By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff
Former Education Minister under the 2010 VIP government, Andrew Fahie, said it was “common sense” that led him to spend nearly 600,000 of taxpayer dollars to conduct a medical school assessment for the BVI.
Back when Fahie was education minister, a company called Effect Incorporated was awarded the near-$600,000 contract to find a suitable medical school, and assist with creating policies for that school to operate in the BVI.
In explaining why it was necessary to seek out those consultancy services, Fahie said: “The medical school consultancy was commissioned … as dictated by common sense. Every BVI citizen inspires for a dream home [but] a dream home cannot and must not be constructed without detailed plans. Those plans set the direction for proper construction of the home. Without them, you must falter and so too will the medical school initiative if a master plan had not been developed.”
Fahie went on to say all the proper procedures were followed when the contract was issued years ago.
He made the statements this week while responding to criticism from the current Education Minister under the NDP government, Myron Walwyn.
Walwyn secures medical school without ‘unnecessary’ spending
Walwyn began criticizing Fahie about the eight-year-old issue this week after successfully issuing an operating licence to an offshore tertiary school called the University of Science Arts and Technology.
“We were able to get to this point successfully without one penny of government resources being spent on anything outside of the ordinary expenditure associated with these types of matters. This causes me to reflect on the near $600,000 that was spent by the previous government and the previous minister for a consultant to tell us what was already obvious – that medical schools would be of benefit to the territory,” Walwyn said.
“This situation raises some questions to which answers by Honourable Fahie should be forthcoming in the spirit of transparency and accountability … Why was the near-$600,000 spent on this unnecessary report that yielded no results for the people of the territory? Walwyn questioned.
VIP was voted out and could not continue
In responding further, Fahie – who is currently Leader of Opposition – said his party lost the 2011 General Election after hiring the consultancy firm in 2010. He further claimed that it was up to the succeeding NDP government to follow through on the plan.
Fahie then pledged to do a ‘full broadcast’ of how and why the monies were spent.
He, however, lunged at Walwyn and the governing NDP with criticisms of his own.
He said Walwyn only dug up the issue to gain political leverage ahead of the upcoming general elections, which are constitutionally due in 2019.
“It is quite curious that eight years later that this topic will now be raised ahead of the Elmore Stoutt High School $1.6 million wall, ahead of a $7.2 million plane that will not fly, ahead of $8 million illegally transferred from the East End/Long Look sewerage project to the ports, ahead of over expenditure of $40 million on the ports project,” Fahie said.
“The cream doesn’t need to push anything down to the bottom in order for it to rise to the top. It takes its rightful position naturally. The Minister of Education will one day learn this lesson.,” he added.
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