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WAPA RESPONDS TO NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ABOUT SELECTION

(Monday, December 03, 2012)

WAPA RESPONDS TO NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ABOUT SELECTION
OF NEW FUEL OIL SUPPLIER

The Water and Power Authority has reviewed today’s (December 3, 2012) article in the Virgin Islands Daily News concerning the Authority’s bidding process for the selection of a post-Hovensa fuel oil supplier. A report to the Governing Board from the Executive Director detailing the evaluation process was forwarded to the Daily News and explains in detail the basis on which the final decision was made and authorized by the Board. That report is available on the Authority’s website at www.viwapa.vi. The Authority welcomes any fair inquiry into its procurement procedures and is confident that the process was professional, impartial, transparent, and most importantly, undertaken with the best interest of the ratepayers in mind. .

Certainly the Authority and the public understand that those who are not selected for bids are disappointed, and it is not unusual for such unsuccessful bidders to criticize and question the process and the people involved therein. The Daily News article included an accusation that an unknown person told a particular bidder that he was a friend of Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr., and that if the bidder wanted his bid to be successful, the bidder needed to hire that unknown person as a consultant. It is unfortunate that the integrity of the Executive Director has been disparaged on the basis of such vague allegations. Executive Director Hodge advises the public that he has no information whatsoever about anyone neither using his name in such a fashion, nor has he ever authorized anyone to make such solicitations on his behalf. The Executive Director further states that if indeed someone is doing this, that person is engaging in possible criminal activity, and the identity of this person should be disclosed to the appropriate authorities so an investigation into the matter can be conducted.

The problems confronting the Water and Power Authority and the people of the Virgin Islands with regard to the delivery of reliable and affordable power are serious and complex. It is tempting to believe that there is an easy solution that has somehow been missed by the Authority or that the problems are caused by lack of competence or by dishonesty. Succumbing to such temptations does not help in solving the problems that we face; the Water and Power Authority will continue to do the hard work that is necessary to analyze the realistic options and pursue the realistic solutions. In doing so, the public can be assured that the Authority will continue its transparent approach to doing business, and will keep the public timely updated about processes and outcomes.

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