HOA okays government contracts for 2 members

The content originally appeared on: The BVI Beacon

Two House of Assembly members got the green light for their businesses to secure government contracts during a March 10 sitting.

House Deputy Speaker Neville Smith was exempted from vacating his seat even though Caribbean Security Limited — where he works as director — is entering into a contract to upgrade security systems at the Attorney General’s Chambers for $33,149.12.

Premier Andrew Fahie noted when moving the motion that Caribbean Security Limited had originally installed the system, and it made sense that the company would maintain it.

Prompted by opposition member Julian Fraser, Attorney General Dawn Smith joined Mr. Smith in vacating the room before the debate.

No one else contributed to the debate before the motion passed unanimously.

Vanterpool

The House also exempted opposition member Mark Vanterpool, director of Shoreside East Development Limited, from vacating his seat over another contract.

The company purchased a building in the Lower Estate area from Maddog Limited on Nov. 3, 2021. The government has a two-year lease for the third floor dating back to May 11, 2020, and the remainder of the lease is being transferred to Mr. Vanterpool’s company.

The motion notes, “The company is in the process of negotiating with the government of the Virgin Islands to lease additional space in said building.”

When introducing the motion, Mr. Fahie said, “This, again, is one of those unique situations where the member purchased the building quite a while ago, and the building already had tenants in it, which was the government of the Virgin Islands.”

He added that the disclosure was a simple matter of transparently abiding by the laws of the territory. There was no further debate before the motion passed.