British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Dec 04, 2021

'We don’t know how to build docks?' Skelton-Cline slams RDA

'We don’t know how to build docks?' Skelton-Cline slams RDA

Government Consultant and commentator Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has slammed the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) for issuing a contract to a foreign company for the design and construction management of the West End Ferry Terminal.

The $1,48,909.00 contract was signed on August 13, 2021, between the RDA, on behalf of the Government, with a German firm, Inros Lackner Se.

John Primo, Head of Procurement at the RDA, said 18 firms, “both local and overseas expressed an interest in this activity” and following a detailed evaluation and shortlisting process, four firms were asked to bid and to submit detailed technical and financial proposals for the project.

He said the German firm was picked because they provided the “best value for money.”

Skelton-Cline displeased


“Everything these Virgin Islands need, every expert and expertise that is needed to fix this country is already here. We are here! How is it possible for a German company to come into these Virgin Islands, bid on projects that locals bid on, with the skill set, with the experience, with the expertise and win, awarded a $1 million contract? The million-dollar contract that needs to stay here, the million-dollar contract that needs to revolve here. We are the ones that need the money; we are the ones that need the employment!” he stated on his Honestly Speaking show on ZBVI 780 AM on August 17 2021.

He said some would say that it was due to the criteria of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)’s criteria, but he believes that this is ‘nonsense."

“For as many years as the CDB has been here, you mean to tell me our local guys and gals aren’t already qualified? How is it that you are sending monies out of this country, RDA or whoever it is that is responsible for this stuff to build a ferry dock? We don’t know how to build docks? We don’t have designers here? We don’t have project management here? At a time that we need money and work, we are outsourcing the money and work? The then government used to use those same explanations, the CDB, that’s when you want to run to hide under a banana tree or under some umbrella that can’t withstand the rain. The CDB choice, where is our leverage in this kind of stuff?” a visibly upset Skelton-Cline asked.

He argued that these jobs should be for locals only especially “at a time like this that we should be unapologetic and unashamed in declaring that and mandating that! I get upset. We gotta believe in the competencies of our people.”

Mr Skelton-Cline also questioned how a foreign company could bid lower than a local company on the project.

The $1,48,909.00 contract was signed on August 13, 2021, between the RDA, on behalf of the Government, with Inros Lackner Se. Left is Dr Karsten Galipp of the German firm.

Premier and Minister of Finance Honorable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) cuts the ribbon to symbolise the reopening of the West End Port on August 2, 2019.

John Primo, Head of Procurement at the RDA, said the German firm was picked because it provided the 'best value for money.'

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