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'Recovery Agency is a VI idea; Recovery plan not agreed on by UK' - Brodrick Penn

- says his team & the Premier were the ones to suggest the idea of the Recovery Agency to the UK
Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee (DRCC), Mr Brodrick Penn emphasised that the Recovery Agency was a Virgin Islands (VI) concept and not a United Kingdom (UK) idea. Photo: Facebook
Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) had requested that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) produce by 2:00 P.M. on March 15, 2018 every correspondence between the Virgin Islands (VI) and the United Kingdom (UK) Governments on the Territory’s recovery plan since November 2017 to clear up any misunderstanding; however, Dr Smith failed to meet this request. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) had requested that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) produce by 2:00 P.M. on March 15, 2018 every correspondence between the Virgin Islands (VI) and the United Kingdom (UK) Governments on the Territory’s recovery plan since November 2017 to clear up any misunderstanding; however, Dr Smith failed to meet this request. Photo: VINO/File
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, along with other ministries will direct the Recovery Agency on what projects and plans they wish to carry out which will allow the central ministries to continue with their work. Photo: VINO/File
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, along with other ministries will direct the Recovery Agency on what projects and plans they wish to carry out which will allow the central ministries to continue with their work. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “The important thing to clarify is the concept of an agency is a BVI idea. Giving the framework document, persons are thinking that this is a United Kingdom (UK) idea. It’s not a UK idea, it’s a BVI idea.”

This is according to Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee (DRCC), Mr Brodrick Penn, who appeared on the radio show ‘Stay Woke’ on ZBVI 780 AM on Saturday, March 17, 2018 discussing the development of the Recovery Agency and the Recovery and Development Plan. The host of the show was Zoe J. Walcott-McMillan, Mrs BVI 2017/18.

The DRCC is a committee appointed by Cabinet to provide oversight and advice on all aspects of the Territory's recovery activities and initiatives which is also working to establish the Recovery Agency.

Mr Penn further explained that his team during the development of the plan, thought it was important to identify the best mechanism to deliver the recovery for the territory, adding that his team looked at other models already in place to get an idea of best practices used for the recovery of a country following a natural disaster.

He said, “We started to look at some models that existed for doing so and we looked at what happened in Grenada and Indonesia and we generally looked at some of the models that have been used around the world. What we recognised was that it would be important to have in place a mechanism that would create the right level of efficiency. The right level of accountability, the right level of transparency to put in place a mechanism that would attract investors and donations.”

The DRCC Chairman mentioned that after looking at the different models, his team decided that an agency would be the best way to approach the territory’s development process, adding that they began “developing the concept on paper”.

He reiterated that when they went to the United Kingdom (UK) and had discussions, the Virgin Islands (VI) team were the ones who suggested the plan and it was something that the UK endorsed.

Role of Agency

Mr Brodrick Penn pointed out that the DRCC team is trying to set up an organisation in place that will be independent of government and which will carry out the work on behalf of the government efficiently.

Mr Penn explained, “I think what is important is that we deliver the recovery at a very efficient pace and we are able to do that with an organisation like this to allow the ministries in central government to continue with their work. It allows them to give us the direction in terms of the projects and plans that they want to execute and then to use the agency to therefore get it done very efficiently.”

"This is not some beast that has been created that going to stick around forever and it’s going to supplant government. What the agency is executing is what the government has asked it to execute. We have probably almost 200 different types of projects that the plan has identified that need to be delivered.”

“A document was shared with the UK but not agreed on”

Meanwhile, Mr Brodrick Penn admitted that his team and Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) discussed the plan they were developing with the UK but dispelled rumors that the document was agreed on, while adding that the plan was in its draft stage when it was taken to the UK.

He emphasised, “As someone that has been involved in this process from the beginning, I can say when we went to the UK, the Premier and I and other members of our delegation, discussed the plan that we were developing with the UK. The plan has remained a draft plan and it still is a draft plan until we finalise it with the public input. Obviously if we are going to try to drum up support for your recovery you are going to have to discuss something. So the point about it being shared with the UK, yes but the point of it being agreed with the UK, no it could never be agreed at that stage because it was a very incomplete document that has been developed significantly since then and by time it reaches the House of Assembly it should have been developed even further because of the very valuable input that we received from the public.”

Mr Penn's comments seem to contradict what was unearthed when Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert aka ‘Gus’ told legislators at a closed door meeting last week that Premier Smith had already given the UK government a copy of the plan in November 2017 in exchange for loan guarantees.

What is the truth?

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said in the House of Assembly (HoA) on March 15, 2018 that it was only recently he heard that the Recovery and Development Plan presented to the public by the National Democratic Party (NDP) in December 2017 was already agreed to between Government and the United Kingdom, suggesting that the public consultation meetings that followed in January and February 2018 were just a show.

“…the whole act and everything was based on the plan that was already agreed to in November of last year, although we have been having public meetings on it,” Hon Fahie had stated.

He had also requested that Premier Smith produce by 2:00 P.M. on March 15, 2018 every correspondence between the Virgin Islands (VI) and the United Kingdom (UK) Governments on the Territory’s recovery plan since November 2017 to clear up any misunderstanding; however, Dr Smith failed to meet this request.

38 Responses to “'Recovery Agency is a VI idea; Recovery plan not agreed on by UK' - Brodrick Penn”

  • facts man (18/03/2018, 12:58) Like (20) Dislike (5) Reply

    More li...brodrick it was forced on the bvi because the uk does not trust the bvi

    • True Dat (19/03/2018, 09:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      This begs the question of whether the BVI citizenry trusts its own leadership
  • Sure, (18/03/2018, 13:05) Like (22) Dislike (7) Reply

    Sure Brodrick, it was a BVI Idea. I see you’re joining the gang of l**rs. This all boils down to the UK not trusting the NDP white collar gang. They were warned.

    • facts (18/03/2018, 14:32) Like (18) Dislike (14) Reply
      VIP in 2010 couldnt access 15mil from CDB in 2010 because the UK said NO! NDP got that same money when they were elected. NDP now has a $400M USD guarantee from the UK. Lets look at the facts and tell me who the UK trusts and who they dont. You cant fool all the people all the time. Most of us are paying attention and dont have selective amnesia. You dont guarantee loans up to $400mil for people you dont trust!!!
      • @ facts (18/03/2018, 19:27) Like (13) Dislike (8) Reply
        How can this hypocrite claim that the UK trust the NDP when your own elected members saying and speaking something else? Go ask Deloris and Mitch who they trust???? If that's what you coming back with for 2019 election living a lie then that dog would not hunt!
    • sad (19/03/2018, 07:32) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
      It’s always going to be a lie when explanations do not support the never ending drama. We seem to love discord and strive on negativity. This is the single reason why BVI will forever fall behind!!!!!

      The power of words!
  • Psychologist (18/03/2018, 13:11) Like (20) Dislike (5) Reply
    NDP and money is like a rapidly drying oil well.
  • ... (18/03/2018, 13:11) Like (23) Dislike (8) Reply

    BIG FAT L** BRODRICK YOU LOST YOUR INTEGRITY

  • Why (18/03/2018, 13:19) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    How come only now you guys are saying this. After everybody expressing their views about the U.K. Imposing this on us. You mean to tell me the Premier couldn't explain this long time?
    • fishylili (18/03/2018, 14:06) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      I with you on this one - why...something sounds fishilli about this spin now.
  • Lord o (18/03/2018, 14:13) Like (17) Dislike (8) Reply
    Too much bla bla bla against England by people with their own agenda and interest. Fear not, England got we back...
    • Gus (18/03/2018, 14:52) Like (6) Dislike (18) Reply
      @ Lord o....yeah, England got our back , front, side and middle. Pretty soon you will see them come down here and take all from your blind behinds. Since when was England our friend? They are ready to pounce, take control of everything and then, only then will you know how Apartheid feels. SMDH
      • Bar humbug (19/03/2018, 02:04) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
        Another retarded comment.
      • @Gus (19/03/2018, 06:49) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
        England is not our friend. She is our mother. That is where the line should be drawn. Since when? Well asking that tells me you were probably living on mars and is therefore not from here. No one can take over what is already theirs. All they have to do is claim it.
  • NDP Backer (18/03/2018, 14:42) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Nice spin Real nice spin
  • Grey Up Poop poop (18/03/2018, 15:33) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    His lie is as big as that umpteen year old picture. He too going down with this wicked government.
  • good (18/03/2018, 15:46) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply

    Thats the biggest problem with NDP. Theyre very good at campaigning but horrible on PR whenever they are elected. What was so hard in the Premier stating this from the onset to avoid all the hoopla? Also the BVI people have been screaming for transparancy and accountability and now that the stage is being set for it people are painting it as a bad thing? Are we a bunch of jacka$$es or we are so blinded by political nonsense that we have lost all common sense? If we had a agency or something similar in place for checks and balances for the Hospital, Pier Park and BVI Airways everyone would agree that we wouldve been in a far better place so why all the negativity?

  • Democracy (18/03/2018, 15:46) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Irrelevant detail.
  • rattie (18/03/2018, 16:34) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Untruth
  • Just Woke (18/03/2018, 17:58) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    These Educated outstanding men needs to throw the towel in and hold on to what decency honor and integrity left of them.. I think this public humiliation and disrespect is now too much..Get back to their humble and productive place in society as a normal citizen
  • Puppet (18/03/2018, 19:15) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    East ministers puppet master .
  • stop it Mr. Penn (18/03/2018, 20:44) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    here lies that is lie
  • ccc (18/03/2018, 20:50) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    shame on unno VINO for publishing this when we all know better.

    if is a BVI idea then the civil war in the NDP will not be happening
  • Dr. Fefe for the Mad (18/03/2018, 22:39) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Forgive forgive looks like the whole life is a pathetic lie. He doesn’t even know he is telling a lie. More psychiatrists are needed on lil tola. More serious cases like this exist in the government. Don’t be surprise if some start having seizure. Don’t condemn bloggers. The worst to do is try reason or show mad mad people they problem.
  • Diplomat (18/03/2018, 23:33) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is Mr. Penn acknowledging that government/MoF is incapable of accounting for and managing of the hundred of millions needed for recovery? And consequently had to develope and propose a self-imposed Agency to the UK to execute the required fiduciary responsibilities. Was this propose action based on past poor financial performance? Did the MoF fail in its financial management responsibilities?

    The MoF has the responsibility to manage revenues and expenditures. All payouts from the Treasury should be consistent with all established financial management processes, procedures and practices. The starting point for any payment should start with a certified invoice with the minimum required authorized signatures. No money should be disbursed from the Treasury without a certified source document or an invoice. Certified Annual Financial Accounting Report needs to be published in a timely manner.

    • RealPol (19/03/2018, 10:24) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      @Diplomat, real talk, habla real! Agree, it sounds as an acknowledgement. The bell has been wrung; and everyone knows a wrung bell cannot be unwrung
  • LOCK HIM UP (19/03/2018, 02:12) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did bredee say that with a straight face?
    • @lock him up (19/03/2018, 08:10) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Liar liar pants on fire. Their colors showing up well bright. Nobody respects those ndps. This the worst I’ve seen our country. Deplorable derelict people need to step down. Stop the feed BVI stop the feed. Let them go repent their devious sins.
  • Observer (19/03/2018, 07:56) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I can't for the life of me understand this. When someone slanders your name and you know its not true you run to the airwaves and clear the air with as much evidence to prove your innocence. So if these are claims against the NDP and they are so negative then why don't they provide the evidence (which is the right of the people) to prove that there is no funny business. But then again, gotta hear this budget address. Have the books been audited and balanced since 2014? Gov't need to set the right example because regular citizens cant behave like this and keep their job. The young people are learning from this behavior too and I only hope they see the wrong and try to do better for the country.
  • Honorable (19/03/2018, 09:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I present to you the one that calls the shots in east . the real honorable ..the Puppet master
  • wize up (19/03/2018, 13:13) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    so what’s new in todays BVI: we have the leader of the opposition in conflicts with his own elected member: the we have the former head of BVI ports where it is alleged money unaccounted for hopefully wants to run the territory: joke business: Vigin Islanders at each other throat for what political police: we borrow money to fix road now our own people suffering following the hurricanes and the back branches up in arms to borrow money the same money which helps the same people who went to the poles and voted the set of thing info the house of assembly: shameful: call me what you want don’t means nothing because talk can’t pay my billls: politican help you people......
    • @wize up (19/03/2018, 14:19) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Shut up you don’t know what you talking bout.
      • wize up (19/03/2018, 17:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

        money missing: WTF you so fraid to stand up and speak.....millions of tax money gone: is the cruise ship project finished(so GFYS) just don’t send your mask crew after me: one of us may not like the outcome: I heard better bird than you sign!!! Your people need help not bull$*t talk

  • Mr sensible (19/03/2018, 14:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dear BVI . Fact check
    The BVI needs money to rebuild, money it does not have . No point arguing where money from gov funds has gone . Yes that question at some point needs to be answered but arguing and political finger pointing is not going to get the money BVI needs NOW.
    Money from the UK to garentee a loan does not come from Mrs Mays purse or the queens for that matter . It comes from the British tax payer .
    The British tax payer will demand that any exposure it has financially is transparent and accountable and best value for money is obtained . This is not unique to a BVI recovery plan. The UK tax payer demands transparency for every project if that's in the UK itself or anywhere else in the world.
    I have heard such terrible rhetoric from Tortolas over the issue from compairing the frame work agreement to slavery and also arpartide . That argument in an insult to none blacks and worse still an insult to the great civil rights leaders of the past so stop saying silly things that are a smoke screen for the fear of being accountable . . This frame work has to be implemented who ever idea it was although it was likely a BVI plan knowing full well the UK would insist on one anyway .
    Further more welcome the plan and consider implementing similar plans for all gov projects and major expenditure that ALL gov s around the world insist on .

    Good luck BVI I love this place and love the people but you need to move on grow strong and recover


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