REMARKS BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
DR. THE HONOURABLE D. ORLANDO SMITH, OBE
ON THE RECOVERY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY AND BOARD
Thursday, 12th July, 2018
Good morning to all the members of the press.
I thank you for being here as we report on the progress being made in the setting up of the agency and the work that they are preparing to carrying out the recovery of the Virgin Islands following the events of last year.
As a reminder, the RDA (as it is called), was established earlier this year (on March 26 when the legislation was taken to the House of Assembly) by way of the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Act, 2018.
The Agency’s responsibility should be accountable to all stakeholders for the implementation of the Government’s Recovery and Development Plan through an effective, efficient and transparent process.
The objective of the Agency is to manage, on the Government’s behalf, that portion of the Territory’s recovery process set out in the Plan.
It is no secret that last year’s unprecedented trio of disasters resulted in extensive damage to the social, physical and economic infrastructure of the Virgin Islands. The Agency will help to manage the complex recovery process, according to the policy direction of the Government.
A Chief Executive Officer of the Agency is appointed by the Board of the Agency in concurrence with Cabinet on such terms and conditions as the Board may determine.
The functions of the Chief Executive Officer include:
- Coordinate and monitor activities relating to the implementation and execution of the Plan, including capacity-building;
- Implement, or cause to be implemented, the directions and decisions of the Board of the Agency;
- Ensure that funds are used as prescribed by the Board; and
- Proactively pursue and attract financial investment to support the Virgin Islands recovery and development efforts; and among other responsibilities.
Due to the anticipated size and complexity of the work to be undertaken by the Agency - projected to be in the region of up to one billion dollars over a five year period - it was agreed that a highly experienced individual, with a background in this type of effort, should be sought for the post of Chief Executive Officer.
In February of 2018, the search began for a suitably qualified Chief Executive Officer via advertisements made throughout the Territory, through online media, GIS and the Recovery and Development website; regionally, through CARICOM and the OECS; and internationally, through the Economist. A total of twenty-seven (27) applications for the post of Chief Executive Officer were received.
A scoring process was used to rank the suitability of the CEO candidates, based on the following criteria: senior management experience, transparency and good governance in multicultural international environment, communicating a strategic vision, organisational skills, programme development, integrity, and communication skills.
The top six (6) highest scoring candidates were interviewed and each candidate was required to make a presentation on their approach to leading the RDA.
In the end, 2 candidates were selected for onsite interviews. They came to the BVI in May for follow-up interviews and sensitisation to the recovery and development issues on the ground.
Based on these interactions, Mr. Paul Bayly was selected by the Board of the Agency as the most suitable candidate and an offer was made to Mr. Bayly which he accepted.
Mr. Bayly has extensive international experience as a former civil servant and military officer, and investment banker. His experience as the permanent secretary in FIJI who led that Recovery after a category 5 Cyclone devastated those Islands. He has extensive experience in providing investment banking and development advice to private companies, local authorities, central government agencies, and has led government and development teams in a career that has spanned England, Southern and Eastern Africa, New Zealand and Australia and the Pacific.
He also has broad experience working with development partners in developing policy and delivering sustainable development programmes, including employment of different financing mechanisms, mobilising donors, managing funds, and building relationships between Government and civil society.
So here we are, we recognise that the recovery presents a monumental opportunity to re-think, re-plan and re-consider the future of this Territory.
We look forward to Mr. Bayly assuming duties shortly and I look forward to us building our Virgin Islands stronger, smarter, greener, better.