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HomeNewsArchivesVAST DISCREPANCY ON GOVERNMENT'S OVERDUE WAPA BILLS

VAST DISCREPANCY ON GOVERNMENT'S OVERDUE WAPA BILLS

The board of directors of the Water and Power Authority expressed dismay Thursday at Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's claim the government owes no more than $4.2 million in overdue WAPA bills.
WAPA's records as of April 3 indicate the debt is around $24 million.
The discrepancy "boggles the mind," said board member Claude Molloy.
In an April 11 letter to WAPA Turnbull wrote, "The Government of the Virgin Islands acknowledges that it has outstanding accounts payable to WAPA. However, I can not acknowledge the amount of $16.5 million stated in your letter. It is my understanding that the Financial Management System reflects a payable amount for WAPA of $4,233,500.42."
The Financial Management System is the computer software system that Finance uses to track its accounts.
Molloy said the government is violating an executive order from 1990 that requires it to pay WAPA within 20 working days after the receipt of a bill. He also denounced the government for acknowledging only $4.2 million of the debt.
According to WAPA records, the agencies that are most delinquent in payment include the Housing Authority on St. Thomas, which owes WAPA $4 million in overdue water bills. Public Works on St. Croix owes $2.4 million in past electric bills and the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department on St. Croix owes $1.4 million in past water bills.
Part of the agreement struck between the government and Southern Energy, which is seeking to purchase 80 percent of WAPA, includes Southern forgiving the government's debt.
Commissioner of Finance Bernice Turnbull did not respond to several phone calls from the Source Thursday afternoon.

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The board of directors of the Water and Power Authority expressed dismay Thursday at Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's claim the government owes no more than $4.2 million in overdue WAPA bills.
WAPA's records as of April 3 indicate the debt is around $24 million.
The discrepancy "boggles the mind," said board member Claude Molloy.
In an April 11 letter to WAPA Turnbull wrote, "The Government of the Virgin Islands acknowledges that it has outstanding accounts payable to WAPA. However, I can not acknowledge the amount of $16.5 million stated in your letter. It is my understanding that the Financial Management System reflects a payable amount for WAPA of $4,233,500.42."
The Financial Management System is the computer software system that Finance uses to track its accounts.
Molloy said the government is violating an executive order from 1990 that requires it to pay WAPA within 20 working days after the receipt of a bill. He also denounced the government for acknowledging only $4.2 million of the debt.
According to WAPA records, the agencies that are most delinquent in payment include the Housing Authority on St. Thomas, which owes WAPA $4 million in overdue water bills. Public Works on St. Croix owes $2.4 million in past electric bills and the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department on St. Croix owes $1.4 million in past water bills.
Part of the agreement struck between the government and Southern Energy, which is seeking to purchase 80 percent of WAPA, includes Southern forgiving the government's debt.
Commissioner of Finance Bernice Turnbull did not respond to several phone calls from the Source Thursday afternoon.