Dec. 2, 2002- Sen. Lorraine Berry says the V.I. government should be more supportive of its own Office of Inspector General.
"We need to give the entity prosecutorial powers," she said Monday afternoon.
Berry and her colleagues in the 23rd Legislature passed legislation making the V.I. Inspector General's Office an independent entity. Gov. Charles W. Turnbull vetoed the measure, but the Senate then overrode his veto.
But, "even though we have given them this power," she said Monday, funds that the Legislature appropriated for the inspector general and his staff "are not being allotted to them."
Berry, who also addressed the topic in her weekly commentary Monday morning on WVWI Radio, said the office has no staff on St. Croix.
The V.I. Inspector General's Office is the major auditing body for the territorial government. In addition to performing audits, it conducts investigations and recommends policies to help prevent fraud, waste and abuse.
It is separate from the federal Interior Department's Office of Inspector General, which conducts its own audits of V.I. government financial operations involving federal funds.
Berry also said that another local office should be set up to implement the recommendations of the V.I. Inspector General's Office. "After the audits are done, most of them sit on the shelf," she said, and "in many instances," there is no follow-through.
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