BVI News

Premier seeks exemption for Sheep as gov’t awards contract to legislator’s company

Deputy Speaker Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith (left) during his swearing-in ceremony as a legislator.

Premier Andrew Fahie is planning to move a motion to exempt Deputy Speaker Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith from having to vacate his seat since the first-term legislator’s company has been contracted by the government.

Smith was named as one of the directors of Frontline Systems, a company that provided sound and staging services for the recently-held Buju Banton show and is again providing those services for the upcoming Emancipation festivities.

The motion is listed on the order paper of the ongoing Fifth Sitting of First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly that is scheduled to resume next week.

Constitution allows exemption

According to section 67 of the Virgin Islands Constitution, an elected member of the House shall vacate his or her seat if the member becomes a party to a contract with the government of the Virgin Islands for or on account of the public service, or if any firm in which the member is or becomes a partner, or a company of which the member is or becomes a director or manager becomes a party to a contract with the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Nonetheless, in section 67(7) of the same constitution indicates that “if, in the circumstances, it appears ‘just’ to do so, the House of Assembly may exempt an elected member from vacating his or her seat.”

The constitution further says that the exemption must be done before the member — in this case, Smith — becomes “party to a contract with the government, or before or as soon as practicable after becoming otherwise interested in a contract”.

The constitution also mandates that the House be provided with the nature of the contract as well as his interest in the contract or in any company involved in the contract.

This said the contract between the government and Smith’s company is for the period of July 25 to August 7.

Tight-lipped

In the meantime, when BVI News tried to contact Chairman of the BVI Festival and Fairs Committee Carnel Clyne, he opted to remain tight-lipped on the matter except to reveal the name of the company who owns the stage.

When BVI News questioned him further in relation to the cost of the contract, he only had one thing to say, “no comment.”

And when our news centre contacted Culture Minister Natalio Wheatley, he said that he was out of the territory and was unable to provide information in relations to cost.

Notably, he informed us that the company’s services to the government “is not free.”

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

46 Comments

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  1. same picture says:

    sounds like a conflict of interest

    Like 48
    Dislike 3
  2. Anonymous says:

    Corruption and pocket filling from the sound of the bell it so obviously appears?

    Like 51
    Dislike 6
  3. LOL says:

    Should not a list be made available where all legislators disclose publicly their shareholder and director interests in entities as soon as practicable after becoming legislator? This would avoid the breaking of the law mentioned in the article. Wasn’t the matter in the Buju case disclosed before? Though some reason did not quite slip through the crack, or was a potential exposure so get it correct quickly given the other contract just behind. BVI too small and everyone knows everyone therefore can anything remain hidden?

    Like 24
    • What's good for you isn't good for me says:

      I am sure our good and great Premier is aware of all of this as if memory serves me right and if this or any news site just did a little bit of searching in their own archives they would recall our Premie, then opposition member making a stink about this a few years ago…oh wait, now he’s in the government and not the opposition so I guess this is no longer an issue. Back to our regularly scheduled program folks.

      Like 61
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  4. Lindbergh says:

    Doesn’t section 67 also apply to the BVI Airlines contract? Who received the referral fees aka payola (if any)? Wouldn’t that make them a party to the contract?

    Like 12
    • why says:

      why you blind fools always try to mix one thing with the other. Things need to always be solved on their own without reference to other matters that were not in themselves correct. Shoot man. People like you need to stop posting. Your kind keeps a people stagnant. Could never move forward with your kind of thinking.

      Like 9
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  5. Corruption! says:

    Was this tendered? That is the question. This contract is way over 100k and if a legislator is particularly involved the full process should have taken place including the tendering. To my knowledge there was no tendering done whatsoever. So here they come to House to fool the people yet again to make it look like they are being transparent. That’s not transparency. That is trying to legitimize a wrong! Where are the tender figures? Who all tendered? Was the tender advertised? Is this in relation to Road Town only or is East End and Long Look included? What is the overall value of the contract? These are the relevant questions but of course these tricksters will pull the wool over the eyes of most of the people yet again. And when was this contract awarded? Because the stage stayed up since Buju Banton concert so clearly the legislator knew that he would have been given the contract from that time or even before. Buju show was in early June. Think about it.

    Like 39
    Dislike 1
  6. Faith says:

    Leave the man alone. He has to eat just like you and me. Petty $h-t in my opinion

    Like 12
    Dislike 33
  7. true says:

    They got the best deal by the Minister leaving the stage set up since BUJU, probably saved money, but no one cares about that little tit bit.

    Like 18
    Dislike 14
  8. Hmmm says:

    Corruption a its best. Go VIP go. One term government

    Like 34
    Dislike 6
  9. Hmm says:

    All he has to do is step down from the company for the time.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  10. vip heckler says:

    The same thing the premier nearly kill the NDP for. No matter how you slice and dice it it is still called CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Them so greedy them took all and give none to p****e who was there for years but TIME LONGER THAN TWINE

    Like 41
    Dislike 6
  11. mark my words says:

    Let me see how the opposition will deal with this. Come on Mark! don’t let mamacita get no more of this. I can depend on you, Mitch and Fraser because i know Marlon and Alvera are going to abstain

    Like 19
    Dislike 4
  12. Jesus says:

    Not even six months good and this is how this government start?

    Like 41
    Dislike 3
  13. #@@ says:

    U people full of sh-t..
    This Government should stop putting out information to prove that they are not hiding anything. It seems that doing things in the dark works better for people of the BVI.

    Do u people want something great for this year or pickup anything from anywhere

    Once he is not stealing the money, please let it go.

    A lot of this was going on with the last government. I don’t hear much from u people.

    Like 12
    Dislike 25
    • Please says:

      And who exactly said that he is NOT stealing the money?

      because he has declared this in an effort to appear transparent, means that it is transparency?

      come on man, think a little outside the box and extrapolate….

      this is corruption, at each contract that’s award, the premier gives reasons why the tendering process had to be suspended. each and every time.

      so only one set of people are getting contracts under this government and all of the people who are being awarded are VIP supporters with a direct connection to the Premier.

      Transparency? because he told the public, no that was an advance move to try to negate or mitigate the adverse reactions of the people who can see it for what it is….

      but the sheep oh the sheep, the sheep make comments like yours!

      Like 22
      Dislike 5
    • And says:

      Whether it is done in public view or behind doors does this make it right for you? Conflict spells one way

    • PROBLEMS says:

      Is not stealing because they tell you upfront that they are stealing. LOL

      A blind sheep or perhaps one that chooses not to see. They are just as crooked as the previous administration but just giving a heads up to their blind or unwlling to see sheep of how they plan on doing things.

      Like 5
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  14. Tola says:

    His company has been doing the staging services for many years… so why is it a problem now? He is the same person then and now…Stop being bad minded people

    Like 20
    Dislike 21
  15. Lodger says:

    But why is it a govt contract at all? These things should be done by private enterprise so they sink or swim by their efforts.
    This is not supposed to be a nanny socialist state.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  16. vip heckler says:

    “Right is right depends on who you love and wrong is wrong depends on who you hate” Any body can tell me who these words from ???

    Like 15
  17. :) says:

    This is not ground breaking or jaw dropping news. In 2012 Marlon had to go through the same process to provide IT services for the FSC although there are many IT specialist in the BVI. The motion was filed in the HOA and was approved with no conflict. Ralph even gave Marlon his blessing even though he was leader of the Opposition at the time. We should consider that there are less than a handful of people that provide Stages in the BVI that can accommodate our festival so there is no negative conflict considering the circumstances.

    Like 31
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    • LOL says:

      Are you really comparing procuring stage and lighting to Marlon’s expertise and knowledge of FSC’s IT framework thereby retaining his contract with them? That is a stretch from here to the heavens and you know it. Marlon was approved because he was head of FSC IT before being elected and they retained his services because it was needed, totally different!

      Like 16
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      • :) says:

        You can list all quality stage owners on one hand. IT experts are all over the BVI. Nearly every business has an IT expert. One of the top fields for college graduates in the BVI is in that area. Marlon was not and never will be the only one that can provide IT service for FSC. When Myron was providing food for the HOA what was his excuse was he an expert in culinary arts as well? Was he the only person capable of providing food for the HOA. What BS excuse are you going to come with now. There were dozens of young people with catering services and culinary experts that could have gotten a nice little boost from catering to the HOA. That my friend is more of a conflict. A conflict is only when there are a lot more options and better options available. There are always going to be what appears to be a conflict in the BVI because we are too small and the population especially BVIsanders are closely related. Many people that receive contracts from NDP were related to or were members of NDP. Some are conflicts due to pessimism and others were by necessity like in this case.

        Like 15
        Dislike 4
        • :) says:

          Pessimism =Cronyism, don’t drink and type y’all

        • Goodsense says:

          Valid points, however, the Premier and past opposition leader spoke out about these things and he made persons believe that he would do different but he has proven to be doing the same exact thing

          Like 5
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      • Same thing says:

        The man doing stages before elected. Whats ur point.

  18. Shorty says:

    Sheep isn’t the only minister they are seeking exemption for. The order paper for the house also has an exemption for Carvin as his company will be providing services to government for the next four years .

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  19. Shut up says:

    Lets talk Conflict of interest
    1. Every yard of concrete and most of the materials that went to the pier park project came from ndp Ronnie Skelton and his fall guy para..

    2. The moorings and hon. Myron recieved over 3 million dollars in catering contracts from the government.
    So you all shut up. And he is just a small share holder in the company..

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  20. Resident says:

    Why are you all so surprised. I will repeat 6 of one half a dozen of the other. POLITRICKIANS!!!

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
  21. Silence says:

    Andrew is digging himself a very deep hole! I have no problem with Sheep getting his contract or any other legitimate business providing a valued service being paid for it, that’s fair. What I have a problem with is when Andrew was Opposition Leader he called NDP the most corrupt Government in history for doing these same things. Imagine if NDP had brought a similar motion to the HOA for one of their members to be contracted to provide stage and sound systems for ALL 3 FESTIVAL LOCATIONS on Tortola, all hell would broke loose. Hon. Fahie you were the one that always spoke out against this sort of thing and now look at you. Not because you are going through the correct channels make this right, it is sickening!

    I am pleased that you are not afraid to make decisions as leader and laud your efforts in rebuild of ESHS, regularisation of status and other things, but the security detail which will cost over $5mil over your full term, when we have qualified armed police that can do the job, the doubling of festival budget with so many other things to do, buying vehicles for every single elected official and now this with Hon. Smith, how can we take you seriously based on how you carried on in the opposition about these same issues when NDP were allegedly doing it? Also imagine if NDP had appointed a former dismissed senior civil servant as the Speaker of the House? Imagine if they appointed a former senior government official who went to prison for mismanaging government funds on the airport, admittedly so, as chairman of the Airports Authority?

    Like 31
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  22. Eagle eye says:

    Can anybody tell me where the coney island for the kids will be place?seems as if they kick out the kids for festival this year because of buju show.sad

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
    • Lol says:

      It will be sqeezed at the back of the booths..where the original entrance is. Sad. They rearrange the entire village to facilitate the stage.

    • @EAGLE EYE says:

      Buju show been over since June 16. How can you say coney island get kicked out because of that? Your logic is twisted. All needed to happen is the semi-circle needed to be brought in, or re-design the placement of booths. But hey, we short sighted and narrow minded.

  23. @eagle eye says:

    What buju have to do with your stupidness. Buju come to the bvi more than a month now. Did he tell anyone not to keep them festival. Please be reminded that KT Productions bring Buju. Please come off his back.

  24. vip heckler says:

    A leopard really doesn’t change his spot. It was only a matter of time before the VIP started showing their true colors. I knew it wasn’t going to take too long

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  25. Mike Stone says:

    Ill just rest this here….Some of the wisest people have no education.
    Some of the most generous people have no money.
    Some of the kindest people were hurt the most.

  26. hmmm says:

    All you here saying VIP same as NPD any of you ever had the chance to blog about it in NDC time like how you are bloging on this headline. No because NDP was doing it in secret it was not on any news sites fir you to blog on. Hon. Mr. Fahie is not hiding what they plan to do. He and his party are hiding anything from you all. You see how they made it public. When last did you all see that. Hmmm.

    Like 1
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