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'Buckle up & grab your popcorn’ as more audit reports to come– Hon Penn

'Buckle up & grab your popcorn’ as more audit reports to come– Hon Penn

Unity Government Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has called on the Virgin Islands (VI) public to ‘buckle up’ and ‘grab their popcorn’ as more audit reports on initiatives under the Andrew A. Fahie administration is made public.

This comes as legislators on February 21, 2023, debated a report on then government consultant, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline where Auditor General Sonia M. Webster's report on the contracts accused him of not offering value for taxpayer’s money and the Government paying huge amounts for an undelivered work.

This comes as legislators on February 21, 2023, debated a report on then government consultant, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline where an Auditor General, Sonia M. Webster report on the contracts has accused him of not offering value for taxpayer’s money and the Government of paying huge amounts for an undelivered work.

Report clear- Hon Penn

“The report is very clear, this was approved by Cabinet, all three contracts with no clear deliverable or clear performance deliverables that would then deal with the issue of payments,” he said.

Hon Penn added that persons in the legislature cannot whitewash the issuance of the contracts as it happened out of thin air; however, moving forward things will have to be done better.

“If you are going to engage a consultant, it has to be performance-based. You can’t have an open-ended consultancy without no performance measure and then you expend $365,000 of taxpayer’s hard-earned money, in a time when you are going through economic turmoil,” he added.

Hon Penn told the public to expect the worst as more audit reports come and asked that the former Cabinet take responsibility for the contracts issued to Mr Skelton-Cline.

We're in serious trouble - Hon Penn

“If you think this bad, I will tell the public to buckle up… get you popcorn and get ready because we are in serious trouble,” he added.

Hon Penn said the situation underscores why the VI is in the reality it is currently as shown in the audit reports.

“It says to us that there is a culture that existed, that has to be changed, has to be nipped in the bud in terms of how we do work and engage and handle public funds,” he added.

Skelton-Cline, a local clergyman on his radio ZBVI 780 AM radio talk show has opted not to defend himself, but rather, leave the matter in the hands of God.

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