Statement
15 May 2017 - 11:16am

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED BY
THE FIRST DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE TO
MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKS
AT THE SEVENTH SITTING OF THE
SECOND SESSION OF THE THIRD
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

THURSDAY, 11TH MAY, 2017

The Leader of the Opposition and Member for the First District to ask the Minister for Communications and Works the following questions:

Question 1

Madam Speaker, would the Honourable Minister for Communications and Works provide for this Honourable House a current comprehensive report of the expenditure to date (whether through contracts, work orders or purchase orders inclusive of all variations) of the proceeds of the sixteen million dollars loan facility, authorized by this Honourable House from the Social Security Board inclusive of contractor, contract amount and purpose (labor material and services)? And further;

  1. State the balance of the loan fund and the intended purpose?
  2. Explain in detail how the development and execution of this project satisfied the tenets of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management?

Answer 1

Madam Speaker, at the Third Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly, which was held on 19th December 2016, I provided this Honourable House with a comprehensive Report on the expenditure through Contracts and Purchase Orders on the proceeds of the sixteen million dollar Loan Facility authorized by this Honourable House from the Social Security Board.

Madam Speaker between that time and now there has been very little activity regarding road works. My Ministry and the Public Works Department were engaged in completing designs and costing of the remaining projects to be executed. We intend to recommence works within the next few weeks.

Madam Speaker, the Report submitted then, remains current.

Answer 1 (i)

Madam Speaker, at the Third Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly, which was held on 19th December 2016, I provided this Honourable House with a comprehensive Report on the expenditure through Contracts and Purchase Orders on the proceeds of the sixteen million dollar Loan Facility authorized by this Honourable House from the Social Security Board.

Madam Speaker, to expound on my previous answer, a draw-down of Twelve Million, Eighty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred Eighty Eight Hundred and Twenty Four Cents ($12,087,588.24) has been received from the Social Security Board, of which a total of Ten Million, Five Hundred Twenty Eight Thousand, Eighty Two Dollars and Twenty Cents ($10,528,082.20) has been spent and a balance remains of One Million, Five Hundred Fifty Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Six Dollars and Four Cents ($1,559, 506.04). This will be applied to committed contracts.  Madam Speaker, the Government of the Virgin Islands is in the process of receiving the last draw-down of Three Million, Nine Hundred Twelve Thousand, One Hundred Forty One Dollars and Seventy Six Cents ($3,912,141.76) for new works to be contracted and executed.

Madam Speaker, the balance is expected to finance the continuation of Road Rehabilitation Works in the areas of the Belle Vue Church of God of Prophecy Entrance to the top of Hope Hill, Baugher’s Bay Public Works Junction to Baugher’s Bay Beach Entrance, Waterfront Drive below Road Town Jetty to Prospect Reef Round-a-bout, Anegada main road leading to Cow Wreck Hotel and Beach Bar and on Jost Van Dyke - Rudy’s Bar to Foxy’s Restaurant – “Bottom Road”.

Answer 1 (ii)

Madam Speaker, the Protocols for Effective Financial Management under Section 11, mandate that all Goods and Services to be procured on behalf of the Government, be in compliance with the provisions with the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005.

Madam Speaker, the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005, Part 27, Procurement of Goods and Services Section 170 (2), requires that all Goods and Services be procured by Public Tender, where the value of the Goods or Services exceeds One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), unless the Cabinet otherwise directs.

Madam Speaker, Section 172 (1), requires that except where a tender for contract for the supply of Goods has been awarded, Goods and Services may be purchased from any distributor, wholesaler or retailer carrying on business in the Territory, if:

  1. where the cost of a single item of Goods does not exceed $10,000, quotations from at least two different suppliers have been obtained;
  1. where the total value of a Purchase Order exceeds $10,000 and up to $20,000, the authority of the Accounting Officer has been obtained; or
  1. where the total value of a Purchase Order exceeds $20,000 and up to $100,000, the approval of the Financial Secretary has been obtained.

Madam Speaker, to my knowledge, these processes have been followed throughout the execution and award of Goods and Services procured by my Ministry.

Madam Speaker, to further clarify, please note that quotations were sought and obtained from vendors throughout the Territory, for Goods such as construction materials; and as it relates to the procurement of Services by way of heavy equipment, including trucks, excavators and backhoes.  The rate of compensation has been set by the Public Works Department and these are the rates that have been used for compensating, when such equipment is hired.

Madam Speaker, given the quantity of work that was expected to be executed by way of the Road Rehabilitation Projects, the Ministry and Public Works Department utilized a list held by the Public Works Department, which contained all equipment operators in the Territory, registered with the Public Works Department. In addition, the Ministry sought the assistance of all District Representatives, to provide a further list of operators that may not have been on the Public Works Department’s list.  Madam Speaker, to my knowledge, all of these operators were assigned works.

Madam Speaker, there are some Goods and Services that are of limited supply within the Territory, including asphalt for road pavement, concrete, sub-base material and other quarry material. 

Madam Speaker, where the supply exceeded $100,000, Cabinet’s approval was obtained in accordance with the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005, Part 27, Procurement of Goods and Services Section 170 (2).

Question 2

Madam Speaker, would the Minister for Communication and Works please confirm for this Honorable House whether or not the Drainage Project in the Capoon’s Bay/Little Apple Bay area of the First District will resume this year and if yes; when? And, if not, why not? and

  1. What is the cost of the project?
  1. State in detail the scope of the project?

Answer 2

Madam Speaker, the original design, as intended, did not meet the requirements of the area, as further learnt by the Ministry. Our engineers have since revisited the design, as well as the pumps that have been procured. The engineers are currently working on final designs, which will allow for the project to function as intended, and in the best interest of the community. The project is expected to be completed this year.

Madam Speaker, as the designs have not been fully completed, I am not able to give an estimated cost, at this time.

Madam Speaker, the project is expected to capture and take in all overflow storm waters within the Capoon’s Bay/Little Apple Bay area from its lowest point and through the flood water pumps, disperse the water into the sea in the vicinity of Western Section Registration Section Block 2235B Parcel 44, thereby preventing or mitigating potential flooding.

Question 3

Madam Speaker could the Minister for Communications and Works please inform this Honourable House when the public meeting to discuss the new Sopher’s Hole Jetty/facilities design will be held in the First District? and

  1. What is the proposed cost of the project? and;
  1.  What is the scheduled commencement time for the project?

Answer 3

Madam Speaker, no date has been set, at this time.

Answer 3 (i)

Madam Speaker, the cost of the proposed project is budgeted at Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000).

Answer 3 (ii)

Madam Speaker, no commencement date has been set, at this time.

Question 4

Madam Speaker could the Minister of Communications and Works please inform this Honorable House when the public meeting to discuss the new Virgin Gorda Port/Jetty facilities design will be held in the Ninth District? and

  1. What is the proposed cost of the project? and;
  1. What is the scheduled commencement time for the project?

Answer 4

Madam Speaker, no date has been set, at this time.

Answer 4 (i)

Madam Speaker, we have set an estimated budget Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000).

Answer 4 (ii)

Madam Speaker, no commencement date has been set, at this time. However, in the interim, some temporary reinforcement works on the existing St. Thomas Bay Jetty, which consists of a six (6) inch concrete overlay reinforced with steel and the replacement of the bollards, began on 1st May, 2017. These works are expected to be completed by 31st May, 2017, as projected.

Question 5

Madam Speaker given that the Frenchman’s Cay Bridge is currently still in need of urgent attention, could the Minister for Communications and Works please inform this Honorable House when this matter will be meaningfully addressed by his Ministry?

Answer 5

Madam Speaker, as communicated at the Second Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly on 13th October, 2016, I re-confirm based on the engineering assessment that was completed on the Frenchman’s Cay Bridge during the month of June 2016, the conclusion of the engineers: the bridge was structurally sound and they did not uncover any evidence of structural failure or deficiencies.

Madam Speaker, arrangements are being made to deal with the flaking of the concrete cover over the rebars within the next quarter and the yearly inspection is expected to be completed by September 2017.

Question 6

Madam Speaker could the Minister for Communications and Works please inform this Honorable House, to date, the total cost of the Cruise Pier Project including all construction, legal, Project Management, specialist, materials, civil works, contracts and all other professional fees? and       

  1. Explain in detail how the development and execution of this project satisfied the tenets of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management?
  1. List all outstanding monies owed to date on this project and the respective vendor, contractor, etc. and the description of what the outstanding funds are to be paid for?

Answer 6

Madam Speaker, the information presented as of April 30, 2017, indicates a total cost expended on the Cruise Pier Project as Eighty Two Million, Five Hundred Fifteen Thousand, Seven Hundred Fifty Nine Dollars and Seventy Three Cents ($82,815,759.73).

Answer 6 (i)

Madam Speaker, Section 11 requires that all Goods and Services to be procured on behalf of the Government, be in compliance with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005.

Madam Speaker, the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005, Part 27, Procurement of Goods and Services Section 170 (2), requires that all Goods and Services be procured by Public Tender, where the value of the Goods or Services exceeds One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), unless the Cabinet otherwise directs.

Madam Speaker, to my knowledge, construction works and other Goods and Services that have been procured during the development of the Cruise Pier Project were tendered and where a tender was not issued, contracts were awarded by a Board Resolution, which is in fact similar in nature to the guidelines as expressed by the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005, Part 27, Section 2.

Answer 6 (ii)

Madam Speaker, I hereby submit a spreadsheet entitled “Outstanding Sums: BVI Cruise Pier Development Project”, which contains a list of all outstanding monies owed as at April 30, 2017, the respective vendor and/or contractor and a description of the Goods or Services procured.

Question 7

Madam Speaker could the Minister for Communications and Works please inform this Honorable House, to date, the total cost of the Marine phase of the Cruise Pier Project? And;

  1. List each contract let under this phase of the project, along with the amount and contractor selected?
  1. Indicate how this phase of the project was in keeping with the Protocols for Effective Financial Management?
  1. Indicate if each contract under this phase was tendered and if not why not?
  1. List each work order, purchase order, and all other awarding of works other than contracts under this phase of the project with the amounts and the person(s) and/or Company(s) awarded and the dates awarded.
  1. Explain in detail how the development and execution of this phase of the project satisfied the tenets of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management?

Answer 7

Madam Speaker, according to our records, the total cost of the Marine phase of the Cruise Pier Project to date, is Thirty Seven Million, Five Hundred Thirty Two Thousand, One Hundred Sixty Five Dollars and Twenty Seven Cents ($37,532,165.27).

Answer 7 (i)

Madam Speaker, I hereby submit a spreadsheet containing each contract under the Marine phase, along with amounts and contractors, as requested.

Answer 7 (ii)

Madam Speaker, to my knowledge, construction works and other Goods and Services that have been procured during the development of the Marine were tendered.  Contracts were awarded by a Board Resolution, which is in keeping with the guidelines as expressed by the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005, Part 27, Section 2 and in keeping with the Protocols for Effective Financial Management.

Answer 7 (iii)

Madam Speaker, to my knowledge, all contracts awarded under this phase were tendered. 

Answer 7 (iv)

Madam Speaker, according to our records, there has been no work order, purchase order or any other awarding of works other than through contracts under the Marine phase of the project.

Answer 7 (v)

Madam Speaker, to my knowledge, all construction works linked to the Marine phase of the Pier Park Development project have been procured through the public tendering process and awarded by a Board Resolution, which is in keeping with the guidelines and satisfies the tenets of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management, as executed by the Government of the Virgin Islands signed on 23rd April, 2012.

Question 8

Madam Speaker could the Minister for Communication and Works please inform this Honorable House, to date, the total cost of the land phase of the Cruise Pier Project? And;

  1. List each contract let under this phase of the project, along with the amount and contractor selected and the process used to select each contractor?
  1. Indicate how this phase of the project was in keeping with the Protocols for Effective Financial Management?
  1. Indicate if each contract under this phase was tendered and if not why not?
  1. List each work order, purchase order, and all other awarding of works other than contracts under this phase of the project with the amounts and the person(s) and/or Company(s) awarded and the dates awarded.
  1. Explain in detail how the development and execution of this phase of the project satisfied the tenets of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management?

Answer 8

Madam Speaker, the total cost of the Land phase of the Cruise Pier Project at April 30, 2017, is Thirty Seven Million, Seven Hundred Nine Thousand, Five Hundred Fifty Dollars and Fifty Eight Cents ($37,709,550.58).

Answer 8 (i)

Madam Speaker, I hereby submit a spreadsheet containing each contract under the Land phase, along with amounts and contractors as requested.

Answer 8 (ii)

Madam Speaker, to my knowledge, the majority of contracts for the Land phase were put out to bid.  Towards the end of the project, in the interest of time to meet the berthing agreements deadline, specific projects were awarded by Board Resolution, Madam Speaker, this is in keeping with the Public Finance Management Act, Part 27, Section 170, Subsection 2, which allows for the procurement of the Goods and Services where the Executive body directs otherwise.

Answer 8 (iii)

Madam Speaker, as previously indicated, contracts were tendered. However, at the latter stage of the project, where timing was becoming critical, in order to ensure compliance with the berthing agreements, the BVI Ports Authority Board did award some contracts.

Answer 8 (iv)

Madam Speaker, according to our records, there has been no work order, purchase order or any other awarding of works other than through contracts under the Land phase of the project.

Answer 8 (v)

Madam Speaker, to my knowledge, all construction contracts awarded were done either through the public tendering process or by a Board Resolution, which is in keeping with the guidelines and satisfies the tenets of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management, as executed by the Government of the Virgin Islands signed on 23rd April, 2012.

Question 9

Madam Speaker could the Minister for Communication and Works please inform this Honorable House, to date, the total amount of monies paid out as variation on the land phase of the Cruise Pier Project inclusive of contractor/vendor, the amounts, description of the payment and dates?

Answer 9

Madam Speaker, according to records, a total of Two Million Seventy Nine Thousand Two Hundred Thirty One Dollars and Twenty Seven Cents ($2,079,231.27) has been paid out in variations to date on the Marine phase of the Cruise Pier Development project. Madam Speaker, as requested, I hereby submit a list inclusive of contractors/vendors, the amounts and description of type of works associated with the variation.

Question 10

Madam Speaker could the Minister for Communication and Works please inform this Honorable House, to date, the total amount of monies paid out as variation on the land phase of the Cruise Pier Project inclusive of contractor/vendor, the amounts, description of the payment and dates?

Answer 10

Madam Speaker, according to records, a total of Two Million Seven Hundred Forty One Thousand Two Hundred Ninety Nine Dollars and Eighty Cents ($2,741,299.80) has been paid out in net variations to date on the Land phase of the Cruise Pier Development project. Madam Speaker as requested, I hereby submit a list inclusive of contractors/vendors, the amounts and description of the type of works associated with the variation.

Question 11

Madam Speaker, would the Honourable Minister for Communications and Works inform this Honourable House if the Tortola Pier Park 2016 annual report is completed?

  1. If yes, please furnish this Honourable House with a copy?
  1. If no, please inform when will it be made available to the public?

Answer 11

Madam Speaker, it is my understanding that the annual report is in the final stage of completion and will be submitted to the BVI Ports Authority Board by the end of May 2017.

Madam Speaker, I cannot say, at this time, when it will be made available to the public, as there are a series of steps that have to be taken before the report can be laid on the Table, including submission to the Ministry and further submission to the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands.

Question 12

Madam Speaker, would the Honourable Minister of Communications and Works please inform this Honourable House if all the contractors that worked on the project spearheaded by Water and Sewage in the installing of pipes among other works, in December 2016, in the Fort Recovery have been paid? and

  1. If not, please inform this Honourable House when will they be paid?

Answer 12

Madam Speaker, It is my understanding that payments have not yet been made.

Madam Speaker, I anticipate that payments will be made within the next week or two. 

 

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