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CoI investigating Skelton-Cline's consultancy contract with Gov't

CoI investigating Skelton-Cline's consultancy contract with Gov't

Consultant and host of the Honestly Speaking radio show Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, said private citizens in the Virgin Islands, like himself, are being targeted by the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) for information that is readily available through the Inquiry Response Unit (IRU) that was set up by the government to facilitate the requests for information by the CoI.

Skelton Cline said in his case, he was asked to provide documentation pertaining to his $144,000 a year consultancy contract that he inked with government in 2019 that did not go out to tender, just as the first contract he signed for $98,000, two months after the current administration took office in 2019.

He said yesterday, April 27, 2021, that apart from his contract being a public document registered in the High Court, it was part of government’s paperwork.

“What I find curious is why would the CoI be corresponding with me regarding government’s documents, a contract issued by government when in fact all of these items are in the possession of the government? I didn’t engage the government, the government engaged me! I am a private citizen with a private company.”

He said he has engaged several lawyers on the matter and is now waiting on his main lawyer to provide feedback on what his next steps should be in relations to the requests from the CoI.

Commissioner Gary R. Hickinbottom, left, and Press Secretary Mr Steven Chandler, right. The CoI is said to be investigating the consultancy contract of Claude O. Skelton-Cline with Government.

CoI can do whatever they want!

One of the general comments he said the lawyers gave him was the broadness of the CoI Act, that it “gives them the right to do whatever they want.”

He reasoned: “That’s the first thing that’s wrong, and I keep saying it to you. This very Act is against all-natural justice, it’s a violation of basic fundamental human democratic rights. I’ve shared with you that this document is a political document that has some legal clothes on, where the UK can unilaterally do whatever they want to their former colonies, territories or whatever they want to call us now. I don’t understand why you contacting me when the government has the information? This is happening to a lot of private citizens and companies, and this Act and this exercise is a political instrument; you are asking me for documents that you have access to.”

Skelton Cline then asked “Where is the fundamental fairness? How are we being judicious?"

'We have to draw the line'

He said 'part' of the CoI is to intimidate persons because fear is a currency and political powers always use fear.

"They nurture and nurse and nourish and water fear. It is designed to intimidate you, it is designed to get in your brain, and I am only sharing this with you of these Virgin Islands to say to you that at some point, we have to draw a line in the sand and push back against what the UK is doing which I see as a complete abuse of power, an overreach of power in the 21st century.”

The consultant said he wanted to express that he was a staunch supporter of good governance, but he was having issues with the principle where private citizens and companies were being targeted for information that is available to the CoI via government.


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