When contacted by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) for a response to damning allegations that the Premier’s Office had deliberately hindered the Office of the Auditor-General from carrying out its work of auditing the Government’s COVID-19 stimulus programme for local fishers and farmers, the Premier responded that ‘Time will reveal all.”
The Auditor-General had also detailed contents of her audit report on the subject matter to the CoI, outlining a number of alleged infractions committed by the Fahe administration; however, concerns have been raised about whether the report followed the correct legal procedure before its findings were made public.
At a press conference, yesterday, June 30, 2021, alongside Silk Legal Attorney Richard G. Rowe, House of Assembly (HoA) Speaker, Hon Julian Willock had also indicated that the report may not have followed the correct procedure.
According to Hon Willock, “It was interesting… to see where he [Commissioner Hickenbottom] had one of the witnesses submitting information out of a report that has not been laid in the House of Assembly… blatant disregard for the House of Assembly,” he said.
The Speaker said that the CoI is lecturing Legislators about good governance, ‘and here you are sitting there… with a report that first must be sent to the Governor and the relevant Ministers and then brought before the House of Assembly,” he said.
“It is a clear indication, that you have no respect for an institution that I’m the head of… but again, I will not speculate on motives,” Hon Willock said.