Members of the Public Finance Authority governing board entered a new service contract with Squire Patton Boggs on Thursday and reappropriated $60,000 — the monthly cost of the old contract — for repairs to the Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation.
The annual professional services contract with the law firm Squire Patton Boggs expired earlier this year, and on Thursday a new “as-needed” contract that would provide the government and the PFA with legal, government relations, and other professional services was approved unanimously.
The action came as the government found it does not need the level of services it previously received under the expired contract.
“Due to certain changes in leadership, we are no longer utilizing at that level that we once did before, the services of Squire Patton Boggs for government relations. As a result, the monthly fee of [$60,000] no longer seems appropriate,” said attorney Kye Walker.
David Bornn, government house’s chief legal counsel, added, “What essentially has caused the cutback is that congress has been rather dormant over the last four months, between May and August, in terms of things that they were doing. So the issues that they would otherwise have been working on have got nowhere. They have also been working on issues related to viNGN, very successfully with viNGN, getting a number of grants for broadband funding across the territory, which will be rolling out shortly.”
Bornn added that work with Squire Patton Boggs is pending the extension of the rum cover over payments during the lame-duck session of Congress. According to Bornn, they have also been involved in work with the visa waiver program, European Union blacklisting, the refinery, and ongoing legislation.
Over $500,000 has been paid to the legal company this year.
Another resolution was unanimously passed to reappropriate $60,000 in unexpended funds that were approved in 2015 for construction, repairs, maintenance and upgrades of Strand Street waterfront in Frederiksted, St. Croix. It was given to the Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation for upgrades and maintenance to existing parks.
According to the Director of the Office of Disaster Recovery, Adrienne Williams-Octalien, the unused funds stem from a contract with postal systems.
Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., Finance Commissioner Bosede Bruce, Office of Management and Budget Director Jennifer O’Neal, Dorothy Isaacs, and Keith O’Neale were also present.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Public Finance Authority board had dissolved its previous contract with Squire Patton Boggs. The contract expired earlier this year. The PFA took action to enter into a new contract with Squire Patton Boggs to receive governmental relations services and legal services on an as-needed basis as the GVI does not need the level of services it previously received under the expired contract.