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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesWriter Says System Engenders Abuse

Writer Says System Engenders Abuse

Dear Source,

I am deeply saddened to see government officials abusing their offices and the publics trust. The problem with the abuse of funds does not lie just with the individuals but with the system that allowed it to occur. The need and urgency for a Chief Financial Officer is greater than ever. The V. I. government having faced pass payless paydays and the possible collapse of the Government Retirement System needs a Chief Financial Officer.
The system that allowed travel advances to be issued and not reconciled for several years needs to be changed. Internal control is a very important part of securing the financial future of the Virgin Islands. Personal charges placed on government credit cards should never be allowed. How can we allow personal charges on a government credit cards, and we cannot even pay our employees. I understand the convenience factor associated with the use of the card at the time of travel. If the card is used a check or money order should be issued upon return from the trip or at the end of the billing cycle. Continuous abuse should not occur. The internal control system failed the people of the Virgin Islands several times. We do not wait until internal auditors audit reports to find abuses. The reconciliation process should have not allowed the abuse to take place. The card should have been suspended for the first abuse and the second abuse should have resulted in the card being cancelled. Payroll deductions should have taken place, if the advance was not reconciled within thirty days of return from the trip. A travel advance should be considered a promissory note and therefore has the full and lasting effect as if you obtained a consumer loan. There is no interest charged on the money obtained from a travel advance. There is no financial institution that would lend an individual a sum of money for an indeterminate period of time without charging interest.
The taxpayers of the Virgin Islands cannot receive refund checks for overpayment of personal taxes paid to the V.I. government, while we allow individuals to charge thousands of dollars of personal expenses. We need to think about the future of the Virgin Islands and our children. I love my home and miss it, greatly. People of the Virgin Islands when you go to the voting polls on Nov. 2, think long and hard about your future and that of your children and grandchildren. Do you want more of the same or do you want leaders that will be accountable for their actions? The choices we make today are our future.
Cindy M. Sergent-Rogers
Ann Arbor, Mich.

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