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'Formation of Interim Board opens itself up for collusion' - Hon Andrew A. Fahie

- said he learned about the Interim Board during a consultation meeting in the First District
Claude O. Skelton-Cline, former Managing Director of BVI Ports Authority and commentator (left) and Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Opposition Leader and First District Representative, during the show Honestly Speaking on on ZBVI 780 AM on February 13, 2018. Photo: VINO
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance has been critised for mismanaging the finances of the territory. Photo: VINO
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance has been critised for mismanaging the finances of the territory. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Arguing that the House of Assembly (HoA) has not approved the Recovery Agency Board stipulated by the United Kingdom (UK), Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Opposition Leader and First District Representative, is questioning why positions for the board are being advertised in local newspapers.

He was at the time speaking as a guest on Honestly Speaking aired on ZBVI 780 AM on February 13, 2018. The show was hosted by Claude O. Skelton-Cline, former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority.

The recent loan guarantees from the United Kingdom were handed down with some stringent measures that the territory has to follow in order to get loans for the rebuilding efforts.

The strict measures were outlined in the High Level Framework for UK Support for VI Hurricane Recovery where the United Kingdom (UK) called for full level of transparency and accountability of monies spent for the recovery.

Hon Fahie disclosed that it was during the First District public consultation meeting on Monday, February 12, 2018 in Carrot Bay that he found out that an interim group was formed.

"This question is who is this Interim Board because the House of Assembly needed to approve the Board. So how did an interim board to administer $65 million came to fruition? Who is on this Board? What criteria where used?" questioned the Opposition Leader.

Hon Fahie emphasised that the individuals who will be appointed to the Recovery Agency Board must not be "relatives or members of their political party".

He said, "Any Minister of Finance who is serious about making sure that there is good governance, would ensure that the persons on the boards to manage millions of dollars are not relatives or members of the executive members whether present or past of their political party."

Who are the members of the Recovery Agency Board?

The host of the show then commented that he is seeing possible names but is are not able to "authenticate the names", adding that is the question they are posing to the Premier.

Furthermore, Mr Skelton-Cline questioned why is it difficult to share the names with the public, while stating that he is concerned that the government is making decisions that the territory might not be able to recover from.

"What is so difficult about sharing with the public who are the persons that you have entrusted to lead us through this?" Mr Skelton-Cline asked, addied that he is concerned that the government continues to make decisions that may very well put the Territory in a precarious position, which may tie the hands of even incoming governments.

"Foundation of this whole thing is wrong" - Hon Fahie

Meanwhile, Hon believes the foundation of the Recovery Plan was done wrong, while suggesting that the forming of the interim board opens the door for "conflict of interest".

"The foundation of this whole thing is wrong. Here you are now forming an interim committee that will help with the allotment of the money but when you look at the composition of the interim committee, it opens itself for collusion. It opens itself up for conflict of interest. It opens itself up for everything that they blame everyone else for," Hon Fahie said.

Responding to a question posed by the host, Hon Fahie said, "I'm not in favour of how the composition of the interim board has come about. I'm not in favour of the Premier himself when negotiating these things on our behalf and only coming to tell us when it is to pass in HoA. I'm not in favour of our people being put back into slavery."

Premier Smith had told reporters during a press conference at the Office of the Premier, Central Administration Complex on Wickham’s Cay I, Road Town, Tortola on February 8, 2018, that no ode has been appointed to the Recovery Agency Board as yet.

“They haven’t been appointed as yet,” Dr Smith claimed.

According to the leader of government business, persons have been meeting and working towards having the Board named.

“We appointed some people led by Mr Broderick Penn, as you know, to start the work, so they have been working and incorporating other people as well to assist. But out of that we have to just elect or select the members of the Board who will be responsible but that [naming of Board Members] hasn’t been done as yet.

“There is an interim group which is working towards that.”

It was on February 6, 2018 that our newsroom reported that senior NDP sources claimed that Premier Smith has selected a few persons to the Recovery Agency Board and they have been meeting, despite no approval from Cabinet.

According to the senior NDP sources, the Independent Recovery agency includes Chairman Dr Robert A. Mathavious, the CEO of the Financial Services Commission; Lorna G. Smith OBE, the wife of Premier Smith; Russell Harrigan, the Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board; Eustace Freeman aka ‘Boss’, civil servant and musician, and Ms Sachkia Barnes, a former public relations consultant for Education Minister Honourable Myron V. Walwyn (AL).

8 Responses to “'Formation of Interim Board opens itself up for collusion' - Hon Andrew A. Fahie”

  • wow (14/02/2018, 12:29) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    Leave it to the NDP. They feel they can get away with anything & everything once money is involved.
  • Hmmmm (14/02/2018, 12:31) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
    If a Minister of Finance anywhere in the world puts his spouse to watch million of tax payers dollars then the people will never know the truth about anything and some work will be done but there will be a lot of fat rat going with the cheese.
  • great (14/02/2018, 12:34) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    Great information. If Fahie was not looking out for the common man then this place would have been worse. Like him or not he is not afraid to fight for what is best and right for the people of the Virgin Islands.
  • resident (14/02/2018, 12:40) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    The follower lied so much that he do not know lie from truth. He lies like sand on the sea shore and do not forget a fish spoil from the head so we have to get rid of the spoil head. You will think that the hurricanes would have change things here but it is worst. It will be the end of the BVI if we are hit with another disaster god forbid . We have to keep our eyes on this government before they send all of us in quick sand election is next year and you know why he is selecting who he wants but this time they will have to tell us how they spend tax and borrow monies we are going to be on them like a shark. MR FAHIE keep up the good works I which I was living in your district so to give you my vote . We need more people like you to represent this place.
  • ... (14/02/2018, 12:47) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with fahie
  • Dim Sum (14/02/2018, 14:27) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    “....he is concerned that the government is making decisions that the territory might not be able to recover from.” is he seriously saying this when he fully well knows that TPPL is over-budgeted and a loss making venture! I concur however with the comments about familial ties should not be a pre-requisite for appointments. What I see lacking in the choices of these boards are impartial and knowledgeable folks making up the composition with a varied and diverse mix of professional backgrounds. Same old recycled persons and ideas - no independent thinkers.
  • Boo (14/02/2018, 20:36) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    Friends, family, cronies...lend me your ears..lol

    #neverforgetdetroit #neverforgetpierpark


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