BVI News

Gov’t still overseeing CDB loan $$ though RDA in place

Leader of government business, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith. (BVI News photo)

Despite a mandate from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the United Kingdom that the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) should handle and have full control over monies from the CDB’s $65 million loan, local government is currently the body managing those funds.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith admitted this in the House of Assembly last week.

The Premier claims that his government still has control over the money because negotiations with the CDB are still ongoing, even though the bank approved the $65 million rehabilitation and reconstruction loan a year ago.

He then assured that his government will handle the loan monies in accordance with the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act.

Dr Smith said: “In order for the loan to be administered in accordance with the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act, further negotiation and agreement between the various parties involved is required — those parties being central government, the CDB, and the Recovery and Development Agency. Until then, central government will maintain its responsibility of managing the loan [and] ensuring proper execution of the project in accordance with executor loan agreement with the CDB.”

“The loan with the CDB was negotiated before there was a discussion about the RDA coming into play and taking over, etcetera. But there is also a clause in the loan that once the RDA is in place, they will have oversight of the project. So, until that happens, the monies have to be managed and be accounted for by central government,” the Premier said.

The RDA has been in place for months now. It was implemented as a condition of the UK’s post-hurricane offer to be a £300 million loan guarantor for the BVI.

Dr Smith, in the meantime, has said his government has spent about $5 million of the CDB loan, so far. He made the statements while responding to questions from Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie last Thursday.

Upon hearing the responses, Fahie reminded legislators of a High-level Framework document signed between local government and the UK.

“The High-level Framework document that came to this Honourable House stated specifically that all loans received by the government dealing with recovery and development was going to be managed under the RDA and there was no question about it.”

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  1. Mistake says:

    I think dr Smith should run instead of Myron. In the short space of time Myrin gave too much stress. He going kill the people with stress. What was the news about again ? More stress?

    • Peaches says:

      @Mistake you making a mistake to think that Dr. Smith would, or should be running again. For Pete’s sake look at the man’s sge. Plus he had 2 terms!

  2. To Many Cooks Spoils what? says:

    The last minute “Bush Cutting” contracts should also be managed by the RDA; instead of individual district representatives. That way it would appear more impartial and none political. As it stands, when a contract is given by a district representative, it has the appearance of a favor, (because he/she gives it to whomever he pleases or not) and that in turn voters should consider him/her when entering the voting booth. As petty as the bush cutting contract may seem, there is an element of Bribery to them and is an advantage to the giver and disadvantage to the contesting candidates in the run for political office.
    Though the district rep hasn’t accomplished a darn thing during his/her course of representation during his/her term in office, he/she has the opportunity to be rewarded, (voted for), simply for a favor; not the greater good of the country’s tax payers who are in effect the ones paying for those contracts.

    Like 10
  3. Windy says:

    They’re (NDP) screwing with the whole RDA idea because they want to control then steal monies. they’ll wonder why they can’t get credit

  4. Diaspora says:

    Are there 3 governments (UK, RDA, NDP) negotiating with the CDB? The NDP is the duly elected government and should be doing the negotiation with the CDB. The RDA is farce and as another blogger noted that a construction project manager is being paid $350K per annum. Exploitation.

    Like 3
    Dislike 8
  5. @diaspora says:

    Are you as ignorant as you sound?

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