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Governor’s Group waived 6 of 10 tender processes over two yrs

Governor’s Group waived 6 of 10 tender processes over two yrs

Former Governor, Augustus Jaspert, has conceded that his office had also waived tender processes in order to have projects executed.

Appearing before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recently, Jaspert said there were instances where he felt that waiving the tender process was necessary.

“Would you accept that during your time as governor, the governor’s group did engage in contracts where the need for tender was waived?” COI attorney Bilal Rawat asked the former governor.

“I’m afraid I don’t have the details to hand, but yes, there were times where there was a need for exceptional circumstances where those were waived,” Jaspert responded.

He further told the Commission this happened on ‘rare’ occasions. But findings from the COI showed that out of 10 contracts awarded by the Governor’s Group between 2019 and 2021, six were by waiver for tender.

This suggested there may have been a similar frequency to the waivers done by government.

On previous occasions, Jaspert had expressed concern about the government’s practice of using tender waivers. Suggesting abuse of that power, he said elected members of the governing Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration used waivers to some considerable degree.

As for instances where he used waivers, Jaspert said they were often related to the public service.

I changed the practice

Meanwhile, Jaspert told the Commission he made changes to the way other processes were approached. He said these changes were done to increase transparency and accountability within the Governor’s Group.

The former governor cited the appointment of the Chair of the Public Service Commission (PSC) as one of the instances where this was accomplished.

“I did change the practice for where there was an appointment by the Governor. I had the full remit around it to try to encourage a more open process,” Jaspert said.

In this instance, an advertisement was prepared for the role, Jaspert said.

He told the Commission that there were other posts, including key commissioner posts, where this principle was applied.


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