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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 4, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesNO ONE AVAILABLE NOW TO CONDUCT VITRAN AUDIT

NO ONE AVAILABLE NOW TO CONDUCT VITRAN AUDIT

Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg’s request that the inspector general scrutinize Vitran’s books will have to wait until an auditor is available, V.I. Inspector General Steven Van Bevenhoudt said Friday.
Last week, Donastorg wrote Van Beverhoudt requesting that he conduct an audit of the transportation system. Because of Vitran's $12 million operating deficit, the Turnbull administration announced that 62 Vitran workers would be laid off effective May 10. Union leaders have alleged that mismanagement is the root of the problem.
Van Beverhoudt said that while the audit request is legitimate, it will have to wait until he has a free inspector. When that would occur was unclear Friday.
"His request has merit. We know of all the concerns that are being raised," Van Beverhoudt said. "Right now, all our auditors are on assignment. I just can’t jump on it and do it."
In recent Senate hearings, Public Works Commissioner Harold Thompson Jr., whose department oversees Vitran, said that approximately $330,000 in transportation funds were used earlier this year to pay trash haulers on St. John.
Thompson was also criticized for not spending part of the $12 million in federal funds the department received last year on the bus service.
In his letter to the inspector general, Donastorg also raised the question of possible mismanagement.
Van Beverhoudt said his office has a staff of 10. Counting himself and his deputy, both of whom handle administrative matters and do audit work, five or six auditors are available at any one time to conduct investigations. Still, he said, the office attempts to accommodate audit requests from legislators as quickly as possible if fraud is suspected and if the requested audits are specific in their scope.
He said he told Donastorg that once he has a free auditor, the request will be addressed.
Nicole Bollentini, Donastorg’s press officer, said the senator believes the audit is "extremely important."
"This is an instance when an audit could be a real service rather than just an informational tool," she said.

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Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg’s request that the inspector general scrutinize Vitran’s books will have to wait until an auditor is available, V.I. Inspector General Steven Van Bevenhoudt said Friday.
Last week, Donastorg wrote Van Beverhoudt requesting that he conduct an audit of the transportation system. Because of Vitran's $12 million operating deficit, the Turnbull administration announced that 62 Vitran workers would be laid off effective May 10. Union leaders have alleged that mismanagement is the root of the problem.
Van Beverhoudt said that while the audit request is legitimate, it will have to wait until he has a free inspector. When that would occur was unclear Friday.
"His request has merit. We know of all the concerns that are being raised," Van Beverhoudt said. "Right now, all our auditors are on assignment. I just can’t jump on it and do it."
In recent Senate hearings, Public Works Commissioner Harold Thompson Jr., whose department oversees Vitran, said that approximately $330,000 in transportation funds were used earlier this year to pay trash haulers on St. John.
Thompson was also criticized for not spending part of the $12 million in federal funds the department received last year on the bus service.
In his letter to the inspector general, Donastorg also raised the question of possible mismanagement.
Van Beverhoudt said his office has a staff of 10. Counting himself and his deputy, both of whom handle administrative matters and do audit work, five or six auditors are available at any one time to conduct investigations. Still, he said, the office attempts to accommodate audit requests from legislators as quickly as possible if fraud is suspected and if the requested audits are specific in their scope.
He said he told Donastorg that once he has a free auditor, the request will be addressed.
Nicole Bollentini, Donastorg’s press officer, said the senator believes the audit is "extremely important."
"This is an instance when an audit could be a real service rather than just an informational tool," she said.