BVI News

No analysis or audit! Over $1.3M spent on transportation assistance

BVI News photo

A transportation assistance programme engineered by the former Andrew Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government was conducted without any proper analysis or without the benefit of a Cabinet-recommended audit, the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report has revealed.

A stimulus package had been made available through a Social Security Board (SSB) grant in the amount of $1 million towards, among other things, engaging local taxi operators to provide the shuttle service as well as the quarantine bus service for returning nationals and residents, a government press release noted. 

But a preliminary report produced by the Premier‘s Office in June 2021 showed that the total spent on the programme between July 2020 and May 2021 was actually $1,301,162.

Although an initial Cabinet decision suggested $900,000 in funding, it remains unclear how the programme was funded once it surpassed the $1 million allocation provided by the SSB.

Furthermore, the degree to which the Internal Audit Department (IAD) Director was able to audit this programme was very limited, the COI report said.

The IAD report noted the absence of a policy document, that no programme details were being collected, and that the programme had been expanding without any proper analysis.

The COI Commissioner, Sir Gary Hickinbottom said there was no dispute that the IAD Director was unable to conduct monthly audits in respect of this or any other COVID-19 assistance grant programmes that were provided.

He also stated that a response from the Premier‘s Office on the matter did not take any issue with the findings of the IAD report.

Sir Gary noted that the COI did not undertake any substantial enquiries into this programme, but said it was through no fault of the Director, that the programme was not and still has not been audited to any sensible or satisfactory degree.

“Given the concerns raised about the COVID-19 assistance programmes as a whole, I consider that this programme should be the subject of a full independent audit,“ Sir Gary said.

Background to the programme

Cabinet initially decided in May 2020 that the programme would receive funding in the amount of $900,000 through the Premier’s Office and recommended that the programme would be overseen by a committee jointly chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Premier‘s Office Dr Carolyn O’Neal Morton and the Chairman of the Taxi and Livery Commission.

It was proposed that this committee would establish guidelines for the programme to be administered and monitored and that the Premier’s office would ask the IAD to conduct monthly audits of the programme and submit those reports to Cabinet.

This was the ensure that funds would be distributed in accordance with the principles of good governance, as required by the SSB grant.


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  1. unity government my foot says:

    But yet still ayo got Kye and Shawonde as squeaky clean? Some of the same people who created the problem are now expected to fix it….Thing to talk

    Like 53
    Dislike 2
  2. Crooks! says:

    And at least one taxi driver charged a returning resident a large fee as they were told the free rides were only for Belongers!

    Like 40
    Dislike 2
  3. What an absolute mess.. says:

    Thank you BVI News for ongoing reporting this.

    It highlights the ongoing corruption and malpractices in the BVI territory.

    With an annual income of $400 million we could have fixed the schools, education programs, sports and athlete support, senior programs, fixed the roads, had 1st class health care.

    Instead the VIP and NDP governments have squandered wealth by not keeping accounts and paying friends and families in a ongoing system of corruption and nepotism…WHAT AN ABSOLUTE WASTE OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!

    Like 62
    Dislike 1
    • Rubber Duck says:

      The BVI government has an income of approximately $13,000 per person per year. About the same as the UK or Italy. 5 times as much per head as Antigua, 2.5 times as much as Barbados. More than Japan.

      Yet we have the infrastructure and education of a poor third world country.

      Theft, graft, incompetence and apathy are the reasons.

      Like 60
    • You the mess says:

      And just want to drag ndp name in the mud with you nasty and wutless vip govt coi keep saying vip is the worst ever but no no you ain’t please to hear that ha ha ha. That dam lying coach Albert think only he alone was qualified to spend our money and we were not, to h**l with him now.
      Greedy greedy greedy you can’t hear a word out them via people up to now still waiting on there master

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  4. Wonders says:

    Hmmmm, we are just ridiculous in this place spending tax payers money willy nilly. A million dollars is the bottom figure for this government. Until we get transparency from the government, this practice will continue and no one held to account.

    Like 32
  5. Spirit says:

    Why do the Taxi operators own all the politicians in the BVI? It seems like the politicians and not concerned about anyone except the Taxi operators.

    Like 32
  6. BVIslander says:

    All the VIP/Unity/Fahie administration did was take money that was supposed to benefit the entire BVI and gave it to their cronies and friends, for all that don’t know, that is the very definition of corruption. The sad thing is that the people that were supposed to be in place to stop this appear to have been active participants. Please continue investigations and charge all the participants and standers by where it was their duty to serve the country but they did nothing but block the auditors. We owe it to our children to give them a descent country not the cesspool of corruption that the BVI has become. As for all the people busy crying for the criminals, if they had any sense of decency they would have wept for the children that haven’t had a full day of school in 4 years while these criminals were too busy raping the countries finances to take care of the needs of our children

    Like 48
  7. YES TO UK says:

    It looks like the UK has forgotten about us, if so we are in deep S**T.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  8. resident says:

    one person bought a very nice boat and took over all the rides from Beef to VG. why not use existing boat companies ?????
    very strange

  9. Empty taxi says:

    So now we have lots of nice new but empty idle taxis parked all over the BVI waiting for customers that were driven away from the BVI by idiotic entry health requirements, Customs swat squads, expensive ferries and entry fees, etc. Taxis in STT are busy busy though these last 2 years.

    Like 13
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  10. Hmm says:

    It ain’t cheese if it’s less than a mill!

  11. question says:

    Wasn’t this under Kye rhymer? hmmmmmm

  12. No wonder says:

    No wonder our goodly friend is so up front and out spoken. Don’t forget he is also appointed to committees too. The loudest ones are all part of the gravy train.

  13. Licker and Sticker says:

    This was unsanctioned welfare

  14. Licker and Sticker says:

    Well Sah! Look how they give away over a million of SSB money. These ppl we call leaders are really stupid. I understand why they had to dissolve the SSB board. Next the House need to be dissolved

  15. Truth says:

    And fro t line workers cannot be properly paid.Education, medical, police. No wonder so much curruptions. The morale of these hard working people is aground.

  16. Knowledge-Wisdom says:

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  17. W.E Man says:

    We all like to have pride in the job that we do, it is only natural, but if I was a civil servant I would hide under a rock and hide myself in shame and embarrassment. What a useless bunch of delinquent thieves and robbers. Open to corruption and bribery, not worthy to govern, so disappointed to have wasted so many hours of hard work to help build this dirty island.

  18. Lady says:

    Please do not stop your publication of the COI report here.

  19. The Suffering Ones says:

    There are hardworking and committed sivillians who are stŕuggling (living under horrible conditions since the Flashflood and Hurricanes of 2017.)

    When you compare them to persons who received lots of money (that they did not need) it is disheartening.

    Where is the balance?
    Where is the fairness?
    Where is the compassion?
    Where is the ONE LOVE?
    Where is the BVI LOVE?

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