BVI News

Shoddy work? Extra $650K needed for airport complex repairs despite initial $273K contract

Premier Andrew Fahie

Despite a near-$275,000 contract being spent by the former NDP government to restore the airport administration complex, an additional $650,000 is now needed to complete what is being described as poorly-done repairs to the building.

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Premier Andrew Fahie said that the former government curiously padded thousands of dollars more to the initial $225,000-repair project before demitting office.

“Just before the February general election, the previous [BVI Airports Authority] board and management issued a variation of the contract in the sum of an additional $48,000. The cause of this 21.33% contract variation cannot be sufficiently explained. May I say there are no copies of board resolutions to support the issue of the contract and the variation.”

Shoddy workmanship

And while suggesting shoddy workmanship on the repairs, the Premier said he has been made to understand that the construction and repair plan also had no approval from the local building authority.

“The contractor left no provisions inside the walls for electrical installations. Now the Authority must face additional costs for boring the walls to conceal and secure the electrical wiring, or they must use sheet-rock to create a façade to conceal the electrical wiring – this is after the deliberate decision to use blocks instead of sheet-rock,” he said.

Cost for completed repairs will be almost tripled

Fahie, who is also Minister of Finance, further said the cost of the total repairs will almost triple upon completion.

“The new board has advised that they have found estimates and other project documents in relation to this project, and these show that the remainder of work required to complete the repairs to this 100 x 50 building is $650,000,” Fahie said.

“This would take the total for the repairs to this small building, inclusive of the unexplained variation, beyond $1 million – which is triple what the cost was initially assumed to be,” he added.

According to Fahie, the scope of the repairs that should have been done the first time around included the reconstruction of the roof in concrete and use of concrete wall blocks inside instead of sheet-rock.

“The logic was that in the event of the windows being blow off during a severe weather event, the concrete blocks walls would not have to be replaced whereas the sheetrock walls would be damaged,” Fahie said.

Employees are affected

The complex, like the rest of the territory, sustained severe damage during the 2017 hurricanes.

As a result, many government offices had to be relocated, and employees were forced to work in less than ideal situations.

“They remain in this haphazard arrangement today, even after hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on repairing the administration building by the previous Board, management and the ministry with responsibility for the airport,” Fahie said.

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  1. VI gyal says:

    Sheetrock is still better for inside. Any office improvements can be done easily and at a better cost and time. The problem was the many glass windows.

    • Hmmm says:

      I personally feel the way the Premier bashed the airport in his attempt to get back at the NDP Government is of poor taste.

      I find one very critical thing was missing from his show – REVENUE. The airport is literally a ghost town where the money supposed to come from to fund such complex operation without substantial help from government?

      I thought the mentioned that custodian and maintenance might be outsourced had no caused to be disclosed in HOA. Not to mention the number of security officers failing exams. Extremely Poor taste.

      Mr. Premier these are the same individuals you expected to work along with your board for the next four year, my advise to you and your foot soldiers is to change your approach.

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      • Rubber Duck says:

        It is now cheaper to fly to Florida from St Thomas than it is to fly from Beef Island to San Juan.

        As passenger numbers decline the three or four companies operating out of Beef Island are putting up fares, which further reduces the number of passengers. A spiral of decline with no end in sight.

        Whatever it may be , something needs to be done because the airport in its present form is unlikely to survive.

      • Justine says:

        Is there a wistleblow program yet?

      • Ducky says:

        If these security officers are failing exams miserably then this speaks to poor hiring practices. This means that the wrong people are being selected/hired for jobs at the airport. That is the responsibility of the **. When you do not establish good hiring practices, that is what you get, the “dregs”. Or maybe jobs are given by favour… just saying.

  2. Hmm says:

    Name the company, Premier.

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  3. vip heckler says:

    Well it seems like renovations cost more than building the actual buildings under this government. Take the high school and CTL building estimates for example

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  4. Devon says:

    It’s about time people are made accountable here ! Who ever managed or undertook this project should be made to make good any faults… If not their Trade license should be revoked… assuming they have one !

    Like 15
  5. @vip heckler says:

    It is referred to as kick backs, kick backs and green backs.

    Like 14
  6. Windy says:

    Again – who’s going to jail ?

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  7. This is getting ridiculous now! says:

    My relatively small house was a $200,000 bill to fix and still did not cover everything. You expect to fix the admin building for $200,000. This is not a small building. Premier’s security is $86,000 a month. That’s over a million a year. Come on now.

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    • REAAAD!!!!! says:

      This is not the central admin complex, is the AIRPORT ADMIN COMPLEX!

      • Hmmmm says:

        IMO, just run checks to see the costs of clean up for that same building after the hurricane and I believe that you going hear and see ting. Too much bad spending..that is what it was.

  8. Bush Engineer says:

    At a minimum, every construction project should have a scope of work (SOW), plans and specs……..etc. Further, every construction project should also have dedicated inspector(s) to ensure that the work put in place is consistent with the design intent. The inspector(s) generally don’t sign off on any work or certify any payment invoice(s) for poor quality work that do not meet the design intent. Did this project have a written SOW, and plans and specifications and if so were SOW and plans and specs met? Did someone sign off on the payment invoice? If so who is looking out for the taxpayers interest? Seems like the acquisition/procurement of goods and services contract processes, practices and procedures need to be revamp. A no nonsense approach to adhering to contracting rules must be taken. Contract managers, procurement clerks and contracting officers must look out for the tax payers interest.

    Like 10
  9. Check Check says:

    The guy who stole a good lump some of money when it was building, is now over the operations again. Blah blah blah……

    • vip heckler says:

      Since then the airport has been gasping for air, couldn’t keep its head above the water since that guy went jail. Its actually on life support. One thing for sure, who killed it cant bring it back

  10. Yep says:

    I heard that clean up costs were a pretty penny as well. Who had that contract? Inquiring minds want to know and who got kick backs from it?

  11. Anonymous says:

    What kind of labor and production rates are used to arrive at these outrageous :”da is da price’ estimates for repairs? Say 50% of the $ 650K is materials, that leaves $ 325K in labor. At $ 200/day per person, that works out to 1,625 days of work, or about 100 days (i.e. 20 work weeks) for a gang of 16. Really? A gang of 16 for 20 weeks to grind out grooves to run electrical conduit, install conduit, patch and re-paint walls, wire up in a 5,000 square foot building? Anybody around here ever use standard construction contracts, with detailed scopes of work, and liquidated damages clauses…? Or, are we all happy to know that contractors (BVIslanders at that) are happily helping themselves to the tax coffers with impunity? Is anyone ever going to be brought to account for these actions?

    • Lance says:

      I was in the BVI to help a friend rebuild his home after the storm and I ask those questions to the contractors I ran into and no one was able to give me an answer, I also asked what per square foot do you change for building a house?they don’t know one guy they don’t they just charge all I said was okay,I said to him where I come from you can’t do that it’s just,what you guys are doing it’s just wrong.

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