73.9 F
Cruz Bay
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesInspector General Wants More Independence

Inspector General Wants More Independence

June 8, 2005 – Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt's request for an increase in funding equal to ½ percent of the government's executive budget ended in confusion Thursday, as Senators responded to testimony, which conveyed no actual immediate need for additional money. "The proposal included in this bill to statutorily set the annual funding level for the V.I. Inspector General's Office addresses one of the remaining impairments to independence; however, there are other areas that need to be addressed so that the office can effectively carry out its responsibilities in an independent and consistent manner," stated van Beverhoudt.
Van Beverhoudt advocated the creation of a strong and independent local audit unit, its ties severed from the executive branch, and able to make its own decisions. "As it is right now, I have only five auditors and two investigators and we're responsible for all the branches of government," said van Beverhoudt. "So, I need a certain level of independence in order to hire the talent needed to fulfill our obligations. We can't hire above a certain step—we've even had to justify why we wanted to hire specific individuals. That takes almost a month and we don't have that time to waste."
Van Beverhoudt compared the V.I. office to that of other U.S. territories, using Guam to illustrate the need for separation—"with a population of 70 to 80 thousand people, their office is staffed with 35 individuals and the Public Auditor has complete authority."
Ira Mills, Management and Budget director, while not in favor of a separate audit unit, corroborated van Beverhoudt's testimony by stating that the legislation had to address problems within the system. Mills said that fiscal challenges met by the OMB in 1999 led to the practice of audits, which were at the "heart of accountability for the government. If you don't get caught up with those audits, you don't get any money."
Van Beverhoudt additionally expressed the need to construct offices in St. Croix but since "the building might take a few years," he concluded that there is no need for ½ percent of the executive budget in FY 2006. In response, Sen. Louis Hill called for the creation of a proposal which addresses all issues simultaneously. Sen. Juan Figueroa-Serville asked the inspector to submit a list of demands before the next hearing. The Finance Committee subsequently decided to keep the matter at this level for the next 30 days.
Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.



JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,556FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
6 hours ago
Virgin Islands Source

2022 State of the Territory Address

January 24, 2022
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Thank you for tuning in - the live feed from the VI Legislature should resume momentarily.

When will we receive our tax refunds, and stimulus checks many have not received? Stop the distraction nonsense

Planning his re-election he thinks…

Is he still speaking?

he's back!

I hope it comes back!

View more comments

Load more