BVI News

Ministry tackles $2M in outstanding invoices! Some span a decade

Kye Rymer

The Ministry of Transportation, Works & Utilities has accumulated more than $2 million in outstanding invoices from vendors who rendered services that date back more than a decade ago, in at least one instance.

This is according to the portfolio minister, Kye Rymer who said the ministry plans to settle the debt by the end of 2020.

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Rymer said his ministry has already processed $645,173.38 of outstanding invoices for products and services obtained by the government from multiple vendors.

These products and services include the supply of concrete in the amount of $254,062; the supply of construction materials totalling $27,436.38; hiring heavy equipment services in the amount of $132,350; and procuring barge services to transport equipment and materials to the sister islands for $97,600.

Additionally, the minister said $133,725 was paid for various other unclassified services rendered to the government.

More than $800k owed from 2010 deal

Minister Rymer issued a public apology to all the businesses and persons whom the government owes. He referred to one particular business that government owes more than $800,000.

“I am currently faced with having to settle outstanding invoices from an old Water Purchase Agreement which dates back to 2010. The pending outstanding payment to this vendor is to the tune of $815,747.90,” he stated.

“It is unfathomable that we would have an outstanding bill for a decade long on something as critical and essential to life as water,” the minister added.

Serious negative implications to businesses and ministry

Rymer said the failure by the previous administration to clear their debt to vendors is an injustice to all persons and establishments who fulfilled their end of the bargain by providing quality products or services.

He said this action by the former government has had a negative effect on his ministry’s infrastructure development and maintenance plans.

“Such delays affect the cash flow of these companies. It impedes their ability to meet their own commitments and to pay their own bills. It hampers their growth. It affects their employees. It can cause them to go out of business,” he stated.

“To settle these outstanding invoices, many projects are now delayed, as funding is no longer available to proceed with the execution of some of these works. Delayed projects include road improvements, embankment stabilisation, drainage and water optimising, just to name a few,” Rymer explained.

The minister said the government is aiming to rebuild a positive relationship with the affected businesses and assured them they will be treated with courtesy, respect, and professionalism under this present administration.

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10 Comments

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  1. Spendiing spree says:

    I have one silly question to ask. If all this money was owed by government to businesses including some 800k, why haven’t none of these businesses taken government to court to get their money? If they were not paid and they didn’t take steps to get their money that raises an eyebrow for me. There must be a valid reason.
    This government has been on a spending spree since they got into office and they have not brought in any new money to the country. The pandemic has further caused expenses to escalate. If they continue on this current path we will go broke. Check it out, all they have been doing is finding ways to justify spending many of which cannot be justified. I am nervous about this. They will spend the treasury dry just to make sure they get another term. Watch it and see.

    Like 10
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  2. VI gyal says:

    I hope he realizes that that time period was two administrations.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How do you know there isn’t pending action(s) against Government to recover monies owed? I know for a fact my previous employer is suing the Govt because of unpaid invoices under a contract going back about 6 yrs. However, I also know it was not an easy decision to make because of the fear that future contracts (in a better economy) may not go his company’s way because of him being embroiled in litigation. Plus, the added cost of litigation is something to consider. Instead of being grateful that Govt taking steps to settle debts and contractual disputes which many businesses were struggling without even before Covid-19, you find something to criticize. Smh. I am starting to believe the Premier when he says that people are being paid to blog nonsense all day…sheesh!

    Like 7
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  4. Sheesh says:

    How do you know that there aren’t pending actions against the Government for recovery of monies owed? I know for a fact that my previous employer is suing because of unpaid invoices under a contract going back about 6 years. Also, know it was a hard decision for him to make because of the cost involved to go to court and also that his chances at future contracts (in a better economy) might be affected. So, he chose to accept the promises over the years that he’d be paid as soon as Govt was in a position to. Instead of criticizing the present Govt for this, I think this should be welcomed as many businesses were struggling in silence because of this, long before Covid. It needed to be rectified. Pity it has to happen when the coffers are obviously in dire straits, but it it is high time that these debts are settled. The former administration was absolutely wrong for not doing it sooner.

    Like 3
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  5. strupes says:

    He and his party going to do the same thing because they are going to spend mega bucks doing projects hoping to win AND THEY WILL LOSE

    Like 7
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  6. local says:

    Guess still waiting on the stimulus money distribution in the 5th

  7. The Nation says:

    This is the honourable thing to do! Kudos to the VIP Administration!

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  8. Hmmm says:

    Who is to say all those invoices are legit? We would like the Honourable Mark Vanterpool to answer to these charges as he was at least Minister for 8 years and maybe Hon. Fraser can answer to the one for water for over a decade cause he was a part of the Bi-water saga. I still find it hard to believe that the last administration would ignore all those payments since their was fragmented just before elections and they knew they were hanging on threads. Mark definitely needs to answer for this cause he was the then Minister….

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  9. Anonymous says:

    Sad, but taking actions against my government seem the only alternative.

    The most aggregious wrongs keep staring them in their faces and they do nothing but give to who don’t need or deserve.

  10. Nation says:

    still waiting on stimulus distribution in the 2nd district.

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