The Andrew Fahie administration was the one who invited Claude Skelton Cline’s company, Grace Consultants, to submit a proposal to secure a $98,000 government contract.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Elvia Smith-Maduro gave that statement to BVI News amid questions about how the company was selected for the contract.
She said Grace Consultants submitted the proposals shortly after the Virgin Islands Party — which Skelton Cline publicly supports — was elected as the new government.
“It would have been within weeks of the administration being established,” Smith-Maduro told BVI News.
No tendering process was done for the deal since “the contract was less than $100,000”, the Deputy Permanent Secretary explained.
She further explained that this action was part of government’s strategy to diversify and grow the economy.
“This means tapping into the expertise of our own people who can assiduously work to improve the standard of living for all the people of the Virgin Islands,” Smith-Maduro said.
She said this move is also in line with the government’s plan to provide ‘1,000 jobs within 1,000 days‘, which was a critical aspect of the VIP’s manifesto during the 2019 General Election.
This is beyond political affiliation
According to Smith- Maduro, Grace Consultants has “the necessary skillsets, policy understanding to help
She then noted that the agreement with Grace Consultants “is beyond politics and political affiliation”.
“This contract is focused on compliance to value for money, delivery and execution, accountability and transparency in the context of weekly reporting to the Permanent Secretary in Premier’s Office, and subsequently to the public. More importantly, will be open to auditing and the contract is not about the consultant’s findings and recommendations, but rather about the consultant delivering tangibly and putting things in place to make success intentional.”
“The objective is for the consultant to create the platform for government agencies to build on in restoring hope and prosperity for all,” she continued.
Terms of agreement
The terms of the Grace Consultants’ six-month contract says the company is required to, among other things, lead negotiations with stakeholders in the telecommunications sector, lead discussions on the future of Prospect Reef, and lead negotiations for new berthing agreements between government and cruise companies
Skelton Cline — a former managing director of the BVI Ports Authority — was also appointed Chairman of government’s Cruise Tourism Committee.
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