Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

HOA to make funds available for COI’s recommended audits

HOA to make funds available for COI’s recommended audits

The Auditor General‘s Office is expected to receive a much needed financial boost from legislators as that office moves to execute audits recommended in the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report.

This is according to Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, who assured residents last week that the planned assistance is part of his government’s duty in holding people accountable.

According to Dr Wheatley, the Auditor General has already indicated the resources she will potentially require to move these audits forward. He said she has also hinted at timelines for the individual audits, some of which he said are already ongoing.

Dr Wheatley told reporters that until the timelines have been agreed upon, he won’t share that information publicly.

“When we go to the House of Assembly, when we continue the House session, we are going to make the money available to the Auditor General’s Office to be able to conduct those audits,” Premier Wheatley stated.

The RVIPF’s investigations

The territory’s leader said the same situation applies for investigations and timelines proposed by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).

“The government of national unity supports all the audits and investigations because, of course, we want to ensure that the people of the Virgin Islands know exactly how their money has been spent,” Premier Wheatley shared.

The Premier said the government has a duty to report to the people and to ensure that every dollar is accounted for.

“If the dollars are not accounted for, and if persons have to actually repay money as a result of those audits and investigations, we have a duty to ensure that we hold the persons accountable,” Dr Wheatley added.

Audits and investigations also serve, the Premier said, not just to hold persons accountable, but also to help clear their name.

He said various programmes have been shown in the COI report as casting a dark cloud over persons involved.

“I think it’s in those persons best interest as well, especially if they know they have not been involved in any wrongdoing, for these audits and investigations to go forward so that they can have their name cleared,“ the Premier added.

Auditor should conduct short review

The COI report had recommended that the Auditor General, together with other independent persons or bodies instructed by her, embark on a short review of all areas of government.

Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom said this was to include those areas identified in the report and advised that she should also prepare a timetable for the audits of appropriate areas and reports to the governor accordingly.

Sir Gary recommended that the governor should ensure sufficient resources were made available to the Auditor General for her to undertake the audits as they arose on that timetable.

The Commissioner also recommended that she should report to the governor with results of that review as soon as possible and suggested a two-month timeframe.


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