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Gov’t denies tampering with Auditor General report

Premier Smith in the House of Assembly. File photo

Premier Smith in the House of Assembly. File photo

The parliamentary opposition is questioning whether anyone had tampered with two financial documents that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith made public yesterday (April 18) when he tabled them in the House of Assembly.

Those documents are the Auditor General’s Reports for the years 2010 and 2011. They show how the now Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) handled the territory’s financial affairs when it formed the government in the two years mentioned above.

Recently appointed Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie questioned if anyone had altered the financial reports, considering that the Auditor General presented them to the government ‘a few years ago’, but the government is only now making them public.

“Can the premier and minister of finance confirm for this Hounourable House if the reports being laid today are exactly the same reports in content and in every respect as was received from the Office of the Auditor General; or does the reports being laid include any amendments made since received from the Office of the Auditor General?” Fahie asked.

Premier Smith suggested that no one has tampered with the reports.

“I don’t think anyone could change the reports of the Auditor General; I want to assure the Honourable Leader of the Opposition that those are the [real] reports that are being tabled,” the premier said.

Withholding documents

The Auditor General reports for 2010 and 2011 were eventually made public, but Opposition member Julian Fraser thinks the government is withholding two other important documents that should have been made public yesterday.

Those two documents, which Fraser said are being withheld, are the Treasury’s report and the Financial Secretary’s report in relation to 2010 and 2011.

Those reports should have been presented to the public at the same time the Auditor General’s reports were being presented yesterday, Fraser maintained.

He said he is ‘puzzled’ that some of the documents were not available.

“I am puzzled as to the documents being laid on the table being the Auditor General’s reports which could only have been prepared in the presence of the Treasury’s report. Why is it that the premier hasn’t seen it fit to table those reports at the same time [he is tabling the Auditor General’s report]? Also where is the Financial Secretary’s report that goes along with the documents from the Treasury?” added Fraser.

In response, Premier Smith admitted that he has not seen the two reports that Fraser said are being withheld.

“The reports that are laid on the table (made public) – the Auditor General’s reports 2010 and 2011 – were the ones which were available, which I have brought to this Honourable House. As I understand, at the time of laying this report (Auditor General’s report), I have not see the report from either the Financial Secretary or the Accountant General. Those reports are with the Accountant General,” Premier Smith said.

Julian Fraser

Julian Fraser

After listening to that explanation, Fraser maintained that “it doesn’t add up”.

He suggested that, if any amendment is to be made to the two reports that are being withheld, the two Auditor General’s Reports that were made public yesterday may eventually have to be withdrawn.

That is because information in the reports published and reports that are being withheld have to be “synchronized”, added Fraser, who also represents the Third Electoral District in the House of Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition, Fahie, noted that he supports the arguments Fraser had raised.

Fahie added that, with some of the documents being withheld, the public will not get the ‘complete picture’ of how the former VIP administration handled the territory’s money in the years 2010 and 2011.

“To lay (publish) the Auditor General’s report in the absence of those documents that the Member for the Third District (Fraser) has rightfully mentioned, leaves one to wonder if anything is being changed in these documents that are being laid (made public). And the complete picture has to be given to this Honourable House in unison – the Auditor General’s report, the Accountant General’s report, and the Financial Secretary’s reports,” added the Opposition leader.

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13 Comments

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  1. ndp heckler says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

    These NDP guys cant be trusted at all

  2. Hmm says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

    The Premier knows that the Accountant General Report must accompany the Auditor General Report so why wasn’t this done? What game is he playing.

  3. WOW says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

    The only thing the ndp does well is decieve.

  4. okay now says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

    That is to prove that the speaker is deeply involved

  5. Tom says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    Ndp to lie they all should be in jail

  6. Left Shark says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Why is it that everything this government touches lately stinks to high heaven

  7. Bvi says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    Why all the NDP ain’t in jail as yet when will they go to jail from stealing citizens hard working money lord help us from the crocks

  8. Bossman says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

    Frazer right, something don’t add up. Also, where are the reports for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

  9. Brad Boynes says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    A lie straight from BELL.

  10. to me says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    I find the Premier to be soft spoken but challenged in the area of truth.

  11. Not good says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    I just don’t trust the Premier anymore.

  12. enough says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    Hardly anyone trust the ndp anymore.

    • sub zero says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      to late ndp and them friends and cronies done rich. Instead of them developing the people of their country they develop them rich friends and them selves.

      The laugh is on us cause they laughing all the way to them overseas banks.

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