BVI News

We did ‘superficial assessments’ for farmers, Premier’s PS tells COI

The Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex where the main government offices are located.

Permanent Secretary within the Premier’s Office, Dr Carolyn O’Neal Morton said her office made superficial assessments in determining the needs of farmers as the government distributed COVID Assistance Grants.

The highly controversial rollout was met with much blowback from the public after it was disclosed that more than $6 million was spent to aid persons who were neither registered as farmers or fishermen, according to audit reports.

“Some people expressed a need but … in the absence of an assessment, which Agriculture was unable to do, we had to do some superficial assessments based on photographs and based on our prior knowledge,“ Dr O’Neal-Morton told the Commission of Inquiry (COI) last Friday.

Why give more for those that asked for less?

Meanwhile, Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom pointed to the government’s use of ‘hypothetical income’ as a basis for calculating how much to award each recipient. He said this approach made no sense since many of the persons who were issued grants did not farm or fish for their main source of income.

He also told Dr O’Neal-Morton that he couldn’t understand why persons who requested a few hundred dollars were given thousands of dollars instead.

Sir Gary referred to the system that was used as full of flaws and without logic.

“For people who claimed less, I simply don’t see the logic of giving them more,” Sir Gary said.

He said this and cast doubt on whether these persons would repay the amounts that they did not use.

But Dr O’Neal-Morton insisted that those who were paid more than they needed would have to pay those monies back.

She said no one has paid back any monies so far.


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  1. heckler says:

    Yeah by giving fake farmers 13000+ even though they only wanted 500$

    Like 20
  2. System says:

    The system put in place is as follows. You keep half and kick back half. Keep your mouth shut and in a year all will forget. This was the stimulus plan.

    Like 15
  3. GIRL says:


    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  4. facts says:

    Facts are that there were registered fishers and farmers involved its wholly incorrect and incendiary to write that 6m was spent on unregistered persons.

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
  5. got none says:

    And what about the many small businesses that service tourism that were qualified and got NONE without explanation?

  6. It’s a start says:

    This looks like one of the clearest examples of fraud and corruption yet but it’s pennies compared to the really evil government criminality and corruption.

  7. Mother Wuk says:

    Somebody must get jail time for these actions,you think people will pay the government back and the money i sure is already spent…who cant pay rent or loans from bank or persons or barely could buy food to put on the table in these hard times will pay???? I guess beverly hills will be filled with politicians, high class persons in government n some low class persons

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