(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News) Pastor Claude Skelton-Cline
Pastor Claude Skelton-Cline will continue to render his services to the new Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government after his company received a one-year contract extension in the amount of $144,000.
Cabinet at its meeting on November 22, decided on a new contract between Grace Consulting and the Government of the Virgin Islands for 12 months with effect from September 18, 2019 to August 17, 2020.
Cabinet also approved the request for waiver of the tender process in favour of Grace Consulting, that is deemed to be a suitable company having successfully executed deliverables in a just concluded contract and provided evidence of the same; and
Cabinet also approved payment at the rate of $12,000 per month in accordance with the draft contract, and to be payable periodically upon presentation of invoices, and accompanied with status reports of the deliverables under the consultancy.
Shortly after the VIP-administration came to power following the February, 2019 elections, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie found himself fending off questions about hiring Skelton-Cline, a former National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate.
Initially, Skelton-Cline was hired to chair the Cruise Tourism Committee, leading negotiations for new cruise line berthing agreements, leading negotiations and facilitating a seaplane tour excursion initiative, and overseeing a number of other government programmes and strategies.
When the contract was announced, many persons responded negatively, as they saw it as Skelton-Cline’s reward for his lead role in the Virgin Islands Party’s 2019 election campaign, while others pointed to his history with another significantly large contract that he was granted by Hon. Fahie in the past while serving as the Minister of Education.
Back in 2008, Skelton-Cline was the coordinator of the controversial ‘Virgin Islands Neighbourhood Partnership Project’, through an affiliate company, ‘Claude Ottley Consulting Ltd’.
Information is that over $570,000 was paid to Skelton-Cline’s company, while questions were raised in relation to how much of the stipulated works under the contract were actually completed.