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Veiled Transparency: RDA operates like NDP Gov’t – Skelton-Cline

- Says agency unfairly marginalize locals & has minimal accountability
Social commentator and man of the cloth, Mr Claude O. Skelton Cline is continuing his tirade against the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) over the way it functions within the Virgin Islands (VI). Photo: Facebook
Mr. Paul D. Bayly, a native of New Zealand and a former Permanent Secretary of Fiji, contracted to be the CEO of the Recovery Agency. Photo: Fiji Sun Online News
Mr. Paul D. Bayly, a native of New Zealand and a former Permanent Secretary of Fiji, contracted to be the CEO of the Recovery Agency. Photo: Fiji Sun Online News
“The substitute government mandated by the United Kingdom in the name of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) which is supposed to be the model for transparency and accountability juxtaposed to the National Democratic Party Government, has been tried and found wanting,” the ZBVI radio host said in a release. The RDA, the result of a United Kingdom (UK) mandated vehicle that was passed into law by the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, is responsible for the recovery and development of the Territory post hurricanes Irma and Maria. Photo: VINO/File
“The substitute government mandated by the United Kingdom in the name of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) which is supposed to be the model for transparency and accountability juxtaposed to the National Democratic Party Government, has been tried and found wanting,” the ZBVI radio host said in a release. The RDA, the result of a United Kingdom (UK) mandated vehicle that was passed into law by the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, is responsible for the recovery and development of the Territory post hurricanes Irma and Maria. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Social commentator and man of the cloth, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline is continuing his tirade against the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) over the way it functions within the Virgin Islands (VI).

The ‘Honestly Speaking’ host this time, is comparing the agency, to that of the National Democratic Party (NDP), which he says has veiled transparency and accountability in revealing exactly how it functions in carrying out its mandate.

Substitute Government

“The substitute government mandated by the United Kingdom in the name of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) which is supposed to be the model for transparency and accountability juxtaposed to the National Democratic Party Government, has been tried and found wanting,” the ZBVI radio host said in a release dated December 21, 2018.

“We still do not [know] how they are being funded. We still do not know the compensation package for the CEO or any of its employees,” he said.

On Thursday, December 20, 2018, it was unearthed in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA), that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the RDB Board, Mr Paul D. Bayly is being paid more than the Premier.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL)—in a question and answer segment—had said that Mr Bayly is receiving a whopping $300,000 salary per annum, plus allowances amounting to some $8,333 per annum.

Mr Skelton-Cline continues, “We still do not know and have not seen a budget for its operations. We still do not know its procurement procedures and/or regulations. We still do not know the substance nor priorities in the recovery and development plan.” This he says, is reminiscent of the way the NDP government operates in secrecy. 

Local Companies 

During his Tuesday, November 27, 2018, commentary on his ‘‘Honestly Speaking’ show, Mr Skelton-Cline had brought attention to a contract awarded to Ridgeview Construction (BVI) Ltd, for repairs to the Virgin Gorda, Police barracks.

That contract was inked on November 20, 2018, for a sum of US$766,028.71 with a project life of five and a half months. 

“On one hand, we hear contracts south of two million dollars are to be designated for ‘local companies’ but we read (fussy definitions) where some regional company is being morphed into the pool of ‘local companies’. Hence being awarded a contract that was supposedly designated for locals,” he points out in his release.

With Ridgeview’s principals being based in Barbados, the radio host has accused the RDA of breaching its own rules to side-line locals from small contracts. “Why is it a company, it looks like the principles are based out of Barbados, not a local company, is doing the repairs on the Virgin Gorda, Police barracks?” Mr Skelton-Cline asked on his radio show.

Accountability

According to Mr Skelton-Cline, CEO, Mr Bayly, “is unclear or seems to have his own definition of what constitutes a local company”

However, he says Board members of the RDA—especially local members—should be held accountable for bringing clarity and ensuring that the executives of the RDA are guided accordingly.

“If the persons (locals) at the Board level are not looking out for the interest of their own people in a clearly defined and transparent way, who will?” he questioned.

Mr Skelton-Cline says that at the moment, the RDA is behaving no different than the NDP Government, “Unfair and marginalized treatment of locals. Veiled transparency. Minimal accountability. All of which results in poor governance.”

9 Responses to “Veiled Transparency: RDA operates like NDP Gov’t – Skelton-Cline”

  • wize up (22/12/2018, 15:00) Like (15) Dislike (4) Reply
    the head of the RDA was hand-picked for that purpose.....
    • Local (22/12/2018, 17:20) Like (16) Dislike (8) Reply
      WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS MAN IS HE CRAZY. FROM THE TIME THE NDP GET RID OF HIM HE HAVE A PROBLEM SOMETHING IS TROUBLING HIM OR HE KNOW SOMETHING THAT HE WANT TO GET OFF HIS CHEST. HE CAN TELL US SO HE CAN RELAX.
      • wize up (23/12/2018, 06:18) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ local: he needs to speak out about that pier park project!!!!?????
  • Me (22/12/2018, 18:36) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply

    U know i hate when u guys refer to this a man of cloth.CLINE u don't get tired man.

  • Diaspora (22/12/2018, 19:06) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
    Let’s see, the Dr. Hon. Premier D. Orlando Smith (AL) shoulders the responsibility for leading/managing all the affairs of the territory, including the capital improvement programme yet the CEO of the RDA, basically a construction project manager, is pulling approx $308K per annum that is more than the Premier pulls down per annum. How do you square that circle? Are we saying that a glorified construction project manager is more important and more valuable than the Premier? Would a construction project manager go the Falkland Islands and earn more than the Premier/Chief Minister?
  • Lamblike Beast. (23/12/2018, 07:45) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Keep speaking the truth.
  • Disinterested (23/12/2018, 11:28) Like (13) Dislike (5) Reply
    “Would a construction project manager go the Falkland Islands and earn more than the Premier/Chief Minister?” No. Only in the VI such nonsense occurs. The Willie Lynch conditioning clearly is in full bloom in the VI. Hear/here is a news flash. Despite the faulty notion, Negroid is not inferior to Caucasoid. Let’s act like it. Let ditch the White you are right, if you Brown stick around and if you are Black get back gutter nonsense. It is the people’s fault that such nonsense occurs; people are failing to hold government accountable and responsible. If the VI people continue to kneel to other side, the journey will be sad.
  • Damon (23/12/2018, 12:57) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    You all need to stop bashing Claude for at the end of the day at least he has to guts to speak on key issues that’s affecting us as a People.. at times there are a lot of things that goes on behind the scenes that we as a people do not know and even when we know it we keep our mouths shut either by burying our head in the sand like an ostrich or we’re afraid to speak out; so instead of bashing the man be thankful that he’s shining the light on this subject among others.I agree with Diaspora .. do u think of it was one of us we would have been making that type of money..He’ll No .. give it thought- the man that holds the highest position in our Gov’t isn’t making that .. what does this tell us!! Think!!


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