STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE KYE RYMER
MINISTER FOR TRANSPORTATION, WORKS AND UTILITIES
ON MINISTRY UPDATE
AT THE THIRTEENTH SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FOURTH
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
JULY 21ST, 2020
Mister Speaker while there are many ongoing projects within the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities, today I will like to highlight an issue of great concern of mine; Mister Speaker that is the huge outstanding bill that I met at the Ministry.
The concern is not only with the quantum of the bill, but also with the amount of vendors owed. This situation has damaged our reputation in the business community and we are experiencing difficulties executing on certain projects as particular vendors are not willing to offer further services or products until these old bills are paid.
Mister Speaker while I would like to provide this Honorable House with specifics it is not prudent to do so at this time. The reason for this is the difficulty we are experiencing in verifying some of the invoices which, in some cases, go back more than five years.
To date Mister Speaker we have been able to verify and have paid, some of the vendors. There is another large sum currently going through the system that we should be able to make payments in a few weeks.
Mister Speaker however, the largest portion of this outstanding debt has not been verified, but I want to assure the vendors that we are feverishly working on settling these outstanding invoices.
Mister Speaker with that said, this situation remains quite fluid as the ministry has been contacted by other vendors, who are claiming to have provided services for which they were never paid. Again these claims are more than five years old.
Mister Speaker I have instructed my team to remain focused and do whatever is necessary to get to the bottom of these invoices with a view of finally compensating vendors for the products and services that they have provided.
Mister Speaker, we want to rebuild the relationship with the vendors within the territory and we will be working very feverishly to maintain this Mister Speaker and I say thank you.