It was bound to happen sooner or later.
In spite of Inspector General Steven G. van Beverhoudt's best efforts to provide detailed audits and best practices solutions to assist in correcting Property and Procurement's longstanding and uncontrollable ability to lay eggs filled with wholesale procurement rules and regulation violations, it appears the illegitimate hatchlings are finally coming home to roost in unprecedented numbers.
Any individual or organization interested in contracting goods or services to the government of the Virgin Islands are subject to what are meant to be strict requirements that uphold the spirit of licensing and procurement laws while demonstrating sound government practice and protecting the interests of the people. Once an open bid is received and application is made it passes through what should be a reliable chain of custody that includes DLCA, Property and Procurement, the attorney general, and ultimately the Governor. Contracts should be accompanied by a letter of "justification" and the end product should always be a negotiated contractual relationship that is truly free of fraud and bad faith and represents the best interests of the Virgin Islands.
When laws are poorly formulated and adopted it doesn't take long for our unscrupulous officials to discover there are more exploitable loopholes to jump through than hula-hoops in the Ding-a-Ling Dog Circus Extravaganza. In other words, what has finally happened is the spirit of the law is defeated for the average Virgin Islander and benefits only those who "justify" exploitation of exceptions to the law.
Recent events indicate the gravy train has unavoidably become a boiling cauldron of cumulative liability for our beloved public officials. The governor, with lightning speed, submits and withdraws a bill meant to make illegal contracts legal, even if they were obtained under fraud or bad faith circumstances as long as they are in "the best interests of the Virgin Islands." Attorney General Iver Stridiron "falls on the sword" for the governor, resigns, and then later claims that the procurement documentation he submitted was altered by someone in Government House. Next, nine members of the current Senate majority are implicated for having prior knowledge of the same procurement scheme, and then the AG tops it off by claiming client-attorney privilege to avoid disclosing confidential client information involving the governor.
I have an excellent bit of advice for our x-AG: Government procurement, licensing and contract approval agencies are not to be in the "corruption" and "cover up" business. If your invocation of client-attorney privilege is intended to assist or conceal criminal or fraudulent (contract) acts committed by the governor and those acts have a direct, causal connection to the substantial financial injury the Virgin Island's public is now facing, please don't hesitate and later be required in a court of law to disclose confidential client information or face jail. Your "client" isn't worth it. The future of the Virgin Islands is.
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