The National Democratic Party has refuted a number of statements that were made by First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie in his annual District report. Chief among the NDP rebuttals is the mention of no bid contracts offered by Government.
An NDP statement distributed on Tuesday, and titled ‘People who live in glass houses should not throw stones’, addressed various Opposition allegations.
In that media release, the Party said: “My fellow Virgin Islanders no bid contracts are not illegal. If they were, many of our past representatives would have already been imprisoned.”
In making its point about the contract matter, the National Democratic Party used the BiWater contract as an example. The Party stated: “The BiWater agreement of 2010 was the largest no bid contract ever awarded in the history of the Virgin Islands.”
“Even when Ocean Conversion requested and presented a proposal that was 18 million dollars cheaper for building the plant and other infrastructure, plus 32 million dollars cheaper over the life of the contract, for a 50 million dollars savings, the contract was still awarded to BiWater,” the statement pointed out.
A contract for works on the new Peebles Hospital was listed as another no bid example: “There was the 30 million dollar no bid contract that was awarded to finish the hospital. These were the VIP government’s prerogatives for whatever reasons. They were not illegal,” the NDP announced.
The statement was in response to comments that were made by Opposition member and First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie during his District address on 24 January.
During that address Hon. Fahie accused the Government of being corrupt. The Representative declared: “They only adhere to the rules when it benefits them and theirs. After all, Crafts Alive was well over a million dollars and no tendering was done for that project; Spooner Estate roads and walls was well over a million dollars and no tendering was done for that project; Georgie Hill road project was well over a million dollars and no tendering was done for that project. The list can go on and on.”
He added: “We are for the petty contract system. As a matter of fact the VIP created the petty contract system to empower the people not to punish the people. The tendering process cannot be ignored but that cannot be used only when it is convenient to eliminate persons. They have ensured jobs for their boys; projects for their friends; and have left you to fend through getting the crumbs from their corrupted tables.”
An observer commented “Two wrongs don’t make a right. “No tendering contracts” should be banned; as we have learned at our own expense the system is an invitation to despicable abuse, be it $100,000 or $80Million, hopefully the elections will resolve this awful situation”.