After persistent harping by various members of the recently elected Virgin Islands Party Government on the uncertainty and state of the Territory’s finances on the campaign trail, Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that a forensic audit will be carried out shortly.
While speaking at the swearing in ceremony for members of the House of Assembly on 12 March the Premier announced that efforts are being made to have the finance assessed.
The BVI Leader told the gathering: “We are in the process of engaging a firm to do a comprehensive forensic audit of the finances and overall status and assessment of the government of the Virgin Islands. This process of assessment will allow us an actual assessment of where we are so that we can better manage expectations and build a strong foundation on which to build upon as your government moves forward so that the people’s work can be done.”
Hon. Fahie said that he anticipates that the audit process will be completed within the first 100 days in office. However, he alluded that Government work will continue and will remain unaffected by the audit: “This government will remain steadfast in purpose and diligent in action in doing the people’s work,” the Premier assured.
Throughout the campaign period both the Premier and now the members of the new Government have announced that there is difficulty ascertaining what projects could be tackled immediately after taking office because they do not know the true state of the Territory’s finances. In fact, the point was reiterated at the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday by Ninth District Representative and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon. Vincent Wheatley during his remarks.
In fact, the new government had listed the examination of the Territory’s finance as one of its short term priorities and critical actions in its manifesto. In the blueprint document the government said that it would “conduct a full assessment of government finances to determine the true position of the country.”
Over the last six years in the capacity of Leader of the Opposition Hon. Fahie has lamented that the true state of the BVI finances was unknown as he cited the fact that the audited financial accounts were lagging for many years. Although, a number of those audits were since laid on the table of the House of Assembly.