Over $30M On Consultancies
BVI Platinum News | 9 Opinions
Published: January 04, 2017 1:55 pm AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Central government and statutory bodies have expended some $33M on consultancies in the past five years. Additionally, government and statutory bodies have paid out over $8M to legal firms that conducted business with government during the same time period.

Information provided last month showed that that under central government, in 2012 $3,862,384.55 was expended; 2013 - $5,255,004.72; 2014 - $4,404,504.19; 2015 - $1,123,162.04; and 2016 - $2,188,186.98; a total of some $16.8M.

Meanwhile, under statutory bodies, in 2011 $199,869 was expended; 2012 - $2,456,059.62; 2013 - $2,554,848.98; 2014 - $5,972,909.51; 2015 - $2,626,286.20; and 2016 - $2,403,650.56; a total of $16.2M.

The statutory bodies covered under the figure provided include the BVI Ports Authority, BVI Health Services Authority, National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Financial Services Commission, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and BVI Airport Authority.

Additional to the consultancies, government and statutory bodies paid out over $8M to legal firms. Premier and Finance Minister, Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith said, "I can confirm that based on information provided, the total amount paid to private legal firms and individuals providing legal services engaged or contracted by my government between December 2011 and now is $6,286,920.86."

In relation to statutory bodies, Premier Smith said, "The total amount paid to private legal firms and individuals providing legal services engaged or contracted by statutory bodies between December 2011 and now is $2,580,733.26."

Meanwhile, the Premier also disclosed that based on information provided by each of the statutory bodies, only the Social Security Board and the BVI Health Services Authority contracted or otherwise engaged an agency or individual to act as a collection agent on their behalf.

He said that between 2011 and 2015, the BVIHSA paid a total of $5,798.06 to Zolfo Cooper and J.E.M Services Limited for their services; and between 2011 and 2016, the Social Security Board paid a total of $109,177.90 to Orion Law. "This agreement ended in June 2016," he added.

Premier Smith noted that no agency or individual was contracted or otherwise engaged on behalf of the government of the Virgin Islands to act as a collection agent.

The Premier then defended the monies spent.

"...As you are aware, the hiring of consultants is part of the normal course of business for any organization where services may be required that cannot be sourced from within the organization, or for which expert advice and/or skills may be required," he stated.

The Finance Minister said, "This government is no exception and therefore is required to engage such services to ensure efficiency in its operations from time to time."

He also stood by the decisions as it relate to monies paid out to legal firms.

"There are many reasons where it is necessary for private legal firms or legal persons to be engaged by government, such as in legal aid matters, assisting in High Court matters where this is thought necessary by government's legal counsel, and in the negotiation of contracts on behalf of government," Premier Smith noted.

He said more recently, the protocols agreed with the United Kingdom required that for capital projects with a lifetime value above 5% of forecast annual recurrent revenue, independent expert advice such as legal, accounting, financial, economic and environmental should be sought.
-----
Copyright 2016 by Virgin Islands Platinum News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Promoted News (Beta)
Following Shiloh Cato’s nonappearance on January 13 at the Magistrate’s Court,...
Filled with resentment and a host of undisclosed issues, Arion Fahie, 21, threatened to kill both...
A total of eleven criminal matters where dismissed in today's Magistrate’s Court...
The High Court is to determine whether Kenyatta Boynes will be eligible for parole after both the...
Readers' Opinion
9 Opinions | Post Your Opinion
Please note that the opinions posted are the opinions of its author and does not reflect the views of the management, staff, parent company or sponsors of Virgin Islands Platinum News.
every government needs consultants, especially if there is no expertise on island, I agree.
But then the question is do they listen to them (like lights on the round about), or erosion on coral reefs, or poor foundation engineering, or airport issues because of the environmental impact. They... more
January 04 at 11:21pm | Like11 People like this.   Dislike
There is and were experts in the marine field which they employed. They then terminated the employee and gave that same person a on going consultancy at more than 6 times their original salary. So no its not good practise
January 05 at 12:31pm | Like    Dislike
keep your potential trouble makers closer and forget about the issues that are bothersome to personal benefit.
January 09 at 12:48am | Like    Dislike
Albion | Report Abuse
I actually would have guessed it would be more. $33M over 5 years means just over $6M a year. If you think of BVI Government as a business operating with a turnover of $300M a year, $6M on consultants is not that extravagant. What I am less sure of is whether they get value for money.
January 04 at 4:25pm | Like6 People like this.   Dislike3 People dislike this.
No Wonder | Report Abuse
They can't pay the small man dem ...
January 04 at 2:59pm | Like4 People like this.   Dislike1 Person dislike this.
Tall man again ... paid a total of $109,177.90 to Orion Law.
NDP looking to win the prize of most corrupt government
January 04 at 2:58pm | Like18 People like this.   Dislike1 Person dislike this.
Incompetence | Report Abuse
Well there you have it. This is the price we have to pay for our incompetent leaders
January 04 at 2:55pm | Like9 People like this.   Dislike2 People dislike this.
NDP heckler | Report Abuse
These guy really getting out of hand now with this wild spending
January 04 at 2:36pm | Like8 People like this.   Dislike1 Person dislike this.
This is a scandalous waste of money. They had a marine biologist employed but decided to not renew their contract, instead they now pay more than 6 times their salary to consult.
January 04 at 2:36pm | Like8 People like this.   Dislike1 Person dislike this.
This site is the property of and operated by Virgin Islands Platinum News in the British Virgin Islands.
The content, which includes all text and graphic images, is copyrighted by Virgin Islands Platinum News and/or the original copyright holder. © 2016 / All Rights Reserved.