British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020

Opposition accuses VIP gov't of nepotism, cronyism since taking office

Opposition accuses VIP gov't of nepotism, cronyism since taking office

Leader of the Opposition Marlon Penn is accusing the Andrew Fahie-led government of practising nepotism and cronyism since being elected into office earlier this year.
Penn made those assertions during a media conference hosted by members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition on Wednesday, October 13.

“For the past nine months, we have seen some issues that are of great concern which threatens the democratic tenants of accountability, transparency and good governance that this unconventional administration is bound to uphold,” Penn said.

“Nepotism and cronyism is at an all-time high under this administration where former political candidates and cohorts are being placed in consultancies throughout the government and the statutory organisations,” Penn further said.

Though making those assertions, the Opposition Leader declined to name any person or entity who are benefitting from these alleged practices.

He, however, listed the quantity associated with one of the contracts he claims was awarded through nepotism and cronyism.

“This (nepotism and cronyism) is happening in unprecedented numbers — a process that seems to be a literal assembly line of one $90,000 contract; plus [one] contract after another. This is being done irrespective of the individual’s ability to perform the requisite task … While at the same time well qualified Virgin Islanders are denied opportunities in their respective fields,” Penn said.

He also mentioned a number of government-commissioned contracts which he suggested are ‘questionable’.

“Other over-the-top spending [include] the personal security contract for the Premier -which is $86,000 a month [and] which for eight months have already costed the taxpayers of this territory over $688,000. No answer [about these contrats] is forthcoming in House of Assembly when asked,” the Opposition legislator claimed.

“In addition, a $300,000 bill for legal fees that was incurred so far, to keep the duly elected member for the Fourth District from sitting in the House of Assembly to name a few,” Penn continued.

Penn said today’s Opposition media conference will be held at least once per month so the public can be kept informed on public issues and on the practices and actions of the government.

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