Beautiful Virgin Islands

Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Premier optimistic about July deadline for COI audit recommendation

Premier optimistic about July deadline for COI audit recommendation

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley expressed optimism about meeting a month-end deadline for the implementation of some of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report’s audit recommendations.
Recommendations contained within that COI report have helped to shape a framework agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and the BVI, which also includes a timetable with deadlines for implementation of those recommendations.

Recommendation A4 calls for a review of all areas of government by the Auditor General, together with other independent persons or bodies instructed by her to assist.

According to the Premier, work is ongoing based on the Auditor General’s timetable, which was submitted on May 26.

According to that same recommendation, amendments are expected to be made in relation to the Audit Act of 2003, and to the Public Service Code as well as the Service Commission Regulations as required.

These are expected to be done by the House of Assembly and the Governor, consistent with Recommendations B16 and B17 respectively, to make it a criminal offence for a person to fail to cooperate with the Office of the Auditor General or Internal Audit Department.

Dr Wheatley said Cabinet has already considered and approved the relevant amendments since July 6, so that they can be taken forward as appropriate.

Governor John Rankin initiated a number of investigations – including criminal investigations – based on recommendations from the COI report, the Premier added.

The report had also recommended that all major contracts exceeding $100,000 that were considered and approved by Cabinet over the last three years should be the subject of a full audit performed by the Auditor General.

That audit, the report stated, should also look at projects that were considered and approved by Ministers of government on their own as well.

The Premier previously disclosed that the House of Assembly was expected to make monies available for these audits to be conducted.

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