Where are the planes that are part of the fleet that BVI Airways was expected to use for its nonstop service between BVI and Miami? This is the question Leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Fahie repeatedly asked in the House of Assembly on 1 March to Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D Orlando Smith without obtaining a clear answer.
The present location of the planes was asked at a previous sitting but at that time Premier Smith promised that he was going to respond at a later time. However, during last week’ sitting Hon. Fahie disclosed that he never received the requested information.
In providing an update on the BVI Airways matter Premier Smith explained that the agreement was proposed as a means to improve air access which is important for all aspects of the economy. The BVI Leader noted that the terms of the agreement was that service would be delivered by BVI Airways by the 31 August 2017
Since BVI Airways did not live up to its commitments Premier Smith noted that actions are being contemplated and that he is in discussion with the Attorney General on the way to proceed. “I am in discussion with the Attorney General on the way to proceed. I won’t want to hazard making any guesses at the moment, so I am going to stick with that answer and provide any other information you need,” Hon. Smith told the House.
The Leader of the Opposition expressed concern that he is still unable to get full information about the planes and noted that when questions were asked during a previous sitting he was promised answers that he never received.
Hon Fahie alleged that there is a trend that certain information is not aired in the House of Assembly: “It seems to be a trend where I am told by the Premier he is going to provide me information to questions that he doesn’t have even if it is a follow-up and I never receive it Madame Speaker so I was thinking based on what was stated the last time we met that this information would be forthcoming.”
Hon. Fahie also noted that it is not difficult to get the information and pointed out that he did a search and found out that one of the planes has been sold: “It cannot be difficult because Madame Speaker the airlines have registration numbers and there is one that I asked in supplementary that I went on and I googled. Through the Freedom of Information Act [I found] that VP LO6-OS, which OS stands for Orlando Smith — remember they named one after you and the plane was sold to Neptune Airways so did we receive any money from this sale?”
Additionally, the Opposition Leader announced that the time has come for a Commission of Inquiry into the matter relating to the planes: “Madam Speaker I think that the only way that I would advise the Attorney General to proceed through a follow-up would be a commission of inquiry because you cannot have this amount of money being out for so long and no solid questions being answered to it and the taxpayers money gone. It should not be a case where the Premier deciding how to proceed it should be a commission of inquiry.