Criticizing the Recovery and Development Agency’s (RDA) current productivity level, Premier Andrew Fahie said he has issued instructions for the organisation to suspend its staff expansion efforts.
He said the RDA has not administered any major work since its inception roughly 15 months ago.
“Right now in the RDA, it has close to 40 staff so you are talking about close to $400,000 a month in expenses – salaries, overheads, rent, everything. But no major project has been done as yet,” Premier Fahie said while speaking at a public meeting in Paraquity Bay, Tortola on Tuesday.
“Nobody does what is expected, they only do what is inspected. [So] I wrote to stop the hiring at the RDA and to freeze it until we get through with our studies. [This was] to the dismay of a lot,” Fahie said.
“I cannot let you (RDA) mushroom to such a point before we know where we are going with all these projects because now you are transferring government people in and the salaries are going up — which I am glad for our people … But when the life of the RDA is over, you are creating a scenario where they are not going to come back in. So you’re ‘capacity draining’ the public service in the notion that we are rebuilding capacity.”
Agency needs to be accountable too
The RDA was established with certain powers, which were conditions for the UK to grant the BVI a £300 million loan guarantee to support recovery efforts.
Fahie — who was not the leader of government business when those conditions were agreed on — now wants them renegotiated. He further said that, like the central government, the RDA needs to be held accountable.
“The checks and balances cannot be less stringent than central government. I cannot be in the central government measuring how many tissues someone blows their nose with or how many toilet tissue they use in the bathroom and have an entity out there that is free without the same stipulations as central government,” the Premier stated.
“Those are the areas that we have to renegotiate because you cannot keep all your eyes on the politicians and central government and think that everything is safe over there,” he added.
Premier made his statements against his recent claim that the UK wants government to hand over control of its finances to the RDA.
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