Members of the Committee on Government Services, Consumer and Veterans Affairs gathered on November 18th, 2015 to discuss multiple measures, including bill no. 31-0014, sponsored by Senator Clifford Graham and co-sponsored by Senators Sammuel Sanes and Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly, that aims to add more legitimacy to the Office of the Inspector General by untying it from the executive branch.
This bill was brought forward because the IG’s budget in the Virgin Islands has dwindled down to $2 million for fiscal year 2016, and this lack of funding prevents the office from undertaking major probes.
Making the IG’s office semi-autonomous in the Virgin Islands, Mr. Graham believes, will better equip its employees to probe all branches of government — including the legislative and executive branches — which would in turn deter potential fraudulent activity.
“This bill essentially looks to help the Office of the Inspector General do a better job, because it will allow the inspector general to determine the salary level of the employees within his organization,” Mr. Graham said. “It would allow the inspector general to manage his funding [and] determine who gets enhanced training to [perform] audits.”
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