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Approved: Governor signs off on Recovery Agency bill

Governor Augustus Jaspert

Governor Augustus Jaspert has approved the controversial Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act, which parliamentarians passed in the House of Assembly two weeks ago.

Most of the 13 legislators in parliament had objected to the bill but later voted in favour of it being passed after a number of amendments were made.

The Governor signed off on the amended bill on Thursday, April 12.

“This is a significant step forward for the recovery of the territory,” the governor said.

“With the passing of the legislation comes the start of the process to agree to the terms of the UK loan guarantee. This will involve negotiations with potential lenders, discussion with UK Treasury officials, and ultimately the approval of the UK parliament,” he added.

The governor said legislators should be applauded for passing the bill.

He noted that the bill follows international best practices and “proves to the world that BVI is leading the recovery efforts with a clear set of accountability and good governance standards as a guide”.

Board members to be appointed next week

And now that Recovery Agency Act is officially law, the Cabinet will focus on finalizing the ‘procurement regulations’ that will be used to decide how members are selected to the Agency and Board.

“The Premier has confirmed that the appointment of the most senior staff to the Agency and the procurement regulations Cabinet will approve, will be free from political influence in order to safeguard independence,” the governor assured.

Meanwhile, the Premier announced in a press conference on Thursday that members will be appointed to the Recovery Agency and Board “in the coming week”.

The Recovery Agency being implemented means the BVI has accepted the United Kingdom’s loan guarantee of £300 million (more than $400 million United States currency). The Agency will have full control over how recovery funds are spent.

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6 Comments

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  1. GM says:

    “WE SHALL SEE WHAT WE SHALL SEE”

  2. Mick Mars says:

    The Sperm in my testicles ain’t even find the egg yet, and they already in debt. My god.

  3. sam the man says:

    “a clear set of accountability and good governance standards as a guide”.

    At last a framework for transparent, accountable governance rather than contracts to the family/friends nonsense that has gone on for too long.

    Shame on those that resisted this as it reveals their desire to continue the corruption and dodgy deals that have gone on for too long at the tax payers expense.

    Well done NDP and Governor for getting this in place – sure its not popular with some but its much needed.

    Can we start to have proper annual audited accounts now? long time over due…

    Maybe M could oversee this and actually do something useful for once rather than whinge and moan all the time….

  4. Cromwell says:

    The first order of the day should be to follow the International practice of insisting that bid bonds and completion bonds be utilized for every government contract, had that practice been adopted for the Pier Park and Hospital, the outcome would have been very different. The continued practice of insisting upon work being given to local contractors is the route cause of all the failures, few if any locals work in the building trade so it’s a myth that jobs are created from the practice. All the current practice does is channel money to a small privileged sector of the population at the cost to the population as a whole. When a bonded contractor fails to perform, a third party deep pocket pays for the failure, not the BVI government.

    • @Cromwell says:

      NONSENSE!!! The CDB contracts were ALL carried out by local contractors who were bonded and brought the projects in on time and with quality works. All of those projects survived the floods and Hurricanes. We have locals here that can do the job even with the bonding etc. in place. All those buzz words about international best practice are trying to unlatch the back door to allow Tom, Dick and Tony in the BVI but you will wait long for that! The Pier Park was built by all locals and stood up to the Hurricanes. $82 million for the park and the dock. Other Caribbean islands that are expanding their pier facilities are spending over $40mil USD on their dock alone but we are complaining about $80 mil for an entire project. Just because a conman white man come here and tell you that he could have built the park an dock for $40 mil you are talking nonsense. He could’ve built it yes but you would’ve found half of the park in Moorings and the other half in Marias after the storms with the cheap shite that they planned on building with. Also remember it was also international best practice and the other nonsense that gave us the outside contractor on Peebles. Who did we have to run to in order to get it fixed? Our own local Todman Construction had to do it!

      • Cromwell says:

        Yes, you are obviously part of the problem. Peebles was given to a third world contractor who did not have a completion bond in place, and, had no experience whatsoever in building hospitals. The white man had nothing to do with that contract, you did that all by yourselves with your di——y and r——l attitude.

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