CDB Report: Opposition Leader Unconvinced


Leader of the Opposition, and Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser seemed disappointed with what he received from Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith in response to a request for the Caribbean Development Bank’s Report entitled Country’s Procurement Assessment.

The report request was the first question on the Order of the Day for the 18 April sitting of the House of Assembly; and from all indications was a culmination of previous mentions about the report from the Opposition.

Hon. Fraser in January of this year — in a facebook post questioned why the report was not made public. The document was also queried by Opposition Member and First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie.

In formally requesting the report on Monday Hon. Fraser said: “Madam Speaker, would the Premier and Minister of Finance please present this Honourable House with a copy of the Caribbean Development Bank’ Report entitled Country’s Procurement Assessment Report for the BVI, dated December 2014 which was produced as a result of having been commissioned by him in connection with the Tortola Pier Park Project.”

However, Premier Smith offered a similar response to the one he provided the media in February when he was asked about the same report. Hon. Smith told the House of Assembly: “Madame Speaker the CDB was not commissioned to do a report on the Tortola Pier Park Project.”

“The bank was commissioned to review the BVI procurement practices which they have done and provided a report — Procurement Assessment Report for the BVI, this is the report presented to the house (today),” the Premier explained.

When the document was handed over, the Leader of the Opposition remarked: “Thank you Madame Speaker, I was expecting to see a bound report with some kind of format, cover. Is this the best we can do Premier? It looks — Madame Speaker, like they just throw something together for me. Thank you Jesus!”

Report Never Existed

During a 10 February press conference Premier Smith told the media that no such study was conducted by the CDB and as such there is no report that focuses on the Pier Park.

“The Caribbean Development Bank to my knowledge did not do a study of the ports project. They were not involved in the ports project. They came to do some other work, but not on the ports project specifically,” Hon. Smith told the media.

Nonetheless, Hon. Fraser has always maintained that the Caribbean Development Bank cautioned the Government on matters relating to the Pier Park project. In a social media statement on 22 January the Leader of the Opposition said: “The Premier undertook to commission the Caribbean Development Bank to do an independent investigation, to which a report was prepared and submitted with recommendations to this same Premier. And to this day he is yet to make it public; and that was over a year ago.”