BVI News

Why rush to audit stimulus? Premier suggests collusion

Auditor General Sonia Webster.

Premier Andrew Fahie has questioned the apparent ‘rush’ to execute an audit of his government’s COVID-19 stimulus grants, arguing that ulterior motives may have been afoot.

During his appearance before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) yesterday, October 12, the Premier insinuated that the Office of the Auditor General may have conspired with UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab.

Raab, who has portfolio responsibility for UK Overseas Territories, had publicly backed former governor Augustus Jaspert’s decision to launch the Inquiry.

The Premier said yesterday that the Auditor General’s report seemed to have been specially prepared for the COI since it was never presented to the Cabinet or the the House of Assembly, as was supposed to be procedurally done.

“What was the rush with the report, Commissioner? I did not know the rush was [that] she was coming to the Commission of Inquiry,” Premier Fahie said.

“[The Auditor General was] trying to do a report in the middle of the worse pandemic in the last 100 years and speeding it up. Nobody understands that acceleration till afterwards now that I realise that we have a report in front of the Commission of Inquiry. It (the report) didn’t come to Cabinet, it didn’t come to the House of Assembly but it come to the Commission of Inquiry. And before that, the same things it is trying to allude to are what Dominic Raab said when he went to the House of Commons. It’s all related. So I have to come here to clear my government’s and my name. We have to clear the people of the Virgin Islands’ name. We ain’t thief no money,” the Premier further said.

My family and I were humiliated and but at risk

At the time, Fahie was being questioned why he was overly critical of the Auditor General’s report which, among other things, said the stimulus programme for farmers and fisherfolk violated procedure and inflated its payments to recipients.

The Premier was asked about this in the context of what the Auditor General would have known at the time of preparing the audit.

“Given how the money was distributed and the lack of transparency and accountability and authority for the payments, don’t you have some sympathy in general with the Auditor General’s report?” Sir Gary asked.

But Premier Fahie in responding by asking if anyone showed any sympathy for him and his family when allegations of corruption were first broached against the government.

“Commissioner, who have sympathy for when this whole inquiry was launched on me, when my wife and my picture end up in front of marijuana and drugs and have the world thinking that the BVI has a Premier that is a drug lord and a drug cartel? Who have sympathy on me?” Premier Fahie asked.

When asked how this could’ve been the responsibility of the Auditor General, the Premier side stepped the question.

Fahie said he was constantly asked about other persons, and insisted that he went through a lot as well.

Premier Fahie also told the commission that he felt that the Foreign Secretary endangered his children and said an apology was in order.

“They put our family at risk and nobody is studying that for us,” Fahie said.

Speaking more on the perceived ‘rush’ to audit his government’s stimulus programme, the Premier said the Auditor General should have waited and ‘cooler heads should have prevailed given the dire circumstances being faced by the territory at the start of the pandemic.

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48 Comments

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  1. Resident says:

    what a cry baby, we need real leadership not excuses

    Like 59
    Dislike 4
    • Doh says:

      Bahaaaaahaha…

      The Dear Leader is attempting to gain sympathy? Really? And no one ever mentioned “drug lord”, … much? Lol.

      …This is just a fantastic circus and good theater. Watch him tap dance his way into a *** ***, crying the whole way…

      🇬🇧 all the way!

    • Jim says:

      Time for elections. Now

      If not, I’m ready to march. Imagine a nice march in town on cruise ship day. Hmmmm….

      Like 33
      Dislike 2
      • Hmmm says:

        Does anybody seriously believe that the Auditor General was not leant on by Gus and the UK Govt to rush out the stimulus report.
        Let’s get into the real world – Gus has made the UK Govt look foolish for calling an inquiry into corruption and serious dishonesty but does not have any evidence – that does not mean that there is no corruption or serious dishonesty but Gus was foolish to call the inquiry without some good evidence.
        The stimulus programme was Gus’s last chance which is why it was rushed.
        Gus, bright man though he probably is, was well out of his depth on this one.

        Like 6
        Dislike 65
      • LOVING BVI says:

        I am amazed …you want to March … this is not time for politcs. I voted VIP and i don’t like the COI .. Not because of what its doing BUT HOW … n

    • Lmao says:

      Poor me. Everyone pick on me. Everyone pick on you because this community is small and we all know how your close relatives have been benefiting from you being Premier. Your best case scenario is that you’ll be removed from office with the rest of your crew, worst case scenario is a lengthy prison sentence with no chicken on the bone.

      Like 41
      Dislike 1
    • Wtf says:

      “ We ain’t thief no money,” the Premier further said.”.

      There it is, folks. In one illiterate sentence, our leader repeats the same mistake as Richard Nixon when he said “I am not a crook”. That ended well……

      Like 23
    • Rubber Duck says:

      They didn’t have time to cover their tracks.

  2. bob marley says:

    “playing smart but not being clever”

    Like 35
  3. heckler says:

    Because we want to know how 40 million dollars could disappear so fast

    Like 59
  4. Lb says:

    Always quick to play the victim. Puts things in place to kill you, then comes and acts like he is saviour. Sick ah he. Untruth Fahie

    Like 49
    Dislike 1
  5. Ok says:

    What rush. If you keep saying the word rush, people may actually start to perceive there to be a rush. The psychology of it all. There was no rush. There was only total disregard for the office of the auditor general. That is an action that should not be taken lightly but should instead raise multiple red flags. What was he hiding so that he was against an audit, don’t care when the audit was taking place. Has the information since been provided for the audit? Ok

    Like 42
  6. Biggy says:

    So he rushed to give away millions and upset because of oversight? You promised the SSB that you will be transparent in giving out the money and that was one of the conditions that the grant was given to Government. The AG has a right to audit what she wants, when she wants. I wonder if you even understand the power that this positions holds? The senseless bickering will simply leave us with a UK person holding the AG and FS seats and these idiots don’t even realize the damage that they are causing. This man was down Governor house every week when the last administration was in, carrying news and begging for a COI now look at him.

    Like 40
    Dislike 1
  7. Jimmy Smith says:

    Some of folks are so full of self hate that missing the point, the premier is asking the auditor general what is the rush. The auditor general is supposed to be an independent function of government to ensure value for money, but in this case you all missing the facts , she has done an annual audit of the entire country finances for years which are constitutionally her real job, but appears as if she is being direct by some one to do an audit of the stimulus grant to pass all the procedural steps, ie the ministry, the ministry response, the house of assembly but yet it is before the COI and you all are so blinded that you can not see through that

    Like 4
    Dislike 49
    • Chupes says:

      Just STFU!

      Like 16
      Dislike 2
    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not self hate, the anti government agenda is in full effect. These idiots are the only people in the world that wants to be taken over by outside forces. Talk about hustling backwards.

      Like 4
      Dislike 27
      • Right says:

        You so right. We should sit down and continue to let the Government do what they want how they want with no accountability. who cares wa happen to everyone else on this island as long as a few benefit we good! We need more people to think like y’all you on the right track!

        Like 11
        Dislike 1
    • Are you sure? says:

      Just maybe the draft report would have been put to draw and then what? The public would not have been the wiser!

    • Common Sense says:

      I acn see where our investment in education is going … you are very clear in your thoughts and arrows ..

      She was instructed

      she has a boss

      the boss is political

      the COI is political

    • Anonymous says:

      “Given how the money was distributed and the lack of transparency and accountability and authority for the payments, don’t you have some sympathy in general with the Auditor General’s report?” Sir Gary asked.

  8. Really?? says:

    @Jimmy smith..if you entrusted let’s say $1000 to Tom,Dick or Harry to do a project..would you not want to see what was spent and how it was spent? If you are a good steward over your money? It’s not the Premier money..he was entrusted to disperse and give an account..soo they have a right to ask anytime for an account..and his duty is to comply..not give excuses!

    Like 28
    Dislike 1
  9. Chief says:

    Cowardly!! Hiding behind your family! Lost all respect for you!

    Like 17
  10. Sad says:

    This is what happens when you cannot be trusted! You and your family and everyone attached to you are under a microscope. A person of integrity walks securely..but a person who perverse his way would be found out!

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  11. People were Ratting about it. says:

    Your own people didnt trust you, they didnt trust the process, the didnt like what was going on.. They Rat it out..Those are good citizens..

    Like 18
  12. Interesting says:

    Even if the stimilus was not ready for auditting the little bit that was found should have had a clear process that any auditor could have said that it was going well; so when you all finish call us to finish up. it was wrecked with irregularities from get go. Stop blaming the Auditor.

    Like 25
  13. Gimmicks says:

    The clock is ticking! Sadly, the Premier has found out the hard way that campaigning and winning an election and governing are two completely different beasts! Every appearance before the COI he invokes the typical grass politics and for what? Defend your decisions, defend your policies, defend your government, defend your COUNTRY! You say so much and in the end it’s like you said absolutely nothing. What does the UK issues have to do with the BVI? That may be for a discussion elsewhere and for another forum but you are before the COI to answer for what you have done. You can’t remember this, you can’t remember that, but you remember windrush and other nonsense that has nothing to do with the COI. You paid your pal CSC $16K a month and he did nothing, NOTHING! You have no shame whatsoever. The real question is, will 12 people really line up behind this guy for next elections? If he is allowed to run at all?

    Like 32
  14. 1EYE says:

    He has a point though. Gus painted that picture & biased the COI, then when they found that wasn’t the case have switched to audit the government systems. Gus Jaspert should be reprimanded along with the ministers. Gus tried to sink the BVI instead of govern it. This new Governor seems different so far.

    Like 2
    Dislike 20
  15. Boi says:

    Imagine that.. you called for an investigation on the NDP..and the camera and lights are on you! Whoever digs a pit for someone..will fall into it..Bible!

    Like 15
  16. Deh Watcha says:

    When will the $300k given to elected officials be audited?

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  17. @ THE BISHOP says:

    your HOLINESS where art THOU,your voice is missing on these issues with CSC and now uncle ANDY’S lame excuses one after another 🙄

  18. Rebel with a cause says:

    Lmao. Andrew still at it. Every press conference, every narrative shout GUILTY.

    Like 11
  19. Rubber Duck says:

    40 million dollars of the taxpayers hard earned money was given away with no controls, no accounting, no duty of care and he thinks thats OK because of historical iniquities.

    He is not fit for office.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  20. Corrupt says:

    You were that desperate for “power” that everyday it’s something about you negative in the news and it’s embarrassing..how do you sleep at nights?

  21. Precious says:

    Lots of people on work permits who pay taxes and social security didn’t get a red cent of the stimulus money and I think the main criteria for getting money was one had to be a virgin islander. I know Lots of indigenous virginislanders who not paying a cent to social security and got stimulus money. Mr Premier I think you owe the people who’ve paid taxes and social security but are not from the VI an explanation.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  22. Randle Cobb says:

    Why waste a catastrophe to waste and misappropriate tax payers money. Thank God for this lady.

  23. @ STRANGE says:

    YES , VERY STRANGE HOW SOME PEOPLE DOES GET SUDDEN SPELLS OF AMNESIA

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