BVI News

I wish I could take back my vote for RDA, they’re acting like a gov’t

 “If I could have taken my vote back [for the RDA] today, I would have voted ‘no’ — Christian

Junior government minister Archibald Christian said he regrets ever voting for the implementation of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) because the group is now beginning to act as if it is an independent government.

Addressing members of the House of Assembly last Thursday, Christian said he has received reports that the RDA is undermining the authority of local legislators.

“The RDA cannot be a government onto itself … It cannot be out there telling people things that give them the impression that elected members have no say in what goes on. That is not what this arrangement was supposed to be all about,” Christian said while addressing the House of Assembly last Thursday.

“Yes, I agree with transparency 100 percent … but elected members have to be involved,”

‘Disturbing’ amount of employment opportunities

Christian also said he was ‘disturbed’ by the fact that a large volume of persons are now being employed by the agency.

At least 18 RDA job opportunities are currently being advertised and those positions include accountant, economist, statistician, procurement officer, head of finance, director of operations, project manager, and a number of other posts.

“Who is paying attention to that? What is that going to cost the taxpayers of this country?” Christian questioned.

And while recalling the House of Assembly sitting in March when legislators passed the Bill that led to the implementation of the RDA, Christian said: “Let the record show, if I could have taken my vote back today, I would have voted ‘no’ because the things that I’m hearing happening now in this country with the RDA makes me very, very concerned.”

Of the 13 legislators in the House, Opposition member Julian Fraser and government backbencher Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull are the only two legislators that voted against the RDA.

Christian’s ‘regrets’ follows news from Premier Dr D Orlando Smith that the RDA has been operating without regulations since its inception.

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  1. Reply says:

    Whose fault is it Mr. Christian if what you are alleging is true?

    I would think legislators should know what they are voting for before they do. Furthermore, if what they have voted for is not panning out as intended, why not try to fix it rather than express regret? They are not helpless, or are they?

    It’s just ridiculous to just stand there and pronounce that if he could take his vote back, he would. What would that accomplish?

    Clearly the Recovery and Development Agency was needed. Rather than complain about it’s independence, why not try to address/correct perceived problems if any.

    Maybe, it’s a good thing the agency has some independence from the politicians because their direct involvement would probably bog everything down with the typical government bureaucracy.

    Can’t stand complainers or people who do not have the conviction of their actions. Have a spine would you.

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  2. Sam the man says:

    No they are not what an insult!!!, they have standards that they want implementing, accountability and proper due diligence and transparency which the No Direction Party couldn’t care less about. Well guess what?.. they better start caring about it and governing better as they won’t be getting a dime until they start growing up and stop throwing their dollies out of the pram when they are told what they need to do and rightly so. What a pathetic set of NDP ministers we have…appalling in my opinion

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  3. Warrior says:

    I told you all so… This is exactly what happened in the Turks and Caicos. Listen up people. This is a subtle way that the UK takes control. This RDA IS in fact the new Government. It will be in the future. It will be laced with a number of UK citizens and a few locals and will be controlling all the capital projects and other important spending in the Territory. But what the h**l?…it is not a bad thing after all. These guys clearly have led us down a slippery path and now this is what we get.

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    • Foolish says:

      You are talking absolute rubbish and just trying to scare people. In T&C the Governor took complete control of that Territory, that’s not happening in the BVI. The RDA has been put in place to focus on the recovery areas to ensure that they are carried out in a proper manner and not willy nilly as usual. For too long our Governments have been taking loans after loans claiming to fix this and that and when the money is spent we are still in the same position. There is nothing wrong with how the RDA is set up. The Government is the one that lays out its plans for the Territory and the RDA in conjunction with Government and the respective departments will carry out these functions without the usual Government BS! What most people are upset about is with the RDA in place no Minister can pick and choose which contractor gets what or split contracts that’s why they’re upset, do not be fooled! It’s about time we start doing things properly around here and get the place looking how it should.

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  4. Valid question says:

    So I guess that Fraser and Turnbull are the only members with vision while all the rest are like some blind mice. Is that what you are admitting Archie?

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    • Vision? says:

      Yep, they’re the only ones with vision because they said no to the UK assistance and no to the RDA but offered no alternatives to rebuild the Territory. When the money starts spending those same representatives will be front and center trying to make themselves look good as their districts are being repaired.

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      • Sam the man says:

        Fully agree Vision? Turbull and Frazier when it comes to solutions and vision they are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard….totally clueless

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    • hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm says:

      them had my poor rep to crucify so let he tek that

  5. IF WE WANT says:

    Problem solve? Leh We Do Dis Ting. DRAIN DA SWAMP…

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  6. L says:

    He spoke out against it, but still voted for it. I think he should keep quiet now.

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  7. Shock Wave says:

    Come Election Day he will be looking for votes because nuff people gonna take back them Votes from last Election! His best bet is to not enter the Election Ring!!!

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  8. Simple Questions says:

    Who will benefit from them?

    Who or what entity created the RDA?

    What were the guidelines and or protocols assigned upon its creation.

    Can not the creator or governing body address and reign in a rouge body?

    There are more questions, including constitutional ones.

    Hope the governing party is cognizant of and intervening where needed.

  9. Not2Sure says:

    At least *somebody* is acting like Government. Sure as h**l the Government isn’t acting like Government.

    A year on from Irma and NOTHING getting done.

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  10. ndp heckler says:

    Another deaf NDP blind mice

  11. say i say so says:


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  12. LOL says:


  13. the bible says:

    “where there is no vision the people perish”

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  14. Jeezy says:

    The RDA is NOT a Government onto itself and Archie knows this. It’s the best thing that has happened to the BVI and I cannot wait to see the place being rebuilt to proper standards that all of us can enjoy and be proud of. This man has sour grapes because of NDP’s internal struggles and is now here trying to tie up the country in his nonsense. The RDA is set up to carry out the will and projects of the Government, they are not doing these things on their own and Archie knows better than this. This man will go down as one of the biggest waste of time elected officials in the history of the BVI. 8 years elected and the only thing to show for it is a bunch of hot air and back pedaling.

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  15. Seriously says:

    Yeah, no how you feel, been wanting to take my vote for NDP back for like six years now!

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  16. well sah says:

    This is wha yo call BLING LOYALTY

  17. Jane says:

    I wish the RDA WAS the government because the actual Government (and the previous VIP government too) did nothing but pillage these islands for every damned cent they could. At last we seem to have some grown-ups in the room. The politicians of this Territory are reaping what they sowed. There is no-one to blame but themselves and their own greed. The RDA need to recruit the best people to get these islands fixed, cronyism and nepotism doesn’t work. There are many, many talented, qualified and experienced BVIslanders who will compete and win their jobs on a level-playing field. Yes, there will be a few specialist foreigners coming too, but the people of these islands deserve the best the World can offer, not just who is someone’s cousin / brother in law or whatever else and looking for easy money. We dont need another civil service where 30% of the people do 95% of the work.

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  18. dude says:

    When those of us in the community warned you guys I remember that you laughed at us.

    Take what you get. I’m tired of you a——– i——– self-appointed experts insulting the people who are educated in such things and actually try to help then you come back with your 20/20 hindsight.

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  19. RDA says:

    The RDA at least acts in the interest of the people. Can we vote in the RDA to run the whole darn country not jut the recovery? I don’t see why NDP should be given any power, what sensible things have they done for our country over the past 8 years. I dare them to name just three.

    I have but one refrain DRAIN THE SWAMP!!!!

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  20. Political Observer (PO) says:

    The Hon Archibald Christian (At L) had the opportunity to vote NO on the RDA but he lacked the courage to vote his personal conviction. Instead, he followed the herd off the cliff. The Hon Christian, as other politicians, must do the proper research, conduct analysis, examine the pros and cons and vote in the business interest of the people. Did he vote the party line on this controversial proposal? If he is having regrets, what is he planning to do about it?

    Nevertheless, here is a news flash. The fact that the UK conceptualized the RDA speaks volume about its lacked of confidence in the financial stewardship and fiduciary responsibility of the NDP. The NDP government, the government of the day, should be managing the territory recovery after the decimation by monster Cat 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria. However, the UK demanded RDA in concept is serving as a government within a government. Consequently, how did the VI get here?

    The VI local government is responsible for finance; it was transferred from the Governor several years ago. Further, since the mid 70s, the BVI has been self supporting. Nevertheless, it seems as if the UK is nervously concerned about the BVI apparent poor financial performance. So much so that for the BVI to administer recovery loans co-signed by the UK, it is demanding an RDA. This is a setback for the VI and its people. However, the electorate needs to look in the mirror for the embarrassing position the territory finds itself in. The electorate has gone in hibernation without any checks on government. Once the political patronage tap is turned on, it is content. This attitude has thrusted the BVI in the state it is in.

    Moreover, clearly, the BVI has given the Mother country the ammunition to mistrust its ability to effectively manage its finances. For example, the $7.2M giveaway to BVI Airways, a bruk, deadbeat and bankrupt airline; $1.2M+ ESHS Great Wall, $4OM TPP project cost overrun…….etc.

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  21. Speechless says:

    Moreover, clearly, the BVI has given the Mother country the ammunition to mistrust its ability to effectively manage its finances. For example, the $7.2M giveaway to BVI Airways, a bruk, deadbeat and bankrupt airline; $1.2M+ ESHS Great Wall, $4OM TPP project cost overrun…….etc.

    One thing, in the BVI when we want to believe something nothing, not even FACTS will change that. The TPP project is the biggest joke of all because the appraised value of the park is around $100 mil, $85mil was spent on it and people are still saying it was a $40mil overrun. Wow.

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    • Suggestion says:

      @Speechless, “Moreover, clearly, the BVI has given the Mother country the ammunition to mistrust its ability to effectively manage its finances. For example, the $7.2M giveaway to BVI Airways, a bruk, deadbeat and bankrupt airline; $1.2M+ ESHS Great Wall, $4OM TPP project cost overrun…….etc.” This foregoing quote seems as if it was lifted from PO blog but you may have inadvertently, perhaps, reference the source. It is dangling out there as if it were your original thought.

      Nonetheless, the MCW laid the ground for the apparent cost over run by low balling the initial construction estimate. It was either a deliberate low balling or grossly incompetent construction project management.

  22. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm says:

    When my rep Hon. Turnbull didn’t vote for it you all had him to crucify.Now tek that

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  23. Spook says:

    Mr. Christian, the RDA needs a priority list of projects from the government. Get even, produce a list for the RDA.

    1. Schools
    2. Clinics
    3. Government Office Buildings
    4. Ports of Entry

    New Government of the Virgin Islands

  24. Ausar says:

    Well Archie, your admission of such a magnitude tantamounts to abysmal failure on you and your governments’ leadership abilities.

    I warned you guys that this agency bodes ill will for this country. All of a sudden, hindsight is 20/20, eh?

    I would suggest, good minister:Tender in your resignation as of yesterday. Your skills as an employee of the people are no longer required or desired.

    The country must look for a new crop of employees that can carry out the wishes of the people-we- your employers!

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  25. D Penn says:

    Election will be held in a couple of months so the old or new NDP need not apply

  26. KS says:

    Archie, that’s a thought you should have kept to yourself! Embarrassing!

  27. RA says:

    This is an important issue at this time. RDA should be allowed to do their work without interruption for accountability ,transparency and efficiency .The body should be independent of anybody so that they can be held responsible for any anomaly. The road that fixed recently is full of pot wholes especially in east end from the college. As the recovery exercise is going on, God will help RDA and the government.

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