Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) Claude Skelton-Cline will be serving as the Chair of the Cruise Tourism Committee, and he has been given a $98,000 consultancy contract to, among other things, lead negotiations for new Cruise Line Berthing Agreements.
The six-month contract will see Skelton Cline’s consultancy—Grace Consultants—leading negotiations and facilitating a seaplane tour excursion initiative.
Skelton-Cline would have played a major role campaigning for the now-Government during the election campaign earlier this year.
According to a statement from the Government, the contract will also see Skelton-Cline monitoring the planning and execution of the programme that is aimed at providing the 1000 jobs in 1000 days as promised by the Government, “including assistance on small business development and advise on the development and implementation of initiatives designed to empower youth.”
As part of his engagement, Skelton-Cline will also play an advisory role.
According to the missive, he “has been engaged to provide strategic advice on the creation of a climate resilience and renewable energy unit, and advice on projects linked to climate resilience.”
Additionally, he will be leading negotiations with telecommunication service providers for new terms of service provided to the Territory, “and also lead negotiations on existing and future development of the Prospect Reef site.”
“Responsibilities of this consultancy include formalising and leading the strategic planning process, focusing on short- and long-term initiatives, translating strategies into actionable and quantitative plans; facilitating the execution of the strategy by working collaboratively with ministerial leadership, special committees, private sector, regional and international bodies, and consultants to support execution of key initiatives,” the Government statement further read.
According to the Government’s statement, his engagement is in keeping with the goal to build capacity and deliver on their key development goals, noting that “small business development and climate resilience are two essential areas that have been identified as it seeks to revitalise and build the local economy.”
Skelton-Cline served as the Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) until 2016, when the renewal of his contract was rejected by the former National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, despite recommendation for continuation of tenure from the BVIPA Board.
Back in 2008, Skelton-Cline was the coordinator of the controversial ‘Virgin Islands Neighbourhood Partnership Project’ through his company ‘Claude Ottley Consulting Ltd’.
That project was started under Premier, Hon Andrew Fahie who was then the Minister of Education. Information is that, over $570,000 was paid to Skelton-Cline’s company without much of the stipulated works under the contract being done. Further, information stated that, performance was either non-existent or lacking in a number of areas stipulated under the contract.