BVI News

Renovation of VG police barracks sees $112K cost overrun | Housing woes for cops over

The lack of accommodation for police officers attached to Virgin Gorda is expected to be a thing of the past now that their barracks on the sister island have been renovated.

However, while renovations are finally complete, it seemed to have happened at a cost overrun of more than $100,000.

The works which started last November was initially contracted for $766,028 to Ridgeview Construction (BVI). But in a government-commissioned media release on Friday, the “overall contract cost” was $878,118.32. This represents an overrun of $112,090.32.

No explanation has been given about why the project — which was led by the Deputy Governor’s Office and implemented through the Recovery & Development Agency — seemingly ran over budget or above the cost previously given.

The newly refurbished facility, which is based next door to the Virgin Gorda Police Station, was officially opened on September 6 — exactly two years after it sustained damage by Hurricane Irma.

Good example of partnership’

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Governor Jaspert said the project “represents a success on the journey towards achieving the results of the build-back-better process.”

He said the project, which was funded by the United Kingdom, was “a good example of partnership” between the governments of the United Kingdom and the British Virgin Islands.

Premier Andrew Fahie, in the meantime, said the project “involved many parts coming together to make it a success”.

Hurricane-damaged barracks affected policing on sister island

Last year, Police Commissioner Michael Matthews bemoaned that the hurricane-damaged barracks affected policing on Virgin Gorda.

“We’ve recently tried to increase the number of officers on Virgin Gorda except we got nowhere to house the officers if they, for example, live on Tortola,” Commissioner Matthews said at the time.

He added” “We are sending the officers across using the public service, except, the ferries don’t run particularly late at the moment and so I’m having difficulty in sustaining the coverage I want because those officers have got to get back.”

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  1. But But? says:

    I thought its only local construction companies that over run!

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  2. Hahahah says:

    The RDA needs to go! Everyone have them to be the Jesus of recovery and of well budget organization. Meanwhile our high school L shape building was done without the RDA and was done so under budget that each of the 5 contractors give $10,000 back to the school system. Someone please show the RDA the way to the Airport!

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  3. Faith says:

    Nice. People usually under-bid the project to obtain the contract fully well knowing that the figure they put forward cannot complete the project, hence there will always appear to be an over-run when in actuality that is the actual cost of the project. Case closed.

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    • Knowledge says:

      Thank you for your comments. You saved me the trouble. That’s EXACTLY what happen in this situation. RDA is looking at the lowest cost and then award the contract accordingly. The lowest cost doesn’t always mean the job will be completed under budget.

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      • 2CENT says:

        point taken in what you both said however once contract signed for what ever amount say $1. once no changes happen to the scope of work that $1 should finish the job and if it does not the contractor pays the difference and even goes as far as to say the contractor is also responsible for any lost of time after contract expires in other words the contractor will pay the client back for every day after his contract expired until job done.
        need start holding people to their bids/word.

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  4. Oh says:

    I guess overruns are fine when it’s the DG Office and an overseas contractor doing the job. If this was the Premier Office and a local contractor we would hear chants of corruption. Life I tell you!

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    • Curious says:

      How is Ridgeview an Overseas Company when it has a BVI Trade License…Foreign Partner in a Local Company has a disagreement – Govt issues Foreign Partner a Trade License to compete against previous Local Partner….registered & licensed to operate in the BVI makes it a BVI Company…ridiculous

  5. Green says:

    More to come because we like to bash our own and think that others will do better buat we do not realize that they are worse. A case of the grass looks greener on the other side.

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  6. strupes says:

    Ayo here going on and it is the same set of incompetents who used to work PWD/MCW make up this same RDA board

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  7. Ummm says:

    So let me get this straight. The high school wall overrun was under $100k and it’s now in the hands of the police, but this is no problem??? Oooook.

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    • Haha says:

      Exactly and some j@ck@$$ talking about contractors underbidding. Why does that excuse work in this case but not in the others. Not every government contract went over by millions but people still quick to make accusations of corruption. The lowest bid isn’t always the best. You might save some money on that contract now but you spend a lot more having to do over the same job again and again just like the problems we face with the public roads.

  8. :) says:

    When NDP do it people say they are corrupt, When VIP do it people say they are corrupt. When RDA do it what will the people say. RDA was given power to prevent the so call corruption, financial mismanagement, overruns and overspending but here they are doing the same thing. VIP and NDP has always has some excuse why projects overrun but despite their answer it was never enough. Let’s see how this one unfolds. There has been a lot of support in these comments hailing the RDA as the saviors as if they are more than human but time will tell.

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  9. skeptical says:

    I’m not going to rush to judgment because I am mindful too that the government could have asked for additional works on the project. Not that it was an overrun, but that additional works were requested on top of the contract. Since the facts were not given, the contractor will most likely take the licks online. I know better and am mindful that it can be way way different than what our way of thinking goes

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  10. E. Leonard says:

    The estimated cost and actual cost on major construction projects rarely, if ever, matches. With proper design, construction, inspection, project management……etc, the cost overruns can be kept down to a manageable range, ie, 10-15% typically. Cost overruns are typically lower on new construction projects higher on repair projects. Change orders should typically be for owner changes, substitutions, upgrades, latent defects, unforeseen conditions, errors and omission……etc.

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    • Construction Warriorp says:

      @E. Leonard, “The estimated cost and actual cost on major construction projects rarely, if ever, matches.” True. But sometimes the actual cost can be slightly over or under the estimated cost. However, construction projects in the BVI, especially government projects, seems to always incur serious cost overruns. Taxpayers get their clocks clean on government projects.

      Every government construction or service contract should have a government estimate (GE). Low, responsive and responsible bids significantly below or over GE should be tossed. If not tossed, the government contracting officer should have a serious discussion with contractor on how his/her cost was derived. By the way, low bid is an ineffective way to award contracts; best value is a better method. Low bid, coupled with a bad contractor, spells disaster.

      Ok. It is common knowledge that many contracts are and will be awarded based on politics. Nonetheless, the least the contractors can do is provide value for money. The procurement/acquisition process needs to be improved. If some contracts are going to be reserve strictly for locals ( it is common for countries and communities to reserve some projects for locals), local contractors must have/acquire the skill sets to do a “bang up” job. At least have the politicians back.

  11. Contingency says:

    Most projects of this size will also have a contingency budget to allow for any unknowns or overrun. Even with overrun it may still be within budget originally allocated to the project. Probably not going to get all the facts from this one little article.

    • E. Leonard says:

      @Contingency, indeed a contingency line item is typically included in a construction project budget to facilitate unplanned, unforeseen…….etc events. A construction project budget is not necessarily the same as a contractor’s bid on a project. A construction project can come in under budget, on time…….etc and often do; change orders/modifications do not always have to be additive; deductive modifications can often bring project cost down. Proper design, construction, inspection, project management, contract admin…etc can go a long way in making cost overrun the exception, not the expected norm.

  12. Police says:

    Hey – the job is done (they started the job less than a year ago, that’s pretty good for VG). Look around. Most of the rest of Virgin Gorda still mashed up. Good work Ridgeview! The new police station looks nice and fresh. We need to see more of this.

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