The Auditor General Special Report about the Elmore Stoutt High School Wall project which has been the subject of numerous media headlines over that last weeks will be laid in the House of Assembly no later than 27 November by Premier, and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith on behalf of the Governor.
The announcement that the report will be heading to the House of Assembly was made in the Cabinet of The Virgin Islands – Post Meeting Statement dated 25 October and published by the Cabinet Office on 5 November.
Although the report is only now being laid before the House, its content is already known as Minister for Education, and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn released the document.
The Auditor General is critical of the process by which the perimeter wall at the Elmore Stoutt High School was conducted and her views were available to the media via the report that was handed to reporters during a press conference held by Minister Walwyn on 9 October.
However, this move of releasing the report by the Minister is said to have caused His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert to make a complaint to the Premier about what is described as a disregard of the process; as a result of the complaint Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Smith publicly rebuked the Minister.
Additionally, the Premier said that the Minister should not have been the one to make the document public and that Hon. Walwyn’s actions were disrespectful to the Office of the Governor. The Minister
In releasing the report, Hon. Walwyn said that he felt compelled to make the document public in order to highlight what he deemed was an unbalanced investigation process. The Minister bemoaned the fact that responses to the draft report from the Ministry of Education were omitted from the final Special Report, which had a completion date of 24 August, 2018.
The perimeter wall project has been the subject of cost rumors, which Hon. Walwyn told the media during his press conference were “patently false and politically motivated.”
In a ZBVI interview following the Premier’s call for an apology Hon. Walwyn said: “The Premier is someone I have worked with and have worked for, for the last seven years. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the Premier and I know the Premier would not have called upon me to apologise on a matter unless he knew I was wrong.”
“If the Premier says that I must apologize for something that I did wrong I trust him enough to make an apology and I hereby make apology,” the Minister added.
He also announced that he had his reasons why he made the Report public.