BVI News

Premier to make two audits for VIP gov’t public

Premier Smith

Premier Smith

When the House of Assembly meets on Tuesday (April 18), Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith will present two of the long delayed auditor general’s reports to the public.

The Order Paper for that sitting, which was published today, said the premier will table the Auditor General’s Report for the year ending 2010, and the Auditor General’s Report for the year ending 2011.

In January, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie wrote to Governor John Duncan asking for him to use his constitutional powers to request annual audited financial statement from the minister of finance.

Fahie noted that there were no such statements for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Reports from 2007 to 2011 relate to the previous Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration.

Fahie, who is now chairman of the VIP, had claimed that the reports were prepared, but they were not brought to the House of Assembly before they VIP administration demitted office.

“Accountability and transparency dictates that all the reports, including those of the previous [VIP] administration, are placed before the House so that an accurate picture can be gleaned,” Fahie further said in January.

During the recent 2017 budget debate, Minister of Education Myron Walwyn claimed that Premier Smith was being unfairly blamed for the fact that no audited financial reports had been presented to the House of Assembly in the last 10 years.

Walwyn suggested that the blame for things of the sort should be cast on the key civil servants in the ministries – not the respective ministers.

“The key is the permanent secretary, the financial secretary, and those persons in the system,” Walwyn said. “So to come and make it look as if the minister of finance is the one that’s totally responsible – he going to sit down and write the report, no, it’s not that way. We have to look a little deeper in the system…”

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