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Poor financial records for festival under NDP – Hon Wheatley

- says officials now have to dig for records requested by Opposition
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) said he is disappointed with the record of the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee (VIF&FC) under the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) administration. Photo: VINO
At the July 31, 2019, sitting of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), the Opposition Leader, Marlon A. Penn (R8) had requested a detailed breakdown of each expenditure proposed and that actually budgeted for the Virgin Gorda Easter, East End/Long Look, Road Town and Carrot Bay festivals for 2016-2019 and the list of expenditure paid and unpaid. Photo: VINO
At the July 31, 2019, sitting of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), the Opposition Leader, Marlon A. Penn (R8) had requested a detailed breakdown of each expenditure proposed and that actually budgeted for the Virgin Gorda Easter, East End/Long Look, Road Town and Carrot Bay festivals for 2016-2019 and the list of expenditure paid and unpaid. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – In his bid to hold the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government accountable, Opposition Leader Marlon A. Penn (R8) has lashed out at Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), calling him 'irresponsible' for lacking information on spending by the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee (VIF&FC) over the years.

At the July 31, 2019, sitting of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), the Opposition Leader had requested a detailed breakdown of each expenditure proposed and that actually budgeted for the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival, East End/Long Look, Road Town and Carrot Bay festivals for 2016-2019 and the list of expenditure paid and unpaid.

He also asked for total amounts for each year, proposed and actual expenditure after the conclusion of each festival. However, Hon Wheatley said he was unable to provide the information as a result of poor financial records by the VIF&FC under the NDP administration.

Lack of Information

According to Hon Wheatley, “As you all know, we have a new Festival and Fairs Chairman and Executive Committee that are now involved in the massive effort of organising ongoing celebrations for this year’s festival, this combined with the fact that the record-keeping of previous committees was not up to acceptable standards have led to a lack of access to the information necessary to answer this question.”   

Further, Hon Wheatley said as a result of this lack of access, some amount of digging will now have to be done in order to find the information and provide it to the House.  

This answer did not sit well with the Opposition Leader, who then went on to question the spending for 2019 only, while ignoring statements that records were missing under the tenure of his NDP administration.

“You’re telling me that at least for this year… there’s no records of how we’re spending that money or no projections in terms of how that money is being spent, that you could bring to this Honorable House? At least for this year?” Hon Penn questioned.  

Hon Wheatley indicated that while a record for 2019 spending is available, it is an ongoing celebration and final records would be unavailable at this time; however, it will be provided to the house when the events have concluded.

‘Irresponsible’ - Hon Penn  

The Culture Minister said he is disappointed at the level of record-keeping, under previous festival committees, but said under his watch he will take accountability of spending seriously and establish standards unlike under the NDP.

The Opposition Leader responded, “I am baffled that the member is telling me there is no information on Festival when I know reports have been laid on the tables of this Honorable House for festival.” 

He accused the Minister of being 'irresponsible' for not having the details on the spending and projections for the 2019 festivals, even as Hon Wheatley had indicated that the process is ongoing and will be brought to the House in due time.

4 Responses to “Poor financial records for festival under NDP – Hon Wheatley”

  • st (02/08/2019, 07:29) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    After 8 years of corruption no one gone to jail
  • Proud BVIslander (02/08/2019, 10:16) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    Love my country. Not going anywhere, but this new Government, well, they seem to think that it will be okay for four years to blame the sins of the world on the NDP Government. The NDP has been voted out. The VIP has been voted in. Please, young people, you asked for the opportunity to lead. Can you please lead without us hearing about who led in the past every single day, on every occasion. The smear campaign worked. The NDP lost. They seem to be boys in their wrongdoing in comparison to your lot though who are boldfaced and as corrupt as they come. There are certain things that you will have to bring to the fore about the past as life is a continuum, but my goodness, you give yourselves contracts and you practice your cronyism and that is still in the name of the past Government? Well, all I can say is God's will be done on earth, here in the BVI, as it is in Heaven.
    • Local (02/08/2019, 11:48) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
      Blah blah blah let the people know what they did expose them yes if it is their fault let the people know because the same people will blame the VIP for the NDPs mess.
  • @ proud BVI lander (02/08/2019, 11:49) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    I guess u voted ndp .....


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