BVI News

Former Deputy FS denies not cooperating with audits

Gaskin

Despite raising concerns that persons generally have an antagonistic attitude towards auditors in the BVI, former Deputy Financial Secretary, Wendell Gaskin has been recorded as being uncooperative in several instances with officials from the Office of the Auditor General (AG).

Gaskin is the government’s first internal auditor who credits himself as being instrumental in bringing the Internal Audit Act to fruition. He told the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Thursday that he nursed the Act ‘like a baby’ or ‘someone carrying a pregnancy’ over several hurdles before it was eventually passed in 2011.

“The issue here is that I found that, over the years in my position as the Internal Auditor and then Director of Internal Audit, nobody liked having to deal with the auditors,” Gaskin told the COI.

But Gaskin’s efforts to portray himself as a beacon of cooperation was in stark contrast to the AG Sonia Webster’s account of his demeanour around the time he was serving as Deputy Financial Secretary.

The Webster’s 2014 report that examined the Cruise Pier project reportedly showed that Gaskin’s demeanour was not welcoming to the AG’s staff.

Furthermore, the minutes from a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting held to discuss the details of that 2014 report recorded that Gaskin had “instructed his staff at the Ministry of Finance that they should not give anything to the Office of the Auditor General unless it goes through him”.

Proposed disciplinary action for uncooperativeness

The PAC reportedly discussed taking disciplinary action against Gaskin for his reported uncooperativeness during the audit process. But Gaskin told the COI he was never made aware of any such discussion, nor could he recall ever being ‘disciplined’ at any time.

And while further noting that he only saw the report in question for the first time this month when the COI sent it to him, Gaskin said he did not accept those criticisms that showed him as being uncooperative. He further told the COI it was his position that he had cooperated with the AG’s office at all times.

This was one of the few things Gaskin could confidently recall during his COI hearing yesterday. Throughout the questioning he underwent during that appearance, Gaskin on several occasions expressed that he could not recall details of his tenure in the Ministry of Finance while he oversaw projects such as the cruise pier development.

At one stage, COI attorney Bilal Rawat was moved to remark: “I was hoping that because it was such a large project that there may be some things about it that stayed in your memory.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

39 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. SMH says:

    I wouldn’t put it pass this Po**us don**y.

    Like 24
    • Lmao says:

      Another one that will be given “notice” by Sir Gary. He can spend his twilight years in Balsum Ghut

      Like 42
      • Anonymous says:

        Y’all really stupid. Bad governance is not necessarily a crime, being stupid is not necessarily a crime, most of what we have seen is the usual cronyism etc but that’s not a crime. A crime would be finding evidence of kick backs, bribes etc and none of these things can be found by this COI. They would have to look In bank records and personal finances etc and they can’t do that without charging them with a crime based on some kind of concrete evidence that you won’t find in the COI.

        Like 7
        Dislike 22
        • @Anon says:

          You are soooo wrong. The abuse of power is a crime. You need to become edumacated. Did you go to school in the BVI? Seems like it. Let’s wait and see who gets charged and for what. I’m making popcorn and a drink. It’s fun watching these imbeciles squirm in their chair as they try to lie.

          Like 25
          Dislike 6
          • Anonymous says:

            Abuse of power how moron? Nobody in government went outside of the limits of their power. They would have been locked up years ago idiot. The COI hasn’t revealed anything new besides the money that disappeared from Customs. All of these things have been reported before and nothing happened. What they did sometimes were not fair, or smart and pure cronyism even though they would claim otherwise but they had the power to do so by the laws and within the scope of their powers regardless of what you think.

            CSC got very large contracts. Every job he had except the neighborhood project was pure cronyism. That isn’t a crime by itself unless you bring some new evidence maybe a text, email or bank records showing him transferring or agreeing to do something to get that deal. The contract itself isn’t illegal. It’s stupid, unfair and a bad deal for the territory but it’s not a crime. Most of these “revelations” are like that.

            The spotlight is only shining brighter because it’s on YouTube. Just remember the police/DPP had a few of these matters in their hands and no charges have been filed. If you think just because a COI is happening the police will now dust off the auditor general’s report on the high school wall and suddenly find a crime when they had it for about 2 years you are naïve.

            Like 3
            Dislike 21
          • @Annkni right.. says:

            Charging them will bring out all the real evidence…They will find something to charge them for..

            Like 11
            Dislike 3
          • @Anon says:

            Lmao. Everything was reported but reported to the thieves. It’s like reporting missing chickens from the hen house to the fox who stole them. Naive? Really? You are naive and you will soon see where this goes. It’s not for the COI to look at bank accounts, emails, etc. That will be forensic accountants and investigators from Scotland Yard once these cr**ks are indicted. It will be fun watching these dumba**es trying to prove their innocence. Once one turns to save his own a**e the rest will fall like dominos. Apparently you are one of the ones that will be “noticed”.

            Like 16
            Dislike 3
          • Anonymous says:

            Name one crime. Just one. Y’all are emotional creatures. This isn’t about who you like or who you dont like. Where are your proof or facts of any crimes. My bad giving some one a large contract is a crime. My bad the auditor general said things in COI means that everybody going to jail. Go help the police find the crime because the COI members aren’t detectives or members of law enforcement. Over 2 years of investigations and nothing happened. Yes the wall was expensive and its crazy to use over 50 contractors and it’s insane to pay some before the job was done but again name the crime, state which law was broken. Our police aren’t the best but they had all the information the COI is getting. The DPP had this in their hands, Gus the national hero launched the investigation. Go help the police find the crimes since y’all sure there are crimes.

            https://bvinews.com/scoping-over-police-launch-full-investigation-into-eshs-wall/

            http://www.bvi.gov.vg/media-centre/statement-governor-auditor-general-s-special-report-elmore-stoutt-high-school-wall

            Like 5
            Dislike 5
          • Anonymous says:

            Scotland Yard has been to the BVI on more than one occasions to help solve the murder of people I knew personally and guess what it’s been over a decade and none solved. Foreign doesn’t mean perfect or better. The FBI has investigated top officials in the BVI. Lots of people reference the matter when they try to throw dirt on that individual’s name. Guess what, it’s been over 18 yrs and the man is now Premier of the BVI because allegations are not a crime, investigations doesn’t mean a crime was committed. I would love to see some of these people punished for the wasteful spending and the way they just blow millions of dollars and then sleep peacefully at night without a care. Just remember we seeing the same evidence as the commissioner. Only one crime mentioned so far and that was the disappearing money from Customs and that apparently was investigated by the police and nothing happened. All that’s going to happen in the end is recommendations or forceful mandates to strengthen laws and policies. More independent board members and accountability when these fools fail to adhere to their own laws like declaring interest on time etc. No more contract splitting to bypass the need for tender etc. Don’t hold your breath waiting to see all former and current members of government or top officials in jail.

            Like 4
            Dislike 3
        • You Anon says:

          You are definitely one of the cri***al politicians. You are fighting for your life here and it’s fun to watch. You will be indicted and you’ll have to prove your innocence. Good luck with that.

          Like 6
          Dislike 3
          • Anonymous says:

            That’s just to show how dumb you and others that have your mindset are lol. Somebody gives their opinion and you think I’m guilty of some crime. I have never worked in public service and have never committed a crime in my life. If this is the kind of logic that is being used to suggest that those “witnesses” that are before the COI will be charged with a crime that explains it all and I know for sure that you are an idiot. Y’all talking but haven’t name one crime to even back up your claims. You have no intelligence. You are hoping that Hickinbottom see something that you yourself cannot clearly identify now because you dont know or understand local law.

            Like 4
            Dislike 2
        • Read says:

          The COI is not a court. It is an Inquiry. All they have to do is assert that it is reasonable to SUSPECT that inept governance, corruption, and lawlessness is present to make recommendations. No one in Turks has gone to jail yet. “There
 is 
a
 high
 probability
 of
 systemic
 corruption
 in
 government 
and
 the
 legislature
 and
 among 
public
 officers 
in
 the
 Turks 
&
 Caicos
 Islands 
in 
recent 
years.”
          “Partial
 Suspension
 of
 the
 Constitution
 and 
Interim 
Direct 
Rule
          Recommendation:
 cessation
 of
 Ministerial
 Government,
 dissolution
 of
 the
 House
 of
 Assembly
 and
 suspension
 of
 certain
 related
 provisions,
 initially
 for
 two
 years,
 subject
 to 
possible
extension
 or 
abbreviation,
as 
provided
 in 
Schedule
 1
to 
the 
2009 
Constitution 
Order,

          yet
 to 
come
 into force.” They do not have to prove a doggone thing! It is called and Inquiry and Colonialism!
          https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/268143/inquiry-report.pdf

    • Each department an oligarchy says:

      What is going on in the BVI? No team players in any department? Everything done by one face in each critical
      area of BVI government. It’s gone on for terms. Everyone getting paid but those who aren’t in the game. Game runs far and deep. Many are involved. It’s gone on way too long.

    • Limal says:

      Not sure I trust a man who thinks it’s ok to jump over hurdles when pregnant.

  2. Pow pow says:

    No law and no order….life in the BVI.

    Like 30
  3. Hmm says:

    He can not recall because he has to protect and secure his big contract.

    We will never get better with such persons in high positions. Co***ption at its best.

    Like 37
    Dislike 1
    • Yup says:

      His memory faded quickly when asked pointed questions about the Pier Park and other projects. It’s always someone else. Problem is the someone else doesn’t exist. The corruption in the BVI Government was a way of life. Glad to see it ending. These people need prison to deter future politicians from engaging in these crimes against the Territory. This isn’t Haiti!!

      Like 35
    • Typical of him says:

      Exactly, his sudden case of amnesia didnt surprise me. His hands are not c***n but all of them are being found out. He was l**ng through his teeth.

  4. Anonymous says:

    He showed guilt throughout the questioning he only remembered what he wanted and you can see from the expression on attorney Bilal Rawat and the Inquiry Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom they knew that he was not truthful.

    Like 36
  5. PT9 says:

    It’s time the UK put a stop to these guys this crap has been going far too long.Gaskin made a coment about how small the Island is and after that he lost his memory on most things one would think he is hiding something.

    Like 36
  6. I believe it.... says:

    Every word of it. That is him yes. Think he could b**ly who he wants. Despicable.

    Like 27
  7. Keep 'em honest! says:

    “I found that, over the years in my position as the Internal Auditor and then Director of Internal Audit, nobody liked having to deal with the auditors.”
    What a surprise! It’s become glaringly clear that pretty much everybody in government doesn’t fancy Big Brother looking over their shoulder nor anyone that tries to keep government honest.

    Like 22
  8. ? says:

    How embarrassing for the people of the BVI. This ‘Good Ole Boy’ could only answer ‘I dont remember’ or ‘I was not aware.’Just an embarrassing display of l**s and de**it.

    Like 34
    • SMH says:

      Its down right laughable….the governance of this island and the competence of its elected officials are akin to preschoolers

      Like 18
  9. Raffi says:

    Clearly among those complicit in l**ing their p**kets and fulfilling personal ambitions at the expense of “we-the-people” is this Gaskin fellow along with messurs Penn and willock and others. We look forward to changes and punishment at the conclusion of this inquiry.

    Like 19
  10. Sick ah he says:

    POW has an attitude and it s***ks!!!

    Like 17
  11. Awaiting Justice says:

    Yes. It is about time these SPOIL BRATS got a time out. And have to answer to HIGHER AUTHORITY. These Islands need leaders that are concerned with the people business not their own personal business.

    Like 16
    • L++r...Make Kittitians Shame... says:

      He knows that they dont like him, they will never like him, why is he allowing them to use him, l**ng for them and making himself a f**l infront of the world…Why u think they brought u back? , to l** for them..thought he was a smart man..

  12. was he Bribed by VIP? says:

    Its Obvious that bringing him back to l** for them when they never liked him was a b**bed. The COI knows that from the question they asked…We will see.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  13. ???? says:

    So confusing! How could he say he doesn’t remember being punished for any mishaps; is that the very reason he was removed from the Ministry of Finance?

    Like 15
  14. ???? says:

    why all the misleading information for GOV after the fact they f**ed you and kept on Smith

  15. What a thing says:

    Funny he don’t remember anything and the general public does. L**s, pure l**s. 2014 wasn’t that long ago. He was very disrespectful and arrogant towards the AG and anyone who questioned the pier project. We the public remember. So bold in 2014 and a complete cow**d in 2021…only in the BVI. I’m happy the COI has been extended, leave no corrupt stone unturned.

  16. Contracts says:

    Who was it they called back as a consultant to prepare the financial statements that hadn’t been prepared while on the payroll?

  17. COI says:

    WELL IT SEEMS LIKE THEY ARE CRACKING THE CODE OF THESE HYPOCRITES AND THEIR WEB OF DECEPTION/ AND THOSE OF US WHO GOT BIG BIG CONDOS / MANSIONS / FORTRESS AND PALACES THROUGH THEIR CLANDESTINE ACTIVITIES AND MANIPULATION MIGHT LIVE TO ENJOY THEM ( WHAT A PITY

  18. Tide says:

    The truth catch you Gaskin. Your attitude and ignorance has caught up with you.

  19. FIRST says:

    I LOOK FORWARD FOR THE REP… OF THE FIRST DIST… TO TAKE THE HOT SEAT, AND HEARING HIM SAYING I CAN’T RECALL.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  20. Clean up the place says:

    Corruption has been going on forever and it is criminal. They better build another prison if they are serious about cleaning up the BVI. Problem is who will run the country.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1

Leave a Comment