BVI News

Smith seeks retroactive exemption for months-old gov’t contracts

Government legislator, Neville Smith

In an emergency virtual meeting called for today in the House of Assembly (HOA), Deputy Speaker Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith will be retroactively exempted from vacating his seat after entering into at least two contracts with the government more than eight months ago.

According to section 67 of the Virgin Islands Constitution, HOA members are expected to vacate their seat in the HOA if they or their firm are party to a contract with the government.

However, a clause in the same law allows for an exemption if the member discloses the nature of the contract and their interest “before becoming a party to a contract, or before or as soon as practicable after becoming interested” in the contract with the government.

Smith, who is also a Territorial At-Large Representative, serves as a Director of Caribbean Security Limited and his company was contracted for ICT related services for the government.

In the first instance, Caribbean Security was contracted on November 26, 2020 for the installation of access control, video surveillance and burglar alarm in the Department of Information Technology/Telephone Services Management, Inland Revenue and Treasury Departments and for additional installation including building wild fire system at relocation offices located at Skelton Bay Lots, Fish Bay, Tortola.

Meanwhile, the second contract signed on April 8, 2021, was for the installation of ICT equipment for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.

Contracts valued below tender requirement cap

As for value of Smith’s contracts, the first was priced at $99,285.00 while the second was $72,917.56.

Since both contracts are under the $100,000 mark, they do not being put out for tender. It was not stated whether the contracts were put out for bid anyway.

Meanwhile, the motions for exemption will be moved by Premier and Finance Minister Andrew Fahie during this sitting of the House that begins today. Notably, the HOA has met multiple times since last November.

Before these latest two contracts, Smith was given exemption from vacating his seat on a previous occasion when he provided sound and staging services to the government through another of his companies.

Just last month, the Deputy Speaker told the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) that he requested the previous exemption in order to avoid being labelled as corrupt.

At that time, Premier Fahie had said he was the person that told Smith to seek the exemption before the House.

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55 Comments

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  1. vip heckler says:

    He need to step down because he has already forfeited. The VIP always putting the cart before the horse, nothing new here.

    Like 49
    Dislike 2
    • Mama Sue says:

      Thank GOD for the Commission of Inquirty to make them confess and move.

      Like 26
      Dislike 1
    • Hello? says:

      Did these tenders advertised?

      Like 14
    • Hmm says:

      @Vip heckler to add to your contribution the country is currently in a state of despair, one would think that an emergency HOA would be necessary to address how the government will get us out of this mess. To address the needs of businesses, to address the families who are mourning the loss of their love ones.

      As a matter of fact, I cannot recall the leaders of this country specifically sympathizing with the families who have lost their love ones but can find Facebook to defend a pointless initiative. Now more than ever the tone of our leaders should be “country above self”. This gang simply has to go next election.

      Like 32
      Dislike 1
    • looks like a duck says:

      Hmmmm….. $99,285.00 contract and the threshold is $100,000. How convenient.

      Like 10
    • Dear Hon. says:

      Neville, you do not need to step down. You were not lead correctly and obviously told it was ok to proceed. Do not worry. Instead, learn from this. Make better decisions and do not allow yourself to be slaughtered. Jah be your guide. One love.

  2. lock them up! lock them up! says:

    These croaks here feasting off we taxpayers money

    Like 40
    Dislike 1
  3. wrong cant be right says:

    WRONG IS WRONG NO MATTER WHO YOU IS

    Like 35
  4. Wow says:

    These contracts always seem to be 99k, stop pocketing the people’s money! We need a audit on that work to see the real cost! Most likely a 30k or less job.

    Like 41
  5. Premier Fahie says:

    “Fahie Rubishes claims of Cronyism…” Someone tell the VIP that we can actually see, hear and read what they are trying to do emptying the BVI’s bank accounts!

    Like 37
  6. COOKIE JAR THEY WANT UNINERUPTED ACCESS TO THE COOKIE JAR!BRITIAN KEEPS THEM BLOCKED.... CLEAR says:

    LETS LOOK AT THIS CLOSELY……
    “In an emergency virtual meeting called for today”
    “exemption if the member discloses the nature of the contract and their interest “before becoming a party to a contract, or before or as soon as practicable after becoming interested” in the contract with the government”.
    “In the first instance, Caribbean Security was contracted on November 26, 2020”
    “the second contract signed on April 8, 2021”
    “Since both contracts are under the $100,000 mark, they do not being put out for tender”

    WHAT I READ HERE IS THE GOV HAS JUST LEGALISED WHAT THE COI IS TRYING TO UNEARTH… CORRUPTION? FAVOURISM? CRONYISM? AND ALL THE OTHER ISM’S….
    AND WE STANDBY AND WATCH…..

    Like 53
  7. Decision says:

    Hon. Smith should be required to vacate his seat as a member for this. We will watch to see whether this government will break the constitution in the midst of a commission of inquiry. If this exemption is approved then it gives the commission all right to continue and justifies it being here in the first place.

    Like 40
    Dislike 1
    • Really says:

      If sheep step down then the whole Government should. And when that happen who you’ll will run to for handouts.

      Like 2
      Dislike 11
  8. UMUSTSTOPIT says:

    months old???

    VACATE YOUR SEAT!! NO EXEMPTION!! YOU HAVE BREACHED OUR CONSTITUTION

    Like 44
    Dislike 2
  9. Dreadful says:

    it’s called conflict of interest. Here we have a salaried government official getting no bid side jobs to the tune of $ 171k. And, now he wants an exemption to the Constitution so he does not appear corrupt. Way to lead by example, Mr. Deputy Speaker,

    Like 43
    Dislike 3
  10. MK says:

    What’s new the whole goverm corruptent is corrupt.

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  11. THE LOST LAMB says:

    the Shepherd has spoken

  12. ... says:

    and them was on Myron case….who the cap fits

    Like 21
    • ...God don't sleep says:

      On Myron’s case based on lies even after the Attorney General gave a legal opinion and said that what they were saying was false. Even the governor at that time told them that what they were claiming was false. But in true VIP style they still continue to peddle the falsehood.

      Like 16
      Dislike 1
  13. Just my 2 cents says:

    If exemptions are granted based on disclosures before becoming a party to a contract or as soon as practicable after becoming interested in a contract with the government, then I fail to understand or even appreciate the merits of the emergency HOA meeting. Shouldnt the deputy speaker have known of the contract or interest therein before it was awarded. Indeed, a different system of justice for the politicians as compared to the ordinary citizen.

    Totally and utterly despicable!

    Like 28
  14. Wow. says:

    This is disgraceful. As far as I am aware they aren’t the only company on Tortola who can provide these services and they certainly aren’t the most reliable, economical or professional one either. So for the government to contract their services as opposed to one of the better companies is PURE cronyism and ANOTHER misuse of public funds.

    Like 29
  15. Civil Servants says:

    And yet governments haven’t seen an increments years, this is just sad. Truly just sad.

    lately when these elected official I dont even want to hail them anymore.

    Just a set of heartless individual. I DONE WITH VOTING…

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  16. Anonymous says:

    Fahie knows that he is on the way out so he is going to spend a lot of money and while doing so he will help his friends and family. Fahie has to be stopped he doesn’t care about the COI or the UK he is doing what he wants and getting away with it.

    Like 32
  17. So... says:

    If the COI hadn’t looked into the interests would this be actioned?
    If the Premier is a true leader he will be encouraging the deputy speaker to step down not finding a way to keep his job when he hasn’t declared these contracts
    HOA should all step down now.
    When Rawat returns he will be interested in how this government is still avoiding the honest ways of working for us
    I didn’t vote to give money to them

    Like 21
  18. No label no bid says:

    To the ppl of BVI vote at your own risk fk witchever’P’ talking about exemption’. non-voter

  19. WHAT??? says:

    Is there not a single one of them with an ounce of decency? “Territorial At-Large District Representative Neville Smith told the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) the voluntary disclosure he made regarding a 2019 contract between his business and a government statutory body was done to avoid being labelled as corrupt.”
    Well sah – dem chickens have now come home to roost..

    Like 21
  20. Wow says:

    No emergency HOA meeting to approve relief for small businesses that are on the brink of collapse, during a pandemic and in the middle of Hurricane Season. But we have an emergency meeting to ratify almost $200K in payments, months late, in the middle of a COI for their colleague. I wonder how persons thar voted for these people really feel?

    Like 32
  21. Well Well says:

    Is it me, our did I hear Hon. Smith say during his interview with the COI that he had no contracts with government. He said it! He raised the one with festival and said he did not need to but he did. But look today, he is seeking approval for one from April and one from November last year. He blatantly told untruths under oath in the COI. I hope the Commissioner is watching and taking his notes.

    Like 31
  22. says:

    This guy and his government are nothing more than parasites. All they care about is how much taxpayers’ money they can get their hands on.

    Look at what the country is going through and this is their “emergency’ business. There are no adjectives left in the English language to fully describe what a shameful, despicable bunch they are.

    They cannot be allowed to get away with what they are doing to the people of the BVI.

    Like 22
    • Parasite says:

      The other leech over at Ports taken money from the poor people staff to put in the board members wallets. Soon be in balo.

  23. LOL says:

    Anyone of them that votes in the house to approve this is equally guilty and needs to resign.

    Like 22
  24. Mama Sue says:

    Thank GOD for the Commission of Inquirty to make them confess and move.

    Like 17
  25. MedVac says:

    Somebody need to do a wellness check on him.
    Standing there mr Smith lookin mightily ill.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
    • Big Time Theft. The Criminal intent says:

      The main facts and evidence to show Larceny, theft the intent is there and is very obvious, they are all $99.000.00.Thats the Criminal intent and enough to prosecute them

      Like 11
  26. Test says:

    Andrew Fahie is being tested. He can either grant retroactive exemption and give the COI the evidence they need to show cronyism; or he can order Smith to vacate his seat which would be an admission that the VIP has not followed process when awarding contracts

    Like 17
  27. Thk God for The COI says:

    Sheep and the Premier know the Law and they wilfully broke the Law..I am very much disappointed, They thought that they would get away with it..Now the COI is here, they are trying hard to justfy it..This Premier will do anything for his disgruntled camp to keep them loyal…18 more months, time flying fast..

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  28. Lodger says:

    They just forgot to request exemption just like they forgot to register their interests in time. Though, oddly enough he was the only one to do so!,,

  29. BVI Future says:

    One simple question, how is it possible for Mr. Smith to be granted a retroactive exemption is the bidding process or tendering of the contract has passed?

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  30. Citizen says:

    HMMMM. There is precedent of what honourable men and women do when they put country and the constitution first, Keith Flax allegedly had to step down.

    Voters will be watching to see who will put the country and constitution first when the votes are counted, and be considered “HONOURABLE”

    We watching, be on the right side of history.

    Opposition Leader need to ask for the votes to be recorded.

  31. Kissime says:

    This current Gov is loathsome beyond belief.
    Disgraceful!

  32. smh says:

    remember when he said “a nation of beggers” who begging now….kindly step your a** down save yourself the rest embarrassment to come……

  33. Agenda21 says:

    But doesn’t he consistently benefit from small jobs from statutory bodies? His quote is often the only one forced in your face and you either be down with crime or lay down!

  34. LOOKS says:

    well if you look on the big youth behind sheep and his expression on his face behind the mask says it all / or as the saying goes (A picture says A thousand words

  35. Revoke the land says:

    While they stepping down, they need to give back the crown lands too… ugh

  36. Lol says:

    No need for Mr Rawat to ask any questions. Commissioner I enter into evidence the order paper

  37. BuzzBvi says:

    Oh Dear. I hope the COI does not get to hear about this. They are going to have to change their made up minds and conclude the BVI actually is running a corrupt system.
    Don’t the rules say he should vacate his seat. BVI Gov seem to have invented the time machine so they can go back in time and change events.

  38. Vi** oppressing the blockers says:

    Thank God for Bvinews.this news site is the most fair and balance..Vi** is acting like a Lawyer for VIP..Pl****n act like they scared and afraid…What Neville and Fahie did is so wrong they broke the Law. “Wilfully” .Wonder how the Governor is taking this..

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  39. THE PAUSE says:

    so thats the reason why he wanted the COI to chill so he can do a TRUMP on the people / and all the old talk about all the stress of COVID was TOO MUCH for us at this time /along with the COI 🤔 well we AL see it was only an EXCUSE to FLEX his MUSCLES 👊

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  40. WOW says:

    Even when the government did not violate any laws they are being ridiculed. Some of you are so ungrateful that you don’t need to be represented.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  41. lol says:

    hogs feeding at the trough

  42. Dear Hon. says:

    Neville, you do not need to step down. You were not lead correctly and obviously told it was ok to proceed. Do not worry. Instead, learn from this. Make better decisions and do not allow yourself to be slaughtered. Jah be your guide. One love.

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