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Gov Jaspert says RDA lacked support from Gov't; Premier Fahie says not so!

- Following surprise resignation of RDA CEO Paul D. Bayly
Following the resignation of CEO of the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Mr Paul D. Bayly, Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, left, accused Government of not fully supporting the RDA, which drew a counter response by Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right. Photo: VINO/File
The resignation of CEO of the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Mr Paul D. Bayly was accepted by the RDA Board of Directors on Friday, January 10, 2020, according to reports reaching our newsroom. Photo: RDA/Facebook
The resignation of CEO of the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Mr Paul D. Bayly was accepted by the RDA Board of Directors on Friday, January 10, 2020, according to reports reaching our newsroom. Photo: RDA/Facebook
The Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) is a United Kingdom mandated vehicle that was passed into law by the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government to oversee the recovery and development of the Territory post hurricanes Irma and Maria. Photo: RDA/Facebook
The Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) is a United Kingdom mandated vehicle that was passed into law by the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government to oversee the recovery and development of the Territory post hurricanes Irma and Maria. Photo: RDA/Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Following Virgin Islands News Online’s (VINO) first and accurate story earlier today, January 14, 2020 about the resignation of CEO of the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Mr Paul D. Bayly, Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert accused Government of not fully supporting the RDA, which drew a counter response by Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1).

After VINO broke the news of the high profile resignation, the RDA Board issued a statement in which it confirmed our report that it had accepted the resignation of the CEO.

Mr Bayly himself said his skills was no longer a requirement- RDA Board

It said the RDA structure was designed to meet the needs and ambitions of the original $600m Recovery to Development Plan (RDP), with a team of technical experts equipped with the skills to deliver an ambitious recovery that would be stronger, smarter, more resilient and sustainable and that Mr Bayly, with his infrastructure experience, including large scale disaster recovery, was critical to the successful establishment of the RDA.

The Board noted; however, that the revised RDP has a considerably reduced scale of proposed works and projects to be implemented by the RDA than was anticipated when the Agency was established.

“Mr Bayly proposed, and the Board has accepted that there is no longer the same requirement for Mr Bayly’s skills. He leaves the RDA well positioned to deliver the revised RDP for the Government and people of the BVI.

“The Board wishes to thank Mr Bayly for his support to the Board and leadership of the Agency and wish him every success in his future endeavours.”

Governor accuses Gov’t of frustrating Mr Bayly

United Kingdom appointed Governor Mr Augustus J. U. Jaspert; however, had a different stance on the resignation of Mr Bayly, making assertions that the New Zealander was frustrated into resigning due to lack of support from Government.

In a statement this afternoon, Governor Jaspert said it was disappointing that Mr Bayly was resigning as CEO of the RDA, adding that he sincerely hopes the "setback" of the VI losing such an “experienced and talented” CEO does not hamper recovery efforts.

He further said the UK Government has supported the RDA since its creation by co-funding operational costs and projects (such as repairing infrastructure, administration and police buildings across the islands) and has also offered to guarantee loans of up to £300 million.

“The hurricanes of 2017 were a terrible time for the Territory. We have made progress since then and I applaud the efforts of businesses, communities, the public service and the RDA on our recovery to date. Whilst we would never have wanted the devastation caused by the hurricanes, they offered us an opportunity to build back ‘Stronger, Smarter, Greener, Better’ and to become a positive example of what an island state in this region can achieve, operating to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and good governance.”

‘I sympathise with Mr Bayly’s decision’- Governor Jaspert

The Governor continued that it is “disappointing that the RDA has not fully been given the opportunity to realise it’s potential. I therefore understand and sympathise with Mr Bayly’s decision.”

He further said it is vital that the RDA is able to build on Mr Bayly’s achievements.

“For that, the RDA requires the full support of the Premier and his Ministers so that it can work with Government, bring in funding and deliver transparency, value for money and a full and prosperous recovery for the people of this Territory.”

Not factual-Premier Fahie

Shortly after the Governor’s statement, Premier Fahie also issued a statement on Mr Bayly’s resignation.

He said Government had been advised that the RDA CEO had resigned and thanked him his service and wished him the best in his future endeavours.

“We are pleased to say that since taking office in February 2019, our Government has supported the RDA and our recovery in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands, and we will continue to do so.

“Anyone who suggests otherwise is intentionally not being factual to the people of the Virgin Islands,” Premier Fahie said in his response perceived to be aimed at the Governor’s remarks that the RDA was not enjoying full support of Government.”

Next CEO could be a VIslander?

Premier Fahie also made it known he was already looking ahead at having the new CEO coming from the Virgin Islands.

“Mr Bayly’s resignation, although coming as a surprise to this Government, now provides and creates an opportunity for qualified Virgin Islanders to step forward and apply for the position when it is advertised.

“The Government has invested in its people, and our people have invested in themselves. We are therefore confident that Virgin Islanders have the necessary skills to lead the RDA and to continue taking the Virgin Islands forward with the recovery, which is on the move.”

Premier and Minister of Finance also said it is important to note that the Government and people of the Virgin Islands have invested more in the ongoing recovery than any other entity, and will continue to do so while welcoming assistance from others.

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25 Responses to “Gov Jaspert says RDA lacked support from Gov't; Premier Fahie says not so!”

  • ReX FeRal (14/01/2020, 21:25) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    These managers need to stop playing with people's lives for political reasons.
  • Oh come on (14/01/2020, 22:05) Like (36) Dislike (6) Reply
    The Government was undermining Mr. Bayly. They never support what he was doing from day one. Another VIP inept crony will be filling that seat soon.
    • i believe yo (15/01/2020, 09:13) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      because the 3rd district rep was undermined same way by the same person
  • home (14/01/2020, 22:07) Like (8) Dislike (34) Reply
    Thanks for standing up for us Mr. Fahie
  • Really FAhie, (14/01/2020, 22:08) Like (48) Dislike (3) Reply
    From the get go this government did not support the RDA. Why lie about that now.
  • Quiet Rebel (14/01/2020, 22:48) Like (10) Dislike (17) Reply
    The VI is a right to work territory, ie, workers can quit when they so desire and employers can fire employees for cause. It was Bayly’s choice to resign as CEO of the RDA; there is no indications that he was forced out. In fact, Mr. Bayly suggested that his skill sets are no longer needed. Look as if A. J U. Jaspert, the crown rep, wants to publicly throw shade on Mt. Bayly’s personal choice to resign as CEO of RDA, creating friction and confusion. The territory is supposedly self governing but the reality is that it is jointly govern by local government and crown. The crown is responsible for a)defense and external affairs, b)internal security, c)civil service, d) RVIPF, e) jail (shared with local government) and f) judiciary. The territory is self supporting(think since 1979 under the Wheatley); it receives little or no grant-in-aid from the UK. It is important to note that some of functions falling under crown portfolio is funded by VI taxpayers, not UK’s. To me, it looks as if the crown rep is quick to pull the trigger to publicly criticize the government.

    The genesis for the RDA seemed supposedly to be lack of confidence in the local government. The VI has a local government and partially self governing. But the RDA is an alternative government, serving as an embarrassment to the people of the VI and setting back the gains they have made. The RDA put a thumb on the scale of local self governing. It was a step back into colonialism. Whoever decided to pay the CEO $350K plus allowances need a cut ass and banishing to Round Rock. A qualified Virgin Islander wouldn’t have been paid $350K. In any event, a thorough and serious search is needed for a qualified Virgin Islander for the next CEO.

  • teacher john (15/01/2020, 06:05) Like (10) Dislike (12) Reply
    Knowing the history of the British we believe Fahie
  • one eye (15/01/2020, 06:11) Like (10) Dislike (16) Reply
    This governor is out of order he should not be figthing our people wr need to march on him
  • Outsider (15/01/2020, 06:16) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    Good luck finding that local, qualified and honest applicant. Like the primer always say and get " value for money"!
  • me again (15/01/2020, 06:57) Like (7) Dislike (11) Reply
    A big HURRAY is being made over this resignation . We have NEVER been told what his job description was now the Governor talking about disappointment ! They talking about “ Loan Guaranteed” but it seems that will only happen IF this man stays employed . At $25000.00 a month plus Perks CAN the BVI really afford him ? Will a Black man be paid same salary if qualified and IF hired ?
    As mentioned by others a) What Signifant changes/ improvements has he introduced since being here ? Besides making local construction firms partner up with Foriegn Firms ( many of which have gone by the way) leaving unpaid bills and stranded workmen ? ( Is this where his leadership shone brightest? ) Tell us the whole story ( TRUTH) and His REAL reasons for resigning , not coming in the media expressing disappointment; we have been disappointed frm the beginning as to be thought of as “ sheep being led to the slaughter “ Clear this up mr Governor and let us stop blaming people wrongfully. Await some light on this as a Virgin Island. People
  • vex (15/01/2020, 07:16) Like (3) Dislike (13) Reply
    Much to do about nothing, let him go where he came from both the governor and RDA dude
  • Agenda (15/01/2020, 08:02) Like (7) Dislike (7) Reply
    This Governor seems to be all of a sudden vocal and interested in everything besides the things that he should be. I wish he was so vocal towards the previous government as well. Why he was so quiet then.

    A man chose to resigns and he comes forward bashing Government. Did the man say he didn’t have government support. So why come forward trying to speak for him. Stay in your lane Gov. You are very blatant with your current agenda.
  • I'm with governor (15/01/2020, 09:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    RDA is stagnant. Doing nothing... They are just collecting their big salaries... Why?
  • Wow (15/01/2020, 10:25) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    so many comments about the man's skin colour and nationality. All rubbish - they've drunk the cool aid.

    There is a team of very highly specialised and experienced people employed to look after our interests - develop the BVI to come back a lot better than it was before as a platform for future prosperity. This team includes a number of BVIslanders and Belongers and RDA people who came from abroad, many who moved here lock stock after military careers, are vocal proponents of the skilled local people they have been able to employ. We don't have a vast degree of disaster recovery or mass infrastructure talent here - why would we? No territory of this size would hope to need it as an ongoing thing. So, we need to get comfortable with the fact they we have recruited the best we could.

    Colonialism, slavery, white man arguments as regards our development are laughable in their reasoning and completely unjustifiable in fact. Many former colonies now lead the world in infrastructure and education. Many countries in the Caribbean and elsewhere are doing better even after recent or current wars. Why?

    We have a population about a third or less of the attendance at a major sporting or music event. Yet we have had successive budgets in the many hundreds of millions for 30-40 years. All that money has been squandered. We have crumbling infrastructure. Even the taxi gang complains of the maintenance costs on them. We have very little public amenity for our people or beautification. We have school facilities and staff that are so far behind the World leading position they should be in. Why?

    Ask yourself where did all the money go that we on't have a resilient infrastructure and vast reserves so as not to need the UK to guarantee any development loans we might get. This is recent history, not 250 year old events. People are diverting our attention by riling the masses (as Trump does) with a completely false narrative smokescreen. Not only does it hold the country back, this division just makes day to day life and harmony all the more unpleasant for all concerned.

    Wakey wakey BVI
    • @wow (15/01/2020, 11:17) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      Agree. The RDA was set up to help our islands be better than ever. That can’t happen when the Government doesn’t give them the money to do any significant projects. I wonder why?
      • Why (15/01/2020, 12:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Mr. Premier (15/01/2020, 10:54) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why are you lying to make yourself look good? You never supported the RDA or the CEO. You and your advisor plotted to make the man look bad from day one. You, and only you want full control of the $$$$$. Hope the control that you want over the $$$$$, don’t back fire in a big way for the Country and the people that you claim to love. If things back fire, you good, the people is the ones that is going to suffer. Just remember that.
  • Cherrs (15/01/2020, 11:51) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Bayly was indeed highly paid but he also didn't hire himself. I believe he was paid for his expertise and was intended to rapidly move forward with the recovery efforts and be out of the BVI quickly. Mr. Bayly is a good man so attacking him personally because of the color of his skin, position or pay is low. Attack who hired him if you like
  • @ Cheers (15/01/2020, 12:19) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    The question is, should there have been an RDA in the first place? It was set up because the UK and international donners DID NOT trust Dr. Smith, Kedrick Pickering, Myron, Mark and that gang Now that VIP and Fahie is good, and can be trsuted let him go back to New Zealand
    • @cheers (15/01/2020, 15:11) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Wish it was true that he’s good. Sadly evidence so far of which companies given contracts without tenders, whose buildings rented, who appointed on boards etc makes me and others doubtful that things are more transparent and fair now. Do hope I’m proved wrong by future decisions.
    • Yeabut (15/01/2020, 20:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      True they don’t trust NDP but equally, Fabien been in trouble for crimes before and VIP complicit in previous looting. The rebuild is meant to be a one off and so is RDA to make the rebuild happen Properly. We need to break the cycle.
  • Queenie (15/01/2020, 13:42) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    ...hopes the "setback of the VI losing such an "experienced and talented" CEO dies not hamper recovery efforts;
    Translation: BVI you are ***ed'
    Gov Jasper speaks what he knows.
    Mr Baly using diplomacy.,looks good on his bad talking former employer.
    First it was one Mr Merritt...any news as yet about the loan offer?
    Now it's RDA.
    Andrew cannot deal.He dies not have the intelligence,the experience or the world.
  • Advice (15/01/2020, 16:33) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    When an issue is documented in black and white,it is unwise to falsely refer to participants as liars.
    It simply points out that the accuser is a blatantly foolish immoral character.
    Andrew ,please do better.
  • kkk (16/01/2020, 05:00) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    We with Fahie on this one! let him go home he could not make that money in new Zealand, it’s slavery, white supremacy and exploitation over and over again!!!!
    • Waiting in vain (16/01/2020, 13:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply


      Still waiting…………

      Surely if there is a highly experienced senior disaster recovery infrastructure specialist on island already, we would know who it is by now…?!




      People in the BVI: what? You undermine the expert for two years, denying funds, and then threaten to cut corners so he leaves and you don’t have anyone qualified for the role?

      Well maybe CShas just about built a church complex so… he could build a state of the art infrastructure with all that knowledge. International lenders will be impressed by him because… erm…

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