Former Chief Auditor Of Turks Appointed Auditor General

Javon Liburd, Staff Reporter | 20 Opinions
Published: May 18, 2017 4:32 pm AST
Mr. Phillip Sharman
Photo Credit: Provided
A former Chief Auditor of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Mr. Phil Sharman, has been appointed the new Auditor General of the British Virgin Islands, by the outgoing Governor, His Excellency John S. Duncan.

Mr. Sherman holds in-depth knowledge of United Kingdom Overseas Territories, having served as Chief Auditor in both St. Helena and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

The announcement came earlier today, May 18, just days after Health Minister, Hon. Ronnie Skelton spoke out against the United Kingdom’s attempts of arm-twisting the NDP led government, to have an Auditor General and Accountant General appointed.

While speaking in the House of Assembly sometime last week, Hon. Skelton claimed that the BVI is returning to the days of slavery.

"We have a position open for Auditor General, and we can't find one of us to manage that position; somebody from outside gotta come manage that again. We want an Accountant General in the Treasury, and we can't get that do; and all this pressure coming down on us. This cannot continue.”

Mr. Sharman’s appointment, which will take effect from August 2017, was made by the Governor under section 92(1) and 92(4) of the Virgin Islands Constitution, and acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission, and after consultation with the Premier of the Virgin Islands, respectively.

Mr. Sharman fills the post which was vacant since the retirement of the former incumbent in September 2015. The vacancy was followed by comprehensive recruitment rounds on three separate occasions to identify the best suited candidate.

In this capacity, Mr. Sharman will audit the Government accounts produced by the Treasury Department and inquire into and audit the financial records of Government departments and ministries, plus statutory boards and trusts, to evaluate compliance with financial legislation and regulations.

He will also serve as an advisory member of the Public Accounts Committee, and will function as the Accounting Officer for the Office of the Auditor General, and will develop and implement strategic plans for its use.

Mr. Sharman will also be responsible for administering and managing the process of monitoring the financial activities of Government departments and statutory bodies, to ensure accountability of public funds and compliance with financial regulations and budgetary constraints.

The Auditor General role is also responsible for auditing and producing report annually on the accounts of the House of Assembly and all Government departments and offices, including the Public Service Commission, the teaching Service Commission and the Police Service Commission.

Other responsibilities will include providing assistance to accounting officers in departments on their accounting and control systems to improve processes across Government.

Currently, Mr. Sharman is the statutory Chief Auditor for St. Helena, responsible for promoting public accountability, advising the Public Accounts Committee, and providing assurance to stakeholders on the use of taxpayer funds through the audit of the financial statements of Government and other public bodies in St. Helena.

He is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant with professional membership in both the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand.

He also has extensive experience as a statutory external auditor, having previously held director level roles with the Audit Commission and Audit New Zealand, with reporting responsibilities across all major sectors including central government and state owned enterprises, local government, health and education.

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