This information was disclosed in a June 15 post-Cabinet meeting statement that was released yesterday.
According to the statement, the Cabinet agreed to waive the tender process and award new contracts to both Mr Sunil Ramjitsingh doing business as Moksha Consulting, and Mr Kevin Smith doing business as K Carlisle.
The contracts are retroactive from May 6 and are each valued at $120,000 per year.
The Cabinet statement further noted that this move to extend the tenure of the Special Advisers was further to a policy decision taken on July 8, 2021 under the former Andrew Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration.
According to the Cabinet statement, the approved contracts set out the overall terms and responsibilities for the contractors and were sent to be vetted by the Attorney General’s Chambers before they were signed.
While the move to appoint Special Advisers in government had previously been widely criticized by members of the public, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has repeatedly defended the hiring of such advisors suggesting that it should not be viewed by the public as anything extraordinary.
Premier Wheatley also indicated recently that under his administration, the post of political advisors will not be disbanded.
And while responding to questions at a recent press briefing, Dr Wheatley pointed out that the recently released Commission of Inquiry (COI) report found no issue with the post.
“In fact, the United Kingdom, their ministers have Special Advisers. It’s standard practice in the United Kingdom and we are going to continue to have Special Advisors to assist with the very strenuous work and voluminous work that exists in the Premier‘s office and throughout government,” Dr Wheatley stated at the time.