audit period disbursed by the former Premier, even as other lawmakers struggled to get funding for infrastructural works and school repairs in their communities. He argued that the evidence leaves one to conclude that “this was being used as a slush fund”.
What the report said
According to the audit report, the Premier’s Office during Fahie’s tenure expended some $10,717,262.59 under its Assistance Grants Programme.
“There was a notable increase in both budgeted amounts and expenditure within the programme when compared to prior years,” the report stated.
“Upon inquiry with the Ministry of Finance as to the reason for the significant increases in budgetary allocation for the programme, we were informed that the increase was made on the basis of direct request by the former Premier and Minister of Finance but could not provide a clear basis for the request for increase in budgetary allocation,” the report added.
The audit described those significant increases as an abuse of the budgetary process, despite Fahie’s broad budgetary powers as Finance Minister. Further, it noted that the way the increases were derived lacked proper justification and transparency and constituted an abuse of ministerial authority.
According to the findings of the audit, that programme had more than one thousand disbursements and more than 400 transactions of $10,000 and above; representing over $8 million and nearly $20,000 per disbursement.
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At least the hundreds of youth got help with college among others but you and your NDP over $8 million slush fund for a plane we never seen and the money went only to a small few of friends and family pockets. Marlon you are a disgrace.
Absolutely no doubt in my mind you’d find a good number of slush funds around the house of assembly with just a little digging
You just discovered this?
Well, I voted VIP all the way and it was strictly for country, but after I could not even get a damn job to feed my family, I decided not a single vote this time around. His assistance was not island-wide, not even district-wide, but to family and bonafide friends. I did not even get the grant off the assistance. I just hope they are helping him with his legal fees now and to pay the O#@%h man.
Public servants wake up. I will not be found voting at election day.
hope he ads in the 7.2 million for the plane, the 40Million over run on the ports, and the 4 million on the beach from kedrick
Marlon is a sick puppy his m** m** self can never be premier
$8 million did not go to the plane that was not seen. It was towards a good investment the BVI needed. The work inclusive of consultation and other administrative work and various factors is what brought up the cost to 7.2 million. Only a portion was for the plane. However due to lack of proper due dilligence is what caused this to fallthrough. Everybody forgeting the fact is that persons were put in place to do the work, not the actual govt. An audit was also done and nothing was found to implicate anyone, so stop bringing it up.
In less than 3 year, total what VIPspent that we did not see anything for and it will surpass 7.2 million.
do not follow politics half stepping.
The problem Marlon and many others will have is that many of the BVI people will tell you one thing and do another. A lot of the outrage about the grants are just FAKE OUTRAGE because many people collected whether directly or indirectly. Andrew Fahie knew exactly what he was doing and if he wasn’t caught up in Miami he would be sailing to another victory thanks in part to those generous grants. People will say one thing and do another. A lot of voters collected money/grants and they would collect another one if they were giving them out tomorrow.
Is that all?
Was well prepared. Between slush fund, ‘logistics’ deals and access to higher power, he was the King!
During the Pandemic only two trades were allowed to work, Farmers and Fishermen.
During the Pandemic assistance financial aid was freely given to persons claiming to be farmers and fisherman.
The only two professions allowed to work.
Millions in aid.
What am I not understanding?
Fishermen & farmers = cover for importers of “white fish” and “herb”. Immunity to move freely during the day while most of us remained locked up.
You are so correct, yet they were the ones who received the grants. That’s the problem in the BVI, no procedures are followed. Why did the Premier have more funds to give as scholarship funding than the education board. It’s alarming how people cannot see that for what it really was.
And you are part of the same problem. You are not upset that the money was wasted, you are upset because YOU DID NOT GET! If you got $50K and someone else got ZERO, you wouldn’t be on here blogging, you would be waiting to vote them back in. ALL District Reps of ALL Parties gave out slush money but Andrew is easy to target because he is locked away and cannot respond.
Stop it! The plan was a con from the get go and the FS totally disregarded a signed agreement which dictated that payments were to be honored based on milestones and in installments, instead he ignored the signed document and paid out all the money. The BVI got nothing from the deal and that was the plan all along. Stop trying to justify nonsense because you support the party.
@Hmm: What proof do you have that hundreds of youth got help? Based on what the Auditor General’s report revealed and based on the information given in the House of Assembly, there were no checks and balances on the fund that was under the former Premier’s control. Cheques could have been made out to students but that does not mean that the students got all of the funds. What was the criteria for awarding the funds? Was it given to others throughout the Territory and was there any way to determine who was more deserving of the funds? The whole thing did not follow good governance and hence cause us to be under the radar of the UK!
@Hi so you want the same s**t to continue. It doesn’t make sense to NOT vote. You have to go out and vote for people who have the interest of the country at heart. If they mess up then the next 4 yrs you know what to do.
I need mines
Prior to his demise, the former premier called on recipients of the stimulus grants to submit reports on how they spent the money. Any information available as to how many persons sent in such reports to any government office? or is that just another bit of ‘buncum’?
Amazing how many things come out every 4 years. But in-between, nada, not a word said.
If you are not voting on Election Day you are happy with government so pull on the side
Government is spending too much time defending so-called grants and help given to certain individuals. I thing that’s because they do not understand that government’s responsibility is to look after the well being of ALL citizens of the country not who they believe voted for them. That’s why we need to select mature people to look after our well being.
The banks will be able to trace every single payment, so the Financial Investigation Agency needs to start digging deep and make their findings public. Prosecutions and recoveries of corrupt money must be made to that ALL the people can benefit from the people’s money.
Then you should know the banks may very well be involved in the cover-up of funds.
All what the former Premier did is history. Move on.
no member of government should have 10 million of our money to give away however they please
I second the motion. Our leaders need to be more responsible.
How many students do we actually have studying? This is corruption, pure and simple.
It is Technology which Leak the Audit Report on Public Assistance Grant
1. Copy, Scan and Send
2. Snap a Picture, WhatsApp the Information
3. E-mail or Post the Information
4. Download, Save and Send
5. Search, Find and Download
6. Share with Friends, Family and Groups
The Culprit is:
The Computer, the Tablet, the Cell Phone,
the Scanner and the Copier
They say that it is the Computer, and the Cell Phone that Leaked the Audit Report
If you want anything to be Confidential, never use Technology
If sp much stimulus money was given to farmers & fishermen, why are more than half of the market stalls empty?
1. 10 million slush money under Andy as premier cannot be accounted for
2. $128.000.00 – the student never went a way to study .. Finished HLSCC long time ago
3. 40 million to fishing and farming – no improvement in the growth of food production
4. VIP parliamentary representatives say there and said nothing
Permit me to add my two-cents worth on scholarships. If this is not already the case, perhaps the system of the award of “scholarships” might be improved if awards are limited to pre-set criteria. True scholarships should be awarded to top performers in competitive public examinations such as the A Level or the top performers at the HLSCC. The amount to be awarded should also be pre-set. If a student wishes to attend a university that costs more than the pre-set amount then that student or their family should self-finance the balance or should seek a loan from a government fund set up for that purpose or from a bank. In other words it is not about helping people on an ad hoc basis but about rewarding excellence and encouraging high standards across the board.
Scholarships are different from grants. A grant may go to those other than the top performers but there should also be pre-set criteria as to amounts or eligibility and should generally offer less money than scholarships. The motive is to encourage students to aim for scholarships rather than settle for grants.
Dollar for Dollar NDP out spend VIP by far so this time around no straight party vote. We mixing it up, so let us see if all of you can come together again and create a team again. Unity by What Ever means. Put Country Above self. Marlon we educated, don’t come with this a just finding out nonsense. You have been on the inside for 12 years now so step it up a bit. Tell Us Again for the Tenth Time, how you going fix the Sewage Problem in the East.
I’m both shocked and not shocked. How come the people of BVI is just sitting silent? why aren’t you out protesting against this abuse or is it that many of you who have benefited from these grants?! It’s sooo sad to see. Why don’t you want proper governance? This is embarrassing to watch. Feel so sad for the people who actually need the grants.
is saying )> ah gah mah 👀 on yuh ms