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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesAUDIT BUREAU MAY LOSE MORE CONTROL

AUDIT BUREAU MAY LOSE MORE CONTROL

Saying that maybe he's in the wrong profession, Virgin Islands Inspector General Steven vanBeverhoudt told the Senate Finance Committee Monday night that with his current staffing, it is impossible for him to cover all the requests he gets for audits.
In one audit of the Public Works Department, vanBeverhoudt discovered Public Works had spent $6 million for roadside cleanup over two years — with $5 million spent on St. Thomas alone, causing the IG to remark, "That is $6 million to cut bush. Maybe I'm in the wrong profession."
VanBeverhoudt met the governor's 15 percent mandated budget cut, leaving him with a budget for Fiscal Year 2000 of $668,000. This represents "a point-two [.2] percent share" of the government's $430 million budget, he said. It also leaves him with an unprecedented low of 13 staff members.
Sen. George Goodwin asked, "With all the malfeasance [uncovered by vanBeverhoudt's audits] is the Attorney General pursuing cases?"
VanBeverhoudt said he was working with the white-collar unit of the AG's office — a unit that is also underfunded. But "We're not getting the speed of attention I would really like."
"There's a lot of money out on the street and I don't feel we're doing enough to collect it," he added.
VanBeverhoudt did not disagree when Sen. Gregory Bennerson said, "We won't change some of our habits until people are held responsible for their actions."
Instead, the inspector general reminded senators of his recommendations to the recently passed Financial Accountability Act that an investigative arm of the IG's office be created.
But the investigative arm — a normal part of most IG offices elsewhere, according to vanBeverhoudt — was taken out of the bill, he said.
When asked if his recommendations over the 10 years he's been the IG have been implemented, he said the majority had not been.
Sen. David Jones remarked that the approximately $7 million spent for the audits over those 10 years could have saved the V.I. government $1 billion or more.
VanBeverhoudt said he was trying to address the issue with the current administration.
"I don't have the power to make anyone do anything," he said. But he hopes the governor will adopt his suggestion to require that all departments make quarterly reports on progress being made on the IG's recommendations.
As far as prosecution is concerned, vanBeverhoudt said it was up to the Attorney General to decide what cases to prosecute.

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Saying that maybe he's in the wrong profession, Virgin Islands Inspector General Steven vanBeverhoudt told the Senate Finance Committee Monday night that with his current staffing, it is impossible for him to cover all the requests he gets for audits.
In one audit of the Public Works Department, vanBeverhoudt discovered Public Works had spent $6 million for roadside cleanup over two years -- with $5 million spent on St. Thomas alone, causing the IG to remark, "That is $6 million to cut bush. Maybe I'm in the wrong profession."
VanBeverhoudt met the governor's 15 percent mandated budget cut, leaving him with a budget for Fiscal Year 2000 of $668,000. This represents "a point-two [.2] percent share" of the government's $430 million budget, he said. It also leaves him with an unprecedented low of 13 staff members.
Sen. George Goodwin asked, "With all the malfeasance [uncovered by vanBeverhoudt's audits] is the Attorney General pursuing cases?"
VanBeverhoudt said he was working with the white-collar unit of the AG's office -- a unit that is also underfunded. But "We're not getting the speed of attention I would really like."
"There's a lot of money out on the street and I don't feel we're doing enough to collect it," he added.
VanBeverhoudt did not disagree when Sen. Gregory Bennerson said, "We won't change some of our habits until people are held responsible for their actions."
Instead, the inspector general reminded senators of his recommendations to the recently passed Financial Accountability Act that an investigative arm of the IG's office be created.
But the investigative arm -- a normal part of most IG offices elsewhere, according to vanBeverhoudt -- was taken out of the bill, he said.
When asked if his recommendations over the 10 years he's been the IG have been implemented, he said the majority had not been.
Sen. David Jones remarked that the approximately $7 million spent for the audits over those 10 years could have saved the V.I. government $1 billion or more.
VanBeverhoudt said he was trying to address the issue with the current administration.
"I don't have the power to make anyone do anything," he said. But he hopes the governor will adopt his suggestion to require that all departments make quarterly reports on progress being made on the IG's recommendations.
As far as prosecution is concerned, vanBeverhoudt said it was up to the Attorney General to decide what cases to prosecute.