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PSC Commission Wants Answers from WAPA

April 9, 2005 — Public Services Commission members Friday made clear they did not want allegations of theft and incompetence raised in a December 2004 investigative report of the Water and Power Authority by Steven van Beverhoudt, V.I. inspector general, just swept under the rug.(See St.Croix Source story"WAPA Audit Charges Employees and Residents With Blatant Theft and More").
Alberto Bruno-Vega, chief executive officer for WAPA, in the St. Croix meeting, said some of the recommendations made by the inspector general had already been implemented. Lorelie Farrington, general counsel for WAPA, told the commission that all 27 recommendations would be addressed within 60 days.
That was not enough for the commission member Jerris Browne. He said the report indicated WAPA "had serious, serious problems, even criminal."
Browne asked why, if WAPA knew all this wide-scale theft of services was going on, it took an inspector general's report to get WAPA to move into action.
Bruno-Vega said, "There were allegations, innuendos and comments, but no one knew for sure." He emphasized that the investigation was done at the request of WAPA's administrators, so they could find out exactly what was going on.
This answer did not seem to satisfy member Desmond Maynard. He asked if WAPA had set deadlines to comply with the recommendations of the audit.
Bruno-Vega responded that some of the necessary action resulting from the investigation was out of WAPA's hands. He said WAPA had no prosecutorial powers and some matters had been turned over to the attorney general's office. He added, "We are doing everything we can do to bring to justice anyone wrongfully doing their job."
After more debate about a time period for addressing the issues, it was agreed that WAPA would present to the commission, by June 7, a report on how WAPA had responded to the recommendations in the report.
Here is the entire WAPA Audit .
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