Premier Wheatley made the statements on Thursday, August 25, 2022, during a ceremony for the Contract Signing for the new Jost van Dyke Primary School.
“The RDA was paying all kinds of 3-400 thousand dollars salary, brother McMaster said they not paying you that 3-400 thousand [dollars] salary that they were paying to persons who came from elsewhere… but we have to make sure we treat our own people well,” he added.
Before McMaster, the agency was headed by New Zealander Paul D. Bayly, who had the support of the then Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert; however, Bayly resigned in January 2020,
Mr Bayly had reportedly earned over $300,000 a year, according to Board sources, and at the height of his tenure, Mr Bayly was labeled by some as a failure in the post and was accused of stacking the RDA with expatriates.
According to Premier Wheatley, the operational cost of the RDA was also high, coupled with a large staff complement.
“Brother McMaster has cut that down by more than half. And he has delivered way more projects… they have cut down their operational costs and they have delivered way more projects under the leadership of the CEO Mr Anthony McMaster,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Wheatley indicated that the RDA is now building capacity for local contractors by giving them opportunities to bid for large projects.
He cited local Rajah A. Smith of No Limits Contraction and the winning of an almost $1M contract.
“He has benefited from being able to go through the RDA’s capacity building process, and now these are international contractors based on International procurement processes, he has grown and he has developed. Someone from right there in Jost van Dyke and we look forward to other contractors,” he said.
Premier Wheatley added, “I know many other contractors have gone through the RDA process and they have been able to build their capacity and they have been able to grow and they have been able to develop and now they'll be able to compete for contracts that they would have never been able to compete for in the past,” he said.
Virgin Islands (VI) Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley has lauded the work of the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) and its CEO Anthony S. McMaster for the work delivered for the territory.
Before Anthony S. McMaster, the RDA was headed by New Zealander Paul D. Bayly, who had the support of the then Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert, however, he resigned in January 2020, Mr Bayly had reportedly earned over $300,000 a year according to Board sources.