BVI News

Persons still employed at Prospect Reef, gov’t owes nearly a year’s worth of wages

What remains of the Prospect Reef Resort on Tortola. (BVI News photo)

Government currently owes employees of the hurricane-ravaged Prospect Reef Resort more than $150,000 in outstanding wages but said it plans to settle the near-one year debt in a few weeks.

Premier Andrew Fahie made that disclosure while answering questions from Third District Representative Julian Fraser in the House of Assembly on Thursday, July 25.

“The amount of money outstanding to the employees of Prospect Reef is $171,834.78 and that covers all of the employees. This represents wages owed from August 2018 to present,” said the Premier who is also the Minister responsible for Finance.

While noting that the matter was neither given proper attention nor was the monies owed included in the 2019 budget, the Finance Minister said his government is ‘working tirelessly’ to ensure the issue is rectified by next month.

“All efforts are being exhausted to have all employees of Prospect Reef, who are owed, to be paid in full by the end of August 2019,” Premier Fahie said.

What do these employees do at the rundown facility?

Considering that the state-owned facility is in an extremely dilapidated condition and is not operational, Fraser then inquired about the duties of these persons who he said were still employed at the resort.

The Premier replied that the safest answer was for him to say: “A review of the organisational and operational structure of Prospect Reef is currently being undertaken in order to determine a more economical way forward.”

This is not the first time that government has owed monies to employees of the resort. According to the 2018 Standing Finance Committee report, the then NDP government had approved a grant of $261,000 to pay severance to employees and to settle outstanding bills management had incurred.

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20 Comments

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  1. TurtleDove says:

    This piece of property is Government malpractice. Both VIP and NDP. And I don’t understand how a Government employee is not being paid. We just have to do better than this.

    Like 19
  2. TurtleDove says:

    Ok what will I do? Maybe we have to stop looking to get some rich person to develop this area and do it ourselves. If we could spend 7 million on a plane we have never seen we can do this.

    Government build a modest hotel and contract out the management making sure local are well positioned in management positions or being mentored for those positions. If we can’t find local contractors to manage it look abroad. If well run people will have jobs and the government will get their money back and then some. Government should not run it EVER. It should be contracted out.

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  3. Miss says:

    so people been showing up for work everyday for a year and not being paid?

    Like 13
    • Yes says:

      Some expats too:)

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
    • Bizzy Be says:

      Wow! Aren’t they doing a wonderful job, keeping the lawns mowed and the shrubbery trimmed? These employees ought to be applauded for their loyalty, showing up for work each and every day with no pay day in sight! Now just a little touch-up paint and the place will look fabulous!

    • Deh Watcha says:

      There is no way you can be faithfully showing up to a job for a whole year, not paid and survive.

      Well…..maybe there rainy day money was/is well padded up.

    • Albion says:

      What exactly are they doing everyday? The hotel is empty and hasn’t been operational for years. Are these all employees just getting paid to do nothing by Government whilst they all work other jobs?

  4. Reply says:

    Take a good look at the picture ladies and gentlemen. That is what things looks like when government gets overly involved in projects such as this, and when it want’s to micromanage the private sector, and investors who have the money and knowledge to do what they cannot do.

    A national shame, and a pox on both the VIP and the NDP governments.

    Prior to the hurricanes, Prospect Reef looked like crap; the hurricanes just finished it off, and did everyone a favor. The hurricanes had more sense than the politicians.

    All the promises were just for naught. If some people were not getting money in their pockets, nothing was happening. This is the outcome. Disgraceful. Shame.

    The entire place needs to be bulldozed and rebuilt without government involvement. Meanwhile
    those individuals who have been minding this graveyard need to receive not only their back pay but a bonus for keeping a watchful eye over this eye sore.

    It’s a shame watching this while approaching Road Town by ferry..a shame.

    Like 19
    • @Reply says:

      I agree much can be said and written about all of the circumstances surrounding that property/business, management, etc.

      However, we are better , much better than that. If we get rid of some of our mental ills, put our heads and wills together, we can accomplish much.

      We stay divided, critical and selfish against each other, never offering a solution, yet expecting the best out of every situation.

      Our people are strong and smart people, but even strong and smart people make errors sometime.

      From the cane field to the potatoe ground; to the row boat; to the schooner; to the fish pot; to the private and tourism industry, we built it with help, smarts and strenght.

      Yet many today are trying to tear it down with dumb critisism, hatred, jealousy and ignorance.

      Today, we again must do what we can do to build our nation. We must do this with positive actions and thoughts. We must stop desparaging our own and our government for the world to see, that we still have their chains wrapped around our minds.

      With good leadership and all of us chipping in, we can achieve whatever we so desire. Let’s get to work, and God bless our Virgin Islands.

  5. Dman says:

    It would make a nice park for the people and visitors.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
    • @Dman says:

      Minus the dolphins of course.

      Clearly this ruling government did not come in with an economic frame work to maintain, boost, secure and protect the number one and most important segment of this or any other country, the economy engine. Yes, the economy!

      Leaders should know that they must take care of and improve the country’s bread and butter from first day in office first, before regularising other people to eat from that same bread.

      After the economy has been well worked on and logistics have been put in place to get and keep it growing, then, and maybe only then should anyone or such thing as regularising anyone even be considered.

      But since election, the territory is being bombarded with all sorts of what should secondary initiatives and low priority legislation, when the main engine of the territory appear to be getting no building attention. This direction appear backward political strategy.

      Observe the appoaches of developed and developing nations, for example, their slogan and requsite philosophy and politico actions are always, “it is the economy stupid!”

      Now get some honest, trained and trustworty experts in there, who will not line their and officials pockets, and get that project up and making money for the government and territory!

      Like 9
      Dislike 1
  6. BVI says:

    VIP PLEASE CLEAN UP THIS EYESORE. SINCE THIS IS IN FRASER’S DISTRICT WHY CANT HE GET HIS GUYS TO CLEAN IT ?

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  7. BIG QUESTION says:

    WHY DON’T THEY LAY OFF THOSE PEOPLE OR HAVE THEM CLEAN UP THE PLACE ???

  8. Honestly Speaking says:

    What are they to be paid for? There are no rooms to clean,no plumbing to fix,no light bulbs to change.no guest to check in or out,no sheets to wash.The place is closed. Did they not get notice.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  9. Wow says:

    Paid bodyguard for the government??
    But unpaid employees at prospect reef for a year
    Something wrong

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  10. Anonymous says:

    ah year eigh gone yet an dem don making ah killin.

  11. Interesting says:

    Trading while insolvent is an offence. This things needs to be sold. Perhaps look into the Romney deal also that caused this mess. Get a proper developer in and lease it to them with conditions to protect employment and provide infrastructure and amenity to BVI residents. How on earth the last government selected a Charlatan with no track record and even a dodgy looking website is astonishing. Then again, maybe that company’s governance is not as robust as others.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  12. :) says:

    Prospect reef resort was purchased by NDP in 2005 during their first ever term.

    NDP was in power from 2003-2007. NDP was in power from 2011 until early 2018. VIP was only in power for one term (2007-2011) since NDP purchased Prospect in 2005. NDP had 3 terms during that time.

    Dr. Smith tried to justify the purchase by making grand promises about building a new resort then it evolved into a hospitality training center. Over a decade later and finally realizing that it was a terrible investment around 2013-2017 Dr. Smith decided to try to get outside investors to do something with the property.

    ICA agreed to developed Prospect Reef in 2016 under NDP but the investors bailed out after Irma and has since criticized Dr. Smith publicly through the media and how he handled the project on a few occasions.

    Fast forward to today we have people guarding a badly damaged facility without getting paid. We have people working for a facility that has no function and brings in no revenue.

    NDP and Dr. Smith had over 10 years to turn the property into something we could be proud of and failed miserably while the stench of failure lingers after his retirement.

  13. Idk says:

    It look like it can hold a marina with its own hotel etc. They can lease it out to one of the charter companies and let them develop it.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1

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