BVI News

New VIP gov’t spends over $300K on travel expenses so far, NDP racks up $6.8M

Since taking office, the VIP administration has amassed more than $300,000 in travelling expenses, Premier Andrew Fahie has said.

Fahie gave that indication while responding to questions from Opposition legislator Mark Vanterpool in the House of Assembly last week.

The Premier said: “From the six ministries travel from March 2019 to present, we have the total being $394,768.03.”

By BVI News’ calculations, this amount equates to roughly $56,000 spent on travel per month. 

BVI to benefit from our travels

Premier Fahie described his administration’s travel since taking up office as necessary.

He explained: “It is a known fact that in order to keep this territory on the cutting edge in every respect, the minsters and their delegations from their respective ministries must travel abroad from time to time no matter which government it is.”

“The value of the travel can only be accurately measured by the benefits to the government of the Virgin Islands and the people of the Virgin Islands. In this regard, all travel by this government has or will yield significant dividends for the people of the Virgin Islands,” the Premier added.

NDP racked millions in travel expenses over two terms

In the meantime, the Premier disclosed that the previous governing administration, the National Democratic Party, racked up millions in travel expenses during the last two consecutive terms in office. 

“It is always good to put it into context in terms of travel, because from 2011 to February 2019, the total in travel for ministers and their delegates from their ministries was $6,820,399.35 — which is an average of approximately $802,000 per year for travel for the six ministries.”

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  1. Jokes says:

    So not much difference between the previous NDP and the new VIP government. $800,000 a year of taxpayers money wasted in flying unqualified ministers around the world for what?
    You wouldn’t think the territory was just flattened by a major hurricane two years ago and needs every penny spent on getting back on our feet and then saving our pennies for the next time it happens.
    This is an insult to all those that lost everything in the storm and are working night and day to rebuild their businesses and lives and paying taxes to these greedy politicians.
    It makes me sick to the stomach

    Like 43
    Dislike 15
    • People says:

      I hope that we do not think that the government can run the Territory from here in the BVI only because we will be foolish to think so.

      Like 15
      Dislike 2
    • @jokes says:

      While I understand what you are saying I ask to please do not try to paint a picture that in order for a government to adequately lead a country that they and their departments should not travel to get a seat at the table regionally and internationally to negotiate for the people.

      Like 15
      Dislike 2
  2. vip heckler says:

    This is the same game being played, it’s just that the players are different

    Like 14
    Dislike 7
    • C D World Taxpayers pay! says:

      While Travel is a necessary part of any government’s governing, it must be done in an orderly, accountable, results oriented manner.
      I am aware of at least 2 trips to Cuba by a minister which I think was about breeding and local supply of live stock. Fortunately Cuba is within reasonable travel distance and cost. However I am unaware of any benefits from those Cuba trips…and I am sure there are numerous other travel trips without any known beneficial results.
      BVI doesn’t print money and likely never will…and relies on taxes in order to pay for governments’s operations or shortfall. Further, government’s management of its operations should be so effective that raising taxes or introducing new ones should be kept to a minimum.

  3. granny says:

    “2 wrongs don’t make it right”

    Like 12
    Dislike 6
  4. To jokes says:

    Stop being ridiculous. To make money you have to spend money, market and travel to meet people with money. You see anyone around here with the kind of money and investment we need? Look ayo is a set of trifling people with no business acumen. You have to go where it is.

    Like 17
    Dislike 5
  5. Wait says:

    I can’t believe that Mark had the heart to ask this question.

    Like 12
    Dislike 10
    • Huh says:

      Well VIP is no less than the NDP but remember the VIP has nothing to show other than trying to fast track expats maybe that’s the strategy to win the next election… before they could complete their term in office they the country would be calling for malone and sheep to vacate their seats how long all these contracts signing will hide from the public….

      Like 5
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  6. Well says:

    So this article trying to compare a 8years government to a 8 months government well since the VIP think they have done so great in such short time tell them call a snap election after 3 years in office and let’s wait for the results…. with all the plans on the campaign trail I still cant believe nothing ain’t happening other than giving there friends and associates tax payers money for nothing….

    Like 15
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  7. Oh boy says:

    No matter what you do to help BVI grt better it is problem to some of you. If the government do not travel then it still would be a problem.

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
  8. schemers says:

    Got to stay cutting edge hahah

  9. do the math says:

    so 56k a month spend by VIP sounds much better than 802k a year? that works out to 66k a months spend by NDP. not much difference

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  10. Quiet Warrior says:

    Undoubtedly, governing requires some travelling overseas to attend meetings, training, conferences…….etc. It cost taxpayers for travel. Investing in overseas travel must come with concrete benefits; there must be a positive return the on the investment. As such, government should have strict and consistent management policy for overseas travel. There must be central policy for travel; each ministry should not be doing its own thing.

    Furthermore, the Premier needs to be in chain of approval for whom gets to travel. If I were the Premier, I would institute a hard freeze on travel, save for essential travel, until a strict, reasonable and workable policy is put in place and implemented. The VIP must avoid the hypocritical trap. It cannot have been critical of the NDP about some practice and now it is doing the same thing. The Premier should call a travel standdown, especially on frivolous travel.

    Like 22
    • @QW says:

      @QW, what do you consider frivolous travel? Are you referring to travel that serve the interest and pleasure of the individual but does little or nothing to improve government? Are you referring to travel that add no value to governing? Are you referring to travel that one or two people can attend, not a gaggle of folks? Is it not in many instances that it is cheaper to import the training by bringing the trainer to the territory? Is it not more cost effective to train the trainer and the trainer in turn train others? Can technology be leverage to facilitate training?

  11. Jokes says:

    Look how many of them went all the way to Uganda, and for what? Going over there on 1st class tickets and top hotels no doubt, cannot be cheap!

    • I agree. Do more than 2 people really need to go on each trip? Surely a couple of people can report back to the others. And when travelling at taxpayers' expense, can politicians and public servants just fly Premium Economy? Those 2 measures would reduce costs by about 90% whilst still getting similar results. says:

      Good point.

  12. Truth says:

    Andrew is worst than the whole Ndp combined he cry cry cry til he win election just to abuse to taxpayers money people out here poor struggling prices high on everything when will the bvi change

  13. Phoenix says:

    again, nonsensical BS….
    Pre & post Irma issues like infrastructure, agriculture and public loans that were simply not dealt with are being investigated and dealt with now. Demands of changes to our status as a banking Territory within the UK was previously dealt with by trips consisting of high dollar entourages, gnashing of teeth, threats and stomping of feet are also now being investigated and dealt with.

    A lot of us act like we voted the VIP in because they had some magic wand to wave over a mountain of economic, infrastructure and social problems with no travel, no reorganization, no time and no money.
    We did not get into this position in 6 months. It will take longer to fix things than it did to dismantle them. I’m not talking about Irma, either- we’ve been broke and broken for a long time.

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