In 2016 Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith admitted that $82M was expended on the cruise pier project and at that time indicated that the international firm KPMG was commissioned to carry out a full audit of the expenditure.
Unfortunately the audit which was expected to last three months is dragging on to date. At a press conference on 31 May reporters asked the Premier for an update on the matter. He said: “Well the auditors had to verify all the information that they received. In fact, it was difficult getting much of the information…And then have to verify all this information and then the final report has to be reviewed and prepared into the document.”
Hon. Smith was once again asked to provide a deadline for the completion of the audit and he assured the reporters that the process will be completed soon: “I am told that it will be ready shortly…I would think in a matter of a couple of months, few weeks,” the Premier said.
During the questions and answers segment at the 12 May 2017 sitting of the HOA the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Fahie asked the Premier to tell the House of Assembly if the audit was completed and if not the reasons for the on-going delays and the expected completion date.
In response, Premier Smith announced that the audit would continue with no fixed date of completion because the process was largely dependent on the time required to thoroughly review and analyze the large volume of documents that KPMG had to filter through before they can produce a report of their findings.
In further explaining the delay, the Minister for Finance said: “there have been some challenges in identifying all of the relevant documents requested just given the sheer volume of the exercise, but the Government and the BVI Ports Authority have been and continue to work with KPMG to ensure that all of the requested information is being provided.”
Nonetheless, Hon. Smith assured that once the audit has been completed the information will be provided to the House of Assembly.
The delay of the cruise pier audit was also tackled in the House of Assembly on 1 August, 2017 by Hon. Fahie also during the questions and answers section. And in his response to that question the Premier assured that the audit process was moving along.