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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024


Finance Committee Chairwoman Lorraine Berry’s call for 20 employees of the Internal Revenue Bureau to testify before the body next week isn’t sitting well with IRB Director Claudette Farrington.
On Tuesday, Berry subpoenaed 20 IRB supervisory staffers to testify before her committee on July 6 in order to expose "management and operational deficiencies" in the agency charged with collecting money owed the government.
Included in the list of subpoenaed IRB workers is Farrington, 12 employees from St. Thomas and seven from St. Croix.
But on Wednesday, Farrington said having so many IRB employees appear in the Senate would "essentially leave the offices unmanned, unduly disrupting the operations of the bureau and negatively impact our ability to serve the public."
To avoid shutting down the bureau, Farrington asked Berry to outline her scope of questioning so the relevant IRB personnel could attend the hearing. Berry couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
Farrington also noted that July 3 and 4 are government holidays, so closing the bureau in order to testify before the committee would mean three days of work would be lost. In her letter to Berry, Farrington suggested that the hearing take place the July 11 or 12. Berry couldn’t
Berry, meanwhile, said the emphasis of the hearing will be on IRB’s collection efforts, "the lack of which adversely impacts on the revenue stream of the Virgin Islands government and its operational budget."

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