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HomeNewsArchivesGOVERNMENT FINISHES ANOTHER AUDIT

GOVERNMENT FINISHES ANOTHER AUDIT

July 3, 2001 — To stay in good standing with the federal government -– and the law — the Turnbull administration has completed an audit and financial report for 1999.
Federal law requires the V.I. government to conduct annual audits of federal program money pumped into the territory. Last year federal funds totaled approximately $120 million.
Additionally, the local government is supposed to conduct a full financial audit of itself. But before Gov. Charles Turnbull took office in January 1999, the V.I. government had completed just one audit in the previous 14 years.
Faced with the possibility of losing federal funds, or having "burdensome strings attached" to the money, Turnbull said, he made conducting the undone audits a priority to bring the territory into full compliance with the Single Audit Act by the end of 2002. Audits for Fiscal Years 1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999 are done. The next phase will be completing audits for 2000 by next January and for 2001 by November 2002.
One area threatened with having federal grant funds cut off due to lack of accountability was the Education Department’s special education program. The U.S. Education Department had been holding back millions of dollars of federal grant money because of the poor accounting. With the completion of the audits, federal education officials agreed to release $9 million in special education funds to the territory and to drop special conditions they had imposed earlier.
"Sometimes it’s hard for people to draw a connection between the need to meet these federal requirements and their everyday lives," Turnbull said in a release. "But it is important to remember that no one is going to give us, or lend us, money without accountability."
Turnbull said the administration is negotiating with federal agencies to conduct simplified audits for Fiscal Years 1996 and 1997. That would make the territory current and bring it into full compliance by the end of 2002.

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