Senior legislator and Opposition Member, Honourable Julian Fraser RA has said CEO of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Mr Paul D. Bayly is earning big bucks to manage people who collect garbage around the Virgin Islands.
As RDA CEO, Mr Bayly has a $25,000 per month contract which amounts to $300,000 per year, with an additional allowance of $8,333.34, along with a round trip ticket to New Zealand for him and his family.
“You telling me that we brought in a CEO and paying over $300,000 a year to run an operation to pick-up garbage from around the Territory? That’s what they did; they had some trucks out there to pick-up garbage from around the Territory,” Hon Fraser stated during his contribution to the budget debate at the Second Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth House of Assembly on Friday, December 13, 2019.
“They say they are cleaning up, but I was hoping that it was against hope to see the RDA when they came to Standing Finance [Committee], but it was unfortunate that I didn’t see them. I am one of those people, Mister Speaker, when the RDA came up, I opposed it. It came up; it was established now it is not getting the chance it needs because here it is still not doing what it was intended to do.”
VIslanders being shunned?
Hon Fraser said another area that disturbs him is the lack of preference seemingly being given to hiring Virgin Islanders.
“I see that they have a staff of 31 persons so far; 8 persons contracted, 8 seconded from Government, five engineers, four senior quantity surveyors, two junior quantity surveyors, one environmentalist and two persons specialised in social work,” he said.
“This is 31 I am sure that they are looking for another 31 people and by the time they are finished, it must be over 60 persons hired by the RDA. Now the question that I have is what is the status of these people? I have always been one of those persons who say that of the monies being spent on this $426 million that the UK is supposed to be guaranteeing for us, that Virgin Islanders are going to be the least benefactors.”
Premier please intervene!
Honourable Fraser called on the Premier and Minister for Finance Andrew A. Fahie (R1) to intervene in ensuring that Virgin Islanders benefit from the employment opportunities at the RDA.
“Persons who are working for agencies like this should be our people. Just the same way the Premier took a delegation to the UK to discuss the loan guarantee I expect him to, when agencies like the RDA go and hire people, that they are our people they are hiring, and we get first preference,” he stated.
“I am sure that these are not little guys that they went in the Ghetto to pick up and contracted, these got to be money people. Who are these people? A total of $2.9 million has been expended for the year!” he added.