BVI News

Has the BVIPA been overreaching in the exercise its powers?

Questions are being raised among local shipping agencies on whether the state-owned BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) has been overreaching in the exercise of their powers in recent times.

These doubts have arisen amid discoveries that the management of the BVIPA has been making and enforcing arguably-major decisions without first consulting Cabinet and/or the requisite government authorities.

The latest example of this is seen with a draft ‘port pandemic plan’ which the BVIPA emailed to local shipping companies without the knowledge of Cabinet.

BVI News received a copy of the draft document and later proceeded to question the minister responsible for ports, Premier Andrew Fahie about the document.

He indicated that he was never made aware of it.

In responding to the questions during a press conference on Tuesday, Fahie said: “I don’t have it so I can’t even answer you. Those have to pass through Cabinet first to be approved … When it comes — and it comes through the right channels — then the Cabinet will approve them. Cabinet hasn’t approved it yet. I haven’t seen it yet. I can’t answer to it.”

Sources close to the situation has since described the move by the BVIPA as “an abuse of power … and a blatant power grab”.

Following the Premier’s response to questions about the document, our news centre attempted to call and email the BVIPA’s Acting Deputy Managing Director, Oleanvine Maynard to explain why government has not yet been involved in these decisions.

No response has been forthcoming.

The cover of the BVIPA’s draft document

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12 Comments

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  1. Lol says:

    The Port is Statutory Body and is within its right. Cabinet doesn’t make policy decisions for a statutory body.

    Regarding the Premier’s response, i am a bit disappointed as his Permanent secretary is a member of the board where all polices are made and approved. The response is a little strange.

    Like 9
    Dislike 3
  2. Hopefull says:

    If that is the case why does cabinet approve the employment of top Management?
    Why does the Premier’s portfolio include the BVIPA?
    do you want me to go on…

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
    • @Hopefully says:

      Before you go on, please pick up a copy of the Act that governs the operations of the Port.

      The Act granted them the power to make policy decisions but only gave them the power to recommend senior management with final approval by cabinet. Do you want me to go on?

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
      • Hopeful says:

        The draft is now in circulation without the words draft?
        The words Non Essential cargo was issued end of April,
        The draft first week in May and now no longer a draft, mid May?
        First cargo to be denied End of March..
        Donkey before the cart!
        Ask any shipping Agent and they are going to be confused, ask them why.
        The BVIPA Regulations 1990 and revised 1995 DO NOT allow the BVIPA to decide what cargo can and cannot be discharged without Gov approval. Who can is Customs!

  3. How was it presented? says:

    To get a clear picture I think it needs to be said how this was presented to the shipping companies…. it is a draft. Was it sent for feedback so that when it is presented to cabinet it works for everyone? Or was it sent telling them they have to follow it now? We need the bigger picture before we can judge.

  4. BOARD says:

    Have the board seen and approve this policy? That is the important question that needs to be asked.
    Or is this a document the management drafted and proceed to act on without authorization.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
    • Question answered.... says:

      ……d is being advised by people that cannot even comprehend the act. Following the blind while being persuaded because too lazy to do own work. When you hear some of them speak you think they are highly educated. BVIPA has had its fair share of good talkers and raqueteers.

  5. Hopeful says:

    While I am on a roll!!
    Here a novel idea that maybe should be implemented so everyone’s time is not wasted…
    Why aren’t all the various boards made up of people in that industry?
    The fact that we are working off a document enforced in 1990 and updated 1995 makes me think the last useful board was 1995?
    “Vessels entering the harbour must signal the authority with the appropriate flag signals”

  6. Wic says:

    Who is in the most senior position at ports again?? Anything is possible

  7. BVIP says:

    The big black ship that’s sail from East to the Port every day back and forth.

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