$869K In Purchases Made From Vanterpool's Onemart By Gov't
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie is moving to the House of Assembly with a Motion to prevent Hon. Mark Vanterpool, the Fourth District Representative from vacating his seat following the Government's purchase of $869,773.34 from Onemart as part of the COVID-19 relief efforts.
Hon. Vanterpool, an Opposition Member of the House of Assembly under the National Democratic Party (NDP), is a Director of K-Mark’s Foods (1996) Limited trading as Onemart, which provides the sale of general food, furniture, appliances and household items services in the Territory.
According to the Motion planned for the sitting of the House of Assembly tomorrow, September 21, the Government through the Ministry of Health & Social Development, made an offer to the Company by letter dated April 22 and subsequently entered into a contract with the company on July 21, 2020 to provide food packages and sanitary supplies. to assist the Virgin Islands population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company provided the food packages and sanitary supplies to the Government during March and May.
Section 67(3)(e) of the Constitution provides that subject to subsection (7), an elected member of the House of Assembly shall vacate his or her seat if the member becomes a party to a contract with the Government of the Virgin Islands for or on account of the public service, or if any firm in which the member is or becomes a partner, or a company of which the member is or becomes a director or manager becomes a party to a contract with the Government.
However, Section 67(7) provides that if in the circumstances it appears just to do so, the House of Assembly may exempt an elected member from vacating his or her seat under subsection (3)(e) if the member, before or as soon as practicable after becoming interested in a contract with the Government by virtue of being a director or manager in a company which has a contract with the Government, discloses to the House of Assembly the nature of the contract and his or her interest in the company involved in the contract.
Government has not disclosed the full cost and the vendors that were contracted to provide food packages under the Government's COVID-19 relief programme.