BVI News

RDA can explain why its projects are so expensive — Premier

Amid rising concerns over what some have described as astronomical project costs awarded to contractors by the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has offered to make officials of that entity available for explanations to the public.

Just recently, a contract for the Jost Van Dyke (JVD) Primary School rebuild project was recently awarded at a cost of more than $4 million and numerous questions have been raised about why this project, in particular, was so expensive.

Premier Wheatley, while acknowledging that monies have been earmarked for the project through this year‘s budget and next year‘s budget, suggested that inflation may have led to the expensive price tag.

“They have a lot of excavation and things to do as well and also, you have to consider the fact of the design that has been used,” Premier Wheatley said at a recent press conference.

Dr Wheatley added: “Certainly, I’m not a builder. I’m not in the construction field. I can only go based on what I’ve been told from the persons managing the particular project.” 

According to the Premier, discussions are needed with those persons who are designing the buildings and approaches need to be made to determine if designs can be done in such a way that cost savings can be achieved.

In the meantime, Premier Wheatley, while acknowledging that a considerable number of projects are very expensive, said one of the reasons the public may be questioning the costs is that the public may not have the technical background nor have they been exposed to the technical information involved in arriving at the costs for some of these projects.

“I think perhaps what would be best is if we get the RDA; if we get some of the engineers, etcetera or even the persons doing the designs to explain to the public why the costs are the way they are,” Premier Wheatley said. “I know, not just in relation to this school, but a number of the things that government has, services and goods that governments have procured, persons have a question as to why it’s so expensive.”

The Premier posited that the fact that the school project is located on Jost Van Dyke may have contributed to the high cost as well, given that the materials need to be transported to the sister island from Tortola by barge. 

He also suggested that the entire public would benefit from a discussion with technical persons from the RDA as to why these projects are so expensive.

Premier Wheatley, while noting that the RDA falls under his Ministry, said he will make a request that officials make themselves available given that the public needs to have an understanding of the cost of some of the projects.


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  1. Care Less says:

    Why RDA can answer? Is it because most of the persons getting these contract are from your district and your top supporters. You are the Premier you are here to report to the people of the BVI who elected you to represent them. Natalio you are something else. It is your responsibility to question the RDA and then report to us.

    Like 12
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  2. It’s called…. says:

    …..wait for it…kickback/kick forward! Absolutely no Value Engineering exercises are done on any RDA or government projects. RDA is just another layer of (mis)management and bureaucracy and not fit for purpose. As a matter of fact; the A.g. Premier (slow ande) has admit that the design ‘could be’ an issue why the cost is so unrealistically high.

    Is it too late to go back to the drawing board? Value for money ? in these dire fiscal times? Nah don’t think so pardna….something doesn’t smell rite ??

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  3. What!!!! says:

    As I understand there were two bids for a/c for sports complex one was half the price of the other but the lower bid was rejected because they wrote their bid in figures but not in numbers. RDA you could have saved us a lot of money by asking the company to write their bid differently.Why not?

  4. Dede says:

    To Whom It May Concern

    Disclaimer: Please do not hold BVI News liable for what I’m about to post. Also do not hold my liable for it. Thanks.

    There are several reasons why government projects are so expensive. The main cause being GREED. Once they hear government involve, they think it’s free reign on our tax dollars. These greedy people care nothing about us and don’t even have the decency to give us a well built and usable product for raiding our treasury like thins.

    These are the other reasons:

    1. Contractor Fees: cost for doing the work
    2. Contractor bonus: monies the demand you pay them base on the overall total of the contract. Ask home owners about this.
    3. Materials for the project.
    4. Employees. Some are still waiting to be paid. Failure to pay taxes, social security and NHI.
    5. Government kick back for giving someone a contract.
    6. Family
    7. Mistress and side chicks. Can leave them out.

    There add all of them and you get the reason why the price is so ridiculous.

    The losers in all this is the Citizens/Residents of this country especially the tax paying ones. We’re constantly paying for this and others over and over. No held responsible.

    Like 11
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  5. Common sense says:

    Did the government request bids from foreign contractors who don’t have local connections to “look after”, I think not.

  6. BIG QUESTION says:


  7. Pattern says:

    They say they are transparent and their processes are solid but Barry say you will hear. Processes don’t stop corruption, kick backs and ‘greased hands.’ There is a covert operation currently in place and it’s just a matter of time. Look for the patterns people. They are blatant! Please! Please! Stay woke.

  8. MIgoman says:

    This guy is just clueless on everything or what? Never knows anything but always travelling about the place. 2023 hurry come!

  9. Keepsaying says:

    I keep on saying the RDA needs a COI

  10. Independent or not? says:

    The RDA board is:
    Ronnie Skelton – Has been the Head of the BVI Freemason because we are all “brothers” in the BVI Govt.
    Jerry Samuel – who is the brother of John Samuel
    Gereldine Ritter-Freeman – Governors Sec
    Dr Sauda Smith (also Unite BVI Director) wife of a Permanent Sec.
    Bishop John Cline – where did the monies go from the after-school program???
    Marquees Maduro
    Shea Alexander (Also Hon Flax Charles Advisor)
    Micheal Fay QC – Do a web search to find his involvement with AF.
    Mr. Iftikhar Ahmad – uk rep
    Anthony McMaster CEO – put there by Af
    Not on the board
    Dr Neil Smith Director – who was the Financial Sec during BVI Airways fiasco.

  11. AC says:

    RDA was not responsible for this project. It’s was handled by Gov’t directly. Need to get your facts straight.

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