Having only taken up office nearly a year ago, Governor Augustus Jaspert has inherited responsibilities which some argue his predecessor failed to act on while serving in the post.
One matter a number of residents have been hoping Governor Jaspert will exert his authority on is the controversy surrounding the cruise pier project.
Residents are clamouring for the governor to commence a commission of inquiry, considering more than two years have elapsed since reports that the project had cost massive overruns.
But, former president of the Virgin Islands Party Carvin Malone has suggested the incumbent governor should have, perhaps, acted already.
“I think, constitutionally, the governor is somewhat missing in action in terms of what is the next step … It is the constitution that gives him or the holder of that post the responsibility of taking it to the next step — that of a commission of inquiry,” Malone reasoned.
The National Democratic Party (NDP) government had come under heavy pressure after Works Minister Mark Vanterpool said the completed project cost $82.9 million — exceeding the estimated budget by $30 million.
And, in what can be described as improper conduct, the said government responded by appointing its own auditor to probe their conduct in relation to the project.
Persons, therefore, have questioned the legitimacy of the audit — the findings of which are still outstanding some two years now.
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith recently said the audit would be ready ‘in a couple of months or weeks’.
Audit complete, gov’t knows results?
However, while speaking on the Honestly Speaking radio programme on Tuesday, Malone said he believes government already knows the findings of the audit but have opted to withhold the results.
He said: “I will be bold enough to speculate that the results of the audit are well known. The results are known to the folks who should know; except the public who should have been the first to have it.”