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Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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AUDIT KEEPS FINANCE HEAD FROM COMMITTEE

In a release from Government House late Monday, Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull defended her absence from Monday's Senate Finance Committee meeting, which proceeded without her.
Turnbull said independent auditors were expected to be in the territory on Monday, and she expected to be able to appear before the Finance Committee Wednesday. However, Finance Committee chairwoman Lorraine Berry declared Monday would be the final day of the budget hearings, "do or die."
Turnbull said in part, "Each time I have been asked to appear before the Finance Committee . . . I have consistently said that once the 1998 financial audit is completed, the balances will be forwarded." She said once she had the opportunity to sit with the auditors, she would call and request to reschedule her meeting with the committee.
The committee meeting concluded at 10 p.m. Monday without Turnbull's fund balances in hand.
Referring to one of the many bills before the committee Monday, Office of Management and Budget Director Ira Mills said that a failure to appropriate funds from the Transportation Fund will deny the General Fund the resources necessary to sustain step increases to unionized employees. He noted that at the time the administration proposed the transfer of funds, the balance in the account was $5.7 million and OMB anticipated receiving close to $12.8 million for the present fiscal year.
The committee tabled the bill indefinitely.

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In a release from Government House late Monday, Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull defended her absence from Monday's Senate Finance Committee meeting, which proceeded without her.
Turnbull said independent auditors were expected to be in the territory on Monday, and she expected to be able to appear before the Finance Committee Wednesday. However, Finance Committee chairwoman Lorraine Berry declared Monday would be the final day of the budget hearings, "do or die."
Turnbull said in part, "Each time I have been asked to appear before the Finance Committee . . . I have consistently said that once the 1998 financial audit is completed, the balances will be forwarded." She said once she had the opportunity to sit with the auditors, she would call and request to reschedule her meeting with the committee.
The committee meeting concluded at 10 p.m. Monday without Turnbull's fund balances in hand.
Referring to one of the many bills before the committee Monday, Office of Management and Budget Director Ira Mills said that a failure to appropriate funds from the Transportation Fund will deny the General Fund the resources necessary to sustain step increases to unionized employees. He noted that at the time the administration proposed the transfer of funds, the balance in the account was $5.7 million and OMB anticipated receiving close to $12.8 million for the present fiscal year.
The committee tabled the bill indefinitely.