The V.I. government’s independent auditors issued the government’s audited financial statements and Report on Federal Financial Assistance Programs for the 2012-2013 fiscal year before June 30, according to Government House, marking the first time in memory the territory has been in full compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget federal assistance reporting regulations.
"When we arrived in office seven years ago, the government financial statements were published more than two years beyond the established deadline, which was simply not acceptable," Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a statement.
"To achieve this milestone, we have been working double time, publishing two audits each year to catch up.”
Commissioner of Finance Angel Dawson Jr. said for several years the government has been working toward achieving full compliance this year.
"This will immediately improve our already solid standing in the bond markets and our ability to achieve even lower borrowing costs when we go to market,” Dawson said. “It also further demonstrates the establishment and effectiveness of a credible financial management system within the Virgin Islands government.”
Budget Director Debra Gottlieb added that being in compliance with reporting requirements for Federal Financial Assistance Programs now places the V.I. government in better standing with the U.S. Department of the Interior and with federal grantor agencies.
“This also has a direct positive influence on our years-long efforts to eliminate the Third Party Fiduciary mandated by the U.S. Department of Education to oversee its grant awards to the Virgin Islands government," Gottlieb said.
DeJongh said that the importance extends beyond the bond market. “Timely audits are important and are a baseline expectation of people seeking to do business in the Virgin Islands. Every week I meet with one or more investors looking to invest in businesses here, develop property here or move here to start EDC companies. And each time, the discussion inevitably turns to the questions about the government’s financial position and the request for audits. Finally, after years of hard work, we are where we need to be," deJongh said.