Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
In keeping with his campaign commitment to conduct an audit of the Territory's finances, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie today, March 12, announced that his Government is currently engaging a firm to conduct a forensic audit of the BVI’s finances.
This audit, he noted while addressing the House of Assembly, would be completed in under three months.
“Your new Government must manage the expectations of the people. 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,” Hon. Fahie announced.
He went on to say that, “This process of assessment will allow us an accurate assessment of where we are so that we can better manage the expectations and build a strong foundation on which to build upon. This process will be completed within the first 100 days in office.”
This forensic audit was an issue that Hon. Fahie stressed on while campaigning, as he said he did not believe the previous administration’s utterances on the Territory’s financial state.
Immediately after being announced as the new Premier on February 25, Hon. Fahie had stated, “I always promised the people of the Virgin Islands that we have to see what the books are saying.”
This audit, he continued to emphasise, is critical in charting the way forward for the BVI, as it will show the funds available to continue the recovery and development efforts.
He previously went on record as saying, “Based on what the books are saying, then we can go and see which of our plans are low-lying fruits that can be done first, because on the campaign I always maintained that the finances are not how the Government has been purporting it, so before I say anything else, we have to know what the books are saying.”
While this is being done, however, the Premier today stated that, “The way Government does business in most areas will also change. What is good we will keep it.”
Public servants, he noted, must only “spend only what is allocated wisely, effectively and transparently.”
“We also must understand that the way Government did business must change for the better in many respects. Hence, being held accountable will be the norm and not the exception. I asked my Government to learn from the lessons of the past so that they are never repeated,” Premier Fahie stressed.