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‘Loop-holes’ see Ministers diverting funds to districts—AG Report

Auditor General, Ms Sonia M. Webster, has uncovered a number of glaring ‘loop-holes’ which give the perception, Ministers divert funds intended for investment in the Territory, to instead be used in their electoral districts. Photo: Team of Reporters
findings are documented in the 2013 Audit Report, laid before the House of Assembly last month. Photo: Team of Reporters
findings are documented in the 2013 Audit Report, laid before the House of Assembly last month. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Auditor General, Ms Sonia M. Webster, has uncovered a number of glaring ‘loop-holes’ which give the perception, Ministers divert funds intended for investment in the Territory, to instead be used in their electoral districts.

Ms Webster’s findings are documented in the 2013 Audit Report, laid before the House of Assembly (HoA) last month.

According to Ms Webster, “several instances have been observed where (the) ministerial budget adopted, allow for ministries to undertake work on projects falling outside of their defined portfolios.”

This, the Auditor General noted, “gives the appearance, of a minister that has shifted focus from addressing the needs of the Territory, to catering to the needs of an electoral district, where the Minister is also the district representative.”  

Mrs Webster stated that, “this practice needs to be discontinued.”

More ‘loop holes’ to thief

Additionally, the 2013 Auditor General Report noted that under the new chart of accounts, while a general development expenditure account is provided for each ministry, expenditure in these accounts are not categorised by project, but by objects (materials, payroll, utilities etc.) 

The object categories, according to the report, combine the activities of different projects thereby presenting difficulty.

Ms Webster said the Office as a result has had difficulty in establishing what projects are being undertaken; the budgeted amount and actual expenditure for individual projects and the legitimacy of related payment requests (and actual expenditure) as required by the Audit Act.

She proposes there is a need for sub-ledgers to be introduced, “to enable each project undertaken under these sub-heads to be properly and transparently accounted for.”

The true state of the Virgin Islands’ Finances is still not known and Minister of Finance and Co-Leader of Government Business, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), has admitted—through a series of answers to questions in the HoA—that his ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) has essentially bankrupted the country.

7 Responses to “‘Loop-holes’ see Ministers diverting funds to districts—AG Report”

  • 911 (18/08/2018, 15:25) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    nothing new!
  • 2grand (18/08/2018, 18:50) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    solution drain the swamp so fresh living waters can flow
  • KING FISH (18/08/2018, 20:29) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
    This happens under EVERY government that why I’ll never vote for either party
  • James H. (19/08/2018, 10:22) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The NDP Government was wasteful. I predict an early election. Don’t be surprised if elections are held before March 2019.
  • GREED (19/08/2018, 16:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    despite the loop holes no one politicians will go to jail
  • about time! (19/08/2018, 21:40) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    HOW COULD WE GET GOOD GOVERNANCE IF WE KEEP LETTING THEIFING POLITICANS GET AWAY YEARS! AFTRER YEARS!
    WE NEED TO LOCK THEM UP AND SET AN EXAMPLE! THE UK AND US DOES IT WE ARE NOT NO SPECIAL PLANET WHERE OUR POLITICANS ARE INVINSABLE
  • jj (20/08/2018, 16:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Audit district 6 $ especially. Ppl would be surprisrd.


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