Decision whether to extend RDA’s mandate on Cabinet agenda
Cabinet is expected to consider extending the mandate of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) which was set up after the 2017 hurricanes of Irma and Maria to assist in restoring some of the territory’s damaged infrastructure.
This was disclosed by Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley at a press conference late last week after it was noted that the agency was given an initial five-year mandate expected to be reviewed by legislators.
“Interestingly, that’s (the RDA extension) on my Cabinet agenda and I’m not allowed to preempt Cabinet from whatever decision,” Premier Wheatley told reporters last Friday. “So, you should hear about what decision we make on that soon but it is on the Cabinet agenda actually [last Friday] afternoon, and of course it’s discussing whether to extend.”
The RDA was established in 2018 by the government as a transparent and accountable specialist project implementation agency to respond to the unique challenges faced by the territory following the extreme weather events of 2017.
Just recently, calls were made for the agency to explain its procurement processes to the public after concerns were raised over whether value for money was being achieved given that the project cost for a new multi-purpose facility in Jost Van Dyke amounted to just over $4 million.
At the time, Premier Wheatley said one of the reasons the public may be questioning the costs is that the public may not have the technical background and has not been exposed to the technical information involved in arriving at the costs for some of these projects.
According to the RDA’s website, the agency has also been established to work with government ministries to both build back the territory’s infrastructure and to build up the capacity of the BVI’s people.