British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

'Rethink procurement rules after natural disasters' - E. Benito Wheatley

Mr E. Benito Wheatley, the BVI Special Envoy for the Government, has called on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and international partners to reexamine approaches to procurement after a natural disaster.

This is according to a release where Mr Wheatley served as a lead speaker at a roundtable for the annual Caribbean American Leadership Dialogue held at the Longworth House Congressional Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 21, 2019.

During the roundtable themed, ‘Policy and Legislative Challenges & Opportunities for Enabling Resilient Island Futures,’ the Special Envoy of the Premier argued that adjustments to both domestic procurement rules and international procurement processes are needed in the immediate aftermath and early recovery period of SIDS from a hurricane or catastrophic event to help stabilise the economy and accelerate recovery.

Consider Economic Conditions - Mr Wheatley

According to Mr Wheatley, “The economic conditions in a post-disaster society need to be carefully considered in terms of procurement of contracts in the immediate aftermath and early recovery period of an affected country. In many Small Island Developing States government accounts for a significant share of economic activity through the buying and purchasing of goods and services from domestic contractors and suppliers," he said.

"This dynamic becomes even more pronounced in the aftermath of a catastrophic event when other sectors and drivers of economic activity have been wiped out. International partners need to understand this reality and help to ensure that as much income as possible remains within the economy and is spread as far and wide as possible across the society.”

With that, Mr Wheatley said that Government contracts driving recovery should economically have a strong multiplier effect, as opposed to resulting in vast sums of money leaving the economy.

He said this will deprive communities and families of much needed financial resources to sustain themselves during a period of reduced economic activity.

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