According to the CoI Commissioner Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom, there was no tender process with respect to any of the three contracts, each of which was valued at over $100,000.
“The Premier and the public officers who gave evidence said, with some force, that it was not appropriate to put out personal policy advice to tender.”
‘The Commissioner added, “but there seems no reason why the services provided for by the contract could not have been put out to tender.”
In respect of the government contracts with Claude Skelton-Cline since 2019, the report details that it recommends as soon as possible and practical, a full audit of these contracts be performed by the Auditor General, Sonia M. Webster.
The report also suggests that the CoI recommendations on the subject be carried by some other independent person or body instructed by the AG, and for a report on that audit be presented to the Governor.
The Audio should also include “(i) the evidenced work done by Mr Skelton-Cline under these contracts, (ii) the contractual obligations of Mr Skelton-Cline under these contracts, and any mismatch between those obligations and the work done, (iii) to the extent that he was not performing his contractual obligations, the circumstances in which Mr Skelton-Cline was paid out of the public purse, and (iv) whether the contracts provided value for money.”
The CoI report added, “Unless in the meantime the relevant BVI authorities consider otherwise, further steps including any criminal investigation and steps to recover public money (including recovery from any public official who has acted improperly) can await the outcome of that audit.”