BVI News

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

Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Dr Carolyn O’Neal Morton.

A cloud of mystery continues to enshroud details of the contract between the Virgin Islands Party government and Claude Skelton Cline’s company, Grace Consulting.

Doubts were further raised about the contract’s legitimacy when it was revealed that a Certificate of Good Standing, required on or before the date the consultant’s contract was entered into, was only dated the day after the contract.

The questions surrounding the clergyman’s contract were posed to Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Dr Carolyn O’Neal Morton, when she appeared before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recently.

Dr O’Neal Morton told the COI she was unable to assist with the glaring discrepancy as she had only recently been seconded to the Premier’s Office and was not involved in the initial interactions with Skelton Cline’s contract. These duties instead fell to then-Acting Permanent Secretary, Elvia Smith-Maduro.

She told the Commission that, had the contract fallen on her desk in that manner (without the requisite good-standing certificate), then it would have been cause for concern.

How was Skelton Cline’s performance evaluated?

Although Skelton Cline’s company was not required to submit regular reports during the course of the contract, there was a requirement under the agreement for him to “devote sufficient attention and time to the performance of service … to ensure that all milestones and deliverables are met in the manner and by the dates agreed”.

When questioned by the Commission about how Skelton Cline’s performance was being evaluated since he was not required to submit reports during the execution of the contract, Dr O’Neal Morton replied that she was unaware of how Mr Cline’s contract was being monitored.

“So, I wouldn’t be able to answer that because, like I said, I was not there at the time. I’m not able to answer that. But I can get that information for you. I can certainly do that,” Dr O’Neal Morton stated.

Irregularity

However, the irregularity with her promise at that time was that the COI had already explicitly asked for that information in a letter to the Office of the Premier long beforehand.

But despite the COI’s efforts, Counsel to the Inquiry, Bilal Rawat said “there has been no correspondence produced to the Commissioner under their Letter of Request between the Premier’s Office and between Grace Consulting over the period of March — when the contract started — to September 2019”.

Dr O’Neal Morton quickly clarified that the request was incorrectly sent to the ‘Office of the Premier’, instead of the ‘Premier’s Office’, which is where she sits. She told the COI that the Office of the Premier is where the Premier sits with his secretaries.

The COI then opened a line of questioning effectively asking if any liaising happened between the Premier’s two offices since at least one of them received the request in question. Dr O’Neal Morton said she doesn’t recall doing that.

No paper-trail on request to extend CSC’s contract?

The Permanent Secretary was later quizzed on how Skelton Cline’s company was given additional work in the form of a contract extension, in the absence of any correspondence that appeared either from the Premier’s Office or the Office of the Premier, asking him to do so.

“But there must have been discussions,” COI lawyer Rawat suggested. 

“Must have been, might have been,” Dr O’Neal Morton said in what is implied to be an affirmative response.

Rawat then asked, “Well, nobody would allow a consultant to add to their workload and add to what they’re doing in their report without previously agreeing it, would they?”

Dr O’Neal Morton responded: “I would think not.”

The COI lawyer insisted that his questions were not being asked in bad faith and agreed that mistakes may have been made in responding to the COI’s request.

Absent reports to COI

Further quizzed about the second contract, Dr O’Neal Morton was asked why only two reports were submitted to the COI for a 12-month contract that required monthly reports. 

She was unable to give any response as to a reason for the missing reports. 

Both Claude Skelton Cline and Premier Andrew Fahie have repeatedly stated that details of the contract are and should be readily available in the public domain at the High Court registry.

However, repeated efforts by various media houses have failed to unearth any evidence of this despite the Premier’s repeated promises to ensure their availability.

All transcripts of hearings are available on the COI’s website.

Follow BVI New’s coverage of the 2021 Commission of Inquiry on Instagram @BVINewsOnline #TrackingTransparency at www.bvinews.com.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

81 Comments

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  1. Wow says:

    What a tangled web we weave

    Like 86
    Dislike 80
    • Deh Watcha says:

      ‘When first we practice to deceive’

      Like 46
      Dislike 3
    • Doh says:

      And here we go….

      The crap that is the bvi govt and the way it conducts business is now coming to light. No wonder the EU blacklists the BVI. Crap like this is the reason.

      Get ready for UK rule. I cannot wait and will be at the airport welcoming the transitional government. Or the Marines. I don’t care which.

      Carry on

      Like 58
      Dislike 12
      • @DOH says:

        The more things change the more they remain the same. In this same manner the Brits captured our brothers and sister in Africa over 400 years ago. They did it by making the majority think that their leaders were corrupt and the Brits have come to save them. Only for our people to realize that hell only came when the Brits took over. All the COI is is a modern version of 400 years ago. The Brits cannot be trusted.

        Like 12
        Dislike 58
        • No way says:

          The opposite is true. The U.K. is on a campaign to give more devolved power not less. Cayman is closest to full independence if they want it because they made big strides in getting their house in order- at least doing the basics like accounting to their taxpayers for how money was spent. Other territories went the opposite way which is a pain for U.K. who will see zero benefit from the COI (or any temporary takeover) for itself.

          Like 14
        • Lilly says:

          It is a fact that Brits cannot be trusted.

          Dislike 17
        • Rubber Duck says:

          Actually many races turned up in west Africa offering money to locals for slaves. The locals promptly went into the jungles where different tribes lived and rounded them up.

          No nation or race is without shame over slavery.

          Like 14
          • @Rubber Duck says:

            I believe you mean many NATIONS turned up in West Africa…only 1 race (based on white supremacist ideology of race)…that race being white/caucasian. Yes locals were sell out then and yes no different now…we still have the sell outside and ‘house negroes’. We sell ourselves out because is the people who lose when their elected government fail to act with integrity and deal corruptly. Thankfully God brings every work into judgment.

            Like 1
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        • History says:

          The Brits did not capture any one in Africa. The bought them, all be it very cheaply, from our black brothers.

          Like 9
          Dislike 1
      • Bruno says:

        Lol sounds about white

        Like 1
        Dislike 10
      • Makazeedakezela says:

        You going get a rock in your coepee when the first rock fling. All you aint tired harassing black people? Tell the UK pay back for slavery without compensation or we bringing our own redemption.

        Like 4
        Dislike 25
      • Rubber Duck says:

        What is being revealed is the appalling incompetence of the civil service as well as the untrustworthiness of the politicians.

        For these bloated undeserved salaries and for these useless consultancies, we, the taxpayers are being ripped off.

        Like 26
      • The rock says:

        You are an a$$whole!

    • True that says:

      When we practice to deceive.

      Like 24
      Dislike 1
    • In time says:

      God sits high but he looks low?

      Like 12
      Dislike 3
    • @wow says:

      In the UK they put off their COI on the Covid-19 response saying that now is not the time as it will hamper the running of government in helping the UK people during the worse pandemic in 100 years. Yet in the BVI the same UK launched a COI during Covid. This clearly shows that the UK thinks nothing of us. This is why I can never support this predetermined COI staffed with UK persons from the same office that supported the Governor in calling it. There will be no fairnes

  2. I told them before says:

    I said to the present administration that this man is one that is going to help take them out of office. the boards that Tom dick and Harry sits on is also going to further drive the mail in their cofin. look at the incompetent people that sits on these boards. my gosh.another thing I want the coi to look into is the other consultants that was hired right after the vip government get into office. CSC is not the only one .it had consultant hired also for hlscc .let’s see what was done there and if the public get there money’s worth.

    Like 73
    Dislike 55
    • Critical thinker says:

      I am not a CSC fan but as far as I read in the transcript neither he nor the government did anything illegal. If the manner he was hired is in question then we ALL MUST ask of the Governor what process he used to hire the Commissioner of the Inquiry and each lawyer and staff. I am sure it was no different to CSC or even worse.

      Like 54
      Dislike 59
      • hmmm says:

        Critical Thinker?
        Is that what you thought that comment was? Critical thinking? seriously?

        I am sure if they were asked to produce those documents, I am sure they could, unlike the characters currently participating is the farce above.

        seriously? her defense for non-compliance was to throw semantics about where the request was sent? office of the Premier vs the Premier’s Office? That had worked out well for Willock and the Mark debacle. And the man right, if these two offices exist, both belong to the premier..where is the liason?!

        Further to that even if you were not in office, even if you are not responsible for setting that foolishness in motion, the point is, you are there now, you were suppose to do the research and even if you say, I was not in office, however, during my review, we ascertain that xyz was the case…..and stop making yourself look like a fool.

        next thing…have some integrity.

        This stonewalling that you guys are doing is not going to result in your vindication, in fact, it is currently doing the exact opposite!

        You are destroying yourselves, your character and your integrity, if you all had any to begin with.

        That is what is being demonstrated for the world to see.

        Our complete and utter lack of moral integrity.

        Like 74
        Dislike 3
      • Jokes says:

        @ Critical

        Stop the nonsense. The COI people are qualified lawyers etc. and if you wanted to do background on them I’m surey you can do so in a few minutes. CSC is a Pastor being paid $144K and for what? While our kids cannot attend schools because of disrepair. If you don’t see an issue with it then something is wrong with you.

        Like 87
        Dislike 3
  3. @ CSC says:

    O Thou holy one / the truth shall SET YOU FREE \ whats in darkness will come to light

    Like 41
    Dislike 18
  4. Extra Buttah says:

    Grab your popcorn yall, the action is about to begin. No wonder Mr.Detroit is foaming like a rabid dog

    Like 78
    Dislike 5
  5. let's know says:

    what the people of the British Virgin Islands want to know is why the chairman of the bvi airport authority was given that position after serving time in prison.why did the *** given that position after spending time in prison. why did the short lady sits on so many boards and can’t remember what she had for lunch the day before. Mr premier I had really like you as opposition leader but my lord this is a time that what you are doing cannot be unnoticed. this is a new area in the whole world not just here.the people has awoken they are not going to sit by idle anymore for you guys to do what you want.its the people money you spending and not yours.look what you gone to do.some serve four yrs and if the people doesn’t want them anymore they walk out with two or three yrs salary.my God.Many people work for 20 yrs and when they left the job they get 000000.are you for real Mr premier?? if you think now is like the days when you were in opposition please think again.

    Like 68
    Dislike 4
  6. great says:

    get the money back from, this c*****t pastor and do not issue any more contract to his companies

    Like 61
    Dislike 8
  7. Righting on the walk says:

    SOMEONE IS GOING TO JAIL. THEY ARE GOING TO START DRY SNITCHING EACH OTHER OUT VERY SOON. THE COI IS LIKE THE FEDS, THEY ALREADY HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION IN FRONT OF THEM AND THEY KNOW BASED ON YOUR ANSWER IF YOU ARE TELLING THE TRUTH OR NOT.

    Like 61
    Dislike 25
    • Please says:

      Going to jail for what. If the UK hasn’t put Borris and his staff and the NDP in jail for real crimes then this smoke screen is going no where. All this is being fueled with is hatred and gossip. Gus hated CSC.

      Like 35
      Dislike 52
      • Whitemongering says:

        And he hated the leader more. Andrew know what time it is. Any person who can call out the Brits at their game, those white boys hate them. But they better be prepared. They will hear how strow-pidd BVIslanders can get when you mash their corn.

        Like 4
        Dislike 20
  8. Don’t look good, don’t sound good says:

    This is white versus black here this is did you do it right or did you write the check wrongly……this administration does not look good. I mean the UK taking over is not good at all but you all are not making it too difficult for them…..Ray Charles (who is blind) can see that you all did p**s and continue to do p**s!!!

    Like 27
    Dislike 32
  9. Bumpy says:

    Lock them up. This is beyond the pale. Lock them up.

    Like 44
    Dislike 20
  10. Bad Journalism says:

    I read the entire transcript on this matter and it does not say what this article is saying. This whole COI seems to be a set up.

    Like 32
    Dislike 45
    • 007 says:

      It says exactly that.

      Like 15
      Dislike 7
    • Do Read the Transcript says:

      I have read the transcript, all 228 pages, and the article is accurate. The witness was vague and non-responsive. Even Hickinbottom said “I’m–I’m–I’m sorry?” (line 25, page 33) on the exchange regarding the difference between the Premier’s Office and the Office of the Premier. You cannot make this stuff up.

      Like 48
      Dislike 6
    • @Bad Journalism says:

      Stop lying, you ain’t read a thing.

      Like 12
      Dislike 19
    • @bad journalism says:

      You did not read a thing. Stop telling untruth. VIP in sheep clothing spinning stories like you all always do. You ain’t read one ting!

      Like 7
      Dislike 9
    • Observer 1 says:

      Reading is one thing; understanding is quite another.

  11. Clearly says:

    The coi is trying to win this case in the court of public opinion. Clearly this media house didn’t read the same transcript I read or they couldn’t report this story in this skewed manner in favor of the COI.

    Like 10
    Dislike 40
  12. Not Surprised says:

    What starts bad usually ends bad.

    The fish is rotting from the ..ad down.

    Like 29
    Dislike 4
    • To Not surprised says:

      I agree with you but in a different way. What has not started right with this COI and the mind games they are playing with us in the media to try to get us to hate our government and look at them as the saviors has not started right and it will not end well for those who set up the COI for their own wicked and selfiah reasons.

      Like 6
      Dislike 36
    • He Just smarter than them says:

      Why all these Ministers of government past and present allowing this guy to out smart them…He is good, I respect him..He did noyhing wrong, he found some donkeys and he ride them to get to where he wants to go..

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
  13. Grace Consultancy says:

    You will need the grace my boy.

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
  14. confused says:

    “…..the request was incorrectly sent to the ‘Office of the Premier’, instead of the ‘Premier’s Office’, which is where she sits.”

    If this does not bring tears to your eyes then nothing will. So sad that the BVI has come to this….

    Like 71
    Dislike 2
  15. BVI Future says:

    No paper trails.
    They are covering up to protect each other. Eventually somebody will have to decide you or me.

    Like 25
    Dislike 2
  16. Can't Do Attitude says:

    O’Neal Morton really said “the request was incorrectly sent to the ‘Office of the Premier’, instead of the ‘Premier’s Office’, which is where she sits.”? She should be fired just for that statement alone, as though that is an acceptable excuse.

    Like 48
    Dislike 1
    • Why? says:

      For speaking the truth as she knows it? It won’t be the 1st time her tired her anyway so go figure.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
    • Doctor Know says:

      She is trying to jerk the COI about in the way they like to jerk anyone who falls into their orbit, about. That’s exactly the kind of reply you get when trying to get anything done.

  17. Rubber Duck says:

    As well as the contracts there are questions as to how Skelton Crime was appointed to run the ports authority. He gives the COI his own resume. Qualifications in religious studies and 25 years helping to run a church come charity in Detroit.

    Are those qualifications to run a port. ? Wouldnt someone who had worked in a logistics business like a wholesale company or someone already on the ports authority be better qualified ?

    In the event it turned out he was let go. There was no obvious improvement in the ports during his time

    Welcome to BVI.

    Like 38
    Dislike 1
  18. Barges says:

    Why has the transcript of the evidence of Wade Smith not been released?

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  19. PT9 says:

    I think the Commission of Inquiry questions and answers make the people in government look like fools,” How can you be in a position like Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office and cant answer these questions?” How can you run a business and be so senseless to say to the Commission of Inquiry that you don’t keep your paperwork and I don’t remember this or that, but you can remember the government took a long time to pay. I read the transcript for Claude Skelton Cline he couldn’t give a decent answer to the questions he was asked. I haven’t seen the rest of the transcript as yet but I am sure the rest of them is no better. Andrew A. Fahie asked for a Commission of Inquiry, I think most people in the BVI are happy about it because the abuse of power has been going on for too long.

    Like 37
    Dislike 2
  20. Talk the truth says:

    IT’S ALL BEGIN TO COME TOGATHER. NAME THEM ONE BY ONE.

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  21. lillian says:

    wow incredible it is so much false and things hidding from locals to uk when they find out i just hope justice them nng. are not good people at all! lockdemup!! all of them back to slave!

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  22. BVI Future says:

    It does not make a difference whether the COI is run by White men or Black men. The issue here is the disappearance of millions of taxpayers dollars, and there is nothing to show in the economy. If money had disappeared, but we had schools and stable infrastructures, I would have said no to this investigation. But it is not fair, to continue with this kind of leadership and expected all to go well. We need an educated class of people to be future leaders and how is that possible if the high school is in shambles?

    Like 42
    Dislike 2
  23. Billy Kimba says:

    Premier this is one of your bad decisions smh. Out of alllll the people you could have appointed as a spokes person. You pass up all the Doctorates of Finance etc. allll the Masters degree of Science finance or literature. YOU PICK THAT *** Why? Because he suppose to give you info on the previous government? Claude Skelton C***E.

    Like 27
    Dislike 1
    • Deh Watcha says:

      Don’t forget, CSC himself said that he had information, that if he goes down, so will others if he was not hired back.

      I am interested to see if and when he is questioned on that statement.

  24. Haiti says:

    You all continue to bash the Premier. He gone Haiti to come back. All ayo going hush soon. LOL

    Like 18
    Dislike 5
  25. LMAO says:

    You cant make this sh..t up.

    Which is it. The house of Roy Williams, or Roy Williams’ house, or Mr. Roy Williams house, or Roy house, or Mr. Williams house.

    Who gives a f..k… That is where he live.

    Like 42
    Dislike 1
  26. PT9 says:

    @Doh I am with you 100 percent.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  27. awa says:

    @hmmm, I couldn’t have said it better myself what you said I have been thinking the same thing.

  28. BVI Future says:

    @ LMOA and Haiti. That was too funny.
    Somebody, please tell me where these people are getting these PhD degrees. I have $5,000 and I would buy one of those degrees now. However, it cannot be from the BVI medical school. That wait is too long.
    Yes, this COI is making the BV Islanders look pretty
    naive. Family members call from the states with so many jokes. The world is watching us. This will be a documentary. Who will play the Premier?

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  29. @ @ DOH says:

    HERE WE GO AGAIN RACISM / SLAVERY – IS THAT THE ONLY SONG YOU WERE TAUGHT IN SCHOOL ( LAVITY WAS VERY INTELLIGENT YET HE DIDN’T DWELL ON IT AND LOOK HOW FAR HE BROUGHT THE COUNTRY WHICH YOU SET OF HYPOCRITES WAS LUCKY TO GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL WIIH INTEGRITY BUT GREED HAS CONSUMED YOUR MINDS / THATS SO APPALLING

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  30. @ HATI says:

    I HOPE IT WILL TAKE HIM TO HEAVEN / RIGHT NOW HATI NEED PRAYERS AND AND HE DON’T HAVE TO GO THERE TO FIND A BIBLE IF HE IS SO HOLY / PLUS HE GOT HOLY CSC AND THE BISHOP RIGHT HERE ALL THEY NEED IS A LOT
    OF THOSE GUNDERLEROUS WITH THEIR ( AK47 ) ALONG WITH THE CUBAN TO TAKE ON THE COI OR THE BRITS

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  31. @@Doh says:

    Pastor Cline, is that you?

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  32. BVI Future says:

    Yes! Some people fail to understand that racism is not the result of what is happening here in the BVI. We all should prefer to be educated, have medical care, have modern technology, live with strong infrastructure, live in a clean and democratic country than to live in a poor dictatorship country. Is this where the BVI is heading towards a third world country?

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  33. Mob / Scam from the start says:

    Why the Premier needs two offices.. Two offices mean two sets of high paying staff more wasteful spending of tax payers money, Looks like a mob scam setting…Who closed their eyes and signed off on All these incomplete contract for CSC.? These big Salaries suppose to be educated people look how the COI have them looking,.either liars, deceivers, useless, or total incompetent..hmmm. Sad

    Like 23
    Dislike 2
  34. rastarite says:

    It is one of two things: corruption or incompetence. And the premier is on vacation – how convenient!

    Like 18
    Dislike 2
  35. Hmmm says:

    I don’t take these blogs serious because we all know that this site mainly post blogs against this sitting government from the same set of paid bloggers.

    Like 2
    Dislike 15
    • Captain Fantastic says:

      Can you please advise where I can apply to be a paid blogger?

      Like 9
      Dislike 1
    • Really?! says:

      Go check [the other site], when it comes to COI all the bloggers seem to be one group against it. Tell [the other site] stop filtering blogs to make it seem that the population against the government being investigated.

    • Jane says:

      @Hmmm: I sincerely believe that if there are paid bloggers they are supportive of the current government.

      If there is no corruption then please explain why we have a shambolic high school (bless that Irma generation, what a tough hand they have been dealt to play), the stink of sh1T in the capital, sh1t flowing out into the premier beach destination, potholed roads, rubbish burning giving us cancer, no West End ferry port, Prospect Reef (what a thing), the list go on and on?

      These small islands have had revenue from the FSC alone of $200m plus per year for the last 30 odd years – there are only 30,000 people who live here!!! Where the money gone?

      BVIslanders ought to be so wealthy (all of them) so that they do not need to work, that they get a universal beneficial income of $50K+ per year to do nothing. Why are you not? Because these people thieving from you. Open your eyes and see and then get angry because this needs to stop. Go on and blame the British, blame slavery, blame Gus, blame homosexuals, blame the Spanish, blame the downislanders….cui bono my friend, cui bono?

  36. BVI Future says:

    The reason CSC got those contracts was he flipped on the NDP to the VIP. Basically, he became a stool pigeon for the VIP and is now caught up with the COI.

    Like 13
  37. First District Representative says:

    There is no corruption in the Virgin Islands.

  38. ReX FeRaL says:

    We dont have yo answer to MAN, but WE will answer to GOD.

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  39. BVI Fool says:

    It sent to the ‘Office of the Premier’, instead of the ‘Premier’s Office’, which is where we sits…
    If these fools keep answering questions this way, the Queen going to be governing this place soon.
    And we deserve it!

    Like 11
  40. Cgal says:

    Finally, the Shhhhiii? starting to hit the fan… I start smelling it already.

  41. CSC says:

    BOI U GOT SOME SKILLS , SO DOES THE OTHER ACTORS IN THIS EPISODE OF WHAT ELSE , AND THE PEOPLE THAT YOU ALL SRE DOING A NUMBER ON CAN’T TO KNOW WHO IS GOING TO BE THE FALL GUY , WE ALREADY KNOW WHO RUN THINGS ( A BULLPISSLE CAN BE USEFUL TO EXTRACT THE TRUTH AND IT WON’T TAKE AS LONG AS COI

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