STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR
MR. AUGUSTUS JASPERT
ON THE RECOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Good afternoon. Thank you all for coming and thank you Premier for your statement. I wholeheartedly welcome your announcement on the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) and applaud the leadership you and your Cabinet have shown in establishing it. I would also like to join the Premier in his thanks to Dr. Mathavious for agreeing to be Chairman of the Board.
As the Premier said, the events of August and September were unprecedented and we should not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead. It is important that we move quickly to formally establish the Agency to ensure that the recovery plans will be delivered in a transparent and accountable manner.
I wanted to take this opportunity to speak factually about the RDA. The establishment of the RDA goes far beyond what some persons believe is merely a requirement set out for the UK loan guarantee of £300 million. In reality, an independent body to administer vital recovery projects is not only a key part of international best practice and good governance, it also serves as a means to generating further financing and investment for the development of this Territory post hurricanes Irma and Maria. This is one aspect we can all agree on is important. The BVI’s adoption of this approach should therefore be applauded as it not only follows international best practices, it proves to the world that the Premier and his Cabinet is leading the recovery efforts with a clear set of accountability and good governance standards as a guide.
I said in my swearing-in speech in August, that the Virgin Islands has demonstrated the importance of taking pride in effective regulation; and the importance of the underpinnings of good governance. I also made clear that the role of the UK is one of partnership. A modern partnership that helps and supports the Virgin Islands. A partnership based on respect that helps ensure that BVI is Stronger… smarter, greener, better. I am pleased that the Recovery and Development Agency embodies both that good governance and partnership.